Throwback Thursday: The Last of Us

Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Developer: Naughty Dog | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: June 2013 / July 2014

The 26th of September, 2013 marked the day the Cordyceps Infection reached a critical mass in The Last of Us. Over two years after players were plunged into Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic universe, how does the game hold up?

This article will discuss the original and the Remastered release of the game as though they are one.

[g1_row color=”none” background_repeat=”repeat” background_position=”right center” background_attachment=”static”]

[g1_1of1 valign=”top” color=”none” background_image=”http://retrylevel.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/TBT-TLOU-1.png” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”center top” background_attachment=”static” background_scroll=”none”]

[g1_space value=”25″]

[/g1_space]

WHY IT WAS GREAT

[/g1_1of1]

[/g1_row]

[g1_space value=”30″]

[/g1_space]

Single Player

The vast majority of gamers agree that The Last of Us almost perfectly nails what a single player experience should be in a video game. The world Naughty Dog has crafted is simply beautiful. The attention to detail given to everything the player can see in the game allows what would otherwise be an otherwise be an overused video game ‘trope’ to become a work of art. Players begin feel an emotional attachment to Joel and Ellie (two name just two of the characters) as the story progresses, something that in part is achieved by the (excellent) animation department at Naughty Dog. Every minute change of expression or emotion can be felt from the character, not only because of the changes visible on their face, but those across their entire body.

Not only is the game visually stunning, the audio in the game is almost breathtaking. One particular moment that comes to mind is one early on in the game: the player is able to send Joel inside of an abandoned truck, where the sound of rainfall changes, becoming more metallic as it bounces off the roof of the truck. This sort of sound design certainly isn’t new to gaming, but the of care Naughty Dog gives to even the most uninteresting of things makes The Last of Us just that little bit more believable

The story told by The Last of Us is near perfection. Though set in a post apocalyptic world, the game manages to avoid become yet another zombie survival title. The story — for the most part — only dabbles in the worldwide issues, instead choosing to focus on issues faced by characters in the own individual worlds as though nothing else matters. The tale told by Naughty Dog allows the player to connect and relate with almost every character in the game, feeling their emotion, morales, drives and sometimes their downright misery.

Multiplayer

To some the multiplayer aspect of the game was merely a tacked on mode with little thought put into it. To others the mode was a fresh new take on what multiplayer could be in a game. Factions pitted the two… factions… from the single player portion of the game against one another in a 4V4 tactical shoot out scenario, with three modes to choose from. What made the multiplayer so great was and still is how it differs from almost every other multiplayer title out there. Rather than the fast, run ’em and gun ’em style shooter, the Factions mode in The Last of Us is a slow, tactical shooter where really the only hope of survival is to stick together and pick off the enemy team.

[g1_row color=”none” background_image=”http://retrylevel.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/TBT-TLOU-2.png” background_repeat=”repeat” background_position=”center center” background_attachment=”static”]

[g1_1of1]

[g1_space value=”25″]

[/g1_space]

FINAL THOUGHTS

[/g1_1of1]

[/g1_row]

[g1_space value=”30″]

[/g1_space]

On a personal level, The Last of Us really does live up to the hype. It deserves the praise and acclaim it still receives to this day and sits in the top few spots, if not the top spot of my all-time favourite games. Never before has a game made me feel genuine, heartfelt emotions towards a character, or shed tears when that happened. The game is so expertly and carefully crafted that it almost does nothing wrong.

 

The Last of Us is amazing and saying that doesn’t do it justice. We can only hope Naughty Dog will remain the Naughty Gods with the sequel to the game: There’s More of Us.

Throwback Thursday: Vectorman

Platform: Sega | Release Date: 1995

We all now how sweet Metroid is, and Samus is the epitome of badassery. She shoots cannons, can set bombs, rolls into a cool little ball, and wears a space suit. The only thing holding Samus and Metroid back was, well, Nintendo. Not that it was holding it back from being amazing, but at the time the Sega Genesis needed some love, too! Vectorman was the Sega version of Metroid. Although not nearly as cool as his female counterpart, Vectorman still had some nifty things going for him (minus the ball rolling, unfortunately).

Why it was great

Vectorman1One thing that Vectorman has going for it during this time of gaming was its visuals. Being a 16 bit Sega game, it looks pretty flippin amazing. The graphics, sound, and overall atmosphere were top notch. The bizarre, confusing, and faux-3D feel of the world didn’t make too much sense, but that simply added to its charm. Like Metroid, Vectorman is all about the 2D side scrolling adventure shooter, but I felt that with Vectorman the player is able to explore more of this strange environment than other games of its genre.

Unlike Samus, Vectorman uses some unique skillsets in order to take down enemies and traverse through the world. However, what sets Vectorman apart as that he’s able to transform into various objects. Some of which include a drill, bomb, and some crazy thing that is supposed to resemble a fish (or dolphin. I don’t even know). These power ups added a unique element to the simple gameplay mechanics of shooting, jumping and grappling. It was a fresh break away from the standard side scrolling shooters that we knew and loved.

Final thoughts

vectorman4_displayAt home, I had the pleasure of enjoying both a Sega and Nintendo. Having played Metroid and Vectorman, I can say that each game had its own special qualities that made it appealing. Nothing beats the supreme badass woman we know as Samus, but at least Vectorman got to show off some of his moves in the 90s when he was a bit more relevant. To this day, it’s still quite a fun game (and challenging, too), but all we need is a super next-gen reboot and we’ll all be good (insha’Allah).

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection lands this October on PS4

Uncharted The Nathan Drake COllection BoxartAfter a slight slip-up in the early hours of the day, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection has been officially announced for the PlayStation 4.

