As promised, I'm logging my way through acclaimed The Last of Us. My girlfriend was practically chomping on her incisors to get me to buy this game and play it. It's horror, so she won't, but she wants to watch me, even though watching me play video games for her is like watching a retarded child playing in traffic.
The things I know about this game before I begin:
-It's supposed to be the best game of the PS3/XBOX360 generation, and it's PS3 exclusive, so Microsoft shot itself in the foot even before the XBONE release (yeah, yeah, that joke is about as clever as a Magicarp falling for the Old Rod, but my sense of humor is easily satisfied).
-NaughtyDog made it, and they made Uncharted, which I adore.
-There's a main character named Joel.
I was supposed to have watched a segment of an LP of it with my girlfriend on her cell phone while in bed, but I fell asleep. What she doesn't know will probably hurt me.
The positive thing here is that I somehow managed to escape knowing exactly what is supposed to make this game so fantastic, so I get to decide for myself instead of letting IGN's 10/10 tell me.
Okay, so that's a sixth thing I know about this game, but it's inconsequential, and something of a subset of point one.
Before we start, here's the reason why I'm apprehensive about this game. It's tapping into something I find sensitive.
Lately, zombies and post apocalyptic settings are romantic. Everyone wants to write about them because the world is going into catastrophic debt and unrest is brewing. Yet no one really wants to write about how civilization as we know it will actually collapse: apathy and ignorance will lead to starvation and a slow decay of tax base, leading to a pathetic revolt consisting of a handful of people strong enough to not just die in the streets.
Instead, we're hoping for some other post-apocalyptic scenario. A strong person will take over the government and turn us into more obvious slaves by giving us numbers, or bring about an operation that will take away our ability to feel anything. An outbreak of zombie-ism will occur. Chemical/nuclear warfare will kill 90% of the population and get rid of the impending food shortage. All these scenarios are romantic because 1) they're unrealistic, and 2) they make human agency seem easier, more clear cut, or do away with it entirely. Solutions are more obvious. You can survive by stealing a gun or running or letting the government handle it. In reality, we're all just going to suffer from doing absolutely nothing.
Well, with that optimistic nugget, let's see how romantic The Last of Us turns out. Does it give me the futility I crave, or is there triumph and roses galore?
I had to play this part of the game twice because it turns out my PS3 is defective and hates HDMI, so it overheats and shuts off, but Ryanne's doesn't. Again, it's one of those little things that differentiate us as gamers. Or so I tell myself when she kicks my ass.
( All right, get on with it.Collapse )
That's a good stopping point for now, though I did keep playing. I'm expecting another main character to be young and female and remind Joel of his daughter. Then I'm expecting some sort of McCarthy-with-zombies scenario where Joel eventually gets the chance to die for her, and she ends up okay, the way it should have been twenty years ago.
Or she dies too. In that take, without a younger generation, we have a more futile message, but maybe I should shut up and hope a little instead of instantly craving that scenario in this game. The world isn't going to end yet, and if I'm doing nothing, I don't have a right to talk much, do I?
See you when I finish Chapter One, and we get to see how Joel uses his freedom, now that he cannot base all his decisions on his daughter's safety.