Games that do not always have to be fun first and foremost, is old hat. But the high frequency with which we have now to do it with hard interactive dramas is new. The heartbreaking The Walking Dead, the desolate I Am Alive or simply shocking in its resolution BioShock Infinite impressive evidence that other sounds are played beyond the Mushroom Kingdoms, to appeal to a huge range of emotions. Video games and their makers have adopted the idea that you have to stand as a hero with the credits.
The Last of Us is content with it now but not to stand in the same row as these examples. Naughty Dog's Uncharted waived in game one by on spectacle and emotional manipulation, relies on self-reflection and refuses doggedly than any title in front of him to be seen as fun. Nevertheless, it has more substance than any other game this company: His full access systems into one another and even investigated the presentation internally to none. In the above Glanzstückchen Entertainment gloomy but it was sure by the end of having done the right thing or at least for the right reasons. They left the figures as better people and here dares Naughty Dog but actually incorporate a breaking point between a major character and the player.
Man is wolf to manWhen, how, why and with whom that happens, of course, it is not betrayed, and maybe even something that everyone feels differently. But I felt this crack bitterly, although he passed calmly and without much fuss almost by itself. And he's so effective that I personally was almost disappointed by the character - just that I only noticed when I had slept for a night. Naturally occur a title, complete with large, space extensive gestures, victims or realizations, just the walking deads and BioShock Infinites, at first somewhat effective in the emotional soft tissues. Naughty Dog's familiar hand that the player can pass in review the entire adventure and hope that you realize how the developers have been working on a small scale to this effect.
Consequently, there is no twist, no "Tadaa!" Moment when someone pulls the curtain before a final surprise. Even some plot elements of Joel and Ellie's journey from the military quarantine zone Boston to a remote outpost of the rebellious Firefly is already known. Until about the middle of it predicts certain events with amazing accuracy and keeps it too often tried first for clichés. And then you realize that the authors leave with only one or two small deviations from known patterns in the player itself quietly horrific realization approach simmer. It is an approach that must have tasted incredible guts.
This also applies to the actual game content, because after three carefree shooting arcade in a row, got along without great moral dilemmas, the bitter Survival gameplay is a brave step into an unfamiliar direction. Without him, the result would have been quite different. Naughty Dog returns to the charted sufficiently gameplay space Hipster coverage-way streets without much remorse and the back shows the violence of this world in a close and clarity that should scare many. The trick is that the actions shown - strangulation, severed throats and patch shotguns - this just does not seem exaggerated. In fact, it is one of the few games where gameplay and story are not at odds with each other.
Cognitive DissonanceThink about it: A repentant killer who makes atonement in a flying city by killing hundreds of people still more cruelly? A smart soldier of fortune who shoots low-paid bat because of a few golden relics hordes? Sure. Familiar images that can unite even many of the best games of all rare with each other because they place themselves at the service of the gameplay. The Last of Us holds the other hand not with justifications and uses violence as a mirror that shows you that all lost souls in such a world sooner or later.
Dosage form for this bitter pill is the case in a number of manageable, but elegantly constructed stealth sandboxes. The fights will be drastically different depending on whether the two get to do with the zombie-like, blind people infected, the fungus pandemic, which judges the world for 20 years based, or in other desperate survivors. Diners in dilapidated, overgrown supermarkets and moldy apartment buildings, although it is still basically an evil version of cat-and-mouse. The difference is that the human enemies can see and partly possess firearms while hunting horribly disfigured infected mainly by ear.
A real Deckungssytem, in which the characters cling to the furniture or the walls, there is not. You go instead into a crouch, hoping that the appearance of an enemy flashlight does not extend beyond the overturned coffee table, behind her you just entlangduckt and see thereby, as Joel and Ellie contact with surrounding objects lifelike itself as soon as they are close enough . The ammo is scarce enough to have to constantly switch between different weapons.
Even with a trio of heavily armed hunters or people-eaters in the back combing her soft foot kitchen units and office desks for hidden balls, a bottle of alcohol or a rag. Who knows, maybe you can rid yourselves with two aimed shots and a Molotov out of the situation?
Survive and let liveJoel's gun arm remains on the entire game away wobbly and imprecise enough that you try to avoid it if possible, use pistols and rifles at all. It is abundantly clear very quickly that this is not a shooter here. If you shoot, it means lightning fast to jump through a window or over a counter and quickly switch to the position. Who is less of a direct fight from, is with nail bombs, traps or lures - if the resources are insufficient - the constantly patrolling enemies with thrown bricks and bottles from their positions to turn it off silently from behind or to avoid them completely out of the way . Thanks to the narrow areas created here enthralling hiding games where you always hold your breath and the controller takes as fixed so that the fingers are white. Waiting for the right moment is almost unbearable, that there are two higher levels of difficulty to "Normal", almost makes me a bit scared.
