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The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us

The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment exclusively for the PlayStation 3. It was officially revealed on December 10, 2011, during the Spike TV Video Game Awards and released worldwide on June 14, 2013. It was released in Japan on June 20, 2013.

The player takes control of Joel , who is trekking across a post-apocalyptic United States in 2033, in order to escort the young Ellie to a resistance group, the Fireflies, who believe Ellie may be the key to curing an infection that has ravaged the world. The player defends the characters against zombie-like creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus, as well as hostile humans such as bandits and cannibals, employing the use of firearms and stealth aided by capabilities such as a visual representation of sound in order to listen for locations of enemies. The player can also craft weapons or medical items by combining items scavenged in the world.

The Last of Us received critical acclaim for its writing, voice acting, sound design, level design, and art direction. The game's narrative was praised for its characterization, application of subtext, and critical depiction of the human condition, dealing with themes of sacrifice, loyalty, fate, and hope. Positive reception helped establish The Last of Us as a significant title of the seventh generation video game era. The Last of Us was the second largest video game launch of 2013 , selling over 1.3 million units in its first week. As of July 2013, the game has sold 3.4 million units, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation 3 game after three weeks.

The Last Of Us Plot

Joel is a single father living in Texas with his twelve-year-old daughter Sarah. In the early hours on the day after his birthday, a sudden outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus ravages the United States, which changes its human hosts into violent monsters. As Joel, his brother Tommy, and Sarah flee the chaos, Sarah is shot by a soldier and dies in Joel's arms.

In the two decades that follow, much of civilization is destroyed by the infection, with pockets of survivors living in heavily policed quarantine zones, independent settlements, or nomadic groups. Joel now lives in a quarantine zone in Boston, working as a smuggler alongside his partner, Tess. They hunt down a local gangster, Robert, to recover weapons stolen from them. Before Tess kills him, Robert reveals that he traded them to the Fireflies, an insurgent militia fighting against the authorities governing the quarantine zones. Joel and Tess encounter the Fireflies' leader, Marlene, who promises them double their stolen cache in return for smuggling a teenage girl, Ellie, to Fireflies outside quarantine.

Ellie is revealed to be infected after she, Joel and Tess escape a patrol. Full infection normally occurs in under two days, but Ellie asserts she was infected three weeks ago, and that her immunity may lead to a cure. Fighting toward the drop-off point, they find that the Fireflies there have been killed. Tess reveals she was bitten while they encountered the infected and orders Joel to take Ellie to his estranged brother, Tommy, who used to be a Firefly. Tess sacrifices herself against approaching soldiers to give the pair a chance to escape, believing in Ellie's importance as a cure.

Joel and Ellie trek westwards across the country, and into Pittsburgh, a city now filled with violent bandits who have overpowered the military and relentlessly hunt down anyone who enters. They meet Henry and Sam, two brothers who are attempting to reach the rest of their group at a radio tower out of the city. Joel, Ellie, Henry and Sam manage to escape Pittsburgh, survive through Infected-filled sewers, and fight off an ambush of bandits in an abandoned town. However, before they leave, a horde of Infected attack the group, with Sam being bitten in the process (unbeknownst to everyone else.) They take shelter in a house near the tower, but Sam turns overnight. When morning comes, Ellie walks into to Sam's room to wake him up, but is attacked by the now infected Sam. Henry forces himself to kill his brother, and then kills himself for what he has done, despite Joel's best efforts to stop him.

In the fall, the two finally find Tommy in Wyoming, where he has assembled a fortified settlement near a hydroelectric dam. Joel contemplates leaving Ellie with Tommy, but after repelling bandits and being confronted by Ellie about Sarah, he ultimately decides to stay with her. Tommy directs them to a Fireflies enclave at the University of Eastern Colorado. The two find the place abandoned, but learn that the Fireflies had moved to a hospital in Salt Lake City. They are attacked by bandits as they leave, who severely wound Joel during the escape.

In the winter, Ellie and Joel take shelter in the mountains. Joel is on the brink of death and relies on Ellie to care for him. After killing a large stag while hunting, Ellie encounters David and James, a pair of scavengers willing to trade medicine in exchange for the meat. While James goes to recover the medicine, Ellie and David are attacked by a horde of infected, but manage to fend them off. Afterwards, David reveals that the bandits Ellie and Joel killed at the university were part of his group; he allows Ellie to leave with the medicine. David sends a posse to track Ellie the following morning, forcing her to lead them away from Joel and be captured. Ellie learns that David and his people are cannibals and escapes after refusing to join them, but David eventually corners her in a burning restaurant. Meanwhile, Joel recovers from his fever and sets out to find Ellie, fighting through David's gang to the restaurant. He reaches Ellie as she violently kills David in self-defense; Joel consoles her before they flee together.

