The Last of Us
|The Last of Us|
Ellie and Joel between two encounters with infected baboons
|Publisher(s)||Phony Computer Entertainment|
|Genre||Zombies, Bath salts use|
|Platform(s)||ClayStation, Not SexBox|
|Rating||Violence, Bloody Violence, Gory Violence, Flower Bouquets|
The Last of Us is a best-selling game released in 2013, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic USA where the streets are roaming with zombie-like infected people, just like today. The goal is to bring an immunized girl from Boston all the way to a rebel hideout in the West to try to find a cure to the disease. Also, maybe importantly, the infected are attacking everyone in sight, including the player. The game garnered widespread critical acclaim from critics, fans and zombies. The amount of money invested to make the game was staggering, much like the costs of producing this very article. The profits the game generated were also huge, unlike this article.
Twenty years before the start of the main game, the protagonist Joel returns from work and receives a suspiciously expensive watch as a gift from his daughter Sarah. She explains that she paid for the watch using money she received from selling hardcore drugs, and Joel laughs and almost chokes to death on his crack smoke. He orders fried chicken for his daughter and himself but unfortunately, the delivery man has been infected by the pestiferous chicken. It isn't the only thing that's finger licking good that day and the delivery man jumps right through the glass patio door in an attempt to eat Joel's daughter. Joel shoots the scoundrel (1st score for the 2nd amendment) and joins with his brother Tommy in a desperate escape attempt by chariot, as it seems the infected people are everywhere now, seeing normal people as pizza. After a breathtaking ordeal through the city streets, Joel meets an upstanding soldier who shoots his daughter dead right on the spot. Tommy blasts the military man in the temple almost at the same time, and Joel takes time to shed manly tears, despite the fact he was just seconds away from being eaten prior to the encounter with the member of the 26th Brain-dead Battalion.
Now it begins
Fast-forward 20 years, Joel's beard hair is slightly grey and ball hair is greyer. Most importantly, he met a female partner in Tess, a tough woman who never washes the dishes. They now live in a world where they are imprisoned in a "quarantine" zone maintained by the army, much like Palestine. At the point where our story picks up, Tess is pretty pissed at Robert, a guy who owed them weapons but tried to kill her instead, so they decide to go pay the clown a little visit of their own. They find the man, and just as one was wondering if Tess was a sweetheart or not, she proceeds to shoot the poor Robert right in the face. So much for that soft feminine touch, the player is left to think.
It turns out Robert has given the weapons to the Fireflies, a bunch of rebels decimated by the Army. And who happens to pop up right after Tess offs Rob? That's right, the boss of the Fireflies, Marlene. She wants a young girl, Ellie, smuggled out of the city, then Tess and Robert can have their weapons back plus some chocolate bars and cookies. They accept immediately. They lead the girl right out of the city and learn that she is only 14, not that that has anything to do with anything, thank you, and they begin to appreciate her toughness. Indeed, she is eager to strangle soldiers who get in their way. Joel also does a good part of the choking to death thing, unless they encounter what is romantically called a "clicker". Everybody has a friend that is a "clicker", the kind of friend that will just chew your face off if they hear you and that you can only dispose of with a shiv hit in the throat. Be kind to them or die.
It is revealed between two choke-holds that Ellie is immunized to the infection, no, not the sexual one, the one that turns people into zombies. Marlene wanted that little brat to be worked on so a cure can be developed, hence their desperate dash out of the city without so much as a last meth hit.
Our trio is soon stuck in a library with an army contingent after them, then Tess reveals she was bitten by an infected a little earlier when she was busy looking at shoes in a store. She admonishes Joel to bring Ellie to the nearest Fireflies' research center, which is in Denver. She stays there to fight the nasty soldiers and help the duo escape instead of turning into a mindless zombie. She dies an heroic death.
