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Aside from the story, is 'The Last Of Us' really that special?

zoukka

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Nov 18, 2006
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The easy, on-the-fly crafting system while trying to scavenge and manage your resources puts this game over the top.
I felt the crafting system was very superficial and unnecessary.

To answer the OP, no the game would've not been as popular without the story obviously, but the best thing about TloU was the nice pacing and good combat. A lot of handcrafted encounters with cool enviroments and multiple ways to clear them.
 

Domcorleone

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Feb 4, 2009
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I felt the crafting system was very superficial and unnecessary.

To answer the OP, no the game would've not been as popular without the story obviously, but the best thing about TloU was the nice pacing and good combat. A lot of handcrafted encounters with cool enviroments and multiple ways to clear them.
I think that wholly depends on what difficulty you play the game on. On Hard, the crafting system is essential to survival and also brings with it a shit ton of tension and tough offensive/defensive decisions.
 

Exploratory

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Jan 9, 2014
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One of the best TPS I've played. I enjoyed the gameplay more than I enjoyed Watch Dogs, GTA, and even Max Payne 3. The low ammo count, stealth mechanics, crafting system, etc all come together.

Great multiplayer too.
 

Gbraga

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Aug 6, 2009
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I felt the crafting system was very superficial and unnecessary.

To answer the OP, no the game would've not been as popular without the story obviously, but the best thing about TloU was the nice pacing and good combat. A lot of handcrafted encounters with cool enviroments and multiple ways to clear them.
That's something I hope Uncharted 4 borrows, at least for the supernatural parts. Make the "monsters" more threatening and scary, make them more like Clickers and less like a blue bullet sponge with a gun.
 

Ajax35

Banned
Jun 14, 2014
74
0
0
It is that special, at least for me. Good combat, good stealth, great tension/atmosphere, and great, memorable characters. In some respects, it's what RE4 would be if that game had had solid stealth mechanics. It doesn't get much better than that.

Then again, you said you weren't in the mood to play a third person action/stealth game, and of course that's exactly what TLOU is.
 

driver116

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Nov 1, 2012
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Good visuals (by PS3 standards)
Satisfying shooting mechanics
Snappy controls
Sublime audio fx and music
Interesting and memorable characters
Lengthy yet padding-free SP
Decent well-designed MP
Well balanced stealth-action gameplay
Explorable levels
Good range of weapons
Beautiful locales
Oh, yeah the fucking atmosphere
And yes excellent story

'nuff said
 

Ajax35

Banned
Jun 14, 2014
74
0
0
I felt the crafting system was very superficial and unnecessary.
I don't agree. The fact that the game makes you choose between creating a health kit vs. a molotov (or whatever) adds an extra wrinkle of resource scarcity that wouldn't be there if you were just picking up health kits and molotovs directly instead of alcohol and rags.
 

Danlord

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Nov 23, 2011
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Is it necessary to have kids to know what it's like to be one? Pretty sure we've all been there.
You don't know my life!!

:)

Seriously, The Last of Us does everything it can do in design well enough that there isn't one particular element that's jarring that in some games can be highlighted as a major weak spot, at least that is my opinion.

It doesn't do everything in a unique or revolutionary way but it didn't need to, it just needed to do it right and The Last of Us did. The sound, the character development including the voice-work, the varied design of the environment, crafting, use of sound with the clickers; pick anything and TLoU does it well enough. It might be the subtle things that make it for you, there is so many small touches to the design not just aesthetically that might make it special for you.
 

0ptimusPayne

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Nov 15, 2013
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It's the most well rounded game I've played in forever. The crafting system is simple, yet complex in the decisions you might have to make. Do I make an extra health kit, or do I make Molotov
 

CadetMahoney

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Mar 14, 2009
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The story is definitely the best thing about it. Apart from that I don't feel it would be worth $60 for me.
 

zoukka

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Nov 18, 2006
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I think that wholly depends on what difficulty you play the game on. On Hard, the crafting system is essential to survival and also brings with it a shit ton of tension and tough offensive/defensive decisions.
Yes I played it on hard immediately on first playthrough.
 

marc^o^

Nintendo's Pro Bono PR Firm
Feb 17, 2005
15,982
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This is one of the best games of all times, and by far the best in its genre. Even if you don't luke the genre, the story & music could pull you in.
 

benjammin

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Aug 10, 2011
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Individually the story, gameplay, graphics, sound, etc are all good, but together they form a really tremendous and unique experience. The gameplay isn't anything mind blowing by itself, but when you combine it with the dark, apocalyptic atmosphere, the intense sound effects, and characters that you actually care about, then the game becomes something truly special.

