Naughty Dog is back with their latest title, The Last of Us, and you should be excited. This major PS3 exclusive is something special and the entire game comes as close to perfect as one can get. Read on for our full review, but please note – there are a few MINOR spoilers within the review.

The Last of Us is a game with an extremely deep story; one which pulls you into the seriousness and tension of the situation these survivors find themselves in. The prologue does well to intrigue the player, but soon after, you are hit with a surprise. This game requires commitment; don’t go expecting to be able to play this game three hours through and then go back a week later. The meaningful, perfect and tense story is one which must be enjoyed in long sittings over a short period of time.

Naughty Dog shows their expertise in the creation of masterpiece titles by making an impeccable prologue, but also an unmatched introduction to the story. You may think that because The Last of Us is a survival game, it must be a repeat of overused gameplay ideas and a story which was already been written, but altered. It isn’t. Naughty Dog has created a unique gameplay experience which brings a fresh, deep story and a highly enjoyable experience together in way that has not been done before.

The game’s pace is perfect throughout. The player is constantly aware of what is happening, but unsure as to what will happen next. The game is not an action-packed adventure, but a relaxing yet deep experience to be enjoyed by serious adult gamers who can afford to invest a few days worth of time into a masterpiece. The game presses forward in a way that doesn’t make the player feel manipulated or forced to do anything. The player is in full control of the story and the gameplay while still being tense, deep and real. The characters become real and their deep, complex personalities are revealed as the game moves on.

The game is completely unpredictable. While there are certain things the game will always stick to, this is an environment where everything is fighting to survive. Enemies become friends when the right circumstances arise but conversely, friends also become enemies when it comes down to barebones survival instincts. However, ‘enemies’, in this sense, are just normal humans playing to survive a deadly virus outbreak which began twenty years earlier. People struggle as supplies are limited and regions are destroyed. The only other threats in the game are those who have become disgusting infected creatures, such as super-speed ‘runners’ or blinded creatures with highly sensitive hearing – and these creatures are located everywhere.

I believe the main reason the story is so effective is due to the difficult truth that something like this could happen in reality. Naughty Dog has made the game’s story comprehensive, unrushed and completely explained and this level of detail creates realism for the player. The reality is, this could happen in our lives, and Naughty Dog’s latest masterpiece makes that apparent to the serious gamers who will commit to this game. The game is open and the player is in control, and when this is combined with the deep, realistic aspect of this game, it makes it feel like you are in this post-disaster world.

The choice on how to approach the game during its fighting sections is entirely at the discretion of the player. Players can make the decision to take a stealthy path or they can choose a direct, ‘all guns blazing’ route – but bear warning: ammo is extremely limited throughout the game (again, this links back to the realistic aspect). The game’s rich story, varied landscape, deep characters and variety of settings bring the entire world to life in a way not often done in games, especially modernly.

Of course, The Last of Us wouldn’t be a Naughty Dog game if the graphics weren’t outstanding. The game lives up to the graphical quality of the Uncharted series and looks outstanding. The soundtrack of the game is also a marvel, having been composed by Gustavo Santaolalla. As he mentioned in a letter to reviewers, the score for this title is one of his most ambitious and ‘different’ scores yet and it allowed him to experiment in different ways than he usually does.

Every aspect of the game is perfect – even things we don’t have time to go into without making the review a large essay on the game. Voice acting is done marvelously, as are the character development and relationships throughout the game, especially in the case of Joel and Ellie, who have a very special and heartwarming bond. Weapons in the game are limited, as is ammo – which is how it should be in a post-disaster environment. Trust me when I say this, The Last of Us is a masterpiece which should be played by any serious adult gamer and is perfect in every way.

Thanks for reading our review, we hope you enjoy the game :)