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Thread: The Last Of Us

  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus laneford's Avatar
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    The Last Of Us

    My name is Laneford and I play console games. Sorry.

    Anyway, have any of you chaps played Naughty Dog's new Sony offering?

    I bought it about a week or so ago, and finished it two days ago in an orgy of off-work indulgent apocalypse wrangling, clicker strangling goodness.

    And I'm blown away. Blown away I say by it, that ending, and the general feel of the damn thing. I keep relistening to the soundtrack, rewatching bits on youtube. (I'd be on my second playthrough already, but I feel the thing needs time to breathe and the bits of it still residing in my brain need time to percolate through my judgement and memory cortexes)

    I understand that it's linear, that's it's on rails, that there's too much combat, and some of that isn't always good, but, but, but... I can't help that I was hooked. I was totally hooked on this story and those characters in that world. I didn't know where it was going to go, and at times it felt like I was riding a slightly out of control horse rather than being someone inside the game, watching helplessly from the outside as events unfolded outside of my control, but I loved it. I was shocked, I was cheered, I was sad, I was dumbstruck, I was all these things, (which are pretty rare for video games for me)

    Two things that stood out for me in particular;

    First the art, or rather the design, of the thing. I've never seen a more well designed game with such an atmosphere and sense of place, (arguably only Dunwall can rival the thing in recent times). You know how in all games you have a 'walk' or 'run' toggle, and you all you ever use is run (unless you're sneaking or stealthing or playing Dark Souls) I found myself in this, in bits with no bad guys and no puzzles, just bits to get from a to b, walking, deliberately walking through this world and these environments, touched and untouched by twenty years of time moving on and twenty years of absence.

    Secondly, the tone. I think this is the first AAA game I can think of that's primary emotional palette is one of melancholy. I have played (and loved) games that are scary, exciting, fun, dramatic, tense, etc. ... but not one that seems this resigned to it's own fate. As someone who loves movies and books with this very tone, I lapped it up, the inevitability of it, the gentle quiet dignified sadness of the thing. I know lots of indie games have this, but it was nice to see this 'indie' sensibility in such a big game. I know some others have had it in 'sections', or 'bits', but in this game it pervades, it permeates through the whole thing.

    I would highly recommend any reluctant PS3 owners to get their consoles out of mothballs, take the breaking bad box set out of the blu-ray drive, and give it a try.

    Oh, and the music, the godamn music is well up there with one of the best soundtracks for a game I've ever heard.
    Last edited by laneford; 27-08-2013 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Hasty writing. Lack of editing.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    I played it and didn't like it very much. Wonky shooting mechanics were bad,and what was with your partner's invisibility when fighting other enemies. It was immersion killer.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus laneford's Avatar
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    Ack, Daft you're such a downer. ;)

    I quite liked the 'wonky' shooting though, made you feel more like a real person, less like a super soldier.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    I played it and loved it. Was worried it might be a bit too cinematic but the game really does let you play in quite a few ways.

    I'll need time before I go back to it though, the experience was one I think I need to let settle in before I can start playing over again.

    Also, giraffes :')
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus groovychainsaw's Avatar
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    I like the plot, acting and atmosphere, which are 'best in class' right now, but the shooting and annoying stealth wore me down, to the extent I lost interest a bit. I probably should play these things on easy to 'skip' the combat but my gamer pride gets the better of me. I prefer wandering around the ruins instead of fighting 'zombie' types (again....). I do find this to be a major problem with a lot of games as I get older though, I love the story and environments but get bored by the combat bits. Its the same reason I don't buy any FPS games any more (which I used to love). I'll have to revisit this one at least to get to the end and close out the plot, I probably got about halfway through until the backlog monster dragged me off to play a different game.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Heard a lot of great things, but despite there being a few Sony exclusives that are tempting to me I just haven't felt the need to buy a PS3. I'd be shocked and amazed if GTA V doesn't come to PC within 6 months, but if it didn't then I suspect I might pick one up for that & TLoU would be on my to play list as well. Have been tempted to watch a 'lets play', but it's finding the time.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus laneford's Avatar
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    I would really recommend not watching a Let's Play for this game, it's just too much dependent on narrative, character, and atmosphere.

