Why 'The Last of Us' Is The only video game you need to buy in 2013

Most Popular

It's not often that Esquire delves into the world of video games, but for PlayStation 3's latest big release The Last of Us we've made an exception. Charlie Brooker spent the weekend completely immersed in this survival-adventure and non other than John Carpenter, director of creepy classics Halloween and The Thing, has also been at the controls following its release on June 14.

The Last of Us is grand in scale and scope, tracking a man named Joel across an American heartland that's been ripped apart by a mutated strain of the cordyceps fungi. Victims are turned into raging killers, and running alongside Joel in the fight for survival is a young girl, Ellie, who's mysteriously immune to infection.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

He, or more specifically you, need to deliver the girl to insurgent group the Fireflies in an bid to develop a cure and save humanity.

So far this is all probably sounding a lot like 28 Days Later on steroids (and a host of all your other favourite zombie movies), but Naughty Dog's game grips you like a vice right from the off with its canny blend of blistering action and intuitive problem-solving.

Most Popular

Players can collect alcohol, blades and rags to fashion into usable items like medical kits and flaming Molotov cocktails.

Traversing the game world's quarantine zone is a perilous task, taking you everywhere from grim sewers to pitch black concrete blocks and city roads overrun with plant life. The story packs an emotional punch, too - the extended prologue is set two decades in the past and shows Joel losing his young daughter during an early outbreak of the infection.

It's probably the most traumatic opening to a video game we've ever seen, and the parallels drawn to Joel's relationship with Ellie in the present are clear.

What makes The Last of Us so compelling, though, are the moments when Joel and Ellie come face-to-face with the infected. Ammunition is usually at a premium, so going in all guns blazing doesn't isn't always the best idea.

It rewards those who can stealthily navigate through hordes of the undead, and sometimes that's required when confronted with the terrifying monsters known as Clickers.

These evolved beasts have no vision but react to sound. Make a noise and they'll come running, one bite and it's all over. Cue plenty of cowering behind doors, desks and boxes in a desperate attempt to avoid another savage attack. It's unbearably tense and scary, and if you're going to open fire on them it best be a good shot.

Those casual games who keep a PS3 solely for new instalments of FIFA and Grand Theft Auto may well get a kick out of this ambitious survival horror. With its cinematic storytelling and edge-of-your-seat gameplay it's a console must-have.

What do you think?

David Bowie
Fashion
Share
The 10 Commandments Of Wearing A Suit
The sacrosanct​rules that will help you get the most out of your tailoring​
Fashion
Share
Esquire Edit: The Best of John Lewis' New PRESENTING Collection
The department store demonstrates how the high street is still a great place for new designers
Shoes
Share
Adidas' Newest High-Tech Sneaker Is A Thing Of Beauty
Introducing the Futurecraft M.F.G.
Burberry show
Fashion
Share
Welcome To The Burberry Revolution
​How one of the biggest names in menswear just changed the fashion game for good​
Nike Hyper Adapt
Shoes
Share
Nike's Self-Tying Trainers Finally Have A Release Date
​They're not the Air MAGs, though, unfortunately​​
Idris Elba
Fashion
Share
The 4 Overcoat Trends You Need To Know About This Autumn
Because there's no more important purchase at this time of year​
Best mens watches under 200
Watches
Share
The Best Watches Under £200
It used to be nigh on impossible to get a decent man's watch at this price. Once you'd tried Argos and the petrol station you were running...
Cara Delevingne Puma Campaign
Style
Share
Rihanna Directs Cara Delevingne In Edgy New Puma Campaign
​Crossing the road has never looked so good​​
Paul Newman
Fashion
Share
20 Things Every Man Should Have In His Wardrobe
The essential building blocks of your personal style
Adidas Yeezy Boost
Shoes
Share
You're Never Going To Get Your Hands On A Pair Of Kanye's New Yeezys
You can definitely look at a picture of them though