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Game of the Decade: The Last of Us

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Intro

Rumors, news, new releases, innovative tech – the whole world held its breath in anticipation of the new products and new favorites to hit the market. 2020 is not only the start of a new decade; it is also a new leap on the stopwatch. Sony is starting to get ahead of its competitors and rapidly increasing the tempo, warming us up with delightful games and news about their upcoming, next-gen console: the PS5. But while the release is somewhere far far away, we have a well-known comrade that is going to steal 30+ hours of our lives – The Last of Us Part Two – the exclusive game for PS4 and PS5, developed by the company Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Unlike Half Life 3, at least we know that The Last of Us Part Two is on the horizon. While we are waiting for the next part, The Last of Us Part One managed to become the game of the decade. Rough, rude, but loving – Joel; cute storehouse of the swear words – Ellie, plot-twisting drama and the tense gameplay, found its place in the hearts of every player and received 11% of the votes to become the Platinum Winner, beating the no-less-wonderful, boy raising God of War. Perhaps the vulnerable condition of the characters allowed it to steal most of the votes. Let’s refresh our memory, and find out, why is The Last of Us so cool?

Challenge accepted

To start with, The Last of Us is an action-adventure, survival horror game played from a third-person perspective. A post-apocalyptic world throws a challenge to our protagonist, Joel, to escort a young girl called Ellie. For most of the game, a well-trained killer with a black and white beard as age takes over; Joel will be under your control. With tough and unbreaking positions you will be able to defend yourself against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus. As the main character, you will use improvised weapons and a lot of stealth and it is not even the manner of playing the game, it is the lifestyle of people who are captured in the grips of difficult circumstances. 

Image credit: PlayStation

The game mechanics deserve a separate wave of applause. You are not provided with a standard pattern of how to move or how to survive. You can use long-range weapons, such as rifles and bows, and short-range weapons, as well as limited-use melee weapons. You can find yourself in an awkward position, surrounded by those mushroom click clucks and realizing that your knife has only one bar for only one hit. The craft system is not arranged as well as in Dying Light, but there are a lot of repair tables where you can upgrade your weapons using special details.

As well as kicking somebody’s ass using a lot of ammo, which is very far from unlimited, you are able to throw bottles and bricks to stun or attack enemies, it can aggravate the situation or even save you. In both variants, you will be pleased. Your battle strategy should be well thought out, it is not the type of game where you can shoot in the sky with a hope to kill somebody. My advice is; figure out how the game works, the mechanics, and the process itself. You can attack enemies directly, or use stealth to get around all the problems, but what way is faster and better is up to you. 

Who is the villain?

A post-apocalyptic world and tough survival conditions create the perfect zone for real-life experiments to show behavior or authentic people without any canons, standards, and stereotypes. People should leave all doubts aside to form a new community from the very beginning.

A pile of monsters, infected by a mutated strain of Cordyceps, which are ready to eat every living being, are the player’s main antagonists, aren’t they? Yeah, at the very beginning of the game we can see how these awful creatures are swallowing up people around us. Maybe it is normal for them, and it’s part of their nature as if it was a cheetah eating a deer. And they are doing it without any sort of aggression. Well yes, they are aggressive, but it is the fungus insisted them doing it. 

Image credit: PlayStation

Your neighbors, friends, uncle Frank from the butcher store; all are victims in this post-apocalyptic world. To survive becomes the core task. All is fair in love and war. And everybody starts killing each other with the aim of staying alive. I can’t say that it’s the wrong way to solve problems. It is self-defense, and there is no other way to live in the chaos where the law is no longer functioning. Joel and Ellie kill hundreds of people in order to live. If they don’t, other people would. Trust nobody, feel no mercy. Unlike monsters, people are killing with a purpose. It is difficult to find the right explanation for such behavior, when is it better to unite and not murder?

My Inner Child

The Last of Us is not my favorite game, but I can confidently state that it is, indeed,  the best one. I have spent maybe two full days playing it, as a result I have received a ban from my partner. But I have no regrets, because I was filled with the storm of different emotions. Imagine a color circle but instead, there are feelings, every kind of feeling, and each time I switched on my PS4 I could see the Bifrost; an abstract connection between me and the game. 

Image credit: PlayStation

It is cheating, but at the same time it is tear-jerking. 

Wrapping up

The Last of Us was released on both PS3 and PS4, because of the amazing gameplay, visuals, sound design, and depiction of the female characters, the game became one of the best-selling video games of all time, selling over 1.3 million units in its first week and 17 million by April 2018.

It was released almost 7 years ago and is still the best game I have ever played. I remember my inner child was crying inside because I couldn’t pass the place where Ellie should run away from people hunters. It was so annoying but I was so curious because the plot was like quicksand; it was so touching and full of tears – mine as well – with a constant, rising pressure. Only after that, I understood how much work Naughty Dog had done.

From the very beginning, the tension grows like a grey cloud above you. It is not an average shooter game where you are playing with a face like: I don’t know who I am, I don’t know why I am here, all I know is that I must kill. The Last of Us requires patience and well thought through actions, for example, you can throw a bottle and confuse your enemies while you are changing your location in order to take the arrow in the wall or you can start a mass shooting using all the ammo you’ve got.

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Hennadii Kotov
Hennadii will proudly tell you that he’s a dreamer, floating in the ether, surrounded by ideas and the dreams of others. He connects with the idea of water; being part of a bigger ecosystem. Even as a kid, he immersed himself in the realms of others; growing up with video games and computers, knowing them to be cool even back then. Writing is cathartic, even meditative for Hennadii; a dip in the chaotic stream of innovation that flows forth from the world of tech. This virtual hippie is here to tell you about the latest gadgets over a cup of marshmallow filled chocolate.

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