The latest zombie-action adventure video game titled “The Last of Us” is fun, but is beating a dead horse on a post-apocalyptic trope whose glory days have long since passed.
The game follows Joel and Elli, two survivors of a cataclysmic apocalypse in which the majority of the human population has been infected by a mysterious fungi that turns everyone into walking mushroom monsters with a craving for human flesh.
Joel and Elli’s adventures take you across a ravaged America in the year 2033, and are filled with the typical post-apocalyptic layout: looted buildings and toppled sky scrapers, an oppressive government subjugating survivors with force, a mysterious organization of freedom fighters, cannibals, and Mad-Max style raiders who drive around in armored vehicles shooting everything that moves.
Let’s not forget the mushroom men, whose inspiration comes from an actual species of fungi known to infect and control ants and other arthropods.
Despite and possibly because of all of those elements, the game was a tough sell for me.
The gameplay was not the issue. Beyond some of the more generic linear gameplay issues that included obvious combat zones and watered down crafting and looting features, I was actually quite satisfied with the challenges the game presented.
The weakness of this game lies in the plot, which is the most recycled zombie apocalypse storyline I have ever seen. If you’ve read Cormac MacArthur’s “The Road” or participate in “The Walking Dead” fandom, can easily predict everything that will happen in this game.
“The Last of Us” won critical acclaim by the majority of reviewers. IGN rated the game 10/10 and Game Informer gave the game a 9.5/10. Many major reviewers followed suit. I stand relatively alone with my analysis.
I suppose the critic’s response makes sense when taken into account that the game does what it intended to do: provide a quality post-apocalyptic third person shooter with decent combat and gameplay. It just doesn’t really contain much original plot.
For the casual gamer who is not a regular to the zombie fandom, I would happily recommend the game. Veterans may walk away disappointed.
But when we get to the nuts of the matter, my verdict is this: save yourself money and just rent it.