Totally not an action hero.

Well, after a week of viewing and playing “The Last of Us” over a coworker’s apartment, I can’t really see the big ass deal. Yes, it’s a fine movie, but… yeah. It’s like a mildly entertaining Heavy Rain (overly dramatic while getting headshots).

I asked if the game was a tad bit racist and of course the guy rides my ass no homo about being anal (Oh… dammit Bill…). See… I see it like this.

1. All the niggas are portrayed as some form of asshole.

2. All their deaths are on-screen. Even the psycho that wanted to eat Ellie was chopped to death off screen. Yes, there’s Robert, but how soon did he die after one meeting?

3. Their deaths are justified by the fact that they are assholes, giving no one any reason to feel sympathy for them after their death.

4. Marlenne wanted to save the world, and was wrote off (and killed off) as a bitch for it. She became the game’s last minute antagonist for no reason other than wanting to make a vaccine.

She was the most bland character I’ve seen to date. Even Tameem Dante was cooler. Shit, prep the ER ASAP!

But aside from that, it just felt like the odds were too good for Joel and Ellie. Lets see, Joel is a gun smuggler with some years of brutality under his name, making him an old ass action-hero archtype, Ellie is supposed to make the audience go “YOU GO GIRL!” and make everyone proud that she brutally murders people with shitty one-liners like “buddy boy”, it’s implied that Tommy might get killed twice in the whole game (even his wife berates them both for taking a big risk), but he’s never put in any real danger, Joel just up and cares for Ellie beyond just being a package to deliver only after getting severely wounded by a severed pole, the winter storm Ellie Arc was pointless and incredibly boring filler, and why does the game feel more like a Splinter Cell game than survival horror?

As realistic as the game tried so fucking hard to be, there are over-turned tables to provide cover from gun fire as well as stealth walls, and buildings are filled with zombies carefully from strategic positions for you to sneak up and do Sam Fischer kills, and Joel has mutant hearing sonars that allow you to always know how to maneuver around enemies. It’s like a majority of the time, the game felt less like survival horror and more like a high-class Gears of War title.

All that said, it would make for a nice movie. Just not a game.

Unfortunately, don’t count on anyone coming to that conclusion. For the last 2 months, publications and nerds everywhere have extoled this game to pedestals beyond your very reach. It really shows that gaming is a dying breed when the best games out there are really movies masquerading as games. When you hear about how well done the fucking hollywood style melodrama is just so well done instead of how much fun you could have with the game, and seeing perfect scores based off the narrative alone, and seeing the game making sales charts close to some football game and Minecraft, you know gaming is fucked because, as we’ve seen with Metroid Other M and Resident Evil 6 and especially those fucking Final Fantasy games, devs will push games to be almost exactly like The Last of Us.

Why? Because for some reason, western developers hate the idea of traditional console gaming. Simple, addicting and fun games are no longer allowed. Instead, Computer Centric games based on melodrama or “the human condition” or any kind of bullshit that tries to replicate human emotions as realistically as possible just so the bleeding hearted nerds can 1up each other saying “yes, that is EXACTLY how a human would react in this situation!” is all that matters. It’s pushing a standard that is harmful to video games when everyone speaks of TLOU as “raising the bar”. For what? To disregard everything else in favor of narrative and production values?

A movie-like narrative about the relationship between 2 characters is not good content. The game’s setting is in a post-apocalyptic world. It was meant to be a dangerous adventure, and it was. But usually, adventures have some sort of point or resolution. The point was to take Ellie halfway across the fucking country to use her immunity to create a cure. This was an interesting plot until everything started going into it’s promised premise of being how this boring relationship unfolds between the 2 characters…. and the majority of it is animosity. Joel is the strict hardass who doesn’t show any real care for Ellie until she saves his life a few times. Otherwise, the bitch was just a liability. And then, of course it just had to be revealed that the only way to produce a cure would be to kill Ellie and dissect her brains (please do not give me the science lesson about cordyceps). They couldn’t just bullshit and say “we need a blood sample or something” and do some ultra-complex R&D? I mean, you Fireflies have enough soldiers pulled out of your ass for a last minute stealth/action mission. You can bullshit me on the gameplay, but apparently not the UBER REALISTIC storyline! Bullshit me on the ending in any way that actually achieves results. This was the first time in any Zombie Apocalypse Media where a solution to all the problems in the world fucking exists. And that’s been thrown away for the “developed relationship”.

