The Last Of Us (Series)

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Posted: 7 months ago, last updated 3 weeks ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a girl, Ellie, about the same age his daughter was, he is resolute that he won’t be the father figure she clearly needs. Equally, the girl is independent, angry and scared, and won’t admit her need for his care. As the game proceeds through its 18-or-so hours of shooting, exploration and city traversal, you see this dysfunction soften both ways as they slowly gain deep understanding, appreciation and care of each other.

Travelling, shooting and surviving as Joel with Ellie means their relationship builds haphazardly, between and during the action. Even without direct control, you step into the shoes of a father’s heartbreak and feel responsible for its resolution.
  • The Last of Us is on PlayStation 3
  • The Last of Us Remastered is on PlayStation 4
  • The Last of Us Left Behind is paid additional content.
  • The Last of Us Part II is on PlayStation 4.

DetailsDetails

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting.

 

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 12 hours and 16 hours to complete.
 
Players: This is a single player game. It’s possible to get through the game in 12 hours, but taking your time with the narrative and investigating every area will need upwards of 30 hours. The Left Behind additional content adds around 6 hours of further gameplay and substantially fleshes out Ellie's back story and a section in the game where she is looking after Joel.

CostsCosts

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.

The Last of Us Left Behind is a paid expansion for the first game, and adds an important part of the story. There are also packs and bundles, which include multiplayer maps as well as the harder "grounded" mode for the single-player game.

This game is free with PlayStation Now.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 18 with violence and bad language. The examiners report expands this rating with the following: Violence ranges from moderate to strong, featuring decapitation, dismemberment and torture. Frequent scenes of blood and gore. Strong language such as ‘*!@?*’ is used frequently.

ESRB rated this MATURE with Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol.

In addition to the official ratings, it's worth noting there is a scene that can be interpreted as attempted rape. It also includes a scene where a young person appears to kill himself with a gun.

AccessibilityAccessibility

While playing you don't get subtitles for what other characters are saying unless you are close to them. The "Listen Mode" visually highlights any enemies in the vicinity you can hear.

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Customise Difficulty: Customise different aspects of the game.

Assistance

Assistance When Stuck: The game notices if you get stuck and provides assistance, such as skipping levels, hints or tutorials.

Assistance With Controls: You can get the game to assist aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc.

Assistance With Direction: Indication of where to go next with arrows, cookie trail and the like.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required.

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

All Dialogue is Voiced: All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Remap Controls

You can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Select Preset Controller Mappings: Select preset button layouts.

Swap Sticks: Swap the sticks over.

Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.

Informative Vibration: Controller vibration indicates aspects of the game, echoing visual and audio cues.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events.

Motion sickness friendly: Option to reduce motion sickness (motion blur, depth of field, field of vision).

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Customise Audio Levels: Control volume levels of specific events and elements in the game.

Audio Events

Visual Cues for Audio Events: Text or other visual indicators of audio events.

Visual Depiction of Directional Audio: Indication on screen with arrows, icons, located colour splashes and the like, to show where directional audio for damage, footsteps, environmental or way-finding sounds are coming from.

System Settings

PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping)... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @uncannyvivek


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Similar Games

The following games are like The Last Of Us. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to The Last Of Us for younger age ratings.

The Last Of Us is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to The Last Of Us in the following lists:

Walk in Someone Else's Shoes

While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. Whether this is during the rounds of a puzzle game amidst a zombie outbreak or as we race cars around a circuit, they can offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other and to the games people play.
In contrast to films or books, characters and relationships in video games need to be discovered by the player. Some of my favourite relational moments in games happen amidst other action. Often these other actions – whether shooting, puzzle-solving, or fetching and carrying – serve to underline the difficult, awkward and snatched nature of interpersonal interactions.
 

Big Budget Popular Games

These games are big, brash and popular. They have big budgets which means the visual and interactive quality is particularly high. They also have strong and wide ranging player communities.
 

