I Finished The Last of Us….

The Last of uS

…AND HNNNGHHHH. HNGGGH I SAY!


**Spoilers ahead!**

wanted to write a blog post immediately after finishing TLOU — which was yesterday afternoon — but my brain was a garbles mess of emotions and feels. I figured waiting until today would give my mind some time to, you know, organize itself and become one with its thoughts, but alas, it’s still a clusterfuck in there.

But in any case, I might as well attempt to get all of this out in one form or another.

So, The Last of Us. Neeeever before have I ever felt so enveloped and consumed by a game. (Seriously, I should have gotten about seven bladder infections because I held my urine for so long while playing.) I could ramble off a million contributors, but one of the main has to be the quality and realism of the sound. My God, you guys, it was incredible. An example that comes to mind took place during the early QZ escape with Joel, Ellie and Tess. True to dire and dreary circumstances, the night was dark, rainy and the sky was riddled with thunderstorms. At one point all three of the characters took refuge in an hollow, metal container, and as soon as Joel stepped foot inside the sound of raindrops hitting the ground were replaced with the sound of rain slamming against metal. Now I know these sound effects are captured via IRL circumstances (like IRL rain hitting an IRL metal container) so duh, of course it’s going to sound real, but the transition was seamless. Like, damn. At that moment I distinctly remember sitting back and doing nothing but listening for a minute or two.

the last of us rain

GAH and the voice acting. The voice acting was just…perfect. PERFECT I SAY. The tone and emotion behind every line was consistently appropriate for the circumstance, and holy crap, I have to stand up and applaud the voice actors because they nailed it out of the park, down the alley and into the next dimension. Even something so simple as Joel telling Ellie to “scootch” as he mounts a horse was friggen’ flawless. I could go on and on and praise the character chemistry and more, but The Last of Us’ dick is so far down my throat it’s becoming hard to breathe.

Seriously though, there was something about The Last of Us that is unlike any other game. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was,  but my best guess is that The Last of Us is probably the most narrative-driven game I’ve ever played. But I’ve played many narrative-driven games, so it’s not just that. I found that there were several, long-lasting moments during which there wouldn’t, well, be anything to kill. Enemies weren’t present. I don’t know about you, but I’m used to always killing shit (or maybe that’s because I’m also in the middle of Borderlands!) but not having Hunters, Stalkers and Clickers around allowed me to simply zone out, take everything in and assess every detail. Top that off with the immaculate sound and voice acting, and well, I guess it’s really not hard to see why The Last of Us is different than the others.

And I must bring up the characters. Y’know, I don’t know what it was, but as much as I liked Ellie I never really “bonded” with her. Like, towards the end of the story I wasn’t so much concerned for Ellie as I was for the sanity of Joel SHOULD something have happened to Ellie. I have a slight idea as to why this might be, but fair warning, it’s silly: I knew Ellie’s voice actress is actually 29-years-old. So I couldn’t stop thinking, “WOW! She sounds just like a little kid even though she’s almost 30!” For some strange reason, it tore down the fourth wall. Again, like I said above, I adored the character of Ellie. She was witty, a smartass, a tomboy and didn’t take bullshit from anyone. But there definitely wasn’t a vagina-bond a’la Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite.

hospital

When it came to Joel, I had a soft spot somethin’ serious. He’s this rough-tough lookin’ dude who obviously adored his daughter to pieces, and, well, after watching the terrible circumstances he goes through in the beginning of the game how can you NOT feel bad for this guy? Bless Ellie’s heart, she was always trying to break through Joel’s tough-guy wall, chipping away little pieces here and there. There were several occasions when I would scold Joel to myself and be like, “C’mon DUDE! Stop being such a douchenugget and show this girl some emotion!” That’s why when he finally caved in, I did too. Hoooly crap. Watching him tell Ellie he’d “reckon” she and Sarah would have gotten along well tugged at my heart strings. When he told her he wanted to teach her how to play the guitar, I was flooded with the warm ‘n fuzzies. But the REAL kicker was when — I assume all of you have finished the game, but if not, major spoilers ahead — he was carrying Ellie out of the hospital. The music was hopeless, he was desperately yelling at the Fireflies to leave them alone and I was SURE he was going to be fatally shot. This miserable cinematic played out in my head of Joel carrying Ellie, finally getting to the exit door and then being taken down. With that awful mental image in mind, it uber-depressed me. I thought to myself, “Here Joel is, finally warming up and finally showing emotion to Ellie. After all he’s gone through, after all SHE has gone through … he finally has found something worth fighting for, and now he’s going to lose everything. HE’S A GOOD GUY AND DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE, DAMMIT!”

