Monday, 22 July 2013

Maybe the Last but not the best

I recently finished The Last of Us, and it was good, however I didn't think it was anywhere near as good as the internet has made out. I have been pondering this disconnect between what I think and what others do, and I think I have sussed it. The Last of Us is, gameplay wise,  very solid, however it doesn't actually innovate very much. In fact the only really original idea is the way clickers use sound not sight to find you.

Don't get me wrong the production values on the game are astonishing,  it looks and sounds amazing. However I could never quite shake the feeling that I was playing a movie, and the options to deviate from the path laid out by the developers are fairly limited. A fact that the gameplay is restricted by only providing the player with limited options at any given time, due to lack of resources such as ammo or crafting materials.

So I have emotional story forced upon me with game mechanics that do absolutely nothing to engender the connection that the game seems to desperately want me to have. This issue is further compounded by the fact that the game makes it quite clear from the off that the character I am playing is a ruthless bastard fairly adapt and comfortable with killing people.  And while his heart seemingly softens,  this softening is negated by the fact that he kills a lot of people, not just infected.

This is not just me being incapable of having feels, because I got really attached to the character's in The Walking Dead game.  A game which also starts with a character with a dubious past,  but that game had mechanics that helped build relationships with the characters (them not murdering everybody also really helped). I am very sorry to those that loved The Last of Us,  but I just don't quite get it. I think the basic point I am struggling to make is that the game mechanics should be supported by the story,  not the other way round.  And for me The Last of Us' mechanics didn't support the end goal of the story.  There was nothing wrong with the mechanics, and they produced a very good game. However I sure didn't get weepy at the end over the tail of the murdering twosome.

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