Thanks to my copy of God Of War: Ascension, I received early access to The Last of Us demo. The demo was very short (it took me about fifteen minutes to beat it), but it gave me a good idea of the strategies, tactics, and gameplay for The Last of Us.
The level I played was called The Outskirts, and it was clearly the outskirts of a major city. My companions were Tess and Ellie.
While probably not very scary to veteran horror players, I found myself screaming more than once, as the dark atmosphere and anticipation gave way to jump scares and a terrifying feeling of helplessness.
The Last of Us seems to be the kind of game that will take real skill to beat, as you can’t just shoot or hit your way through zombies. The elements and difficulty of survival horror are out in full force, with strategies such as running away, throwing bricks, and hiding coming to the fore. I died three times in the final section before realizing that I had some stealthy moves and that I needed to create a different weapon to deal with the main bad guy.
While some enemies appear to be run-of-the-mill zombies, there is one type called Clickers that I love. They use echolocation to “see,” and they are almost entirely consumed by the fungus that seems to be the cause of the outbreak. I really enjoy the use of fungus in the game so far, because there are actually fungi in nature that turn animals into zombies. It ups the creepiness to be given a plausible reason for their existence.
As for the graphics, this game is just gorgeous. The rain, reflections, and small splashes of color create a haunting and surreal setting. I also found that the use of rain and darkness created a feeling of claustrophobia.
The controls are pretty simple, a blend of RPG and FPS controls, with triangle being the main button of interaction instead of X. You also need to shake the controller to temporarily recharge the flashlight. I was wondering why developers stopped using the motion of controllers in games, and I see now that not everyone has forgotten.
Joel can create weapons or health packs using his backpack and various salvage he comes across. You can also view looted items by zooming in on them, which is a nice little touch and helps to keep the “backpack” feeling of your inventory.
All-in-all, this game seems solid and challenging – and like it will be too scary for me! One of our other writers will have to review it. Yeah, I’m not ashamed of being a chicken.