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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-06-19 11:51:58
Last of Us
You end up choking out an *infinitude* of enemies in Last of Us. Joel, the lead protagonist, reminds me of Jack Bauer snuffing out consciousnesses while whispering "Don't fight it," only Joel's victims never wake up. Ideally, combat is the last resort. Surreptitiously picking off enemies one at a time Predator style is preferred. Shooting expends precious bullets; collapsing tracheas is free.
Last of Us is an amazing game. The gameplay itself is "merely" good; it alternates between low key traversal slash scavenging for supplies, and FUBAR conflicts with bandit/soldier/cannibal/zombies (all right, fine, cordecyps fungus-controlled hosts). It's kind of like how police and soldiers contend with extended periods of the mundane punctuated by crisis moments of consuming terror. (The best way to play it is in the dark with surround sound - you get a terrific stomach sinking feeling when you hear the distinctive grunts of a bloater.)
Where Last of Us transcends its peers, however, is in its presentation. The visuals, both technically and aesthetically, are magnificent. It's the culmination of all those early Sony promises about the sheer power of the PlayStation 3. If Xbox One/PlayStation 4 games consistently look at least this good, I won't be dissatisfied. The audio work (background music and effects) and voice acting are sensational. Combine all of this with persuasive narrative and characterization...and I'm seriously rethinking my assessment for likely Game of the Year candidate. I'm reserving judgment because I haven't completed the game, but if Last of Us finishes anywhere near as strongly as BioShock Infinite did, I'll give my nod to Last of Us. Its superior mechanics would give it a distinctive edge.
What I'm trying to say is this: if you have a PlayStation 3, go get Last of Us. Right now. If you don't have a PlayStation 3, go get a PlayStation 3 and Last of Us. Right now.