Friday, 11 November 2016

Review No. 124 The Last Of Us: Remastered Edition - PS4 (18+)

Strong Points:
Varied gameplay
All weapons are usable and will be
Amazing graphics
In-depth character development
Superb story
Nice landscapes
Brilliant and varied characters
Deals with themes with care
Lots of collectables - give more backstory to the game
Enemy AI is great, with them flanking you etc.
Stealth sections through Clicker groups is a different twist on the stealth genre
Makes you have a huge range of emotions
Lack of music creates atmosphere
Realistic shooting mechanics and sounds
Superb voice-acting
Multiplayer is a surprisingly fun and unique gamemode
Everything is justified

Weak Points:
AI of companions was lacklustre, during stealth sections
AI just aren't noticed by enemies when moving - breaks immersion
Forced walk sections are atmospheric, not good for patience
Bushes and plants move as one sprite
Achievements are hard to get
Listening mode is never really explained
Some mechanics seem to be more like gimmicks as they are used once and never again
Multiplayer is very frustrating
Some of the environment is there purely for looks and can't help you in battle

If the world is in apocalypse why is there still food and equipment scattered around?

Some spoilers ahead:
In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
North America: July 29th, 2014
PAL: July 30th, 2014

Left Analogue Stick: move character
Right Analogue Stick: move camera
L1: sprint
R1: listen mode/shoulder switch
L2: aim
R2: shoot/use item/reload
X: climb and interact with menu
Triangle: interact with characters and objects
Square: melee
O: crouch
R3: toggle flashlight
Shake Controller: charge flashlight
D-Pad: change weapon
Touch Pad: open backpack
Options: open menu

Well this is just a roller-coaster of a game, isn't it?You laugh, you cry, you cry some more, you're angry at the characters, you're sympathetic to the characters, you're amazed at the AI, you're frustrated at the AI but overall, it's definitely an awesome experience which you'll be drawn back to, just like a roller-coaster. There are not even any heights to be scared of! Just Clickers, the human population and your own lost hope of anything being good again. Yay?

Gameplay mechanics are unoriginal but well polished. Being basically a cover shooter with crafting allows the player to focus more on the story of the game (the main appeal) but still have a fun time playing. The weapons feel and sound good and the limited ammo (especially in harder difficulties) makes it a massive game of risk vs reward. Stealth is your best friend and the Clickers being blind but sound alert makes for some really tense sections where they are RIGHT THERE but can't notice you.

The amazing thing about this game is that you can see the characters as real people. The attention to detail and lack of blatant stereotypes is really refreshing and you will feel something for all characters be them bad or good - they're all just trying to survive. The point which got me was when you heard the bandits talk about the two people killing their friends and realising that was you. It was quite heart wrenching as suddenly they weren't just objects to shoot but real people.

It must be quite tiring to be told that you only have to go from point A to point B and then have point B keep moving out of reach. That is the basic story of TLOU and I won't go into too much detail as you should really experience it first hand. One piece of advice though would be to play it as uninterrupted as possible so that you don't forget any conversations or points so that you can appreciate it too its full. And don't become too attached to anyone.

Subtle subtext is the name of the game in TLOU but unlike in some games, you can understand this subtext without 'months' of research. It's very naturalistic and it strikes a nice balance - nothing is focused on, just hints and you can take your own impressions from it but it's not so general that nothing actually happens. Lore about the infection is gained by collecting the various documents in the world and are actually really good at making you (again) feel for characters you don't even see. But of course, to avoid a law suit, some humour has to be in the game and that comes from comics and joke books scattered around the world.

Emotional scarring comes in three ways: people dying, people wanting to die and the world not giving an inch to anyone. There's plenty of all of that but unlike most games, films or books, it's all justified (even if you don't want it to be). I can't state this enough - you will grow to care for the characters and there are no true 'evil' people - only people pushed to the extremes of human survival. For people who are playing, just take note of how many people the Infected actually kill.

Killing is bloodthirsty in this game with peoples head's being pulled open or smashed in or burnt alive. It's an effective way of telling people that this future is NOT one you'd like to go to and I personally don't think the gore is gratuitous enough for it to not be needed. Finally, the AI in this game is a mixed bag. On the one hand, enemies will flank you and your allies will take enemies down for you which is great. On the other hand, your allies can walk straight past enemies while you're hiding and not be seen. I get that it's to reduce frustration for you as you can't control these peoples movements but I'd like it to be slightly more realistic as it loses the standard the rest of the game sets.

So that's the main game, now onto multiplayer. I only played this, this year (and it is the reason this review is slightly later than I thought), but the lobbies were still mostly full which is good. You start by picking your clan (out of the Fireflys and the Hunters) and then choose your game mode. Battling is pretty standard really - the first group to so many kills and then last man standing or interrogating people to find a lock box but it's effective enough to make you keep playing.

The main mechanic though is that during the round you collect supplies (by finding them, killing enemies etc.) and at the end of the round your clan grows depending on how many supplies you got. And you know that clan you chose at the beginning? Yeah, you can't change that until after 12 weeks (each match is a day) or your clan is wiped out. How can your clan be wiped out you ask? Well, if you don't complete certain objectives during game modes (kill so many people, revive so many people etc.) then your clan starts to die out. This adds a huge amount of tension to each game as none of them are inconsequential. Of course, with tension comes frustration so I'd recommend only playing a couple of games and then going away for a bit. Also, check tips on YouTube for load-outs!

Conclusion: overall, I really, really enjoyed this game in all aspects. If more games were this polished then I'd be very happy indeed.

Rating: 96%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

P.S. I'm doing Left Behind as a separate review


  1. Its an amazing informative article. thanks for game reviw

    1. Thanks for the comment! (Apologies for the late reply)