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16 March 2015 @ 05:22 am
The Last Of Us  

The Last Of Us is a game that I haven't actually played yet due to not having a PS3/PS4, however I have seen various playthroughs and just watching the story unfold completely captivated me. I felt like I wasn't watching a regular game play, I was watching genuine storytelling with fleshed out complicated characters who you grow to care about. Since then, I started watching the behind the scenes, interviews and reading reviews on the game and seeing the different reactions to scenes, and overall have just fallen in love with everything about this entire story. This isn't your normal kind of video game, it's quite a cinematic experience in its own right.

I think what attracts me most to this game is the presence of perspective, making you question the morality of situations characters are going through and the decisions they make. The study of the human condition, what people are willing to do in order to survive, is made clear in this world. It's something you don't see often in video games. There is a great conversation between Joel and Henry about why Henry left them when shit was about to go down, and had the roles been reversed would Joel had done the same. The answer? Probably not. Even we see the perspective of other characters too, like those who are hunting Joel and Ellie are doing so in revenge because they killed some of their men from their group, labeling them the enemy for taking out one of their own. Even Marlene and the Fireflies who are just trying to do what they think is right. In this game, everyone is flawed and damaged in some way or another. It makes you think, it makes you really question what would you do if you were placed in a similar situation.

Which is why the ending, IMO, is absolutely phenomenal because it elicited such an emotional response which has sparked much discussion and debate on what Joel did and questioning whether it was right or wrong, and what's fascinating is seeing the differing opinions people have because of it.

[As for my thoughts on the matter...](For my thoughts on the matter, both Joel and Marlene took away Ellie's choice; they both were thinking of their own objectives and agendas without really taking into account what Ellie would have wanted, which I'm positive that she would have wanted to sacrifice herself for the greater cause of saving humanity. It's evident from the way she talks to Joel in the end. She even states, "I'm still waiting my turn." I truly believe that Ellie, because she has witnessed not just her best friend's death but other deaths around her, that with her being immune that she wants to do some good in helping others. If Marlene had allowed her to be conscious before being prepped for surgery I'm pretty sure she would have told Joel her final decision. But since none of that happened, she has to live with the knowledge that Joel took that decision away from her and also lied about what he did to Marlene and the Fireflies.

And as for Joel, his actions were purely selfish. It's understandable given the narrative of the story and the emotional journey both he and Ellie have been together throughout the entire game. Joel couldn't save his daughter, and he wasn't going to make that same mistake twice. Also, given the fact that he lied to Ellie about what happened also indicates that he knows what he did was wrong, that he did take away that choice. He knew that Ellie would be angry at him for it. But again, his emotions were driving those decisions, consequences afterwards be damned. He got personally and emotionally attached to Ellie, and he would rather her to be alive and hate him than be dead.

Also, Ellie totally knew. The way she was talking with him in the end was her subtle way of confronting him, giving him a window to tell the truth. When he didn't, you can see that disappointed in her eyes. It's heartbreaking and when the credits roll it leaves you pondering about the decisions these characters made, and what will come of Joel and Ellie's relationship.

On an additional note, I don't see Joel as a bad guy as some interpretations have. Yes, he killed Marlene and most of the Fireflies in cold-blood, but that is his character. He's always been this way ever since the beginning when we see him and Tess tracking down Robert, and we're alluded to him having done some pretty horrible and fucked up shit in order to survive for the last twenty years. This isn't any different for what happens throughout the entirety of the game when Joel is killing people left and right to get to their destination. Once again, it all comes down to perspective. In the end what changed wasn't what he did, but rather his purpose and motivation. He says in the end that he "struggled a long time with surviving", and it's the truth. Joel lost all meaning once his daughter died, and was only operating on survival mode and being shut down as a coping mechanism. Now with his personal attachment to Ellie he has something to protect again, even if it's still through questionable means.

I just...have a lot of feelings about Joel and Ellie. That ending was so beautifully tragic, it fucked me up in the best possible way.)