In the spring, Joel and Ellie arrive in Salt Lake City. They make their way through the flooded highway tunnels but are caught in the rapids, with Joel barely rescuing Ellie from drowning. A patrol of Fireflies capture them. Joel awakens in the hospital and is greeted by Marlene. She informs him that Ellie is being prepped for surgery: to create a vaccine for the infection, the Fireflies have to remove a Cordyceps sample from Ellie's brain, killing her in the process. Joel escapes and battles his way to the surgery room, from where he carries an unconscious Ellie to the basement parking garage. There he confronts and kills Marlene to prevent the Fireflies from pursuing them. On the drive out of the city, Ellie finally awakens, and Joel lies to her about the events, telling her that the Fireflies had tried and failed to produce a cure with other immune candidates and had given up trying. The pair arrive on the outskirts of Tommy's settlement. Ellie expresses her survivor's guilt and asks Joel to swear that his story about the Fireflies is true, which he does.

The Last Of Us Gameplay

The Last of Us uses a third-person perspective. Players take control of Joel, while Ellie is controlled by the AI for the majority of the game, although the player switches control in the later sections of the game. The game involves gun fighting, melee combat, and a cover system with no preset cover locations, only crouching near objects and navigating normally. The player fights off the Infected and the Survivors—humans that are not infected, but are hostile towards Joel and Ellie. A feature the developers call "dynamic stealth" allows for many different types of strategies and techniques that the player can use at any given time as they approach a new situation, to which enemies will react differently.

A player creating an item

The real-time crafting system, which can be accessed in the backpack

Throughout their journey, Joel and Ellie use multiple ranged and melee weapons to help them defeat their enemies and continue through the levels. These include long weapons like a bolt action rifle, shotgun, bow, flamethrower, and assault rifle, as well as short-barreled guns like the pistol, revolver, scoped revolver-like handgun called the "El Diablo", and a sawed-off one handed shotgun called the "Shorty". There are also many different degradable melee weapons that can be scavenged from the environment like metal pipes, planks, baseball bats, machetes, and hatchets. Items like empty bottles and bricks can be picked up and thrown to distract or stun enemies, as well as be used as simple melee weapons.

Along with regular weapon and equipment slotting, the game also features a crafting system. By going into the backpack, the player can use recipes introduced throughout the game to forge useful supplies like Molotov cocktails from once useless consumables such as liquor, discarded towels, and broken razor blades. To force the player to make tough decisions based upon their current circumstance, all of the items created require some of the same consumables that can be used for another producible item. For example, the Molotov cocktail and health-kit items both require alcohol and rags to produce. Another aspect of the crafting system is that it happens in real-time, meaning that the game does not pause while crafting, forcing the player to choose their crafting time effectively in order to avoid being taken advantage of by enemies while busy.

The player is also able to collect toolboxes and parts, in the form of gears, to help upgrade their arms at an array of workbenches set throughout the game. Things like the number of weapon holsters, fire rate, clip capacity, reduced recoil, and range can be increased. Training manuals can be collected to increase the effectiveness of crafted items as well. For instance, the durability of crafted shivs can be increased, as can the radius of a Molotov explosion. Joel's physical abilities are upgradable too. The player can do things like improve his health-bar size or increase his crafting speed by collecting pills and medicinal plants throughout the game.

The game also features periods of no fighting, where the player can explore the environment and engage in non-combat oriented actions. These sections often involve conversation between the characters, either automatic or optional via prompt, where they discuss their current situation, surrounding environment, make jokes, and so on. Along with that, there are a multitude of collectibles that can be scavenged from the environment and stored/viewed in the backpack. Objects like notes, posters, maps, can be collected to provide the player extra knowledge on their current environment and its former or current inhabitants. Firefly pendants, with the inscribed names of their former owners, and a series of comics titled "Savage Starlight" can be found as well. The player must also solve simple platforming dilemmas that the characters come across while traversing the levels. These involve boosting each other up, using floatable planks to get Ellie (who cannot swim) across bodies of water, and finding ladders or dumpsters to climb upon to reach higher areas.

The game features an AI system called "Balance of Power". This new system allows enemies to react realistically to any combat situation they are placed in by taking cover if they see the player, calling for help if they need it and even taking advantage of the player's weaknesses, such as when Joel runs out of ammunition, is distracted, or when he is being attacked by other enemies.

Reception
The Last of Us was exhibited for the general video game audience at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 (E3 2012), where it won five Game Critics Awards for Best of Show, Best Original Game, Best Console Game, Best Action/Adventure Game, and a Special Commendation for Sound. The game received several other E3 2012 Best of Show awards from media outlets such as Cheat Code Central, The Daily Telegraph, Destructoid, The Electric Playground, Electronic Gaming Monthly, GameSpot, and PlayStation Universe. The Last of Us was nominated for Most Anticipated Game at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards, while the game's Gamescom 2012 trailer won for Best Trailer at the 4th Annual Inside Gaming Awards.


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