But, uh, everything actually turned out peachy keen. So that’s good.

So, erm, if you can’t tell I think very, very highly of The Last of Us. What did you think of the game?

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  • Wingus

    I wouldn’t call the ending a happy ending at all, but I suppose that is up to perspective. Have you tried the Multiplauer yet? 😛

    • britt5091

      Good point! I loved that about the ending — it was all based off of perspective. It’s very bittersweet.

      • Wingus

        Yeah, it was bittersweet! I was left wanting more specially how Joel will be known as the man that denied the world a shot for salvation. Not to mention that Ellie knows he is lied but that is all she has now. I hope there is a sequel or a game that uses them in reference.

        • britt5091

          “Joel will be known as the man that denied the world a shot for salvation.”

          Well when you put it that way…damn. Yeah, I hope so too. I would love to see a sequel.

  • Steve Smith

    I also just finished this (Sunday evening to be specific). I think I’m right with you on almost every point except perhaps the ending. Yes, I’m glad they made it out and yes I understand the “do anything for your children even if that means lying to them” conclusion, but in a way, I think I would have been even more impressed with the story if the DIDN’T make it out. I dunno, maybe it just would have been that much more powerful if it wasn’t all happy-go-lucky.

    Still, fantastic game, and well-written write-up. Kudos!

    • britt5091

      I totally hear you. Had Joel not made it to Ellie in time, or had he been killed, it would have been MUCH more powerful. But I’m selfish and I loved the characters and, well, ultimately hope we see them in a sequel. 😉

      • Jimmy Igo

        I don’t think killing Joel off on the end would really have improved the storyline at all. Killing the main character is so cliche and hackneyed now in movies and games. To go through so much in the person’s shoes only to get offed at the end really detracts from the value of a game for me. It almost makes the whole thing seem worthless to go through if you don’t make it in the end. This really had a Child of Men vibe going for it, so it was nice to see it branch off and have its own ending, which felt more meaningful.Joel going ape shit to get Ellie back both from the hunters and the fireflies was epic, and having him bury the truth for the thing most important to him was just as epic. Killing joel would’ve ruined the game [for me].

        • britt5091

          I think I meant more of the ripple effect that would of occurred had Joel been killed. Ellie would have died, humanity would have a shot but at a high price, etc.

          • Wingus

            It would’ve killed off any chances of continuing the world they created, unless Ellie dies and they can’t get the cure or it doesn’t work which would’ve been terrible.

            I thought the ending was great because I was fully expecting Ellie or Joel to die and I was right there with Joel in being selfish and saving Ellie at the moment, but I felt kinda bad about it once the credits rolled. Also, the virus in Ellie could change with age so maybe she isn’t fully immune. So many questions 🙂

          • britt5091

            SEQUEL SEQUEL SEQUEL!

  • Marcus Green

    I’ve heard people say that they’d have been fine with the ending you were talking about. It seemed to go that way. I was thinking that what was going to happen when every turn there were Fireflies and flashlights closing in. I would have been fine with that ending. However, it’s a relief to see them get away.

    As for the actual ending, I still question whether what Joel did was right. To me, that just speaks to how great the story was. Top that off with the lie to Ellie and what consequences that may have later. I think Marlene may have been right. Ellie might have sacrificed herself to try and accomplish finding a vaccine. However, it doesn’t seem like she was asked and that’s not right. Plus, it was only a chance that it would work. It’s easy to see why Joel didn’t want to give her up. That’s an awful choice to be faced with.

    People claim that it’s a happy ending. I don’t agree with that. There is no cure. It’s only happy in the sense that the main characters survived. Even then, the discussion between Ellie and Joel at the end exposes a new layer of distrust. We don’t know the extent of that distrust. Is it a temporary disappointment that Joel wasn’t honest with her or is it something more?

    Going back to the rest of the game, I loved it. It’s a shame that the graphics won’t hold up in a few years because this was a beautiful game. Out of everything in the game what impressed me most was the projectile that the Bloaters throw at you. It was so beautiful. Especially when you’re trying to get the generator to work in order to activate the key card door. I will definitely be playing this game again down the line. I just don’t want to get burned out on it. It’s the same reason I’m saving 1999 mode in Bioshock for later.