Free With PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now is a subscription service that provides hundreds of PS2, PS3 and PS4 games to play on demand. The games are streamed to your PS4, or Windows PC like a Netflix film but with interactions. Because of this you need a fast internet connection of about 5Mbps. Additionally, PlayStation Now also lets you download some PlayStation 4 games to play locally on your system without streaming.
  • PlayStation Now costs £8.99/month
PlayStation Plus is the other subscription service and is required for most online games. It also offers discounted and a two free games each month. It also grants discounts on games, add-ons and pre-orders. PlayStation Plus also enables you to backup your progress to the cloud.
  • PlayStation Plus costs £6.99/month
With PlayStation Plus you can also share your games in more ways with friends and family:
  • Screen Share – Let's someone in another place watch your game on their PlayStation. PlayStation Plus is not required for either party
  • Pass the Controller – Let's someone in another place take turns on a game you own, without owning the game themselves. PlayStation Plus is required for the host, but not for the guest
  • Playing Together – Let's you play local co-op or split screen games with someone in another place who has a PlayStation. PlayStation Plus is required for both players

 

Attempt The Impossible

How hard a game is considered to be depends on who is playing it. A three-year-old tackling Zelda will struggle. But equally a new-to-games-parents will find Mutant Mudds quickly gets beyond them. The games in this list are known for being difficult. They wear the difficulty as a badge of honour. "None shall pass," except this with the will, time and belligerence to get good enough at this particular activity to beat the high bar the game sets.

This might be grappling with the flying mechanics in Rocket League, getting endlessly lost trying to find the next guardian in Shadow of the Collosus or coming up with the right tactic to get enough money for the ship you need in Elite. Of course, some of these games can be made easier, but to play them at their best is to ramp up the difficulty to max (crushing on The Last Of Us for example) and let them give you all they've got.
 

Interpret Deeper Meaning

Image 159The games in this list have been the subject of a series of articles I have written about video games and faith. Firstly, from 2013-2015 for ThirdWay magazine, and more recently for Youth and Children's Work (YCW) magazine.

These are two publications for Christian audiences, that have invited me to shed light on what a range of video games might mean for those communities. I aim to make connections with faith, the bible and the experience of these video games. This is one way to interpret them which of course invites further and possibly counter interpretations from other perspectives.

YCW articles:
Firewatch | Everything | Bury Me My Love | Abzu | Wilmot's Warehouse

Thirdway Articles:
Proteus | Joust | Uncharted 3 | Alan Wake | This War of Mine | Journey | Limbo | Spaceteam | A Dark Room | Altos Adventure | A Year Walk | Bioshock Infinite | The Last of Us | Disney Infinity | Everybody's Gone to the Rapture | That Dragon Cancer | Spec Ops The Line | Papo and Yo
 

Space For Grief

Games include interactions, narratives and characters dealing with all aspects of life (and death). This means that some care is necessary if players are sensitive to losing significant people. But also, games can provide a helpful space in which to process, consider and understand death and loss.

Image 162 I've come up with some games that explore this topic, along with help and suggestions from Gaming The Mind (Twitter), an organisation of UK-based mental health professionals who aim to promote positive mental health within the gaming community. By focusing on the intersection between gaming and mental health, they want to raise awareness of mental health challenges and reduce the stigma surrounding these issues.

"We express grief in different ways depending on our age," they said. "To help children cope with loss, it is important that they receive honest explanations about death, appropriate to their level of understanding. With these games, players may find valuable space in which to acknowledge grief as a completely normal reaction to bereavement."

"The games we have selected don't necessarily offer an ideal way to cope with death but tackle the topic of death openly and with a positive attitude. They can help show the player that they are not alone in what they are going through. Playing these games with young people, and answering questions they might have along the way, can be a useful starting point for important conversations about grief."
 

Tell White Lies

Video games often place you in positions of power, saving the world, righting the wrongs and bringing justice. Of course, real life isn't neat and tidy like that. There are many games where you are challenged to make difficult decisions and some of those put you in situations without power, where the kindest thing to do is to lie.

Whether it's not telling Ellie the truth about her unique response to the infection so she can have a "normal" life in The Last Of Us, lying about who's drugs they are to save a friend in Life Is Strange, deciding not to be honest with friends to save their feelings and avoid confrontation in Oxenfree or rearranging an old man's memory so he thinks he's made it to his dream in To The Moon, telling lies is sometimes the right thing to do.

The games in this list challenge our neat conceptions of right and wrong. Playing them, we face the messiness of real-world justice and consider the power of withholding the truth. We might not always agree with the reasons or ethics, but we have a chance to revisit our values as we play.
 
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