A common controversy among the gaming population is what specifically defines perfection, and can it be culminated in a simple score? What is the standard of perfection? What are the requirements to meet the basis of a good game, and how do you exceed that to be defined, perfect? In this new little series that I’ve simply titled, Why’d this get a 10/10, I want to explore all of the thought that went into scoring certain games a, “perfect score.” I want to break down things by what I agree with, maybe things I disagree with, and ultimately, determine why the game was scored the way it was. This is a game that I feel received a lot of genuine controversy for the perfect scores it received on its launch. Many people wrote it off as another post apocalypse style zombie game that wasn’t worth the time investment, or the interest in general. Hell, you may even have that very same thought running through your head seeing it be the topic of this write up. But I feel this game deserves to be talked about in a general and informative way to explore why people felt the way they felt about it. Which is why today’s focus is: The Last of Us Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is a cinematic, post-apocalyptic story of two individuals journey to find hope in a dying world. This basic summary is typically the first stopping point for people when it came to this game. The familiar tropes of a tired and true zombie story left the curious gamer with a sour memory at first, one that left them un-interested and bored. This mentality isn’t entirely unjustified either. Gamers desire new experiences for the most part, and when faced with familiarity they will typically welcome it or refuse it. So in looking at what separates The Last of Us from your average zombie title, we need to set aside our thoughts on its genre and look more into what it is at heart. The Last of Us has been defined by critics at large as, “an experience.” The praise and acclaim this title received came from where gamers didn’t expect to see it, which was in its ability to tell you its story. And what I believe happened is The Last of Us broke the tropes of your general game. I believe that gamers found more than a simple game in The Last of Us. Let’s take a look at what former IGN writer Colin Moriarty has to say in regards to this title. Notice that while lightly touching on gameplay, he raves about the experience more than anything else. We can see this exact consensus mirrored in reviews such as, Patrick Klepek’s GiantBomb review. Or even in Jim Sterling’s Destructoid review. These critics speak of this game as if it was more than a game to them. In fact, The Last of Us to a lot of people was truly, an experience. The cinematic drama, raw emotion, characterization and wonderful dynamic the main character’s share is what truly creates the driving force of the game. For the most part, I feel gamers expect to be ready to leap into games headfirst with the story being the ancillary thought and the gameplay being king. This isn’t to say The Last of Us fails from a gameplay standard. Quite the contrary, the gameplay was quite the solid experience, though I do not 100% feel it is as perfect as critics praised it originally. I feel a lot of this was based on the occasional inability to perfectly focus fire or the twitchy and sometimes unreactive execution of stealth combat. However, for the time it was reviewed, these small critiques have little bearing on what makes The Last of Us so enticing. What shocked people looking from the outside, into The Last of Us from a story perspective, is that you can’t feel the tension, the connection, the emotional dynamic that you share with these characters as you play them. No let’s play or 15-minute game demo can define what makes the game special. While you may see things you like in the demo, or things that may not interest you, the overall package of the game is combining itself with the ability to immerse you. This was lost on anybody that hasn’t taken the time to sit down and truly explore the universe of The Last of Us. When we pick this game apart piece by piece, we begin to realize these pieces in conjunction are what make the game so damn good. When we look at the cutscenes alone, we lost feeling of the gameplay. When we look at gameplay demos, we lose sight of the characters and story. When we play all of this in conjunction, what we are left with is what everyone has been talking about all along. An experience. A culmination of what Naughty Dog does best, which is tell you a story while allowing you to have fun with that story. Allowing you to feel like you aren’t just playing a game, but are on a journey in graphically gorgeous universe. You are seeing these characters through an emotional rollercoaster ride that you are in control of. The basis of a good game is, in my opinion, the ability to have you enjoy the game based on the what it is packaged with. Whether that be nothing but gameplay, nothing but story, or a combination, it does not matter. But when you can combine those things to make a good game, and set a standard that exceeds what you thought you wanted, you have created a great game, if not, a perfect game. And that, my fellow gamers. Is why The Last of Us received a: 10/10 ________________________________________________________________________________________ I hope you enjoyed my first try at a new article piece. I won’t commit to this being a weekly thing but I plan on making it recurring. But I would love to hear your thoughts on this piece of ways it can improve, if you agree or disagree, and what you would like to see next. Ill be adding a poll for the next game I’ll cover, although I do already have plans for the next title I’d like to look at, so the poll will most likely be for the third game I plan on covering. This was very experimental and I aim to improve it, so please forgive if there still is a lack of detail or a repetitive nature to it. I felt I did this particular game justice in my initial look, but I would not mind responding to feedback in any way to maybe give this another shot and improve it if it isn’t to your liking. Thanks for reading guys, your support is everything!