    It feels like Ellie’s interaction with David was actually supposed to be darker. That cinematic and her behavior afterwards suggested as much. However, I might just be reading too much into it.

    As much praise as The Walking Dead got, I cared more about these two than I did about Lee and Clementine. I think I cared more about these two than Booker but I’m not sure if that extends to Elizabeth. I felt a tremendous amount of guilt when they were torturing her.

    • britt5091

      You’re totally right. Humanity is still screwed, and I love they did that because, well, it opens so many doors so many other stories that will hopefully answer some of those questions!

      It’s funny how we bond with certain characters. I cared about Clem more than Lee, Booker was kiiinda on my ‘dar, Elizabeth was like the thing I needed to protect the most and Joel was my homeboy, while Ellie was awesome, but we just didn’t click.

      • Wingus

        Did you do the optional conversations? I thought those were some of the best moments with Ellie. When she pulls the book of puns or just comments on things that are common now but at that time they are completely odd like her commenting why women were skinny when there was plenty of food to eat. Also you should check her backpack when you play as Ellie 🙂

        • britt5091

          YES! I did. You’re right, those were great. And crap, I didn’t do that!

  • Josh

    I enjoyed it, but I didn’t bond with the characters like I did in the Uncharted series. I would have preferred the choice to go and save Ellie or to let them operate and save mankind, cuz I would have chosen the latter, as sad as that is.

    • britt5091

      DUUUUDE. I was wondering if we were going to be given a choice at that point. I was standing in the OR looking at the doctors like, okay, am I being forced to kill you?

      I prooobably would have chosen the latter as well. But it’s easy to say that now. 😉

  • Michael

    I was hoping you would write a blog on The Last of Us Britt, I mean how could you not, it’s how do you put it…AMAZEBALLS!! The experience for me also was like no before it, seriously the most engaging and emotionally involving game I’ve ever played. What a ride from start to finish, hats off to Naughty Dog because they hit it out of the park.

    And one more thing, lol at you being Twitter buddies with Troy Baker and not realizing it until you started playing the game ^_^ How cool is knowing you converse with one of the best voice actors working today!?

    • britt5091

      LOL. Yeah, that was kinda funny. I had no clue!

  • Alex

    I got sucked into the game as soon as I pressed start, it takes two seconds.
    Last years game of the year made people cry at the end.
    This game made me cry at the begining and end.

    I love Troy’s acting.

    • britt5091

      Oh man, I was a bag of feels. Troy is simply amazing.

  • Aaron Wilson

    After listening to the Beyond (BEYOND!) Spoilercast, they brought up a point I hadn’t considered, that Joel is basically a jerk for putting his emotions ahead of what could have been a cure. Very interesting theory, although when I was actually in the game, my own personal desire was to save Ellie because I hoped there was a different way to utilize her resistance to the infection.

    Apart from the moral stuff, I thought the game was absolutely brilliant. I’m playing again and utilizing as much stealth as possible, and trying to gather up all the collectibles. (Hello, OCD!)

    I certainly hope they do a sequel, but I can see how the story could end right when it did and that would be it.

    Also, how awesome was the “giraffe” scene? I just set my controller down and let that moment linger for as long as I could.

    • britt5091

      Yeah, he is kind of a jerk for doing that. Humankind could have been cured, but instead Joel was like, “NO you’re not taking away the one thing that’s worth living for!” and let’s face it, Joel doesn’t seem to like people very much. So he probably could give a rat’s ass about what happens to them.

      That scene was incredible. Definitely a standout from the game!

  • Ian

    Best game of all time for me. took out Vagrant Story as my number one spot. bought the game when it first came out and beat it on the 3rd day. i couldnt stop playing because the story was so good. You just want to keep playing because you want to know what spine thingly event awaits around the corner. The voice actor’s were brilliant i mean you can feel the emotions of joel and ellie.

    The ending was so sudden for me and kind of bland, but when i looked back at their adventure it was the RIGHT ending, i wouldnt want it any other way. And for the DLC I DO NOT WANT a sequel of them two cuz their story was AMAZING and i dont want it to be ruined lol. BUT i would like a prequel about joel and his brother and how they grew apart.

  • Dude

    Have you played the DLC; The Last Of Us: Left Behind?