The Last of Us - Review

GAMING | by Andrew Shawley | in Reviews | 20th June 2013 - 18:30
From the critically acclaimed studio that brought gamers such hits as Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter and of course the Uncharted series, comes a post-pandemic journey across the USA named The Last of Us.

Gameplay and Graphics 9/10

The Last of Us takes place in a beautiful and vibrant post-pandemic world. Set 20 years in the future, the game looks not too dissimilar to Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. This is probably down to the fact that the Lead Game Designer on Enslaved, Mark Richard Davies, worked on the Last of Us as a Game Designer. The graphics are stunning and bring life to this world so full of death and disease. It is a pleasure to wonder through the desolate city streets, overrun with wildlife and greenery. Cutscenes are equally impressive with amazing facial detail for characters that are not based on real people. I wouldn't say the graphics are the greatest we have ever seen but they do come close. The gameplay is fairly generic for a third person shooter. The most innovative aspect of the gameplay is the crafting mechanic. We usually see crafting in large, open world RPG's, but the Last of Us cleverly uses it to allow the player to create improvised nail bombs, Molotov cocktails, shiv's etc. The player can also improve various stats of theirs with the aid of supplements picked up throughout the game and also upgrade weapons by collecting parts. They are helpful little upgrade systems that generally help you out, although on the harder difficulties, supplies are sparing to say the least.

Multiplayer 9/10

When I heard that Naughty Dog was putting in multiplayer with the Last of Us, I was hesitant to say the least. I was not a fan of Uncharted's multiplayer in any way, shape or form, however, with the Last of Us' Factions mode, I was pleasantly surprised. Unlike most multiplayers, Factions is a slower, more methodical and tactical experience compared to something like Call of Duty. The play is similar to the singleplayer experience with the ability to craft items and utilise the listen mode mechanic (ability to hear enemies footsteps through walls) albeit for a short amount of time. You can also purchase upgrades, such as armour, in game, which is particularly useful in Survivors mode when you are the last player standing. The concept of the multiplayer is intuitive. You are given the option between two factions and you then have 12 Weeks to build up your clan and keep them alive. You keep them alive by obtaining supplies that are given when you kill an opposing player and after a match, depending on your performance. You can pick between two game modes: Supply Raid and Survivors. Supply Raid is essentially team deathmatch, but again, it is not your usual team deathmatch. There is more tension and more risk involved because if you don't do well, your clan will go hungry and eventually die out. This makes the gameplay more tactical and rewarding than most other multiplayers. The game goes on until either the time runs out or after 20 reinforcements (re-spawns) have been used. Survivors mode describes itself. There are no re-spawns and once you die that is it for the round. This makes gameplay even tenser especially when you are the last man standing and you feel the weight of the team on your shoulders. Overall it is a well-crafted inclusion although it could of used more maps and one or two more game modes as there is an unfortunate lack of infected in the multiplayer.

Storyline 9/10

After playing the first 15 minutes you know you are in for a ride. The action packed opening event is enough to make you know that you are playing a special game, and it is true, you are. You take control of Joel, a man troubled by the experiences during the twenty years since the outbreak. A few hours into the game you meet Ellie, a very special fourteen year old girl who needs to travel cross-country to fulfil a duty entrusted to her. Due to unforeseen circumstances it is left up to Joel to escort her. The first thing to say about the story is that it is Joel and Ellie's story, not yours. You as the player do not make any significant decisions that change the course of the story. This is slightly disappointing especially at the end where Joel, not you, makes a crucial decision that has humongous consequences. However, this is but a small problem in an otherwise fantastic campaign. The bond between Joel and Ellie is genuine and you as the player empathise with them and the decisions they are making. There are elements of comedy and horror in the game, with a particularly terrifying level in a basement, which livens up the story to make it a well-rounded journey. This is a game that everyone should experience first hand.

Replayability and Value for Money


The story is a nice and healthy length and collectibles, difficulties and customisation make it a fairly replayable campaign. However, the Last of Us' campaign is one that you will either want to experience again or leave it alone after one playthrough as to not taint your experience. The multiplayer is good and enjoyable at the moment. Only time will tell how well it lasts but for the meantime I'm enjoying every second of it.


The Last of Us is an experience that everyone should be a part of. It is a tremendous feat. It is not completely perfect but what is? With Beyond: Two Souls still to come out it may not be the Playstation 3's last hurrah or defining moment, but it is one of the best games, not only of this generation, but of all time.


About the author: Andrew Shawley

The Owner, Developer and Editor of, Andrew is a Filmmaker and Developer with a passion for Television and Video Games as well as Film.

Leave a comment.

comments powered by Disqus