Depending on how you regard them, the enemy encounters runs through a dynamism and unpredictability, which ensures that no two attempts to pass the same situation. Although Joel can through walls "hear" where are the enemy, that does not mean that you feel like a hunter in a Crysis or Far Cry. It is all the time on the run and looking for the places from where you can just turn the tables for a violent second. And also, if you so slow is really good at it towards the end, to let hunt so that a confer a benefit, you die many gruesome and sudden death, even before you can think, "I'm now just not as good hinbekommen".
At the latest when it comes to the beastly strong clicker, where physical contact is absolutely deadly if you do not yet have a saving makeshift knife at hand - which breaks with the use - you have to detail with the clear and fine stem crafting system deal. Besides mentioned nail bombs, Molotov and self-made knives, there is only smoke bombs, health kits and temporary as well as ephemeral gains of melee weapons. It does not need to offer you a wide range of options and to keep the game yet so catchy that you can meet sometimes quick decisions in tummy hairy situations. Planning and fast switching are equal and equally important talents, this one wants to be miserable about 15 hours or protracted apocalypse survive.
Make way, Half-Life 2With all the depressing finality it still has something Charming, Majestetisches how the nature recaptured the cities. Also the Uncharteds were dazzling beautiful games, but they have not demonstrated that Naughty Dog is also understood as Weltenbildner. This occurs The Last of Us is now impressively when an America before the player rolls out, which is clearly on its last legs. It has long been barely make out whether it was now the countless military interventions, which missed him the coup de grace, or whether this fact but the fungus pandemic (about whose reality content we talked about recently in our Reality Check with a scientist) attributable is that beutelt this world for 20 years. Even in the many periods of rest where one digs through the remains of the civilization, one can never be quite sure of his. And yet we experience some of the most oppressive, and sometimes most heartwarming moments here.
How real survivors turning every proverbial rock on the side to be brushed every last bit of useful material - bolts, the grant of the rare benches upgrades of weapons, pills, with which one increases Joel characteristics. There are quite typical gaming elements that act at the beginning for a moment a little out of place. But in its unobtrusiveness they occur far enough into the background so as not to disturb the immersion, and the New Game Plus finally one looks forward then but that they exist. But even without the forced from the game prey drive this world would be one of the most fascinating, through which one has ever beaten. None of the wasteful devastated areas are alike, each shoe seems abandoned places with meaning and purpose. Naughty Dog proves here a flair for Design, the Half-Life 2 wipes with alarming casualness of the throne of visual storytellers.
And then there's Joel and Ellie. From the new Synchro superstar Troy Baker and the talented Ashley Johnson embodies with great feeling, anger and despair, they are one of the most memorable duets of this generation. Their arcs are not necessarily new in Great, but there are nuanced, believable performances, lifelike transferred from the animators to the drawing figures from life.
Second to none has been acting like anything here, while the script it be possible with a few words to say more than many 50-hour RPG. Even an old acquaintance has a guest role and provides, as if to prove that he can compete with Troy, a fully transformed from power.
The invisible SecondAll this is supported by a groundbreaking sound design. When Gustavo Santaolallas (won an Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain") score is happening emphasizes low-fi with guitars and big drums accompanied and the shots blast, as if they were fired directly next to your ear, all the senses are bombarded with a craftsmanship that his peers in the industry studied. So cleverly integrated voltage and promotional audio cues have a never warned of the discovery.
A few problems still to be mentioned. Just about the stealth system works well, sometimes naughty dog can not hide the fact that you had to fiddle with the autonomous companion AI, so it is not constantly discovered by his opponents. Whoever stalks by your side in enemy territory, is more or less invisible to hunters and infected. In a particularly exciting stealth situation a friendly NPC for all went well visible right in front of a guard along. Took no notice of my colleagues, so although I made three crosses, but it still cracks me briefly with a jerk of the event.
And then there are the situations where the enemies are just hard of hearing do not respond adequately or not in body or finds. After stating the rules that a strangulation from behind always runs silently, although it entbrennende the bare struggle for survival with all sorts of noises is uneasy durchinszeniert bitter. And that should have every heard in the room. Forget it.
As BioShock Infinite before him The Last of Us is an important sign that even successful damn multi-million dollar productions may tell stories and daring should. But unlike the Irrational team takes the title creative director Neil Druckman not entertaining, but somewhere plates and shooter known as a crutch to bring his message to the people. It tells the player that levels out to much more than the already absolutely fabulous adventure clouds.
In the end, the origin of this unlikely and eerie bitter end piece was especially challenging Naughty Dog to yourself to make As for fluffy feel-known studio productions the darkest game of this generation - that's the kind of success story that only the greats . Write The Last of Us is a game that anyone ingratiate himself and not begging for sympathy for his characters. There is therefore nothing less than a wake-up call for the media - determined inculcating him that the line was never just between good and evil, right and wrong, but also between you and the others.