It's really hard to find a game as captivating and enthralling as The Last of Us.

User Rating: 10 | The Last of Us PS3

The Good: Fantastic story, great characters, beautiful graphics, amazing atmosphere, fun and tense gameplay.

The Bad: Stealth gameplay has its tedious moments, occasional glitches and AI hiccups.

Have you ever played a game that just completely sucks you in? You play for hours and you know you have to turn it off to go work or go to school or whatever, but the game says, “No… you must stay…” in a seductive voice. That’s how I feel about this game. The Last of Us is definitely one of the most captivating games I’ve ever played. How is it this way? Well…

Let’s start with the story. The story involves a man named Joel. He has had a troubled past and he’s currently dealing with the death of his daughter. And what do you know, there are zombie outbreaks! Oh wait, I’m sorry, “infected” outbreaks. His mission is to take the fourteen year old girl, Ellie, to the fireflies to try and find some cure for this outbreak. I know, my synopsis is terrible. Shut up. Anyway, the story is very well done. The story lines are very deep and reach a lot of mature points that other games wouldn’t have the guts to go to. It’s very well written and has moments that will leave you very emotional.

What helps the story really exceed are the characters, Joel and Ellie. Joel is a great character. He’s got a broken past, he doesn’t take crap from anybody, and he shows strong development as a character. But Ellie… oh Ellie. She is one of the best characters in a game ever in gaming history ever. Ever. She’s been exposed to all this traumatizing infestation crap and she still manages to make Joel and everyone else they meet in the best mood possible. She also has great growth throughout the game. She is such an awesome character. Oh, and the voice acting is great too. That’s something else I should mention.

The graphics are utterly amazing. They’re some of the best I’ve seen in a videogame. Everything looks fantastic from the character models to the environments to the character movements to the… everything else. Yeah, that’s a thing. I did notice some glitches here and there. None of them were game breaking, but there was one that actually killed me. It was in the winter chapter and I was playing as Ellie in this tavern hiding from some people trying to attack me. I knew I had to advance somewhere, but I didn’t know how. I assumed I had to leave where I came in, but I could not find it. I realized that I came in through the window, so that’s what I tried to do. I went up to a window that was half open. I tried to go through, but I got stuck. Ellie just started floating in-between the base and the shaft of the window. I could not move at all. And then she died. That’s when I realized that that wasn’t what I was supposed to do.

And now we move on to gameplay. Yeah, it’s great. I have never felt this tense while playing a videogame. It does a great job getting you nervous, with the overall atmosphere of the game helping a lot. The game controls flawless, with every button working as precise as can be. The stealth mechanics are fluid and nerve-wracking, though they can get tedious at times. Killing infected is very, very satisfying. It’s so good and so fun.

I also like the upgrade and crafting system. Throughout the game, you can get this pills to increase your physical traits and gears to increase the traits of your weapons. I love this, because it can really help you become much tougher in the game. You also don’t find them easy or as frequent as you would think, which helps keep the difficulty in tact. You can also collect materials and combine them to make items. You can get rags and alcohol to make a health pack and a Molotov cocktail, you can combine a blade and binding to make a shiv, you can combine sugar and an explosive to make a smoke bomb, the possibilities are endless! Well, not endless, but you do have what you need in this game and that’s good.

Overall, this game is fantastic. All negatives within the game (the graphical and friendly AI glitches and the occasional tedious gameplay) are completely outweighed by the good. It has an amazing story, strong characters, beautiful graphics, tense atmosphere, fun gameplay, it’s just great! If you haven’t played The Last of Us, play it! Play it, play it, play it, play it, play it!