Screenshot of The Last of Us Cover Image

What is The Last of Us?

The Last of Us is one of the best action-adventure survival horror video games ever produced and the flagship game from Naughty Dog. This was the company that developed the game for PlayStation 3 and Sony Computer Entertainment published it in June 2013. It takes place in a post apocalyptic US, with a plot centered on the deeds of smuggler Joel and teenager Ellie. The game received praise for its deep story, spectacular single player and the competitive multiplayer modes.

Key facts about The Last of Us

  • The Last of Us remains up to this day one of the highest rated video games in the world.
  • Character development, the subtext and story are some of the things that make the game great.
  • The Last of Us is a story driven action-adventure game painting a dark picture of society.
  • The success of the game was so great that work on a sequel started soon and a movie is planned.
  • The Last of Us has a steep learning curve and combat that makes players feel vulnerable.

Gameplay of The Last of Us

The Last of Us gameplay is very different from classic action-adventure survival horror games. Played from a third person perspective, it has players roaming across a landscape devastated by war. Players will alternatively assume control of Joel and Ellie. When they focus on one character, artificial intelligence is in charge of guarding the steps of his or her companion.

Both characters can wield weapons, ranging from rifles, bows and shotguns to handguns and also various melee weapons. All of them can be upgraded by collecting additional items and using the workbenches to improve existing gear. Armor can also be found, as well as health kits and incendiary devices for area of effect damage. Players need to monitor their health meter all the time, as hit points can be recharged by using the available health kits.

The Last of Us gameplay is an eclectic mix of strategy, stealth and brute force. In most cases players need to use the Listen Mode to find out more about the position of enemies and take them by surprise. The dynamic cover system is also of great use when taking advantage of the environment. Players can’t sustain a lot of damage and need to take cover as often as possible to avoid an untimely demise.

When not actively engaged in combat, players need to solve puzzles and listen to conversation between other people. The big maps are also littered with story collectibles, ranging from comics and maps to notes. Enemies are very surprising, thanks to the advanced artificial intelligence system. Some of them will take shelter and call for reinforcements while others will attack outright.

Screenshot of The Last of Us Behind Barricades

Plot of The Last of Us

The story of The Last of Us starts in 2013 with the pandemic caused by the mutant Cordyceps fungus. People turn into bloodthirsty zombies and consume each other, which leads to the collapse of civilization. Joel tries to flee his home in Austin with his daughter Sarah but in an ensuing firefight, she succumbs to bullets. As the world plunges to chaos, survivors try to find shelter in fortified settlements. Joel becomes a smuggler and with his partner tries to retrieve stolen weapons from a dealer.

They succeed but discover that the weapons were already sold to the leader of the Fireflies, a rebel militia. Joel is promised twice as many weapons if his escorts Ellie, the teenage girl to Boston where the Fireflies have their headquarters. The road is littered with perils and the companions they find on the way eventually turn on each other. Joel needs to protect the party from poachers, violent militia as well as the bloodthirsty infected.

Players will move across the United States and travel to Salt Lake City as well as Eastern Colorado. The more time they spend together, the stronger the bond becomes between the two traveling companions. The Last of Us plot is centered on their link and players will have to make various difficult decisions down the road. We have no intention of spoiling what is one of the best narratives in modern video games. Instead, we urge you to take it slow and enjoy the ride because it’s just as good as the destination.

Development of The Last of Us

The Last of Us development started in 2009 while the Naughty Dog company was also working on the Uncharted 2 video game. Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann worked on the game and they took all the time they needed with the narrative. Instead of creating yet another zombie game centered on violence, the development team focused on the narrative. The result was a game that took the gaming world by surprise and made The Last of Us one of the most popular games of the decade.

Screenshot of The Last of Us Target Practice

At the cornerstone of the game is the relationship between Ellie and Joel, but the game mechanics are just as solid. This eclectic mix represents the main reason for why people choose to return to this game after finishing the single player. Nothing was left to chance and the development team wanted to make sure the game would have a great original score. Gustavo Santaolalla was tasked with composing the soundtrack and he did a brilliant job. The opening credits were produced in San Diego by Sony.

Developers found it worthwhile to create a multiplayer for this videogame and came up with three distinct modes. Supply Raid and Survivors are basically death-matches, with the only difference being that players don’t respawn in the latter. Players can sign up for the Interrogation mode, where players are also supposed to retrieve lockboxes. In any case, up to eight people can participate and they are pit against not only their peers, but also hordes of monsters.

Where can I download The Last of Us?

Naughty Dog is without a doubt the best place to go if you want to download the game. They are the ones developing the sequel, so there’s a good chance to want to play that as well. Those who wait until The Last of Us 2 comes around, are likely to receive discounts and they purchase the entire bundle. Given the quality of this game and the uncertain release date of the next installment, we advise against waiting.

The main reason for why people choose to play The Last of Us is the amazing narrative. The problem with modern video games is that they tend to be too centered on the gameplay and visuals. Few come even close in terms of depth and this leaves players with very few reasonable options. If you’re in the market for such a game, then do yourself a favor and play Life is Strange. If eSports are what you are looking for, then League of Legends, StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void, Counterstrike Global Offensive or Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 are superior alternatives.

Screenshot of The Last of Us Shotgun Threat

What are others saying about The Last of Us?

The Last of Us reviews frequently received ratings of more than 90 out of 100. There are plenty of respectable reviewing websites who went beyond this and felt comfortable giving the game a perfect 10 (or 100 depending on the rating system). One of the things that pretty much every article will talk about is how good the narrative is and how convincing the characters. Simply put, there are not many games out there that pose a serious challenge.

The riveting and emotional story determined some critics to use terms such as masterpiece to describe the game. Less attention was paid to the gameplay, but that’s not because the game mechanics aren’t challenging or good for what that matters. Playing The Last of Us is not only an emotional experience, but also a great way to navigate a post apocalyptic landscape. Combat is refreshing and forces you to be always on your toes, which has the merit of keeping players interested.

My rating of The Last of Us

When it comes to rating video games, I usually pay more attention to the story and characters and the graphics. To be given a perfect 10 a videogame would have to check all boxes, but few titles are perfect. The Last of Us comes as close as it gets to perfection and is always one of the games I think first when recommending something to friends. Once you get immersed into this narrative and connect with the characters, you have a hard time putting the mouse down.

Much has been said about the quality of the story and the emotional voyage that Joel and Ellie take. I feel that more words won’t do it justice. That’s why I’ll emphasize the sheer quality of the gameplay and the nice addition of those three multiplayer modes. This is essentially a game for single player, but it’s quite thrilling to play against others. I’ll let you discover The Last of Us by yourself and vouch for this amazing game with a 10/10 score.