Saturday, 29 June 2013
I've always been a big fan of post-apocalypse fiction since reading Roger Zelazny's Damnation Alley (1967) when I was a kid. In that book a prisoner, Hell Tanner, is offered a full pardon if he agrees to drive a plague vaccine across the radioactive wasteland between Los Angeles and Boston. He is terrorized by various gangs of bikers and marauders in his attempt to deliver the vaccine, and picks up a girl, Cordelia on the way. Things don't turn out well for Hell Tanner.
In many ways The Last Of Us revisits this plot, via contemporary influences such as The Road, The Walking Dead and Children Of Men. Our hero, Joel, embarks on a journey through a devastated United States, charged with delivering a young girl, Ellie, to a medical unit in Salt Lake City. Ellie, we find out, is immune to a fungal plague that has transformed the infected into flesh eating zombies and can provide a vaccine that will save millions of lives.
For me, The Last Of Us is the perfect game, with incredible graphics, the most brutal combat sequences since Manhunt, and most of all an incredibly well thought-out story arc that show the characters really developing throughout the 15 or so hours of gameplay. Naughty Dog have created a masterpiece in The Last Of Us, and it really is the most immersive and emotional game I've ever played.