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Author Topic: The Last of Us  (Read 5447 times)

Next Gen Cowboy

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The Last of Us
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:50:51 am »
So yeah, the game deserves all the accolades it's getting. I haven't beaten it yet, but there was a point a moment ago where I turned the game off, and I was physically trembling. Also Troy Baker has pretty much solidified himself as one of the greatest English voice actors of our generation.

Edit: I know that it goes without saying usually, but this case needs special emphasis, avoid spoilers at all cost please.
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Talbain

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2013, 08:34:36 am »
I've heard that it's the best movie-game ever made, but that gameplay-wise it's pretty standard.  Still, I dunno if it's worthwhile to try and make games more like movies, but The Last of Us proves that it can be done well, at the very least.

Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2013, 10:43:27 am »
I've heard that it's the best movie-game ever made, but that gameplay-wise it's pretty standard.  Still, I dunno if it's worthwhile to try and make games more like movies, but The Last of Us proves that it can be done well, at the very least.

You pretty much summed my feelings (it's a movie game no doubt about it). I personally don't want to see a shift to more, and more movie games, but when one comes along as good as this, then I can be happy about it.

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Celice

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2013, 08:31:52 pm »
I've heard that it's the best movie-game ever made, but that gameplay-wise it's pretty standard.  Still, I dunno if it's worthwhile to try and make games more like movies, but The Last of Us proves that it can be done well, at the very least.
I definitely feel the same way. I'm watching a housemate play through, and honestly, it's a fun game, but it's not one of the best, nor is it really, I think, a good indication of what a "great" game would be. It just... is average, really. It has great execution, but you know what? I've seen this game before. I've played it before. It's well done. But that's about all it has going for it, personally.

I guess it's that the game is really just a movie--the player's agency in the game is really just there to press play and pause when requested.

Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2013, 09:13:33 pm »
I guess it's that the game is really just a movie--the player's agency in the game is really just there to press play and pause when requested.

It's slightly more than that, because you (the player) have control over the character. It may be different watching it than actually playing it, but it's just as much the player's struggle for survival as it is the player character's. I don't think that it's a perfect game, but it's mechanically sound, functional, or above average, in all areas. It's the presentation, and experience that takes it to another level. How many times have we here complained that writing in games suck? How many times have I bitched and moaned about player characters not being older people with real problems, worries, and fears?

On one hand it's safe in much of what it does (every piece borrowed from Uncharted), but on the other hand it really is outside what's considered normal, particularly in a AAA game. I personally also think that presentation does matter, and it certainly has that. The dialogue, and voice acting, the overall presentation are what I truly think makes the game special.

And with all that said... A middle-aged main character portrayed in this manner makes me happy beyond belief!   ;D

Edit: I guess my statements sound contradictory, but it really is a movie game, that's also more than that. Underneath it all is actual solid gameplay, the sneaking can get a little frustrating, and I thought it sometimes just broke, until I realized that it was me stepping on glass, or dropping an empty magazine that was alerting enemies.

Ultimately I think that video games as a whole are better for having a game like this. But I also don't want every game to be like this. Just like I don't want every movie to be The Professional, or every book to be The Road.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 09:29:16 pm by Next gen Cowboy »
"Remember when we were in Japan? You said you were my gun, if you're the gun then that means I'm the bullet."

"All my life I've been waiting for the gunpowder to go off, you know what you need to ignite gunpowder? You need a gun."

Talbain

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 08:34:26 am »
Yeah, I didn't really mean to imply that the gameplay was bad or boring, just that it's not going to evolve standards like Dark Souls or FTL or Saint's Row III.

BRPXQZME

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2013, 04:29:48 pm »
we are in a horrible and deadly danger

Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2013, 04:48:31 pm »
Thanks for that link, that's awesome.
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Panzer88

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2013, 06:35:43 am »
legitimate question:

how does Saint's Row III evolve standards?

(promise I'm not being sarcastic or a smart ass, just curious)
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KaioShin

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2013, 07:31:01 am »
legitimate question:

how does Saint's Row III evolve standards?

(promise I'm not being sarcastic or a smart ass, just curious)

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Talbain

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2013, 05:29:16 am »
legitimate question:

how does Saint's Row III evolve standards?

(promise I'm not being sarcastic or a smart ass, just curious)
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Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2013, 08:41:37 am »
I'd argue that it may actually evolve standards. The game's sold over 3.5 million copies so far, so people are playing it, and these same people are hopefully not going to be content with the stock characters, and lack of actual meaningful growth that is so prevalent in video games. At least I hope they won't be after this, and if it does mark a turning point then it will have a far greater impact than the Souls series, or SRIII (which really was a step backwards in my opinion).

