How ‘The Last Of Us’ changed my gaming life.

No matter who I’m talking to, if the topic is about games, I always express my love for The Last Of Us.

Obvisouly there are thousands of other stories and remarks about the greatness of this game, but I feel the need to share my part of the story.

I grew up playing games like: Mario games and all it’s variations (Mario Tennis, Mario Party, Dr. Mario and classic Mario games), Pokemon for Gameboy, Mortal Kombat, Dragon Ball Z games, Counter-Strike (as well as Half-Life) etc. I never really much cared about the story in the games, I just played to obtain fast entertainment without any big commitment to it.

Never much had any interest in Single Player type of games, only because I did not have the patience in trying to understand what was going on. I just wanted to go straight to the action part. I mean, I sure as hell didn’t want to sit through a 5 min dialogue reading through text boxes and ballons. I was the type of person who played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time smashing the A button until my fingers got purple whenever there was a dialogue. Yes, now I know the masterpiece of this game, I was just an ignorant kid back then.

In the year of 2013, when Naughty Dog launched The Last Of Us for Playstation 3, my friends could not stop talking about it. About how great the gameplay was, about how great the graphics were. I couldn’t care less, and also I didn’t have a Ps3 at the time, so…whatever. And honestly I was more worried about being raid in Clash of Clans more than anything else.

One simple day, being bored like a big dog in a small house, I decided to search for this game on Youtube. And I started watching SSoHPKC’s walkthrough. Boy oh Boy I remember it clearly like it happened 5 years ago.

Spoilers Ahead** Then Again, why are you even here if you haven’t played the game?

First of all, let me give you the background of the story:

3. I knew nothing about the storyline.

4. I started to watch the gameplay only to check the graphics.

Ok, now with that out of the way, let’s continue with my useless story.

Started watching the first cutscene with Joel and Sarah. Nothing new there.

When the gameplay with Sarah started, I was awed by the graphics and movement of the character, specially when she reacted to things around the house and to the things happening to her. She showed fear, curiosity and showed awarness. This BLOWED MY MIND. Until then, the characters in games (inocent or villain) were merely puppets for me to run over with a car like in GTA or to shoot at like in 007 Golden Eye. I have never felt empathy. And at that moment I started to look at Sarah like if she were a real life character. I started to really like her.

Then she was shot and died crying. W..t..f.

I had to pause the video, sit on the toilet and rethink my life. I was shocked. Never had I seen this kind of an emotional impact in a game. Remember when I said that I had glared at the cover for this game? I thought the girl in the cover was Sarah. So it never crossed my mind that she could die. At least not like this.

After watching this, I could not stop myself from watching through all the walkthrough. I wanted to know more about the story, about Joel, about how it would all end. And the more I got into it, the more I got connected and addicted to it all.

The thing is: I finished watching through it all and I was astounded by the whole game. About the story. About the new kind of narrative that games can offer.

After a while, the Ps4 and XboxOne was launched. When I heard The Last Of Us was going to be remastered for the Ps4. I didn’t even think twice, I bought the son of a bitch. And played the game myself.

Even having seen the wholestory through a walkthrough on Youtube, the experience of playing it was entirely different. The act of controlling your character and interacting with the situations you were put on, put my experience in a whole new level. And it was this emotional envolvement by playing the game with my own hands that changed my gaming life. I learned to care about a game character, I learned to care about his/her background, I learned to care about a story inside a game and I learned how the story is more important than the gameplay.

While playing this game, I was laughing, I was scared, I was tense and I cried, like the first time I finished with my girlfriend in middle school, when Joel rescued Ellie from the cannibal leader and they had a father and daughter moment. That is one of the strongest moments, for me, in all gaming history.

Today I value the story in gaming a lot. Had I not played The Last Of Us, I would not have learned to enjoy heavy story based games such as: The Witcher 3, Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead Telltale Series, Uncharted series, among others.

The Last Of Us may not be your favorite game, it may even not impacted you the same way it did to me, but you cannot deny that this game is a masterpiece even to this day. The voice acting, the body acting, the details in gameplay, the perfect storyline, the lighting, the environment, the sounds, the music, it was all made in total perfection.

It truly is the game of my life, and the one that changed my gaming life…Forever.



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