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Naughty Dog
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Naughty Dog has done it again. This developer has managed to establish itself as the elite game maker of the generation, and they’ve done it with two brand new IPs. Uncharted is arguably the greatest trio of games ever seen and somehow, the team has managed to deliver another masterful new title. The Last Of Us challenges and questions, it presents us with an intoxicating atmosphere and compelling characters, and provides us with realistic gameplay that forces us to remain vigilant at all times. Overall, it’s a truly mind-boggling achievement on all fronts.

There’s no two ways about it: You won’t find a better example of graphical superiority. Prior to the release of this game, I’d say Uncharted 3 and RAGE were probably the most visually accomplished games of the generation, but Naughty Dog’s latest takes another step. The detailing of each character is exquisite, as are the amazing facial expressions. The environment is meticulously designed and strangely beautiful in an epic, post-apocalyptic way. Every movement is accompanied by an authentic animation that is a constant pleasure to behold, and the variety of locales has us constantly gazing around in awe.

The sound is just as incredible due to some of the best acting interactive entertainment has ever seen. The actors have the benefit of fantastic writing and dialogue (which is often lacking in many games), and all the major characters are wonderfully voiced. They’re so believable and likable that it’s just plain scary. The soundtrack is perfectly fitting for the theme and the effects are spot-on. The only reason it falls shy of a 10 is because the balancing isn’t flawless. There are times when one voice will cut into another, which is a little disconcerting. But other than that, with top-tier acting talent, a fantastic score and unbelievable ambient effects, the audio in TLoU is of the absolute highest quality.

In short, as far as technical achievement is concerned, few games can rival The Last Of Us . In fact, I really can’t think of any. The combination of intense and ridiculously well-detailed visuals and highly immersive sound makes for an unparalleled experience. However, we all sort of expect this, right? In terms of technical greatness and general solidarity (no such thing as hitches and glitches in a Naughty Dog game), is there anything that can really compare? We anticipated nothing less here, correct? It’s the gameplay and narrative that is by far the most interesting aspect of this analysis.

One could actually make the argument that TLoU is a survival/horror title, because it may indeed have more in common with that niche genre than with standard action/adventure games. That being said, I believe it’s a heady mix of both categories of gaming, which results in a singular experience. You really need to make every shot count and running headlong into a group of enemies is never a good idea. Stealth and strategy are key elements. Everything you do, you do it to survive. You scrounge for useful supplies, you stay low and keep quiet when necessary, and you carefully evaluate each situation before proceeding.