Stories that revolve around the apocalypse- specifically, an apocalypse born of a disease/infection afflicting mass numbers of the human populace- usually carry at least a little gravity. A pervasive theme of these stories is the human condition, particularly the negative aspects of it brought out in the most dire of scenarios, after all, and there is an inherent, pervasive melancholy in modern civilisation as we know it coming to a sudden- and violent- end.
The Last of Us manages to exceed expectations on all fronts, it’s status as a darling of the horror genre and one of gaming’s darkest offerings forever cemented in the minds of critics and fans alike.
In September of 2013, a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus begins to infect humans across the United States, turning them into mindless monsters. Within twenty years, most of civilisation has been completely ravaged, with pockets of humanity surviving in heavily policed quarantine zones, independent settlements, and among nomadic groups. One such survivor is Joel, a smuggler operating within the Boston, Massachusetts quarantine zone. After a brief run-in with the Fireflies, a rebel militia spread throughout the country, Joel finds himself the guardian of a teenage girl named Ellie, who is revealed to be immune to the Cordyceps spores after being infected by them three weeks prior to their meeting. Joel’s mission is to safeguard and transport Ellie to a Firefly group who may be able to develop a cure to the infection using her, crossing the country to do so. What follows is a gripping, engaging, and utterly heartbreaking story as the pair encounter a host of other survivors doing what they must to keep going, battle legions of infected humans, and try to make peace with a number of personal demons along the way.
This is the Remastered version of the game, meaning it comes with a few additions and upgrades. Visually, the game has reworked graphical fidelity, improved draw distance, and a higher frame rate, and the game play has been modified to make use of the various features of the PlayStation Dual Shock 4 controller. The DLC episode Last of Us: Left Behind is also included as standard. As an added bonus for die hard fans, the game also includes versions of the cutscenes with commentary by creative director Neil Druckmann, and Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, the actors who portrayed Joel and Ellie, respectively.