by Jason Green
The debate on whether or not video games can be art has been going on for years. Hardcore nerds say yes, others say no. I’m in the middle, I think that if a game is so powerful and gripping it can be art. That’s exactly how I felt when I was done with The Last Of Us.
David Jaffe, the creator of the Twisted Metal games said that art is something you can recognize immediately just by looking at it. Like, if you see a part of the Mona Lisa you know right away it’s that famous picture. I think that over time, The Last Of Us can achieve that status.
Naughty Dog, the developer behind this beautiful game, is responsible for other amazing games like the Uncharted trilogy and the Crash Bandicoot series for Playstation 1. These people really have a handle on how to make great games that combine intuitive gameplay and a great story.
The Last Of Us is definitely their crowning achievement. The game stars Joel and takes place 20 years after a zombie apocalypse where he’s lost everything and is a shallow man of his former self, and just a ruthless survivor now. He is tasked with taking a young girl named Ellie, who has a special gift, across the country. Along the way they face perilous dangers and grow to love each other as a family.
The interaction between Joel and Ellie is where this game shines. The voice acting by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson is superb, probably some of the best I’ve ever heard. That, along with a great supporting cast, the story and atmosphere sucks you in and doesn’t let you go.
The gameplay is tight and responsive. Gunshots and melee attacks feel heavy and brutal. Unlike the Uncharted games where all of that was fast paced, The Last Of Us feels monolithic in its approach to fending off attackers, it really adds to the dark world that everything is in.
To sum it up, I feel that pretty much everything about this game is near perfect. Sure there are some things that might annoy people like friendly and enemy AI acting weird but that’s all extremely minor in the grand scheme of things. The Last Of Us is the perfect example of how games can be art. It’s dark and beautiful, touching and horrifying, evil and hopeful all at the same time.
The ending is very proper and wraps up the game nicely. Even though I don’t feel like it needs a sequel, I’m hoping for one. Naughty Dog never disappoints.
10/10 – Outstanding