The Last Of Us - Review (☆☆☆☆)

     Those familiar with my gaming tastes willn't be taken aback by the idea that I very much liked The Last Of Us.  It yielded more than the minimum requisite amount of invested gamehours-per-dollar to justify the new game price (about seventy hours for the first complete play-thru on Normal difficulty).

     It was designed to quench one's puzzle solving thirsts; needle-in-the-haystack itches; stealthy closeup assassinations; distant sniper shots; as well as your everyday wade on in—full frontal attack—slaughter the monsters with molotov's, flamethrowers, handmade landmines, and melon-bursting heavy blunt objects.  Yay verily.

      If you are a hyper-gamer infected with the attention span of a prozac deprived fruit fly (or someone who gets antsy sitting thru cut-scenes) this game is NOT for you.  The cut scenes aren't simple to skip.  The "movie element" is a key element in one's "empathy with and investment in the characters".  Although Saving/Re-Spawning is possible, one will not return to the saved point, but rather to the most recent checkpoint (discouraging rampant S/RSing, while encouraging contemplative strategizification, and a more stealthy stealthitude toward one's stealthiness).

     The Last Of Us is similar to (and was made by the same designer as) the Uncharted game series, in that they both aren't open sandbox environments and both use third-person perspectives.

     The reason I can't give The Last Of Us my highest rating is the complete lack of side/mini-games, the absence of which is driven home with a heavy lead pipe to the janglebells when, at the very beginning of the game, we stroll through an alleyway market area and are afforded brief glimpses of:  people playing some kind of card game; a group of men fighting while onlookers jeer (and bet?); a cage of dogs (which we learn are already sold); and a few booths of items available for eventual purchase.  Dear gamer, do not think any of this was foreshadowing.  Not in any way.

     Because this game was only designed by Naughty Dog (a second-tier developer) and not by Rockstar or Bethesda (both first-tier), there'll never be an opportunity to play cards, or fight in a ring, or bet on a fight, or buy a dog (to train to attack or even for you to kill and eat in a first-tier would that have been?) nor will you ever see a store again or ever barter for goods.  In fact, you will almost never see another living thing for the next year that is not trying to kill you.  And when you do eventually see some wild animals (with one exception) you'll not be able to hunt them.

     All that aside, it's very engaging and enjoyable and I recommend it to fans of its intended audience.

     I'm currently replaying it at its hardest setting.  Not many games keep my interest after I've finished them once (but, maybe, that's only because GTA V is two months away from release).  

previously on snapperhead:
Dishonored - Review (☆☆☆+)
LIMBO - game review - ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Heavy Rain - review

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