What We Played #110: The Last of Us, Rayman and Animal Crossing

With the great and the good making their way back from L.A. there was only one thing to do. Run for the hills. The hills of southern Germany. As the mercury crept through the uncomfortably high 30s I have wondered if that was the right choice.

Before leaving though I did play through episodes 2, 3 and 4 of The Walking Dead. It remains a good story but I was left with a feeling of an almost complete lack of player agency.

Beyond some trivial points there seems to be little that you can do to influence the story such as leaving you a spectator in a conversation where valued friends die when a punch to the right face at the right time would have saved them.

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That puzzles have but a single solution grates too. At times it’s like playing a mediocre, early nineties point and click adventure ‘game’, a minimally interactive story. But that story’s good so I’ll play through episode 5 when I’m back in the UK.

I expect it’ll end up in the same bucket as Dragon Age and Mass Effect: games that weave an effective illusion of player choice while rail-roading you through all of the major plot points regardless of what you have done.

[drop2]Perhaps due to all the air miles he’s been collecting, Kris’ gaming has all been iPhone-based. He found Rayman Jungle Run “a lot of fun” and was sad it ended so soon. While FIFA and Need for Speed stumbled and stalled in their attempt to evoke enjoyment.

Tuffcub is the first of several to have played The Last of Us which he says “has the best prologue of any game, ever”. Beyond that though things didn’t go so well in his post-human adventuring:

The actual game parts are rather disappointing with some annoying difficulty spikes and a hell of a lot of ideas recycled from Uncharted. The graphics are less than impressive in some places as well, and very glitchy – when you get the sawn off shotgun (it has some strange name like Boomer or Mavis) Joel tucks in the back of his jeans. Unfortunately when you crouch and climb up stairs, the gun barrel clips outside of Joel’s body and he gets a stumpy black pole sticking out of his bum.

Thing improved when he dabbled online though with the multiplayer getting a “surprisingly good” rating. He’s also played the “cheerful and repetitive” Rayman Origins on his PS Vita, the still “awesome” Remember Me, the totally tubular Sine Mora Vita and an orange and blue splash of Killzone 3.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aJK9XTvjkXw

DanToo too has been playing The Last Of Us and only that since release. He says it’s deserving of its 10/10 reviews delivering an “intense story which was desperately tragic at times”. It’s not without the odd rough edge though feeling “a bit clunky, and a bit of a mess, to begin with” before he warmed to it.

Dom’s been playing Animal Crossing New Leaf. “I’m not sure why I’m compelled to play a game about moving house and getting a new job when I’ve just done that in real life – my guess is that there are talking animals in it rather than real people.”

When not living his Dr Dolittle fantasies he’s played a little bit of Monster Hunter, Assassins Creed 3, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Lego City Undercover, Monster Blade and Real Racing 3. Which has almost inevitably led to a degree of storyline confusion. “I should just play one game and finish it!” Probably Dom, probably.

Tempting the wrath of Teh Interwebz, which is available for hire now that Microsoft have back-tracked so far it’s like living in 2005 again, Aran has played the stunning Mirror’s Edge and proclaimed it merely “alright”.  His main gripes being “fiddly controls and floaty combat”.

Conversely, he finds Bioshock Infinite “brilliant”.

When Colombia was first unveiled in the opening sequence I actually said wow. It’s such an interesting world that I spent ages just walking around taking it all in. The story is really good and Elizabeth is a great companion character. With Booker I kind of felt there were moments where he was inspired by Captain Mal from Firefly. It’s a game that is hard to tear yourself away from and I’m now near the end. Bravo Irrational. Infinite is excellent.

The jet-lagged Peter, despite being really busy since he got back from E3, has managed to squeeze in a bit of Mario Tennis Open and Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS, both of which are lovely colourful fun.

They provided a welcome contrast to the other game he’s played a bit of this week.  Yep, The Last of Us. “It’s really good. Grim, but good. I’m only a couple of hours in so there’s a long way to go but it’s a lot better than the demo suggested it would be.”

[drop]Finally we get to Blair who along with half the planet (if we can extrapolate from the TSA team’s shenanigans*) has been playing The Last of Us. He didn’t get it at first, enjoying the story but finding the gameplay “poor with difficult stealth sections” that he disliked.

It took several hours, after I kept playing for the story, before it all clicked and I was able to swiftly sneak past or take out enemies with ease. I’m about 80% way through the game and there have been several really incredible moments but it’ll have to do a lot to surpass BioShock Infinite as my GOTY.

He also found time for a little Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes which has grown on him and Game & Wario which he’s been playing for TSA’s reviewThat’s it from us, what’ve you been playing?

*Note that we may not constitute a statistically valid sample with which to validate such a conclusion.

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21 Comments

  1. Played about 14% of The Last of Us single player (according to my save file), but have spent more time with the MP (to get the trophies done) which I’m actually enjoying. It’s like Uncharted but without being too manic, slightly slower paced, more tactical and team based too. The lack of ammo also makes it more balance, as other people seem just as likely to run low on ammo mid fire-fight. The levels, weapons, and perks also seem pretty balanced. The only problem with it so far is the annoyance when peolpe run directly at you to melee you, you shoot them 3 times in the face, which doesn’t kill them, but their 2-3 punches do – WTF!?! Perhaps some more game modes might be nice, but I suspect these will come with DLC. The more organiesd teams usually win, due to the revive system, so some TSA meets/teams might be good. I also like the idea of the 12-week period, and that you need to try and keep at least one survivor alive throughout.

