quarta-feira, 10 de julho de 2013

Last of us

Recently I’ve finished the fu**ing awesome LAST OF US (Naughty Dog, 2013) for Playstation 3. LAST OF US is a survival horror action-adventure game where the player takes control of Joel, a character trekking across a post-apocalyptic United States in 2033, in order to escort the young Ellie to a friendly resistance group, the Fireflies.

During the long path to the Fireflies base, the characters must defend themselves against zombies contaminated by fungus spores, bandits, soldiers and a great sort of other enemies. Briefly that’s the main idea of the game.

Why the game is awesome in my opinion as a gamer and game designer? Check some points below:

1) The game balances action, tension and emotion in a unique way. Sometimes you need to solve a little puzzle, sometimes you need to run like hell, and sometimes you have little ammo and lots of zombies around you. LAST OF US puts the player in a kind of ‘wave’ of content and you stay attached to the narrative of the game (a great feature to comment, by the way).

2) The narrative is a good mix between gameplay and cinematography action. It’s not an open world game but the player can experience moments of free action around the scenarios without loosing focus on the main mission. As Bateman (2007, p.107) says “many games now combine open and closed storytelling. They offer the player a chance to play a series of defined story missions alongside the chance to explore a world in whatever order that player wants”.

3) Good characters. As Dille and Platten remind us (2007, p.65-67) there are major types of characters that can exist within a game: the main hero (in that case Joel), the allies (the girl Ellie and others), neutral characters (the background characters), and the enemies (LAST OF US doesn’t have final stage bosses, only packs of enemies all the time). The characters, even the evil ones, are well structured and create empathy with the player.

4) A good end. Some people loved and some people hated the end of the game. I’m on the first group. I don’t want to give out any spoilers but the end is awesome in my opinion. It works with the personality of the hero (Joel) in a rare way we can see in modern games.

It’s immersive. It’s violent. It’s an epic product for a videogame platform. Prepare to be surprised. Make every bullet of your ammo count in this game, and prepare yourself for new ways we will massively have in the new generation of consoles.

Check the game trailer below:


BATEMAN, Chris (editor). Game Writing: narrative skills for videogames. Boston: Thomson, 2007.

DILLE, Flint; PLATTEN, John Zuur. The ultimate guide to video game writing and design. New York: Skip Press, 2007

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