Joel and Ellie continue their escape, and Joel is awfully busy hoarding in scissors, tape, cloth and alcohol. (The last one seems logical) He fabricates a whole range of tools with those items, from axe-like defensive items to beautiful knitted vests. (Whole hours of great gameplay can be unlocked when Joel has 2 scissor blades and some thread, at which point the player can enjoy the mini-game Knitting Hero, much akin to Guitar Hero)
Bill the Psycho
They finally stumble onto a Joel's acquaintance, Bill. Middle-aged, Harvard educated and totally schizophrenic, Bill can behead a pack of infected while playing the flute. He owes something to Joel (nothing sexual, thank Goodness) and Joel needs a car. A Lamborghini would be best but anything will do. Bill doesn't have a working car but knows where to find one, and it happens to be in a neighborhood overrun with infected. They go to that wretched place and on the way, Bill and Ellie's soul make some sparks. Love is definitely not in the air as they avoid Bill's traps and decimate infected after infected. They finally get to a school and while shooting some hoops in the gym, they are attacked by an obese infected of the third kind. If the player gets caught by this one, he can kiss Joel's face goodbye, as it will be torn right off his skull in a not-so-elegant moment. They kill the monstrosity after depleting their guns and filling their underwear.
After surviving that, the trio finds Bill's highly suspected male sex partner hanging from a ceiling in some house. Bill cries rivers while Ellie and Joel take the nearby car, say an embarrassed goodbye and go.
Pittsburgh the beautiful
While trying to cross Pittsburgh, they come across a huge amount of cars blocking the way, a pile-up much like one can expect even in our world, given the legendary driving habits of Pittsburgers. They go downtown and Joel does what everybody would do when he sees a man crying for help in the middle of the street: he tries to run him over. It was a trap and the old car is immediately rammed by an Ice cream truck. Much like in reality, the city is now a cesspool of lawless human debris and they will do anything for, say, a good pair of shoes, just like the lads Joel and Ellie have to escape from or better yet, kill.
In a touching moment, near the end of this episode, Joel hands 4 feet tall Ellie a bazooka and asks her to cover him while he jumps down a scaffold to fight some of Pittsburgh's finest. After the "encounter", Joel hands Ellie a staple gun, saying this will be more of her size than the bazooka. They then meet with two visible minority Africano-Americo-Pittsburgho-Pennsylvanians brothers and they accompany them for a while since the elder of the two reportedly saves Joel from drowning, but since they are black and therefore can't swim, it's hard to believe. Anyway, they push on for an old Burger King situated in the outskirts of the decrepit city, since it was the rendez-vous point for their drug smuggling operations. They never get there as the younger brother gets infected by a piranha plant along the way, forcing a fratricide when he tries to grab Ellie and have her for breakfast. It is followed by a stunning suicide. Joel and Ellie are the survivors of this, and they just carry on. As Joel would philosophically say: "No use crying over spilled brain matter."
In the fall, the duo's car finally runs out of gas in Wyoming, where Joel knows his brother is holed up. They reach Tommy's barrage/city, as Joel's brother is just about to repair an old hydroelectric plant with a few hairpins twisted together. The pair are served a heart warming dinner of 20 year old spaghetti with even older sauce, and a 1954 bottle of Bordeaux, worth a whopping 2 rifle bullets now. Joel is planning to leave Ellie to Tommy so he can wash his hands of the young girl fate as his brother tries to reunite her with the Fireflies. Upon hearing the news that Joel plans to leave her, Ellie storms off on the back of the nearest elephant. Tommy and Joel chase in hot pursuit and take a few bullets for it, as Tommy has angered some of the surrounding area survivors by winning the "Best Eater's Contest" for 2 years in a row, hence why the shotgun pellets are flying. They reach Ellie at an abandoned ranch where Joel promises her to deliver her personally to the Fireflies, before being surprised by (yet) another gang of thugs. After much shooting and hacking, they go back to Tommy's settlement where they are given a horse since Tommy doesn't want to part with his favorite (and only) elephant. The brothers separate as Tommy instructs Joel to tickle the horse on the stomach once a day to help its digestion.
