I picked up The Last of Us Remastered today. I watched IGN’s walkthrough of the game back when the original version released just over a year ago. At the time, I didn’t have any means of actually playing the game myself. For me, narrative driven games are some of my favorite so watching someone play it on YouTube was sufficient. Like pretty much everyone else, the game truly captivated me and watching it like a movie probably helped me digest everything a bit more easily.
The PS4 version is doubtlessly the most beautiful game I have ever seen in my entire life. That is not a hyperbole. PC players may not be impressed, but I have a feeling that even the person with the most beastly gaming machine would appreciate how stunning this game looks. For one, it isn’t just about how detailed it is, but about the art direction. Naughty Dog managed to craft such a believable world and I’ve been taking the time to explore it knowing that I can’t revisit areas twice.
I don’t think I enjoy playing the game as much as I did watching it. The person I watched on YouTube was very adept at the game and made light work of most missions. However, I do enjoy being able to explore the world and take in the scenery. Searching every nook and cranny for spare parts and collectibles really makes me feel like the scavengers the people in the game have become.
Playing through the game myself, I can see the genius behind the level design. The Last of Us Remastered so far has done a great job of leading me to the next objective without any destination markers or a map. For instance in the prelude, when you’re running through a mob of hysterical people trying to find your way to safety , the game informs you where to go by illuminating certain areas with props that would logically exist in the world. In addition, the character escorting you through town is the only person in the scene wearing a red shirt. I would lose sight of this character from time to time, but only briefly which only adds to the panic and uncertainty I am supposed to feel in that moment.
I have become terribly desensitized to violence. This game is jarring to most because of its strong depictions of violence and murder, but I’m not affected by it too much. It’s a shame. The violence is very intentional and artful like a sex scene in an indie film. I wish I could appreciate it the way others have, as strange is it may seem.
This is my last week of summer and I would like to finish the game before I get back to the grind. I’m excited to revisit this fallen world and watch the relationship between Joel and Ellie blossom all over again.