Tag Archives: of

The Last(PS3 Game) of Us

10 Feb

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It’s not surprising that the team at Naughty Dog, the people responsible for the beloved Uncharted series, to pull off a game that not only keeps the player engaged with great gameplay but also legitimize story in games. In games it’s rare to come across a good story since it’s just a framing device to get the players in the game that you don’t mind sitting through but it’s different in the case of The Last of Us. At face value TLOU may look like your typical, generic zombie shooter, but it looks can be deceiving as it’s played.

In TLOU you play as Joel (Troy Baker), a middle aged man who, after 20 years of surviving the disaster of the cordyceps virus that creates the zombie-like hordes, must escort a young orphan girl Ellie (Ashley Johnson), who was born and raised in the new desolate world, to a group of mercenaries in order to get a weapons cache. The pathway there is rife with zombies and the occasional group of “sane” survivors who will shoot first and ask questions later.

Speaking of the zombies, they come in three flavors: Runners, which are basically feral humans in the first stage of the virus; Clickers, who are the iconic cauliflower, faced biters that cannot be engaged physically; and finally the Bloaters that throw fungus bombs with pinpoint accuracy and God help you if it gets a hold of you.

The gameplay is probably the best thing about the game as you have to make do with what you find in a wonderfully realized scavenger system. Everything you use from health items made of rags and alcohol to more Macguyver-esque smoke bombs made of fire crackers and sugar is crafted in real time. As for the firearms you use, it’s all up to what particular ammunition you can find and you’ll want to horde every bullet and only use it in last resort scenarios.

The reason for this being that the shooting is less arcade and more simulator, with aiming being more realistic, jostling with natural movement and the fact that it takes multiple bullets to take a human down unless you get a headshot and good luck with that.

The game also emphasizes stealth and that the fact that there is always different ways to go about different situations. All that is well and good but what about the game giving you an A.I. companion that runs around in tense situations? Thankfully Ellie doesn’t technically exist as she’ll give her position away but not make the enemies alert which is one of the smartest decisions made in game design but will inevitably make the games immersion break from time to time.

On top of all the greatness there is still room for a game that looks absolutely gorgeous. A perpetual sunset beams across the dilapidated buildings covered in luscious overgrowth and water effects that look like water and not bunches of paper Mache.

TLOU is a beautiful game that keeps its finger on the tension and applies more pressure as you explore the world in an effort to face past problems and create a more enjoyable future.

See you later!

DBSLAYER7

The Hobbit: The Desol(ook at that f$&#ing dragon!)ation of Smaug

16 Dec

Like the awkward middle child in an oversized family The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug seems to be going through puberty, finding all sorts of new things about itself while not being sure of what it’s supposed to do.

The movie takes place directly after the first Hobbit film and continues the unexpected journey towards the Lonely Mountain original kingdom of the dwarves. The protagonists, including the 13 dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), the wizard, Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellan) and the titular hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), must traverse the remaining land as they find their way back to the dwarf’s homeland. Along the way they must evade orcs, consult with the high elves and prepare to come face to face with the larger than life fire-breathing dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Viewing movies such as The Hobbit trilogy piece by piece is equally as exciting as it is frustrating.

The ending cliffhangers still smack you in the face, even if you are someone who knows these movies are ensemble works, which is actually more of a testament to how engaging these films can be.

As the title suggests the main focus of the film is the inevitable encounter and interaction with a dragon by the name of Smaug, who is the same dragon from the beginning of An Unexpected Journey. I mention Smaug as a “who” because he is not your typical big dumb fire-breathing dinosaur. He has as much if not more personality as any of the other characters and is the main villain in the film.

As much as the movies defend their long running time, here it seems to put padding on top of padding, including a boring love triangle, single-shot filmed fight scenes, and an entirely different movie, with Stephen Fry playing a foppish aristocratic dictator of a lake top village adequately named, “Lake Town,” that just so happens to be next to the Lonely Mountain.

But with more padding comes quality filmmaking in both the acting and photographic departments. Every character, whether from the novel or not, is three-dimensional, with flaws and strengths brought to light by the actors, who do a great job of making the film a very organic experience. This is most evident with the group of battle ready dwarves who are now discernable from one another in big action vignettes and dialogues.

The visual effects are also some of the best seen in recent years, while the CG is still noticeable it’s very natural and never takes you out of the experience. The work done on Smaug alone is something that must be seen on the big screen.

A must see for fans of the book and the fantasy genre in general, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a movie that pushes the boundaries even further. The film is filled to the brim with something for everyone and a testament to good filmmaking that still includes the likes of fun in an industry that says otherwise. As frustrating as it is to see a cliffhanger the feeling of disappointment comes because the audience wants to see more.

This is my opinion, Thanks and see ya later!

DBSLAYER7