Ellie and Joel soon find the University campus, and it is littered with used condoms, empty beer bottles and syringes, a sign that the premises were once used as a teaching facility. After seeing baboons, giraffes and parrots, they learn from a cadaver and his tape player that the Fireflies left the place for Pepper Lake City. They just turn away but what a surprise, they are ambushed on their way out. The encounter does not bode well for Joel, who does a triple backflip off a balcony and lands right on a sharp piece of glass. He barely manages to make it out of the building alive after Ellie pulls the foreign object out. She helps him to get on the horse and bye bye, we're outta here.
At long last the game resumes its loading process and Ellie is now hunting a deer with a bow. The reason why she has not taken Joel's scoped rifle is anyone's guess. She shoots the poor thing 15 times with her bow to finally kill it and encounter two chaps who'd trade her the deer for medicine for Joel, who has been in a semi-coma since autumn thanks to his parkour adventure. While one of the guys is gone to look for penicillin and homemade booze, David and Ellie are attacked by a bunch of infected and the player understands what repetition means, as he is almost certain of dying over and over and over. Picture someone armed with 3 arrows caught in a small cabin attacked from all sides by hordes of enraged zombies. That's about what's going on. Ellie finally dispatches the filthy crew. There is an uncomfortable moment when David reveals he doesn't like her all that much since Joel and her previously slaughtered some of his men at a county fair in 1966. Ellie storms off on the horse, gets back to the luxurious wooden shed where Joel is lying and injects him with the penicillin.
Soon, David's gang (call them the bad boys, or bandits, or assholes) are in sight of the shed since they tracked her Chanel #5 perfume scent. Ellie scrambles off on the horse, but the damn hillbillies kill the brave beast while she is on it. Ellie resists valiantly, killing almost all of them except David, who makes her a prisoner in his jail/cannibal den back at his village. Ellie manages to piss them off so much that they get her out of her predicament to chop her into tiny little pieces, but she escapes in the village, killing a few hundred men once again. David surprises her in the town's restaurant and knocks her out.
Meanwhile, Joel wakes up
Joel regains consciousness after the medicine acts in him, eats a bowl of Captain Crunch for sustenance and goes searching for Ellie. He soon finds some bandits, takes them prisoners and politely interrogates them about where Ellie may be located, but the two blokes swiftly refuse to betray David. Joel soon drops the gentlemanly mask when dislocating one of the guys' knee with his old denture. It doesn't take long for them to talk (and then for Joel to kill them in a gruesome way afterward, for no other apparent reason or use than personal enjoyment). Joel then goes to Ranchtown Gulch (population: not much) and joins with Ellie at the restaurant, where she proceeded to unknock herself out and kill David with furious pan blows to the skull right before Joel appears. They throw in a great reunion banquet composed of canned peaches and SPAM, then set sail for Pepper Lake City.
Finally meeting the Fireflies
Once there, Ellie almost drowns while trying to recuperate a teddy bear in a river rapid, Joel saves her just in time to practice his CPR, but gets knocked out for the seventeenth time in the game by a Firefly soldier. When he comes back to his senses in a hospital room, Marlene is there. Joel doesn't exactly jumps out of joy since it really is not his style. Marlene explains to him that the doctors will be able to make a vaccine out of Ellie, only there is a little hiccup: they will have to take her brain out to engineer it. Joel, being a rocket scientist, figures out this would kill Ellie. Marlene goes away (!) and asks her armed friend to take Joel out of the building. Joel does a backflip at just the right time, and asks the bloke very nicely after shooting him in the scrotum area: "Where could I please find Ellie, dear sir?" He is rewarded with a concise answer just before the bloke dies right on cue. Joel finds the room where they are operating Ellie, and asks the doctor about alternative treatments for his hernia right before beheading him and taking the still unconscious Ellie away. He kills Marlene for good measure and gets the hell out of there by car.
Ellie wakes up from the anesthetics and asks Joel what the hell happened. Joel answers in a long, lie-infested diatribe that she was no use at all to the Fireflies doctors and that they have stopped trying to find a cure, sorry about that. They go trekking and Ellie finally asks Joel if everything he said about the Fireflies was true. Joel takes a solemn expression and answers calmly: "Actually no, but who fucking cares? Come on, cheer up!"
Ellie nods in approbation, fade to black, credits roll.
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