After countless requests across social media and message boards across the internet since the launch of the PS4 system, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception have been remastered for the console, featuring better lighting, textures, and models; 1080p visuals at 60 frames a second, new trophy lists and a wide range of improvements across all three games. The game will also a fan favourite feature, Photo Mode, something that is seemingly standard across all first party PlayStation 4 releases.

Sadly, the collection only appears to feature the single player modes from the second and third game, removing the enjoyable yet equally frustrating multiplayers and co-operative modes. To make things a little better, the collection will however features exclusive access to the Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End beta when it becomes available.

Players who preorder the game today will receive the Nathan Drake Pack, that includes single player skins of iconic Drake outfits as well as the Golden AK-47 and Golden 92FS guns. Those who preorder through the PlayStation Store will also receive a special Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Dynamic Theme for their PS4 console.

UCTNDC Nathan Drake Pack

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection will launch in all its remastered glory exclusively on the PlayStation 4 on October 9th for the US, UK and Ireland and October 7th for Europe.

Bethesda announces Fallout 4

That’s right. Fallout 4. There is not much known at this time but we are to tune into Bethesda’s E3 Showcase on Sunday, June 14 at 7:00pm Pacific Time to see the world premiere of the game! Also, there’s this goosebumps giving trailer of in-game footage:

We are on the edges of our seats here at RL. Are you with us? More information coming, check back soon.

Open The Reef to the Guardians, and your hearts to these new allies!

WARNING: SMALL SPOILERS LURK BEYOND THIS POINT

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

As of yesterday, May 19, Destiny has officially launched its second expansion: House of Wolves, and with it a new destination, not explorable before, known as The Reef, which includes a new social area rivaling that of The Tower called Vestian Outpost.

What's The Tower? Vestian Outpost is where it's at.
What’s The Tower? Vestian Outpost is where it’s at.

Upon arrival to Vestian Outpost you will be prompted to go chat with all the new NPCs who will serve as guides to the new missions as well as helping hands for the new activities brought by this new expansion.

Eris who? I don't recall being associated with no zombie lady, Petra, you're the only one!
Eris who? I don’t recall being associated with no zombie lady, Petra, you’re the only one!

Petra, the Queen’s servant, is your new Eris Morn. This chick, thirsty for adventure, will not only provide excellent dialogue and be your number one for the new quests but will be your go-to for any and all Queen’s Wrath related bounties and rank rewards. The bounties are “Wanted” bounties, which in a nutshell is what you Guardians were doing over the weekend: patrolling the planets waiting for Wolves to spawn, but in addition there are now areas with Fallen, wanted dead or alive…mostly dead, waiting for you to complete the new House of Wolves bounties. The rank rewards are emblems at rank 1, shaders at rank 2, and cooler shaders at rank 3 as well as the fancy new ship and something else!

Do not be alarmed, Guardian, not all Fallen are enemy, yes?
Do not be alarmed, Guardian, not all Fallen are enemy, yes?

Meet Variks, your number two. Variks may look like a treacherous Fallen scum because he is a treacherous Fallen scum, minus the treacherous and scum part. He’s had enough of the Kells’ shit and will act as your other guide to the new quests but mainly as your Master of Ceremonies for the newest raid replacement “Prison of Elders.” Variks offers rewards for Armor Cores and Weapon Cores retrieved as rewards for completing certain Prison of Elders matches, those rewards being gear which give +42 Light and new weapons, respectively. Trade in both an Armor Core and a Weapon Core for a package which will give random rewards of any Prison of Elders gear and weapon.

Additionally, Variks oversees the House of Judgment which is the rank you raise in the Prison of Elders. You earn “Tokens” for rewards here. His rewards (for a Token of Judgment) are cloaks, bonds and marks as well as special and heavy ammo for rank 1, new ships for a Token of Flight rank 2 and new shaders for a Token of Identity at rank 3.

RaWHO? Master Ives is the only Cryptarch I trust handling my precious engrams.
RaWHO? Master Ives is the only Cryptarch I trust handling my precious engrams.

Next door to Variks we have Master Rahool’s humble replacement, Master Ives, the new Cryptarch. Ives is the man who can decipher all those blue engrams you had lying around before this expansion that Rahool just couldn’t figure out. The only difference between him and Rahool is Ives works at the cooler place and from now on he can decode House of Wolves engrams that Rahool cannot decode, which basically means he’s better.

Brother Vance, Vance Refri- uh, I mean, Disciple of Osiris.
Brother Vance, Vance Refri- uh, I mean, Disciple of Osiris.

The last important new person in your life here at The Reef is Brother Vance who will serve not only Osiris, but you, Guardian. The new Trials of Osiris would be useless if it wasn’t for the rewards you get via Vance, which include +42 Light gear and 365 Attack weapons, the best of the best. The better you do in Trials of Osiris, the higher tiers of rewards you unlock with him, and Brother Vance here knows The Trials of Osiris can be tricky so he’s got supplies to aid you which grant you a Favor, start with one win, Mercy, which forgives one loss, and a Boon, which doubles your next win as two wins. Vance ain’t no fool, mind you, for these supplies require three Passage Coins each, which you will find along your journey in the Crucible.

I can sure get used to this kind of royalty!
I can sure get used to this kind of royalty!

Identical to The Tower, The Reef also offers a Postmaster, a Bounty Tracker and, thank you based DeeJ, a Vault. What? Am I forgetting something? Perhaps the most important part? Yes, there’s a new ball.

So, Guardians, hop on your ships and full speed ahead to The Reef! Your friends here at Vestian Outpost are just the beginning, the Wolves are prowling out there.

And let us here at RL know how you’re enjoying The Reef, Vestian Outpost, the House of Wolves storyline, Prison of Elders and Trials of Osiris!

You just can't be that view...
You just can’t be that view…