Ellie is a really strong girl that awakens something that was dead in Joel who little by little starts to get “human” again in a world when it’s the survival of either you or me where you have to run from horde of Infected Runners, Hide from Clickers and Bloaters or fight your way through Gangs of Scavengers or Militay Units.
The game was released on June 14th of this year and was developed by Naughty Dog, the same guys that brought us the Uncharted series and yes you can tell by playing it even if I haven’t told you. The game is probably the best rated game of all time of any console and had an incredible reception, 96/100 on metacritic if you want to check all the other scores here are most of them
The setting is 20 years after a Pandemic of a type of fungus that can be infected via infected fluids (like bites) or by breathing it’s spores, about 60% percent of the world population died by weeks of the first infection reports either by becoming infected or being literally ripped apart by Runners, Clickers and Bloaters.
Then we have Joel a man broken that is almost not human anymore (he just doesn’t care anymore) who must face the responsibility of dealing with a teenage girl that reminds him of his own, The Story is very crude and brutal, I guess that’s probably why the game is R rated, but then it wouldn’t have made much sense if the world wasn’t like this after the story finished you can relate to how harsh we as society really are, so it’s just natural to think the setting in a post apocalyptic world would be just like this.
The relation between them is beautiful and the job making tis two characters grow into each other is just perfect, it’s the kind of story that leaves you thinking what kind of society we are, how we miss all the small things because we give them from granted and how savage and selfish we are as beings. Most of the time you’ll be running away from other humans that are not infected and just kill to loot and survive, so it’s not just a zombie game, and the setting was very real and complete with that added element.
Did you knew the Score from the game was composed by Gustavo Santaolalla? don’t know who Santaolalla is? well he’s an Argentinian who wrote the Scores from movies like Biutiful, 21 Grams, The Insider and winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Score for Brokeback Mountain and Babel.
Jeje need I say more? the Score is amazing, though I felt at times it wasn’t always present, maybe I was too much into the game, but if I wasn’t fighting or the story didn’t had an important event, I could swear all you hear is enviroment.
Are just breathtaking, the eyes are so real you could easily pass them as real persons at times, but the focus wasn’t only on the characters the enviroment is also a work of art that is not from this world. When you were in a Forest or inside a Building you get to really feel that, and the ambient effects as rain or snow is just perfectly done aswell. The game occurs in almost a full year so, the seasons are there and you can really see te Winter over Summer, or Spring over Autumm.
Sadly it feels like the characters of Ellie and Joel were the ones really polished to perfection, Characters like Tess, Tommy or Bill feel less worked on, and the Thugs always get the less detail treatment, don’t get me wrong this game is still light years away in those aspects than any other game but doesn’t change the fact that we are in a generation of games (maybe because of hardware limitations) were this is kinda like inevitable.
It’s very good, not groundbreaking but it excels in everything it tries to be, of all the aspects of the game I believe this is the weakest link since it feels a lot like the Uncharted franchise, the fighting music that stops when there’s no more enemies, the shooting engine and the stealth aspects are all very familiar, they’re still great and amongst the best gameplays I have done, but doesn’t certainly feel new like everything else in the game.
We have however new stuff, the ladder/plank system is very clever, since it does let you feel you it’s something you would actually think of in a situation like this, and yeah the pulling a cart to get to top places too though it feel like overused.
Naughty Dog masterfully did the balance between resources, enemies and action, which can be played in zillion of different ways forcing you most of the time to place every bullet where and when you need to without wasting one and going stealthy most of the game without forgetting the scavenge and solving paths to you destination part which were very well done aswell.
The Story is the strongest part of the game down from all the characters like Tess which was incredible, Bill, Tommy and even the bad guys like David to the setting, but what really makes the game incredible is the relationship between Joel and Ellie, that starts as a nuisance to Joel and something he doesn’t want to do when he finds out about Ellie’s infection and ends with the undeniable need of Joel to have Ellie live and learn about everything he tells him during the journey she wants to do or learn, that look on Joel’s eyes when he swears he told her the truth even though she knows exactly what happened is priceless and worthy of one of the best endings to any story I’ve ever seen, played or watched it is worst than him having sacrificing himself to let her live, in a way he absolves her of any guilt and part on the decision t screw the rest of the world but I get to live part, but he also gets to live with it.
We have some very good support character like I previously wrote about, Tess’s storyline is great, it defines her as a character you can relate to specially for being true to herself to the very end. Bill is just despicable but awesome in his own making feel Joel close to Ellie and awkward about what is going on for the first time, but it isn’t until the time when they have to fight the Scavenger Gang in Pittsburg that the bond is really set.
Then we get to the weakest one of the support characters, Henry which was if you ask me totally unnecessary though Sam was an incredible element that brought Ellie to us as what she is, still a kid and how he deals with his infection, what he says to Ellie the night before was to me one of the best parts of the story.
Tommy is the best and seeing there’s people who actually care about Joel makes you want the story to end there so they can be happily everafter too bad they get only half of the wish since Joel will have to live with his decision. We have a very nice bad guy aswell, this fellow David is very creepy and serves as the badness scapegoat to all of this stuff happening, I mean you can’t have a fungus as the bad guy in a story, and he also comes into a peak of the story where Ellie has to survive alone and the bond between the two of them is now undeniable and unbreakable.
Only a few stories have touched me like this one has, and the game is just incredibly, I have played very good and amazing games like Heavy Rain, God of War and Metal Gear Sagas, heck even LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption or Batman Arkham series are out of this world, but they got to the point to they’re just good games (well maybe except Heavy Rain and LA Noire) this is a story everyone even not video game enthusiast enjoy very much and gets to the soul of them, you must get and play this game, heck if there has been a game worth of buying a console just for it, this is that game.