Everything about The Last Of Us is like a mash-up between The Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica; it has elements of character relationships, of showing the best and worst qualities of humanity, the morality of situations and asks the tough questions, and most of all it gets you, the viewer/player to become emotionally invested with these characters and what they're going through. Aside from the amazing storytelling and world-building, not to mention the beautiful music score, much of the praise goes to Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker who provided not just the voices for Joel and Ellie but also did the motion captions for their characters as well. They have natural chemistry which made Joel and Ellie's relationship realistic and believable, and by themselves were incredibly fleshed out, well-rounded individuals in their own right. Just, everyone involved in making this game deserves all the recognition. They created something beautiful and all the praise it's been getting is incredibly well deserved.

I know that there's plans on making a movie of The Last Of Us, which I'm not gonna lie when I first heard about it I was slightly apprehensive considering the game itself is already a cinematic masterpiece as it is. Although Neil Druckmann, the co-creator of the game, is writing the screenplay and has promised the film will remain faithful to the game and story. Never mind that introducing other people to appreciate this story through another medium may just as well work. And hey, speaking as someone who loves the Resident Evil and Tomb Raider movies knowing that they don't follow the games at all, who am I to judge?

While it will be weird not having Ashley or Troy playing these characters in the theatrical version, since they really did bring these characters to life, I do have my own fancasts on who should play certain characters, but that may have to wait until a separate post.

In short, no matter whether you're a gamer or someone looking for a good emotional story to get invested in, The Last Of Us is one game that I highly recommend checking out. You can watch various playthroughs online, including the entirety of the game or just the cutscenes.

There is another recently released game out there that has captured my attention as well, Life Is Strange. I've already watched a playthrough of it and it's one that I really want to play myself because the story has already captivated me and gotten me intrigued. It's an episodic story-based game, and only episode one has been released (episode two will be coming out by the end of this month). And similar to The Last Of Us, where the creators fought to have Ellie be featured on the front cover, these creators fought for the main protagonist to be a girl. I highly approve.
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Jetta - I'd Love To Change The World
Celeste: ats: wesleyceleste9 on March 16th, 2015 03:04 pm (UTC)
We finally got a PS3 and the other day a guy at work recommended The Last of Us. It seems really cool but I might have a look at some of the playthroughs to decide if I should get it because I am the person who had to watch my little brother play Resident Evil rather than play it myself because the thought of the zombies jumping out at me was just too much to handle, lol!
Renée: Echo. Badass.rogueslayer452 on March 17th, 2015 12:17 am (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea, because once you've watched the playthrough you'll at least know where those scares and startling moments are if and when you decide to play the game for yourself.

Regardless though, it is fun watching someone else play it. It's why I have been addicted to watching other Let's Play videos of various games, and it gets me introduced to some games that I would like to try for myself someday. The Last Of Us is one that I got intrigued most with the story, and the game mechanics is also something I want to try since there are multiple ways of getting through a scene (stealth mode, using different weapons to kill enemies, etc.)
Sylvia: heart greenrheasilvia on March 16th, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this - I'm very seriously contemplating getting a Playstation right now (pretty much because Dragon Age Inquisition won't work on my PC), and knowing there are other games out there that would interest me is definitely good for my conscience. ;-)

Most of the games I see around seem to be 1st-person-shooters (which, NO; I couldn't even play Mass Effect because of all the guns), or some kind of sports games (which, I grow sleepy even thinking about it).

If you can think of any other fantasy / other adventure games with a strong plot, I for one would love to hear about them!
Renée: Babydoll. Destroyer.rogueslayer452 on March 17th, 2015 12:33 am (UTC)
You're welcome. :)

I don't mind first-person shooters because I enjoy having that experience, especially if it's horror-related, but I can understand how it would be overwhelming and disorienting to some, especially if that's the only option one has.

I watch a lot of Let's Play videos and there have been quite a few things that have intrigued me, so if anything else fits that description I'll make a post about it. :)
Sylviarheasilvia on March 17th, 2015 01:34 am (UTC)
It's more that I simply can't enjoy shooting at people/things with guns; it's too realistic, and makes every bit of me rebel. I hated it even in Mass Effect, which doesn't really focus on it very much. There's no coolness or enjoyment factor to it for me, only intense loathing. Which really isn't a lot of fun. ;-)

Swinging around swords, shooting arrows or flinging spells is a very different thing for me emotionally. It has nothing to do with reality as I know it, and has a kind of fantasy gloss and romance to it. Entirely nonsensical, of course, since swords are no more fun and romantic than guns in nature and intent, but... yeah.