It's interesting that TLOU gets so much crap for being a "generic third person shooter with a great story" when Mario 3d world was on most peoples goty radar. A 3d Mario platformer with less innovation than the 2 galaxy games that came before it, standard Mario music and sound, average graphics, and no story whatsoever, but it's still a goty contender that is somehow not subject to the same criticism that TLOU gets. Seems like a lot of people are more willing to criticize TLOU simply because it's so highly acclaimed.
 

Fancy Clown

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Dec 3, 2013
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It is not at all a story of redemption, and yes it's special outside of the story. It has amazingly tense, fluid, and dynamic combat with a bunch of unique setpieces, it has amazing music, brilliantly detailed and considered art direction with a bunch of memorable locations, excellent pacing so you're never doing one thing for too long, great sound design, etc.

Get it. Chances are you won't be dissapointing. And outside of some genre tropes used as a vehicle for the plot, the story isn't cliche at all as its heavily character driven.
 

jacksepticeye

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Feb 15, 2013
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The gameplay is pretty good but I dont know if its good enough on its own to pull the whole experience. Theres a lot of just wandering around and waiting for story elements to finish.

But when the gameplay clicks it really fucking clicks
 

JudgmentJay

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Apr 22, 2014
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Story = 10/10
Gameplay = 8/10
Overall = 9/10
However I went into it not expecting much, if you go into it with all the hype I think you're going to be a bit underwhelmed. Same thing happened with me and Journey.
This happened to me. The game's presentation is a 10/10 and the story is decent, but the gameplay really turned me off. It seemed like generic stealth with bad AI to me. I put about 6 hours into the game before quitting. It's weird though... even though I stopped playing and was annoyed with myself that I bought into the hype, I find myself thinking about the game from time to time. I'm probably going to give it another shot on the PS4... this time with realistic expectations.
 

Tekku

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Feb 12, 2013
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The gameplay works best in multiplayer with real players that are trying to outsmart you. It's a very engaging and challenging cat-and-mouse type of game with a good penalty system in place that forces you to play your best all of the time. Singleplayer wants to create this feeling as well, but the tension is somewhat lost with no real death penalties, faltering AI and so on. Ellie also behaves really strange from time to time which takes you out of the experience.

But it's a great game with a nice mix of stealth and action. The story and writing is also good but it didn't blow my mind really. If you've seen a post-apocalyptic movie before you've experienced everything with this story already.
 

PaulloDEC

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Sep 6, 2012
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People need to stop trying to split games into bits. Story can elevate gameplay. Gameplay can elevate story. The thing is designed to be viewed as one product, not a bunch of disparate pieces.

The Last of Us is worth your time.
 

Gbraga

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Aug 6, 2009
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People need to stop trying to split games into bits. Story can elevate gameplay. Gameplay can elevate story. The thing is designed to be viewed as one product, not a bunch of disparate pieces.

The Last of Us is worth your time.
I agree it's designed to be viewed as one product, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with his question, he said he didn't care about the story and wanted to know if it's still worth playing.

They wouldn't make a new game + option and unlockable difficulties if they weren't also designing the game to stand on its own, without the story. Replay value is important, and that is pretty much defined by "how good it is once you don't care about the story anymore"
 

Winterfang

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Oct 21, 2012
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Is a zombie apocalypse story, it's being done in all sorts of ways. Is nothing new or special, that doesn't mean is a bad story.

'Only on XBox' eh? I miss that little guy and his sign.

"There's nothing special about a game I've heard about!"
I'm going by reviews and fan reactions, the game doesn't do anything new but is still greater than the sum of it's parts. Would you rather have me lie and say I played the game?
 