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    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    I will probably give it a shot when the price drops. It sounds very much like Uncharted (but serious and sort of artsy), and while I don't hate Uncharted, I greatly dislike the shooting mechanics. Enemies are too tough, too numerous, and too aggressive, which makes the game way too repetitive (back to the checkpoint, sucka!). I mean, I played Uncharted 2 on the easiest difficulty so that I could not get slowed down by that, and I still encountered areas where I had to do the checkpoint dance for that reason!

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Honestly it really does not play like Uncharted at all. I think I must have shot a grand total of 20 or so people to death throughout the entire game. Stealth and melee are much bigger tools here. My favourite was of playing was to take out a few stealthily and then beat the rest to death with a 2x4.
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    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    Honestly it really does not play like Uncharted at all. I think I must have shot a grand total of 20 or so people to death throughout the entire game. Stealth and melee are much bigger tools here. My favourite was of playing was to take out a few stealthily and then beat the rest to death with a 2x4.
    The stealth stuff doesn't not sound like Uncharted. Creep up behind someone and press the button, right? Is it still heavy on trial-and-error?

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Well there's the Clickers and you can't take them out without using a special weapon so you have to avoid them completely, and it's quite difficult stealth those segments are certainly not Uncharted-like. But I didn't really think it was very Uncharted-y at all. Taking someone out is a bigger risk that in Uncharted.
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    I loved the initial few hours, but after a while it just become boring to me. So much so that I never finished it.

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    Lesser Hivemind Node Henke's Avatar
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    I'm avoiding reading most of this thread so as not to stumble across any spoilers. I'm currently borrowing my cousin's PS3, and a pile of games, including Last Of Us. Gonna play Infamous, Heavy Rain, Uncharted 3, MGS4 and some other stuff first, but I'll get to it. I have high expectations of it. :)

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    Network Hub DeekyFun's Avatar
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    I finished it last month. I thought it was excellent, though I was frustrated with the combat aspects towards the end, when I was more interested in the story than wading through bad guys. I found the combat bugged out a few times in places too, and it was much more engaging when fighting against the infected.

    It's a great example of a story-focused game, with a subtlety and nuance to the ending which I thought was unusually brave for a big budget gaming experience, though not totally unique - I think Red Dead Redemption's ending resonated with me similarly.

    I wonder if there are more layers to the story on a second playthrough. Anyone gone through it a few times?

  15. #15
    I just finished it as well. And while I agree that there are many excellent elements in the game, there was also a lot I didn't like.

    Naughty Dog does a great job of creating a post-apocalyptic world and making it feel overgrown. It's gorgeous and melancholy as you said. But just as I'm starting to immerse myself the chest high walls appear and I know I've just walked into another combat section. Or a meaningless quick-time event interrupts me. Or there is a cinematic, which ND rely on to tell the story rather than having it in-game. Or there is an insipid ladder puzzle. (I'm not complaining so much about the existence of the above but rather the fact that the game makes no attempt to disguise them, and that they repeat over-and-over again. This blog post says it much better than I do.)

    I know it's a AAA game and I shouldn't expect more but when it's trying hard to be mature and immersive (and it does that from time-to-time for sure) the slavery to genre conventions irks me even more. It reminded me a lot of Binfinite in that regard, a lot of ludo-narrative dissonance and 'press square to action'.

    That said I really liked the melee combat, that ending, the facial animations, and the general tone.
    Last edited by InternetNiceGuy; 18-01-2014 at 02:22 AM.

