Posted on Monday, September 16, 2013 by Games_and_Sports
Video games aren’t just for kids anymore. For those of us who grew up playing Pac Man or Super Mario Bros, the gaming bug hasn’t left us as we’ve gotten older. Fortunately, as our tastes have matured, so has the gaming industry. In the “Games for Grownups” series, I’ll be featuring and reviewing some “not for kids” games available at the Santa Clara County Library.
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
Zombies - is there a more oversaturated genre in media today? From hit TV shows to teen romances, zombies are everywhere. The zombie apocalypse storyline has become a cliché: an uncontrollable infection quickly spreads - turning most of the population into mindless, flesh-eating monsters; civilization falls apart, and bands of survivors try to make their way in a world gone mad. The Last of Us certainly doesn't deviate greatly from this basic plot, but instead of just adding another generic entry to an already crowded field, The Last of Us sets a new standard for the zombie genre and video game storytelling as a whole.
The most striking thing about The Last of Us is its cinematic nature. You are introduced to the main character Joel and his daughter Sarah in a beautifully done cutscene that instantly invests you in the characters and their relationship. Throughout the game you feel as though you are interactively involved with an incredibly well-produced film. Not only are the game graphics gorgeously designed, the interspersed cutscenes feature some of the most realistic facial animation and voice-acting ever seen in a video game. As you utilize stealth and weaponry to battle your way across the country against brain- fungus-infected zombies and bands of violent outlaws, you may begin to find the combat repetitive, but you will never grow tired of the character interactions and story-development. The game produces some truly suspenseful moments, although the frequent save points minimize some of the fear factor.
The Last of Us is one of the most beautifully-designed, emotionally-involved games I have ever played. It is also widely hailed as one of the best games of the year, with a Metacritic score of 95.
The Last of Us is a Playstation 3 exclusive, and is available now at the library.