Frodo

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Nov 6, 2012
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While the gameplay is serviceable, I've found The Last of Us to be too repetitive and a little bit too long for its own good. Specially the "grab a plank", "find a wood pallet" repeating every now and then. And while melee combat felt good, I wasn't the biggest fan of shooting overall, which kind of made combat feel more like a chore than something I was supposed to enjoy as the game progressed. By the last forth of the game I changed the difficulty to Easy and just ran to avoid combat as much as I could. I never felt there was any incentive to use stealth instead of engaging in combat which was kind of a turn off for me. Broken AI in some points, or things like throwing a Molotov in a group of clickers and only one getting damage from it, also didn't help.

I like the characters, or better put, I like Ellie and Tess, and that was enough for me to play the game until the end and I have no regrets. But it is not a game I'd be looking forward to replay. Definitely, in my opinion, Story and characters are the biggest things going for TLoU. Gameplay overall is an improvement over Uncharted series, but a few bugs here and there, inconsistent AI and being too repetitive, in my opinion, detract from what could have been a much more enjoyable and entertaining experience. It's still a good game, and deserves to be played or experienced in some form. Mainly because Naughty Dog is miles ahead of everyone else when it comes to narrative in video games.
 

Y2Kev

TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
Jul 6, 2005
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I can appreciate that the story might be this wonderful, transcendent Citizen Kane of videogames but I'm not particularly interested in yet another post-apocalyptic journey of growth and redemption.
I don't think you're really starting off on a great foot here. This is not an accurate description of the themes in The Last of Us.

It's not a rhetorical question!
Kinda seems like it.
 

Salex_

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Sep 13, 2013
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Op I'm getting game for multiplayer. I have no interest in story but need a good multiplayer game.
Same here. I mainly play fighting games and a few other multiplayer games at times, so I'll get this to fill my shooter itch.

This brings me to my question.

I hear a lot of praise for everything about the single player and detailed explanations on why it's good. I hear some comments about the gameplay being bad or poor but I rarely see someone explain why it's bad/poor. I see a lot of praise for the multiplayer and explanations on why it's good.

How can the multiplayer be good if the gameplay is bad/poor and why can't people who have this opinion on the gameplay explain themselves?

The common "explanation" I see is that it's not revolution. A lot of great games aren't revolution in the gameplay department (it makes sense when there's over 20+ years of 2D and 3D gameplay mechanics and genres built up). I don't see anyone complaining about this in Nintendo threads.
Note: Most of Nintendo games are purely gameplay driven so I mentioned them.
 

GQman2121

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Apr 10, 2007
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It's great, it's just not that incredibly great.
9/10 game for me...
Mother fucking videogames. The only medium where something like this isn't considering a strange statement.

I think people who are on the fence or need convincing would have really benefited from playing the games demo. Why it's not available for download after all this time--I don't know.
 

GribbleGrunger

Dreams in Digital
Oct 12, 2012
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Broken AI in some points, or things like throwing a Molotov in a group of clickers and only one getting damage from it, also didn't help.
I don't believe you. I've played it seven times and clickers are ALWAYS attracted to another clicker on fire, so how did you manage to throw a Molotov at a group of clickers and not burn them all?
 

Gbraga

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Aug 6, 2009
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While the gameplay is serviceable, I've found The Last of Us to be too repetitive and a little bit too long for its own good. Specially the "grab a plank", "find a wood pallet" repeating every now and then. And while melee combat felt good, I wasn't the biggest fan of shooting overall, which kind of made combat feel more like a chore than something I was supposed to enjoy as the game progressed. By the last forth of the game I changed the difficulty to Easy and just ran to avoid combat as much as I could. I never felt there was any incentive to use stealth instead of engaging in combat which was kind of a turn off for me. Broken AI in some points, or things like throwing a Molotov in a group of clickers and only one getting damage from it, also didn't help.

