The Last of Us undoubtedly has an amazing story, but is it a good game? Well, according to just about everyone the answer to that question is yes. Judging from the title of this article, you might think I would disagree with that answer, but you would be wrong. The Last of Us falls under this very specific category of game for me, the type of game where I fully understand all the love it gets and how great the game is, but it just isn’t for me. Other games that fall under this category for me are the Metroid games, the Grand Theft Auto games, and the Fire Emblem series. All of those are fantastic games, but something about them rubs me the wrong way. Specifically, The Last of Us really makes me question if it deserves all of the praise it gets with so little criticism.

For me, where the game both simultaneously thrives and falters is with its story.The story of the game is fantastic, and has one of the strongest openings of any form of entertainment  of the last 10 years. The story also maintains momentum and quality throughout the entirety of the game. The reason why this is also the downfall of the game is because it’s too cinematic. The story would be much better if it were put into a film, or a trilogy of films.

I have played many other cinematic games before that I love, an example being the Uncharted games which are also done by the people who made The Last of Us, Naughty Dog. I’m also a big fan of the recent Telltale games, which have almost no gameplay and are more like interactive cutscenes. So what works about those games that doesn’t in The Last of Us? To me, it’s the tone and type of gameplay. Uncharted is extremely cinematic but the gameplay so perfectly matches the pulpy action of the story of the game that it works and keeps the pace of the game smooth while keeping a consistent tone. For Telltale games, the minimal gameplay is used in perfect amounts because the investment in the game is choosing the dialogue the playable character says in each scene. In The Last of Us, the gameplay is too “meh” for me to hold my interest in the game. It feels like a lesser and not as fun version of Uncharted. It does have good aspects, the lack of bullets and crafting system really make Joel feel like a scrapper who does what he can to survive.

Another downfall of the game honestly isn’t it’s fault, it’s the fault of the time the game was released. Currently, in entertainment and pop culture there is an over-saturation of post-apocalyptic stories. It seems like every month a new movie or book or video game is announced or released that is about the end of the world. Very few things can twist this concept in such a way that makes it feel fresh. If you ask me, The Last of Us is a bit more of a by-the-numbers post apocalyptic story. This concept will most likely make the game feel more dated in the future. There is a very real possibility that in 20 years people will look back at this game and say, “Oh yeah, this came out when Walking Dead was popular.”

I’m not saying the game’s bad, far from it. It’s a very good game, I would even argue that it’s one of the most important AAA releases of the past few years. I just feel like people overlook some bad qualities that the game has because the story is so good. Personally, I think Bioshock Infinite told a story with similar ideas and themes and did it much better. All I ask is for people to not praise a game because everyone says it’s great. Form your own opinions, and look at games with a critical eye to recognize that no game is perfect, and The Last of Us is no exception.

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. What year is it? You know it was a good game when some years later someone decides to rip it. for the littlest mundane complaints. its your site you write what you want, but god damn get over yourself.

    • I didn’t write this to be relevant. I wrote it because I was watching a friend play it at his house a few days ago and it started making me think about the game and my experience with it again for the first time in a while. I don’t think I have to “get over myself” because no where did I write here that my thoughts were law. It’s just an opinion that I thought could spark an interesting discussion.

  2. yeah not 100% on what the person above said but this was an excellent story and to boot a very challenging and compelling game. When people go to the likes of GTAV or any kind of “On-Line” multiplayer – the true definition of single player experience with quality is lost. Cheers to Naughty Dog for their continued focus on pushing the envelope and coming up with compelling and excellent story telling and gaming experiences.

  3. I agree with this completely. I tried playing the game and got bored a couple hours in. Ended up just going on YouTube and watching a movie version of the game and had a much better time. The gameplay was horrendous in The Last of Us. It was literally composed of “climb up ladders and climb down ladders, walk for some and then repeat”. Uncharted is a much better execution of the idea of an interactive movie. The Last of Us should have been a movie, not a game. Period.

    • I’m actually kind of really excited to see the movie on The Last of Us that is in early stages of development now. I think it’s going to thrive in that medium of that entertainment.

  4. You have a right to your opinion but most of your criticism comes across as nitpick. You claim that the consensus is wrong, some how, and not critical enough. You suggest that the overwhelmingly positive critical/fan response and praise isn’t much more than blind, parroted, uninformed sentiment. I would never say that any game is perfect but I also don’t find it difficult to believe that there are universally beloved games out there like GTA5 or TLOU that are wholly deserving of their praise.

    I believe that the consensus is king. It would appear as if more people have played this game and enjoyed it than not. Your opinion is valid but not to the point where it invalidates that of the masses. It may be overrated to you but you are in the minority.

    • The game is overrated to me, and I am in the minority opinion on this, which is a big reason why I wrote the article. With all of the articles and reviews showing unrelenting praise on the game, I just thought I should throw out my opinion. My goal was to do something like Egoraptor did with Ocarina of Time on Sequelitis, but I don’t think I put my opinion in a way that’s as intellectual and funny as Egoraptor’s. Admittedly, I probably should’ve done another draft before publishing to make it sound less nitpicky and not as dismissive of the majority opinion. I wasn’t trying to sound dismissive, everyone else’s opinion is just as valid as mine.

  5. nah it deserves its praise, it’ll prolly end up top 10ish by the time ps4 is done… also your complaints are inconsistent with your points ex. saying the gameplay was meh and then comparing it to uncharted which has worse ai and less options to carry into battle, and then saying BioShock somehow told a better story when neither of its characters were as well developed as TLoUs nor was the characters relationships with one another.

    Ultimately after reading the article and not just dismissing it as clickbait, I’d assume you just prefer action games to stealth/survival…that doesn’t make TLoU underrated.

    • I mean you’re right, I do have a history of preferring action games to stealth games, but that doesn’t mean I hate stealth games. Metal Gear Solid is awesome, and I love other stealth games too. What I was trying to say is that the gameplay in TLoU was too similar to Uncharted and didn’t work because that gameplay style works better with action games than more stealthy things like TLoU. And I would argue that Bioshock Infinite has a better story and development, but that’s just an opinion.

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