I’m not enjoying The Last of Us

I recently started playing The Last of Us on PlayStation 4, and I’m not enjoying it. I’m captivated by it and it gives me sleepless nights and I can’t wait to see how it ends, but I’m not enjoying it.

The Last of Us is pretty grim, much like Tomb Raider is, but it is all of humanity that is screwed, not just Lara Croft and her wacky band of buddies. While Tomb Raider started out pretty grim, before long, Lara had lots of weapons and skills and was an ass kicking machine. In The Last of Us, there are no scenarios that I’ve found where I felt completely confident and able to control the situation.

The writing is extremely well done, and the plot twists and turns make certain the player is never quite sure what’s coming next. The Last of Us is a very linear game, but they’ve done an amazing job of making you unaware of it. There are often multiple choices of where to go, but they all put you exactly where you need to go without making you feel that you’re forced to go that way. The areas are masterfully done and often creepy as hell. Walking through the science building at the fictitious University of Eastern Colorado is as tense a time as any other part of the game so far.

There are a number of plot holes in the game, but they’re easy enough to ignore. For example, the infected are quite stupid, so they should have all died out of starvation or in the cold of winter, since they can’t light fires to warm themselves. But that would have made a boring game, so the infected are present in places like Colorado where one winter should have taken them out. And the amazing coincidence of bad guys showing up every time you reach a plot point and need to move on is a little tedious, but again, needed to make sure the game doesn’t turn into just a movie with little interaction.

The Last of Us is great and well worth playing, but there’s not much fun to be had, as far as I’ve seen. The banter between characters is good and sometimes amusing, but the overall mood is somber. The combat is satisfying, but not rewarding. When you finish a battle, you are relieved, not exhilarated. There is never enough ammo nor crafting materials to be found. And if your pack is full, events will come shortly that will make you use much of it. The game is a constant struggle, yet one that will keep you playing for just one more checkpoint even after you should have gone to bed. Then, when you go to bed, the game will filter into your dreams and give you stressful, restless nights. And then you can’t wait to get back to playing.

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