With the year coming to an end and game of the year awards being bestowed upon some of the biggest games of the year on other outlets, I’d like to take a few moments to share some of the best gaming moments I’ve experienced these past twelve months. We’re all about being different here at Broken Joysticks so instead of a series of GOTY choices here is one of the four games that left an impression on me.
Let’s kick things off with one of the best action titles of this year, the story of a bond formed between two unlikely protagonists Joel & Ellie as they attempt to survive a post-apocalyptic version of the United States. Yup, it is time to honor Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us….
Heading into The Last of US there was a lot of excitement in the gaming community, but aside from E3 trailers & developer demonstrations posted online I actually new very little about the game. It hadn’t been shown locally (here in Eastern Canada) to the press, as Sony did with other big games like MLB 13 and Gran Turismo 5 but I knew based upon the pedigree of other Naughty Dog games that I was in for a real treat.
If my glowing review doesn’t paint the picture well enough – The Last of Us has some of the most compelling characters of the last generation bar none. Right from the outset you’ll find yourself being emotionally hooked in and the game won’t let you go over the course of its 10+ hour campaign. I found myself connecting with Joel and sympathizing with his sense of loss very easily and it is through this emotional window that you become attached to his 14 year old companion Ellie as the story progresses forward. The pair live in a harsh world filled with obstacles, drama and of course more than a few tough choices.
In terms of cinematic direction Naughty Dog hit this one out of the park with some A+ motion capture. Each cinematic was acted out by a full cast before being translated into playable form and the quality of it all just oozes through. Every character has their own distinct movements, characteristics and traits and it makes the human drama just as compelling as any blockbuster film released this year. Naughty Dog knows how to develop a character and the Last of Us may be their best example of their craftsmanship thus far.
In summary you may pick up The Last of Us for the action but you’ll stay for the story! As my first GOTY pick, I’d highly recommend picking this up over the holidays, or if you already own it then giving it a replay. It’s well worth the time and it in my opinion the best exclusive on a Sony platform this year!