The Last of Us (PS3)
Seven years after launch, the PlayStation gets its killer app
- Well crafted story and characters
- Satisfying third person gameplay with the right dose of action
- Enemies’ listening abilities are not consistent throughout the game
- Game’s story and setting initially relies on too many genre tropes.
The Last of Us is a landmark piece of software that's a must-have for all PlayStation 3 owners. A slightly more interesting setting and tweaked enemies would make it near perfect, but it's still a 5-star game in our opinion.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Post-apocalyptic stories have always been around, though with the popularity of TV shows such as The Walking Dead and films such as I Am Legend, it seems like the genre is going through a resurgence in recent years. The Last of Us, from Naughty Dog, comes at a good time while the genre is still popular, yet also tries to do things a bit differently in order to stand out in the market.
The setting of the game is a world where a deadly fungus that infects people has broken out. This fungus disfigures people to the point where they no longer look and behave human anymore, and, unsurprisingly, the downfall of society soon follows. In the midst of this chaos is one survivor, Joel, who teams up with a young girl, Ellie, for a cross-country smuggling operation.
At world’s end
A man navigating a dangerous and dilapidated setting, while protecting a young girl, is not exactly a new concept. In fact, 2012’s I Am Alive from Ubisoft already had a stab at the genre, though it did not really leave a mark when it was released. That game’s narrative and surroundings may have been compelling, but the focus on realism made the overall experience a chore. The Last of Us is significantly more accessible, with Naughty Dog using its combined experience on the Uncharted franchise to craft a game that is both realistic and engaging. The setting itself does not bring much new to the table, apart from the fungal infection and the way it turns people into homicidal maniacs. However, the interaction between Joel and Ellie does elevate storytelling in video games to a new level.
The main enemies in the Last of Us are the fungal-infected humans, dubbed "clickers" within the game. The growth of the fungus means it often obscures the enemy's faces, so they have developed finely-tuned listening skills instead. This translates into the player being able to avoid encounters by choosing to sneak past enemies instead of running up and engaging them directly. This is an interesting gameplay mechanic that prioritises tactics over gunplay compared to games such as Uncharted, though the behaviour of the zombies is not uniform throughout the game. Sometimes a badly timed movement will alert a group of enemies, while at other times your characters will talk in the open and no one will attack.
Hit and miss
The combat and gunplay in The Last of Us is much slower paced than in other third-person titles, striving to blend in a bit of realism while not distracting too much from the enjoyment of the game.
Supplies are limited and need to be scavenged from the environment, and any items gathered can be combined to form new items through a handy menu. Crafting weapons and items in games such as Dead Space 3 have tended to be a chore and break up the flow of the game, but The Last of Us makes the entire process painful through a quickly accessible in-game menu.
The protagonist in Uncharted may have a steady gun hand that can pick off enemies from a distance, but Joel in The Last of Us is not quite as good with weapons, and his hands have a natural shakiness which makes targeting trickier.Read more: One Piece: Unlimited World Red (PlayStation 3)
The impressive set pieces and ancient archaeological puzzles in Uncharted have also been traded in for simpler environment challenges that need to be traversed. Naughty Dog has implemented an interesting mechanic where the player is able to pick up and move planks to cross over gaps. It is a simple concept that works well, yet no game has included it in the same functional way that The Last of Us has.
The story of the game, as well as how the dynamics between Joel and Ellie develop during their cross-country trek, is the true star of the game and definitely needs to be enjoyed without any prior spoilers or preconceptions. While the setting relies on a lot of the tropes associated with the genre, the overall strength of the narrative soon overcomes this.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPOracle Consultant - CC&BQLD
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTL1 Application SupportWA
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)QLD
- FTSenior Systems AdministratorWA
- CCFinancial Business AnalystACT
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- TPe-Learning Developer (Captivate 8)VIC
- CCAzure Architect/ConsultantVIC
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Enterprise Information SharingQLD
- CCProject Manager TelecommunicationsQLD
- CCTest LeadQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- CCTest Planner - Infrastructure/Data CentreACT
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD