I went to GAME’s The Last Of Us preview event on Wednesday night (22nd May) and played about an hour and a half of the game. It was a pre alpha build of the game according to the PlayStation rep that was there. I was very impressed with what I played. It involved creeping through a large derelict office type building with me playing as Joel (the game’s protagonist) who is accompanied by Ellie (the 14-year-old girl Joel is hired to protect) and Tess.
The Last Of Us is no run of the mill third person action game. It’s proper survival horror. You get limited ammo, health and other resources and really do, as Joel says in the trailer, ‘Make every shot count’. You can also craft items and weapons from various items you find. Things like bandages, knives, Molotov cocktails and other items need to be made by combining several components.
The enemies I faced were standard zombie types we gamers are oh so familiar with, though they were fast and vicious rather than the slow shambling variety. The other enemies were the Clickers. These have been shown in most of the previews but basically they are blind and therefore have ultra-sharp hearing. This means you can throw bottles to distract them, then sneak past or if you have a knife (you have to make knives and once they are used they are gone until you make more) you can sneak up and perform a stealth kill. Simply shooting them isn’t advisable since you don’t have many bullets and they are very tough to kill.
When faced with multiple Clickers and zombies (or infected I think they are called but y’know they’re zombies) you have to think about how to kill them. If you alert one then the rest overwhelm you very quickly and Clickers kill you with one bite. In one section I managed to throw a brick into the middle of some zombies, which alerted the Clicker which then went and attacked and killed all the zombies for me. Then I snuck up on him and shived him in the neck. This was my one successful triumph and was very clever.
Though I was impressed by the cleverness of it and can’t wait to experiment with other ways to dispatch enemies in the full game. Other than that I died… a lot and more on top. I even managed to get us a shotgun, which I had to use on a Clicker about to eat my face off. The difficulty was just right though and provided a satisfying amount of challenge without being overly so that it was frustrating.
The Last Of Us is turning out to be what Resident Evil 6 should have been, with proper survival horror gameplay and a far more likeable cast of characters. Visually it was obviously the same engine as Uncharted and although it looked excellent.
The gameplay goes it was a satisfying, varied and rewarding experience that was far more clever than most run and gun third person action games and far less linear and set piece cinematics-filled than even Naughty Dog’s own Uncharted series. The Last Of Us is definitely looking like a stellar survival horror action adventure and I can’t wait until I get the demo that came with God Of War: Ascension on 31st May for more and when the full game launches on 14th June.
Lastly I like to say a Big Thank you to my local GAME store in Maidstone Kent for being so nice and friendly to all that came on the night. Also I can reveal at my GAME store that Lock In’s, will be once a month for the next few months at least. Also all the staff and the GAME store don’t get paid for doing these events, there do it to give back to all there customers.