I like the characters, or better put, I like Ellie and Tess, and that was enough for me to play the game until the end and I have no regrets. But it is not a game I'd be looking forward to replay. Definitely, in my opinion, Story and characters are the biggest things going for TLoU. Gameplay overall is an improvement over Uncharted series, but a few bugs here and there, inconsistent AI and being too repetitive, in my opinion, detract from what could have been a much more enjoyable and entertaining experience. It's still a good game, and deserves to be played or experienced in some form. Mainly because Naughty Dog is miles ahead of everyone else when it comes to narrative in video games.
I think you switching to easy hurt your experience even more. Saving ammo is incentive enough to use stealth on hard. There are encounters where you don't have a choice, you start it with the enemy aware of you, and you'll need your ammo there.
 

batbeg

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Dec 2, 2007
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How popular is the opinion that the story is pretty mediocre? I only ask because I share that sentiment. The characters were awesome, the game was fun, everything was super polished setpiece action drama and everything, but I didn't finish the game and rave about the story. It's a pretty basic story with superb dialogue and characters.
 

Shabad

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Feb 13, 2014
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Tbh, the story isn't that special really... What is amazing is the narration, but the events themself are nothing mindblowing.

Anyway, besides that, I think what really stands out in this game, is the level design. It's beautiful, amazingly detailed, ... every room tells a story. And yet, it gives plenty of room forn semi-open gameplay, many possibilities to tackle most of the situation.
 

Frodo

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Nov 6, 2012
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I don't believe you. I've played it seven times and clickers are ALWAYS attracted to another clicker on fire, so how did you manage to throw a Molotov at a group of clickers and not burn them all?
They were just strolling over the fire and not being burnt by it. Happened a few times. Also, why would I lie about that?

I think you switching to easy hurt your experience even more. Saving ammo is incentive enough to use stealth on hard. There are encounters where you don't have a choice, you start it with the enemy aware of you, and you'll need your ammo there.
I reckon that might be true. But at that point I wasn't really enjoying the gameplay and making it harder didn't feel like an option.
 

PaulloDEC

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Sep 6, 2012
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I agree it's designed to be viewed as one product, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with his question, he said he didn't care about the story and wanted to know if it's still worth playing.
It's kind of a hard question to answer though, no? I enjoyed the gameplay in TLOU quite a lot, but would I have enjoyed it as much had the story not been there to lead me through? Probably not. Likewise, had the game been a passive series of cutscenes with no interaction to be had, would the story have been as affecting? Again, unlikely.

Each element in a game like TLOU enriches the next. You can ask if it'd be worth playing without X or Y, but it isn't really that simple. The parts only work properly in concert with one another.

They wouldn't make a new game + option and unlockable difficulties if they weren't also designing the game to stand on its own, without the story. Replay value is important, and that is pretty much defined by "how good it is once you don't care about the story anymore"
I'm not so sure you're supposed to disregard the story after your first time through. Do people stop caring about a story after the first time they've seen it?
 

GribbleGrunger

Dreams in Digital
Oct 12, 2012
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They were just strolling over the fire and not being burnt by it. Happened a few times. Also, why would I lie about that?
I don't know why you'd lie about it but you are. Either that or your memory is playing tricks on you. For instance, your response shows quite clearly that you DIDN'T throw a Molotov at a 'group' of clickers because you say they strolled through the fire. It depends on how strong the fire is for that to happen.
 

Fancy Clown

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Dec 3, 2013
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How popular is the opinion that the story is pretty mediocre? I only ask because I share that sentiment. The characters were awesome, the game was fun, everything was super polished setpiece action drama and everything, but I didn't finish the game and rave about the story. It's a pretty basic story with superb dialogue and characters.
The story IS the characters. It's a character driven narrative. The plot is simply a loose vehicle to serve the character dynamics, which is where all the interesting, and surprising, things happen.
 

quickwhips

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Jan 26, 2009
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Same here. I mainly play fighting games and a few other multiplayer games at times, so I'll get this to fill my shooter itch.

This brings me to my question.

I hear a lot of praise for everything about the single player and detailed explanations on why it's good. I hear some comments about the gameplay being bad or poor but I rarely see someone explain why it's bad/poor. I see a lot of praise for the multiplayer and explanations on why it's good.

How can the multiplayer be good if the gameplay is bad/poor and why can't people who have this opinion on the gameplay explain themselves?

