After Sony got their PSN problems sorted last week, gamers were finally able to download the much-anticipated demo version of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, at least if they had purchased God of War Ascension for the exclusive early access. The Last of Us is one of a handful of first party games that Sony is banking on to bridge the gap between this generation and the release of PS4, and hopes are high that the title will live up to the standard set by the Uncharted franchise. We recently sat down and played through the demo a few times in order to bring you guys a round-up of our thoughts.
First things first, The Last Of Us does have several shades of Uncharted, which frankly would be a surprise if it wasn’t the case. The game is a third person adventure game with shooting elements, so of course on that level it would be very similar anyway, but several aspects including the sense of exploration, dramatic scale and interaction with ‘partner characters’ also feels a lot like the further adventures of Nathan Drake.
Of course this game isn’t Uncharted 4 and differentiates itself in a lot of ways. It is a lot more brutal for a start, with melee fighting a big part of the action. Foraging for supplies and patching yourself up with first aid kits is just as important as delivering head shots to bad guys and the moments when several enemies rush you at once is like nothing Nate has ever faced.
The demo itself is set in an area known as the ‘Outskirts’, and shows the aftermath of a city center following the detonation of a large bomb several months previously that attempted to wipe out the ‘infected’. As you might expect however this didn’t work out too well, and there are several types of creature (ranging from humanoid to anything but) roaming the deserted office buildings and apartments that become your hunting ground for the 15-20 minute duration of the demo.
Yes that’s right, 15-20 minutes is all the taster you will get of the game, which may seem disappointing for those of you expecting to get much more hands-on with Joel and his partners (we can’t really say friends at this point…) Ellie and Tess. This admittedly short demo however manages to combine a sense of awe along with some clever storytelling as you work through the demo in the character interplay along with a hint of just how nasty the combat will be in the main game. The last couple of minutes of the demo in particular is very intense, as Joel comes across three or four Infected at the same time and has to fight them off with whatever is to hand. These bits reminded me very much of the Xbox 360 launch game Condemned, with its focus on using weapons obtained from the environment to bludgeon crazed attackers.
In addition to this combat heavy sequence, there is also a very nice stealth-type section about halfway into the demo when the team has to skirt around a blind but dangerous Infected, throwing things to try and distract it as you edge past. If the final game can merge these elements throughout the game and tell an interesting story, then it should be very successful indeed. Of course it all looks lovely as well, with weed-covered office blocks and dripping gutters never looking so pretty. All in all things are definitely looking good for the release of Naughty Dog’s latest game later this month.
If this impressions piece got you worked up for The Last Of Us, make sure you enter our giveaway for your chance to win a copy of the game.