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I Finally Played The Last Of Us And Understand The Hype

Will McCue

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I Finally Played The Last Of Us And Understand The Hype

Featured Image Credit: PlayStation / Naughty Dog

I finally played The Last of Us, thanks to the new The Last of Us Part 1 remake, and I finally see why everyone adores it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always wanted to play Naughty Dog’s golden child, I’ve just never got round to it. I remember starting to watch YouTuber Jacksepticeye play through the first hour of the original version of the game back in 2013 but then stopping myself from viewing any further, as I knew The Last of Us was a game I wanted to experience and feel myself.

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The only problem was that I didn’t have a PlayStation. “I’ll play it when I get a PS4 or maybe even a PS5” I told myself. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the release of Part 1, I’m not sure I would’ve got to it for a long while yet, and I don’t even know why.

The Last of Us (Credit: PlayStation / Naughty Dog)
The Last of Us (Credit: PlayStation / Naughty Dog)

I’m writing this without giving away any major spoilers so don’t worry about the story being ruined if you’re debating playing for yourself. If that is the case though, please go and download it now, it’s a good 10 hours or so of pure post-apocalyptic enchantment. Our very own Kate Harrold’s review of The Last of Us Part 1 will certainly back that up, if you’re wanting another read. 

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There have been many opinions online as to whether this all-timer needs another version, especially as we’ve already seen a remastered edition. Surprisingly however, there are still a lot of people who haven’t played through Joel and Ellie’s tale. To add to that, there’s a mass market of now 18-year-olds who were way too young to play the game when it was first released. Part 1 is the perfect way for these people, including myself, to play and then probably go on to buy Part 2 as well.

The Last of Us Part I / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment
The Last of Us Part I / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Even though I’ve seen a few of the major plot points and one very, very sad opening scene numerous times before, I’ve never paid too much attention to them - especially as I knew that one day I was going to play The Last of Us for myself. These moments punch so much deeper when you’re the one with the controller in your sweaty hands. A few hours into the game and I’ve made my own mind up about each character and the choices they make on their journey. I care for and understand their different personalities and now can’t wait to see HBO’s take on the franchise in their upcoming TV show.

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With the PlayStation 5’s adaptive controller, I feel the trigger pulsate with every shot as I’m blasting a Clicker’s face off into the next post code. I can play the game super stealthily, or allow Joel to be more of an enraged killer - The Last of Us gives the player the choice. More often than not I’m only subtle when low on ammo, however, I think I’d be the same if I were in an actual zombie apocalypse. Some moments, such as being overwhelmed by a seemingly endless horde or traversing a dark tunnel system, really get my heart racing and wanting more. 

In the past decade, I’ve also heard a few negative notions on the combat system. As I haven’t played the original, I can’t say if this has changed much, though as I’m playing through, it doesn’t feel as clunky as people on Twitter would make you believe. Yes, there are moments where attacks aren’t super smooth but I kind of like that. Imagine a massive 9ft Bloater (also known as a boss mode zombie in the game) was running at you in real life, you’re not going to be able to 360 no-scope it, while taking no damage and reloading your gun mid-air like in a Call of Duty game. Resident Evil games make ammo scarce while the guns are difficult to be accurate with to up the ante and make you fear for the protagonist's life. If Joel could crank 90s like a Fortnite character, I wouldn’t be on the edge of my seat.

The Last of Us Giraffe Scene (Credit: The Author)
The Last of Us Giraffe Scene (Credit: The Author)
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There are twists and turns throughout and character developments that I didn’t expect. I’ve heard how special the giraffe scene is but wow; experiencing that first-hand after the emotional rollercoaster of the 10 hour campaign is almost a religious experience. I’m sitting here listening to the calming ambience of a guitar just looking at Joel and Ellie smiling at giraffes. Now I’m smiling.

If you’re putting off playing The Last of Us like I was, please make the jump and download The Last of Us Part 1, you won’t regret it.


Topics: The Last Of Us, PlayStation, Naughty Dog

Will McCue
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