GAME OF THE YEAR
The Last Of Us
Few games have legitimately had the majority of its players in tears at any point in the experience. Final Fantasy 7, The Walking Dead and Heavy Rain fall into that elite category. But Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is on a whole ‘nother level, hitting those emotional cues with devastating impact. Even in gameplay, the tension remained high as you scavenged, crafted and fought to survive. If there’s one game this year that proved the ability of the medium to tell powerful, cinematic, well-written and expertly acted stories that surpass film, it definitely was not Beyond: Two Souls.The Last of Us is Naughty Dog’s opus… until they blow it out of the water, which I have no doubt they have the capacity to do so.
Until then, this harrowing, post-pandemic tale of Joel’s trek from Boston all the way through to the Western United States of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah – in what started as a simple smuggling job, and developed into a poignant, surrogate-like Father-daughter bond with Ellie – will be regarded as our industry’s Citizen Kane… and a complete nightmare due to the haunting sounds of those damn clickers! The Last of Us had more people talking about fungus than any biology-related class could. I just hope the Cordyceps doesn’t jump to humans in real life… it could happen!! When it does, I want Gustavo Santaolalla to score my life on the desolate roads where civilization once thrived. – Zac Elawar