I unfortunately don’t have near enough time to play as many video games as I once did. So instead of being seasoned in most of the games out on the market, I’m forced to cherry pick which video games I can dedicate my time to. Most recently, I was able to play through Last of Us. Yeah, Yeah, I know. You’re tired of hearing about how great this game is. Well, thankfully for you that’s not what this is about. Instead, I’ve decided to take the time to tell you why you’ll hate Last of Us. Yeah, I said it.
Reason number one. The universe of Last of Us is predicated on scavenging for scarce resources and looting your fellow man to survive. While Last of Us provides plenty of opportunities to scavenge. i.e. anytime you’re not watching a cut scene or killing something/trying not to get killed. Looting, however, is completely non existent in Last of Us! Let me put it into context. There’s a scene in Last of Us where a group of bandits ruthlessly gun down a handful of survivors for the purpose of, wait for it, that’s right, looting their freshly made corpses! One of the bandits even comments on how ratty their shoes were because, you know, he was planning on taking them! Yet when you kill someone you can’t take their weapon or search them for supplies. That’s weak Naughty Dog, really weak. Now, I get it. If you could loot everyone you came across then the game would be far too easy. You’d likely have more ammo than you could even carry. Still, I feel profoundly unsatisfied when I’m unable to pick up the rifle from the asshole who was just shooting at me after I drive a shiv into his neck.
Reason number two. The zombies or infected or whatever the hell you want to call them, there aren’t nearly enough of them. Trust me, when they’re around, you’ll quickly wish those damned reanimated corpses would fuck off, but Last of Us is a horror/survival game so they should be plentiful. The zombies in Last of Us legitimately creep me out, the clickers especially. Hearing their teeth chatter make my teeth chatter. The thing is, you spend much more time fighting humans then surviving zombies. I understand that this makes for a powerful narrative because of the dark side of humanity and blah blah but when I square off against the humans, I’m the hunter. Sure the A.I. is solid and they make for a great challenge but they just look like prey to me. The zombies on the other hand, are erratic and will swarm you in an instant. They have less regard for their own life than they have for yours. So Naughty Dog, next time, gimme more zombies. On second thought don’t. Did I mention that those bastards creep me the hell out?!
Reason number three. Last of Us is a bummer. From the opening level Last of Us tugged at my heart strings. And I say this as someone who laughs gleefully as I gun down innocents in pretty much any game that’ll allow me too. But not in this game. Not that you’re able to anyway, but I surely wouldn’t want to. This game is desolate enough. Between Joel spending the majority of the game brooding and Ellie, cool as she often is, is thrust into so many gut wrenching situations, that you really start to feel for Ellen Page. I mean Ellie. Anytime that something good happens in this game, I instantly brace myself for the inevitable fall when everything comes crumbling down. Point being, Naughty Dog chill out on making me feel so sad. I can’t pull an all nighter when I constantly need to stop to have a cry or two. Or to question my place in this cruel, cruel world.
Reason number four. It ends. And I don’t mean that the game was too short. It was certainly a reasonable length. But, well, I have a confession to make. I loved Last of Us! It was easily one of the most engaging and enriching gaming experiences I’ve ever had. And sadly, until we invent technology to wipe our memories, I can only play a game for the first time, once. And that is easily the greatest tragedy of Last of Us. Since I’ve completed it, I started playing through it again but it’s just, too soon. I’ve survived the hardships and become battle hardened to what awaits me in Last of Us so much of the thrill is gone (Okay the opening chapter still gets me!) I know that there’s DLC on the way, but I’ve never been mistaken for being patient. So I caution you, those who have yet to pick this game up. Don’t, it’s too good. It’ll force you to set your standards to unreasonable heights and hence forth all else will be disappointing. You’ve been warned.
Honorable Mention: The graphics are too good. Last of Us refuses to know its place. Last of Us, you’re not next gen, stop with the overachieving, you’re making the rest of the class look bad! Seriously, look at the water in this game; even the murky green water looks like you’re swimming in liquid Jell-o.
Don’t believe me? Fair enough, play Last of Us for yourself and come to your own conclusion. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!