But then it wouldn’t be realistic? Who gives a fuck? It’s not realistic that there’s only one protected Zone in the entire continental US and everywhere else is some “every man for himself” territory. It’s not realistic for there to be this one base out in the middle of nowhere that no one else besides random bandits have known about, and it’s the perfect safe haven where there’s food and energy without any real explanation.

And they got horses bitch!

Why bullshit me on these little convenient elements, but not a satisfactory ending where shit gets fixed?

Why imply that he would probably die when nothing happens to him?

It all feels too convenient. Yes, Joel gets a severe wound, but it only served to give Ellie a pointless story arc that contributes jack shit to the overall game besides some padding. I found myself falling asleep at this arc. And is it just me, or did bandits and soldiers completely replace the zombies for one or three arcs?

Don’t expect a lot of these guys after the first half of the game.

See, I wouldn’t have a problem with any of this if I actually cared about the characters. Survival horror has a bad habit of making characters that are either assholes or douche-bags who do nothing curse, get HAR HAR scared, and get pissed off. This game is no exception.


Annoying “YOU GO GIRL” kid

“Masculine” Bitch

Eh, pretty cool dude.

Token Nigga

Last minute “well-intentioned extremist”

But all of this is justified under the pretense of “realism”. And don’t get me wrong. It’s a decent story with asshole characters, but realism does not belong in video games. And if you have to turn the games into movies just for realism to be accepted, then you’re going to harm the medium. You know why?

Because then video games would have to compete with fucking Hollywood. And mark my words, gaming will lose that battle? Why’s that? Because actual movies are cheaper and a thousand times more accessible than video games. You don’t need some special device to play them on that costs more than a second mortgage to enjoy. So you already have the price and access advantage. No one can miss out on a movie, but you can miss out on games. Another reason is that movies do deny you content if you do not get passed some shoddy QTE. When you WATCH a movie, you can kick back and watch other people fuck up. When you PLAY a game, you determine if you fuck up or not. Interactive movies rarely give you the opportunity to prevent fuck ups because the narrative demands you fuck up. Fall into one of Bill’s traps? It’s necessary to progress the game. Severely wound Joel and handicap your chances of survival? It’s necessary to see Ellie’s development to independence. Fail the mission of finding a cure to save humanity from a deadly virus? it’s because Joel lost his daughter.

I think that’s the real problem I have with this game. You have no choice but to follow the script. To experience the developer’s ambitions and hollywood brand of writing. Where did gaming go when developers are now actively revoking choice from the consumer for the sake of their own narrative?

Because developers, for some idiotic reason, feel that gaming should “aspire” to be more than what the consumers want. A “respected medium”. See, after 3D and Computer style gaming became popular, western developers got this strange idea that video games need respect. Everyone in the world felt that video games were a waste of time (and they ARE!). So, in some desperate attempt to justify their existence as game developers, they completely change what a video game so that it can be compared to hollywood movies (a medium that gets more respect than video games). And I suppose the only way you can do that is by turning video games into interactive movies. I mean, if you read some of the interviews by Naughtydog, you can see claims in which they want developers to “step up their game design” by having a better narrative. So much shit talk about “raising bars” for the industry to reach. This game feels more like a desire to “evolve” the medium. The question is why? Movies serve a purpose of giving audiences a visual representation of what a book would be like in real-life. Video games allow you to create your own destiny and… other shit that is under your control. If you turn a game into a movie, you can only remove control from the gamer, and that does nothing but harm the medium. Because then, gaming loses it’s purpose of being a more unique form of entertainment. Fiction that YOU control.

Why would anyone pay $400 for a medium they have less control over than they had back in the 90s for half the fucking price!?