Lightsabers are okay. Laser machine guns, not so much. Hey, I never said it made sense. *g*

Julie: ROTF ★ unchain utopiaragnarok_08 on March 16th, 2015 08:03 pm (UTC)
Yes I have heard a lot about The Last of Us, and the story really is quite fascinating. It really is about the human condition and, like you said, what people are willing to do to survive.
Renéerogueslayer452 on March 17th, 2015 12:35 am (UTC)
I highly recommend people watch it if they cannot play it for themselves, it's absolutely amazing in its own right. :)
Mmfirefly10 on March 16th, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
I'm not a game person but I've heard good things about this one. And I think I saw a comic for it a few weeks ago. I almost picked it up but I was already buying a few other things that day. But I may check it out eventually.
Renéerogueslayer452 on March 17th, 2015 12:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, the comic is a prequel (and a prequel to the prequel DLC game) focusing on Ellie and her best friend Riley. I haven't read it myself but it's on my list of getting very soon. I think you'll like Ellie and the Ellie/Riley relationship. :)
orangerfulorangerful on March 17th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
I really want to play Last of Us at some point too. I thought about getting it at bargain price for my PS3 but now I'm thinking it might be a free game when I'm finally ready for the PS4 LOL. I've heard it is really good but very emotional to play.
Renée: Hermione. Fight & Defend.rogueslayer452 on March 17th, 2015 02:58 am (UTC)
It is indeed very emotional. It's more character-driven than anything, and you became really attached and emotionally invested with their stories and what is happening. It's quite amazing.

Oh, and another thing I appreciated about the game was how the creators handled the violence, presenting it as horrific instead of victorious as much shoot-em-up games often are depicted. Characters like our main protagonists have an actual reaction to the deaths and horrific things around them, what they do to survive also deeply affects them personally and it changes them, which you see subtly throughout the whole game. It's quite beautiful and it's one of the things I liked with how the game creators designed and wrote the whole thing.

Edited at 2015-03-17 03:07 am (UTC)
Lauren: Aragorn Blueseowyn on March 17th, 2015 06:33 am (UTC)
I LOVE THE LAST OF US. I don't even game, I just watch the 6 hour playthrough every so often. I love it so much that I even joined a TLOU rp board. There's never been a game or a story quite like it!
Renée: Haven. Audrey Parker.rogueslayer452 on March 17th, 2015 08:19 am (UTC)
Seriously, I love anything that good storytelling and interesting, complex characters and TLOU delivers it on an emotional scale. I'm intrigued with this level of storytelling that is happening in games over the last several years, there are some that do have a cohesive story to tell but very few capture character-driven essence like TLOU does. It's what drew me to the game after hearing so many people praise it and watching several playthroughs of it.

Have you seen the One Night Live event? That was awesome and it made me further appreciate the way these actors not just voiced/did motion capture for these characters but have just fully immersed themselves in these roles and love these characters just as much as we do. :)
Lauren: Physicseowyn on March 17th, 2015 08:50 am (UTC)
No, I've not! I'll have to look it up.
Renée: Inara Serra. Smile.rogueslayer452 on March 17th, 2015 09:04 am (UTC)
Here is the link, in case you want to save it for later to watch. :)
Laureneowyn on March 17th, 2015 12:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll check it out tomorrow!
noctisvnoctisv on March 17th, 2015 07:44 am (UTC)
I guess it is an awesome game! The graphic is indeed splendid, in particoular if you play it on HD tv ;)

