‘The Last of Us’ improves the infected genre

Video games today are revolving around zombies, the undead or infected humans have densely populated the gaming world like a virus. However, Naughty Dog, the developer of game franchises “Uncharted,” “Jak and Daxter, and “Crash Bandicoot,” is working on releasing a fresh look on the genre in “The Last of Us.”

“The Last of Us” is a combination of Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” and their own “Uncharted” series with other elements contained within. In this game, the player controls several characters, although the narrative centers around two characters, Joel and Ellie. Much like “The Walking Dead” has a relationship in the form of Lee and Clementine, there is a starting relationship between Joel, a black market smuggler on the black market, and Ellie, a 14-year-old who has spent her life inside a safe zone free from the infected.

The infected in “The Last of Us” take two forms, both based on a real problem in smaller animals. A certain fungus in nature takes a host, like an ant, and grows inside the brain, growing and destroying the body. This game takes the fungus one step further into humans. At first, when the fungus starts to take over, the brain still has some control and the host can still see, resulting in an infected that can still see and run, also known as runners.

After a while, though, the fungus grows too large and blooms out of the eye sockets. These infected, called clickers, use echolocation to find prey, letting loose loud clicks every few seconds to find their food.

In addition to the infected, Joel and Ellie must also encounter human enemies, such as the military, who attempts to contain the fungus by letting little come in or out of quarantined areas. Outside these areas, other scavengers are a major threat, as they will kill anything for their own survival and to get any supplies that come available.

In order to battle these enemies, Joel will use several weapons, including long-barreled guns like shotguns and rifles and blades. Gameplay is similar to Uncharted, although ammo is scares as expected and a crafting section is added in order to create several items that Joel may need. Because of this, savaging is great in this game, although looking around may cause infected to attack. Health also comes in packs, although applying any health is time consuming and leaves Joel open to attack.

This game also has an attention to detail. Several cities, like Boston and Pittsburg, can be seen in the game, and these cities have the look as nature is reclaiming territory, especially outside quarantine zones. Outside of cities, rivers and streams abound, providing environments that are dynamic and realistic.

As far as multiplayer is concerned, not much is confirmed. The multiplayer exists, although co-op between Joel and Ellie in the main campaign does not. Naughty Dog has only announced that multiplayer would be unique. It has been rumored, though, that the multiplayer will feature team-based gameplay

Although it has been delayed several times, the game will be release on June 14, so players will have enough time now to grab this PlayStation 3 exclusive game.

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