The common "explanation" I see is that it's not revolution. A lot of great games aren't revolution in the gameplay department (it makes sense when there's over 20+ years of 2D and 3D gameplay mechanics and genres built up). I don't see anyone complaining about this in Nintendo threads.
Note: Most of Nintendo games are purely gameplay driven so I mentioned them.
This worries me a bit also. I feel like Sony fans only play single player and hardly play multiplayer while most xbox fans play multiplayer and very little singleplayer. The interface from last gen show what the focus was on also on for each console in my opinion. But I've watched alot of Last of Us videos and I'm pretty excited for multiplayer.
 

GribbleGrunger

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The story IS the characters. It's a character driven narrative. The plot is simply a loose vehicle to serve the character dynamics, which is where all the interesting, and surprising, things happen.
You're wasting your time. Some people think that the Hurt Locker is about bomb disposal and nothing you say will change that.
 

Gbraga

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It's kind of a hard question to answer though, no? I enjoyed the gameplay in TLOU quite a lot, but would I have enjoyed it as much had the story not been there to lead me through? Probably not. Likewise, had the game been a passive series of cutscenes with no interaction to be had, would the story have been as affecting? Again, unlikely.

Each element in a game like TLOU enriches the next. You can ask if it'd be worth playing without X or Y, but it isn't really that simple. The parts only work properly in concert with one another.
I don't think there's anything wrong with your opinion, but there's nothing wrong with his question either, so your answer would be no.

I think that, even if you do skip every cutscene on your first playthrough, it's a really good game.

I'm not so sure you're supposed to disregard the story after your first time through. Do people stop caring about a story after the first time they've seen it?
Maybe not stop caring, but it's definitely not enough to make me go through it all again, gameplay becomes even more important. And even though I never skipped a cutscene in this game, even on repeated playthroughs, I'm very glad they're giving the option.

I won't skip anything again on my first PS4 playthrough, especially for the devs commentary, but after that, if I still wanna play the single player, I think I'm gonna start skipping everything. I'm also glad the "forced slow walking" isn't actually forced, and you can make it go a bit faster by holding the sprint button.

Naughty Dog knows what's up.
 

Frodo

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Nov 6, 2012
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I don't know why you'd lie about it but you are. Either that or your memory is playing tricks on you. For instance, your response shows quite clearly that you DIDN'T throw a Molotov at a 'group' of clickers because you say they strolled through the fire. It depends on how strong the fire is for that to happen.
Steps: throw a bottle or a brick to call their attention, as they follow the sound throw a Molotov. One clicker catches on fire and dies, other(s) don't get affected. It happened to me and it was frustrating to say the least. Just because you didn't run through the same bug doesn't mean it couldn't have happened to anyone else. As we know there are plenty of bugs in TLoU.
 

sploatee

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Sep 18, 2013
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Great point and good to see you haven't resorted to dismissive name calling in place of a legitimate retort. No surprise there, given the incisive nature of your OP.
I know you're trying to rile me, but I'm just baffled. I was being open with my question. Yes there are gameplay aspects that don't appeal to me right now, but I wanted to listen to how others found them to see if they made it transcendent. Anyway, have a nice day. :)


The problem with a thread like this is that I can go on to explain in full detail why I think it is great and it would be ignored in favor of a statement like "The gameplay is mediocre at best". OP and others are likely to latch on to a statement or two that confirms their preconceived notions.

The game won 200 GOTY awards, has had countless praise on this board and others. Many going as far as to call it Game of the Generation, me included. This type of thread has been made countless times already. If you are not convinced up to this point, I don't see how this thread is going to change anything.
I don't have any preconceived notions! That's why I asked! I wanted to hear what others thought. Thanks for sharing.

Reading the OP, it sounds like you have no interest in playing the game at all. And the title question is silly anyway, since what makes it great is the entire combination of its elements. It be like asking "besides Gordon Willis cinematography, was The Godfather really that special?" "Besides its lead performances, was Sunset Blvd really that special?"
I don't like gangster films. Godfather transcended genre. Perhaps that was what I was curious about here.