Edited at 2015-03-17 07:45 am (UTC)
Renée: Elena Gilbert. Magic.rogueslayer452 on March 18th, 2015 01:59 am (UTC)
Considering how the graphics already look amazing, I can imagine how gorgeous it would be in HD. All that detail, the landscapes. ♥
bart_calendarbart_calendar on March 17th, 2015 07:55 am (UTC)
It's a really good game. What makes it particularly fun is that it has a wide variety of difficulty levels so even if you are a casual gamer like I am you can have fun and beat the game. The additional mini game that comes with the PS4 version is even better than the original.
Christina: htgawm- michaela- song to the sirenfly_meaway on March 17th, 2015 09:26 pm (UTC)
I've seen trailers of this game and it looks so amazing. I'm glad to hear that it's actually good too. I haven't played games in forever, but you honestly make me want to check this one out!
Renéerogueslayer452 on March 18th, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
You really should, it's simply remarkable. No matter whether you're playing the game or just watching someone else play, the way the story unfolds, the characters, it's quite an experience. :)
orangerfulorangerful on February 6th, 2017 03:27 pm (UTC)
I hope you get the play the game someday if only because if you think you are attached to these characters now, wait until you've actually gone through all the drama of helping them escape certain death.

I was upset with Joel at the end of the game but I didn't hate him. I felt like it made sense for his character. And OMG when he stabbed the surgeon with the scalpel, that was NOT expected. I walked up to the doctor, thinking maybe Joel would just wrestle the scalpel away, hold him hostage to get Ellie but NOPE! I knew it was all downhill from there. Killing the Firefly grunts was one thing, they were shooting at Joel too, but that moment I just knew he could not turn back and he was going to save Ellie, no matter what she wanted to do.

I kept yelling at the screen "How about we ask Ellie??!" the whole time him and Marlene were talking but it didn't cross either of their minds. Part of me blames Marlene. I mean, she took Ellie away from him while he was unconscious then tells him she is about to kill her? What did she expect his reaction to be? So, yeah, plenty of blame for all of our flawed characters.

And I agree with you that Ellie knew...deep down. Her face in that final scene...like maybe she overheard things and now she pieced them together and she knows...but she can only be so angry because, again, neither Marlene or Joel gave her a choice. Her anger would be towards both of them.

Looks like the movie is stalled, probably for good, and from what they say in this article it sounds like it might be for the best if they just leave it alone.
Renéerogueslayer452 on February 7th, 2017 09:28 am (UTC)
I'm hoping so, too. I only have an Xbox 360, and there are other games that I would also love to play on the PS3/PS4, if I ever get the chance of getting the console in the near future. *crosses fingers*

I really like that the game displays such moral complexity, where it makes you question what is happening, question the characters and the decisions they've made which in turn making you, the player, question even your own decision making within the game. But ultimately, it makes you understand due to offering different perspectives of the situation. Even if you would've done something differently yourself or don't agree with a particular course of action or decision that took place, you understand where Joel is coming from based on his character throughout the game, you understand where the Fireflies are coming from by taking such drastic measures in saving humanity, and you can understand Ellie's disappointment in both of them, and you understand the harsh conditions of this post-apocalyptic world. It's just, really nicely done where it's believable in the development and the emotional department of the story and the characters, that it isn't just cliched nonsense but just amazing storytelling.

but she can only be so angry because, again, neither Marlene or Joel gave her a choice. Her anger would be towards both of them.

Which is what I believe Part II will be focusing on. While she will most likely be directing her anger towards the Fireflies, who might be a huge part of the plot (just judging from the announcement trailer alone), she will also deal with her hurt and disappointment and anger towards Joel as well. Perhaps not right away, but it will definitely blow up at some point during that game, and it'll hurt but it'll be rightly justified.

Looks like the movie is stalled, probably for good, and from what they say in this article it sounds like it might be for the best if they just leave it alone.

Yeah, I agree. As much as I would've loved to have seen a live action adaptation, the game is already a cinematic masterpiece as it is. There's no reason to mess around with what is already perfection. Plus it would be incredibly hard to match the chemistry that Troy and Ashley have with any other actor out there, the same with the rest of the characters featured. They just are Joel and Ellie, and nobody else would even come close to convey the level of emotional bonding and fantastic acting they do.

Plus, I think that The Last Of Us: Part II is a much better announcement than a live action film, tbqh.