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    So I'm 61% through the game just past the bit where Sam gets bitten and is shot by Henry, who then shoots himself. Gripping stuff, although it did have a bit too much of a 'tidy chapter bookend' feel to it. Max feels for me so far has been from exploring the subterranean area where a number of adults and children had formerly made something of a communal home for themselves complete with makeshift classroom and kids games; along with the adult corpses I found a cloth covering what appeared to be several children's corpses. My eyes welled up at that one and even Joel was moved in his gruff, manly way.

    Quote Originally Posted by laneford View Post
    I quite liked the 'wonky' shooting though, made you feel more like a real person, less like a super soldier.
    Agreed; I disliked how mushy everything was at first, but it seems to fit the game and world now, although that might be just because I've pumped a few upgrades into my weapons. Relatedly, the levelling/skills system seems almost an afterthought, something that was included 'just because'.

    Quote Originally Posted by laneford View Post
    I would really recommend not watching a Let's Play for this game, it's just too much dependent on narrative, character, and atmosphere.
    Strange ... those seem the qualities that would be least compromised by a Let's Play.

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    Well, I finished it.

    The ending didn't have quite the impact I was hoping for after hearing so much praise for it. It wasn't what I expected though, and the more I think and read about it, the better it seems. It didn't slap me about the face with its awesomeness is what I'm saying.

    I get the feeling the 'Winter' season was subject to some unfortunate cuts, there was a lot of stuff alluded to there that wasn't really followed through on. Even so it was probably my favourite part of the game, and one which the author of the previously linked 'Ladder of Us' blog post evident didn't get up to.

    Here's the trailer/opening cinematic for the upcoming 'Left Behind' prequel DLC.


  18. #18
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    I finished this recently. I thought it was easily the best console game I've ever played. I'll echo that I also wasn't blown away by the ending. I don't understand how people could say it made them cry. It wasn't happy, it wasn't sad. It just...WAS. I still thought it was a solid ending though.

    Joel was such a great character, too. It's so refreshing to have a badass main character who isn't bald and ripped, with a scar over his eye, and talks like he has a mouth full of gravel. Some of the shit he did in the game too...WOW. I couldn't help but cringe at some points. I hope they release some DLC that explores what Joel did in the first few years after the outbreak. There are plenty of points in the game where it is alluded to that he did some horrible, horrible stuff. It sounds like he was no better than most of the enemies you face in the game.

    The stealth is a little more complex than Uncharted. You might be in a room with 2 infected that can see and hear you, and one that can only hear you and not see you. If the blind guy catches you though, you are dead, unless you have a knife on you. So you have to pick a path through the area to quietly take down as many as you can. Or just go in guns blazing. I've found that some of the most intense parts of the game though are when a perfectly laid plan goes wrong, and suddenly you are in the thick of it.

    One thing I was disappointed with was there was really never any point where you had to face infected and human enemies together. I'm assuming it just wasn't possible due to AI constraints. I think it would have been cool to have scenarios like where you are being pursued by two soldiers, and you see a clicker in the next room. You could pick up a bottle and throw it at the feet of the soldiers and bring the clicker crashing into them. Something like that.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

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    Quote Originally Posted by db1331 View Post
    I finished this recently. I thought it was easily the best console game I've ever played. I'll echo that I also wasn't blown away by the ending. I don't understand how people could say it made them cry. It wasn't happy, it wasn't sad. It just...WAS. I still thought it was a solid ending though.
    I think the ending is very powerful and appropriate ... but I only thought so after reading about it, which bothers me. Left to my own devices I think I could've missed its nuances entirely. Is that my fault, or the game's fault? I don't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    I think the ending is very powerful and appropriate ... but I only thought so after reading about it, which bothers me. Left to my own devices I think I could've missed its nuances entirely. Is that my fault, or the game's fault? I don't know.
    I'm fairly certain I completely got the ending. I still thought it was good. I just don't see how grown men could say it moved them to tears. Do you have a link to the article you read on it?
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

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