The barn from the art dump posted; you see it for maybe 10 seconds during gameplay, it's not about the budget, it's just the simple fact that so much effort went into the minor details, and not just visually. I'm also very happy that there's no stick to cover button, getting behind objects, and staying out of sight is seamless which is very handy, because the game can be pretty damned hard. 

In terms of gameplay, as I said I think it's solid, or above average in every area, but you're correct to say that it's not groundbreaking at all. Also I'm not really a fan of the online multiplayer.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 09:19:33 am by Next gen Cowboy »
"Remember when we were in Japan? You said you were my gun, if you're the gun then that means I'm the bullet."

"All my life I've been waiting for the gunpowder to go off, you know what you need to ignite gunpowder? You need a gun."

Talbain

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2013, 07:34:26 am »
Your argument is that it's evolving standards because a lot of money was poured into it, people are playing it and its production values are high?  I hate to say it, but Bioshock Infinite also meets this definition... a lot of games do, in fact.  Games meeting these definitions don't do anything that's even vaguely new; they aren't pushing boundaries, they're pushing product.

The Last of Us is Chrono Trigger for third-person action games.  It is an immaculately polished, well-grounded videogame.  But simply being polished doesn't mean you're pushing anything forward.  The Avengers is probably the most polished superhero action movie.  It's still just a superhero action movie.  It may be one of the best at what it does but it's not saying anything deep or profound; it's not attempting to push at the walls.  It's simply trying to fill the room which decades of movies past have built before it.  The same is true of The Last of Us and Chrono Trigger.

Gideon Zhi

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2013, 08:48:04 am »
The Last of Us is Chrono Trigger for third-person action games.  It is an immaculately polished, well-grounded videogame.  But simply being polished doesn't mean you're pushing anything forward.  The Avengers is probably the most polished superhero action movie.  It's still just a superhero action movie.  It may be one of the best at what it does but it's not saying anything deep or profound; it's not attempting to push at the walls.  It's simply trying to fill the room which decades of movies past have built before it.  The same is true of The Last of Us and Chrono Trigger.

Now I haven't played The Last of Us so take this with a grain of salt, but a lot of what I've been hearing about it (in this thread, even!) is that as a game it's really only so-so; as a cinematic experience though it's reportedly absolutely top-notch. As such I would hesitate to draw a comparison to Chrono Trigger, which itself took quite a lot of standard RPG ideas and expanded upon them - from removing transitions to battle sequences, the addition of combo moves, having both a fixed and a changeable party leader throughout the story, the multiple endings, the introduction of New Game +, fluid character movement not locked to a tile grid, time travel tropes/sidequests about altering the past to affect change in the future - Chrono Trigger did an awful a lot of innovative gameplay things for its time. Gameplay in The Last of Us, on the other hand, is reportedly about twitchy stealth, shooting zombies, and pushing crates/ladders around; it's the cinematic and plot impact that people are taking away from the experience. As such I'd hesitate to draw a real comparison between the two. "Evolved and expanded upon numerous genre expectations" and "told a better story than its ilk" are two very different things, no matter how good the storytelling might have been.

Talbain

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2013, 05:22:51 pm »
Now I haven't played The Last of Us so take this with a grain of salt, but a lot of what I've been hearing about it (in this thread, even!) is that as a game it's really only so-so; as a cinematic experience though it's reportedly absolutely top-notch. As such I would hesitate to draw a comparison to Chrono Trigger, which itself took quite a lot of standard RPG ideas and expanded upon them - from removing transitions to battle sequences, the addition of combo moves, having both a fixed and a changeable party leader throughout the story, the multiple endings, the introduction of New Game +, fluid character movement not locked to a tile grid, time travel tropes/sidequests about altering the past to affect change in the future - Chrono Trigger did an awful a lot of innovative gameplay things for its time. Gameplay in The Last of Us, on the other hand, is reportedly about twitchy stealth, shooting zombies, and pushing crates/ladders around; it's the cinematic and plot impact that people are taking away from the experience. As such I'd hesitate to draw a real comparison between the two. "Evolved and expanded upon numerous genre expectations" and "told a better story than its ilk" are two very different things, no matter how good the storytelling might have been.
That's fair, and I don't really have a lot to say in response.  Chrono Trigger is my favorite game and you're right; at the time, the game was very innovative.  I don't think until Valkyrie Profile came out that the jRPG genre really evolved meaningfully, but it did take a lot of the things Chrono Trigger did and use them as a way of thinking about a videogame in its simulated aspects.  Its metaphors with regards to war haven't really been seen before or since in RPGs, or dare I say, anywhere else.

Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 06:00:14 pm »
Your argument is that it's evolving standards because a lot of money was poured into it, people are playing it and its production values are high?  I hate to say it, but Bioshock Infinite also meets this definition...

That may be true, but I haven't played Bioshock: Infinite and I don't like to comment too much, or pass judgement too heavily on games I haven't played  ;)
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M-Tee

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2013, 02:16:07 am »
Wrong thread. My bad.

Talbain

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2013, 10:50:37 am »
That may be true, but I haven't played Bioshock: Infinite and I don't like to comment too much, or pass judgement too heavily on games I haven't played  ;)
I dunno, I have no problem passing judgment on Curiosity as a dumb game (never played it).  In fact I feel that it's probably possible to pass judgment on most games in a few hours, given their mechanics.  That said, what that means is that there will be a set of mechanics that most games follow and thus the target audience is always the same (shooter mechanics, RPG mechanics, jRPG mechanics... etc.).  Basically, even if a first-person shooter game is bad, it probably won't matter to those who like those mechanics.  If it simply works with those mechanics well, even offensive shit like Homefront will probably get a pass from them (because mechanics are ultimately the heart of any given game and the most powerful storytelling will always occur through those mechanics - whether they are dialogue trees or stabbing guys in the face, the player making choices with mechanics is what is affecting about games).

Next Gen Cowboy

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2013, 12:09:08 pm »
So what you're saying is that you'll judge a game based entirely on what type of game it is? I don't think that's a good way to go about it, particularly when you're talking about games that evolve standards, and one of your examples is a a sandbox game, which is the second only to FPS' in shear number. That's me being argumentative.

The fact of the matter is that The Last of Us has solid mechanics, and the beautiful presentation. You made the comparison to VP without having played it though. I adore VP, and the game's one of the most depressing ever, but it's still possible to get Lenneth a happy ending, and even within the events of the second game it's not a total loss. This game is a different beast, and a different form of drama. All I can say is I never set the controller down in VP and had to gather myself because I was shaking from the adrenaline, shock, and anxiety of what was being portrayed during the game. That happened while playing The Last of Us and that's the only thing I have to personally take away from the experience.

I do recommend you play it before passing judgement on what it does, or does not do. Mechanically or dramatically.

That a game made me care so much about the characters that I was physically affected by their struggles is what I hope would be the point taken away from this. Everything else is secondary to that experience in my opinion, and if no one else feels that way, that's fine.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 12:18:57 pm by Next gen Cowboy »
"Remember when we were in Japan? You said you were my gun, if you're the gun then that means I'm the bullet."

"All my life I've been waiting for the gunpowder to go off, you know what you need to ignite gunpowder? You need a gun."

Talbain

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Re: The Last of Us
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2013, 02:14:46 pm »
That a game made me care so much about the characters that I was physically affected by their struggles is what I hope would be the point taken away from this. Everything else is secondary to that experience in my opinion, and if no one else feels that way, that's fine.
Sorry to say but I don't really feel this way.  Don't really need to feel physically altered in order for a game to be meaningful or important or stay with me.  In fact in some ways I believe that games that make you feel that way are manipulative and more concerned about evoking a reaction than presenting a coherent and interesting model.  I get similarly riled up when playing Battlefield Bad Company 2, but it's because the game is intentionally constructing those moments.  I realize that and that it's not about thinking nearly so much as how the body reacts to stimuli.  Which is fine as it works to keep the player engaged, but it's deeply manipulative and is something games have been able to do for a very long time (it's basically the reason the ESRB happened).

Also, no, I don't judge a game based on its type, but if you've ever seen NeoGAF or even these forums, it's easy to discover that most people have preferences for the type of game they enjoy. Similarly, mechanics are common and oftentimes preset as good or bad in the minds of players.

I don't really believe that any given game is a different beast, unless you aren't interacting with it.  In which case it's not really a game (which means that yes, I believe at certain points in most games, you aren't playing a game - you're watching a movie or listening to music, but you aren't playing a game - and that videogames often have these moments as carrot-stick mechanics).  Fundamentally though, I believe that all games, much like all music or all movies, can be actuated and related given appropriate contexts.  I don't see that same correlation being cross-medial though, and instead being limited to the media's brethren due to fundamentally different design.