    100%’ed Bang Bang Racing, and I’m only the 17th person on PSNprofiles to get one of the trophies, even though the game has been out for over a year. I also placed a lot of lap times in the top-ten of the online Leaderboards, and managed 2nd on one!

    Played a bit of FIFA 13 on Vita, finished my first manager season and picked up a few trophies.

    And played a little bit more New Star Soccer on iOS.

    • Yeah I’ve found the MP to lack balance. Not just with the teams, but with some of the weapons. I once got 2 semi auto and 4 pistol shots on someone (not wearing amour) in quick succession to be killed with 1 hit from a hunting rifle.

      Most of the time you just need to have good team work, if no one revives (which some don’t) and others go off by themselves you’ll lose the match.

      • Oh right, I’ve found the guns fairly balanced – but the teams have been one-sided quite often! The melee thing drives me crazy though, lol. I tend to follow other team members, so even if they don’t want to work as a team, they generally revive me if they are able to, as I’m close!

  2. Got inFamous: Festival of blood in the sale, loved it. Shame Second son isn’t coming at the PS4 launch because that would probably tip me to pre-order.

  3. The problem with TLOUD – and Bioshock Infinite – is they’ve stretched a rather dull game concept over 12 hours or whatever to give your moneys worth. I would have been twice as happy if there was less gamey bits in both, rather than having yet another room full of bad guys to stealth/kill.

    • I would agree with Bioshock Infinite, but that’s mainly because I generally find the gameplay a bit dull (seach stuff, shoot)….however the story was amazing.

  4. Still plowing through Yakuza 3, taking me ages because of all the substories that keep popping up. Loving it for an old cheap game, bit like GTA but set in Japan & without any cars you can hijack. (Not that much like GTA then ;P )

  5. After finishing Bioshock Infinite and getting my platinum on Lego:LOTR at the weekend I jumped straight into The Last of Us. Although only about 20% in so far I’m really enjoying it. I’ve not even touched the multiplayer yet – maybe this weekend.

  6. I have been playing The Last of Us for 9 days and have completed the story 4 times and only have one trophy left for Platinum and that is Multiplayer.
    Fantastic game….. might go for it again for the 5th time xD
    And also The Last of Us multiplayer aswell been winning non-stop probably lost 10 matches and won 100 =D I love my teammate AjK. Randoms never revives which can cost the match!

  7. Played some Luigi’s Mansion 2 on the plane to Fuerteventura and back. I quite liked it but it has a few niggles that bother me. Not sure when I’ll be able to finish it.
    I also finished Remember Me. I think I slightly overhyped the game myself but it was still a very good game for a brand new IP. I love the setting and story of the game but the gameplay could use a little refinement. Hopefully the IP get’s a proper sequel as I think it has the potential for greatness if the devs get to work out the kinks and open up the world a little.
    After finishing Remember Me I finally got to dig into The Last of Us. I’ve only played 2.5 hours so far but I’m really enjoying it so far. I can already see the Clickers ruining a few sections for me but I’ll reserve my judgement until I’m actually through the game. The listening mode is very helpful and in no way gamebreaking. I think I would have thrown the game out of the window if this feature wasn’t in the game during the encounter with multiple Clickers earl in the game.
    I still don’t get why the non-Clicker enemies sometimes charge at me from miles away and some of them just stand there, waiting for me to finish them off one after another. Is it funky AI or am I missing something?

  8. I’ve mainly been going back and forth between Terraria on PS3 and Animal Crossing on 3DS.
    Aside from those , it’s been the odd round of golf now and again in Tiger 14 and the usual selection of meets.

  9. This week obviously has been all about TLOU. Great game although quite challenging at times as I’m rubbish at anything stealth. I like to take a more gung Ho approach to games as Youles has found out in our co op gaming sessions. Loving the story though! I managed to fit in a few hours on Sleeping Dogs over the weekend to nab myself the shiny plat for that. Gaming aside though, majority of my time has been spent setting up a record label. Most fun I’ve ever had!

  10. According to my save game i’m 43% of the way through TLoU after 10 hours and 20 mins gameplay.
    The clickers i can handle ok funnily enough – it’s the bigger baddies that are proving frustrating for me, especially when there’s a horde of the others running about too. If only i didn’t need to start up that generator .. :)
    Other than that, i played a chunk of KZ HD and tried out the demos this week, Giana Sisters and (Thunderwolf?). Giana Sisters looks lovely but the gameplay feels a bit lite and i don’t think i’ll go for the full game. The chopper game is kind of like Time Crisis meets Swiv .. kinda … my main gripe with it was that you can’t invert the y-axis so i just can’t play it without ending up facing anywhere except where i want to aim.

    • There’s a good way to deal with the big chaps (bloaters) if you want to know how. Pop over to the forum/Twitter if you fancy a simple tip.

      • Lovely stuff bunimomike – i’ll pop over for a look after work!

      • We have great tips on The Last of Us ^^

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