Why did this get a 10/10? - #1: The Last of Us

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by chavosaur, Jan 25, 2016.

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What is the next game you would like to see on this feature for getting a 10/10

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  1. chavosaur
    OP

    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    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

    LastofUs1010.jpg

    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.

    The-Last-of-Us-Joel-and-Ellie.jpg

    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!
     
  2. SockNaste

    SockNaste My Little Pony Fetish

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    I loved this game...
    The graphics, game play, and story really gets you in...
     
  3. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I forgot
    When I first read the title I thought you were trying to say The Last of Us didn't deserve the 10/10 and I hated you.

    Now that I've briefly skimmed the article, I don't hate you.

    Probably.

    Good article, though.
     
  4. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

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    To my opinion -- this game is not a 10 to me at all. It might be .. well.. perhaps a 8. My favorite games like Uncharted and Castlevania PS3 and I would consider them to be 9. Therefore, I won't consider them to be 10 even thought they are my favorite. They remain a 9 to me. Again, It is IMPOSSIBLE for any games to be a 10. A 10 is a very rare for the BEST GAME EVER. I don't see any games to do that. Sorry.

    Curious: Why do I see some games and movies already have a father and daughter. I am getting tired of a father and a daughter together all the time. What's wrong with a father and a son too? Sexism ?? I think so. Sighing.
     
    Last edited by azoreseuropa, Jan 25, 2016
  5. SockNaste

    SockNaste My Little Pony Fetish

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    That isn't his daughter...
     
  6. chavosaur
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    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    As we can see we once again have an example I pointed out in my write up. Someone that looked at this game without taking the time to experience it or even delve into it and thus, is ignorant of the game.
     
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  7. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    I did check out this game for a short time out of curiosity, but it's a console FPS that runs at 30fps, which is enough to turn me off. I decided to watch through all the cutscenes, since the story is what people loved about it, and I can see why other people liked it.

    EDIT: TPS not FPS, my mistake.
     
    Last edited by TecXero, Jan 27, 2016
  8. Steena

    Steena GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Personally, I cannot get immersed in ND games because of their systematical game design philosophy; it's extremely predictable, boring and one-dimensional to me. Their game design/pacing looks like it was made by a robot, rather than a person. It needs a little unpredictability to spice things up.

    Especially when we're talking about a supposed post-apocalyptic survival setting in TLOU, I see a major disconnect with the mood overall. Unpredictability should have been the #1 gameplay element/feel here. But the entire game has a fetish about control and order, from the mechanics to the pacing to the level design to the tutorial to the presentation, etc. Looks too artificial, and so, immersion is broken for me.

    The opening part is probably the very best example of why I dislike TLOU. "Hey look, you are controlling a little girl that wasn't even featured in the cover. Guess what happens to this girl? Yep, we let you control her during unsuspecting pre-apocalipse times so you can sympathize with her, so please feel bad when she's dead!" This is "the first guy who dies in a horror movie 5 minutes in" kind of cliche. It was obvious since the very first moment you take control of the game. So really, what do you feel, and how can you be immersed, when the execution is so by the books that it exposes its own events as cold plot devices? A story should try to conceal its tricks as tricks. If it doesn't, it becomes a nameless script.

    There is a breaking point where total, systematical consistency is detrimental, especially in a creative work.
    I challenge you to replay TLOU while thinking about "what should happen next, and when" at every moment. Every time a dialogue pops up, every time you get a new item, or encounter a new enemy type; every time a "gameplay part" starts, and every time you get to a "walking exposition" part. You'll find how little effort it makes to be a genuine experience by being extremely systematical.

    (also, NPCs being ignored by monsters, just standing in their idle animation is incredibly immersion breaking, this alone should not warrant the game a 10/10 on being an "experience")
     
  9. koim

    koim GBAtemp Regular

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    That's the main problem. The last of us is a game. A great game I concur, but it is a game first and foremost. And it has several little gameplay shortcomings, such as a subpar AI (which sometime can be a lifesaver given the suicidal tendencies of npcs such as Bill), a clunky scripting that can make ennemies spawn out of nowhere at some specific places, the (not totally unrelated) listen mode that sometimes fails to pick up some presences...
    I understand some people overlook those small shortcomings given the overall quality of the experience.
    I simply can not.
     
    Last edited by koim, Jan 25, 2016
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  10. chavosaur
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    chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    I think you're forcing cliche and trope to be negatives when they simply serve as means of story telling. These tropes exist because they serve as a means of giving character and emotion to the story, just because it exists in other medium doesn't make it a back thing. Especially when you consider that not everyone shares the foresight you share to, "see these things coming a mile away."

    Your skepticism sounds like it ruins a lot for you when you can't avoid these kinds of things in story telling. How can you even watch movies or enjoy content if content is based on existing tropes and "cliche's" of
    Its predecessors???

    And my big question for you really is how do you enjoy games if anything that isn't your basic open world game, is a linear systematic experience that serves to, "take you on a journey?"

    How many tricks and deceiving moments have actually happened for you in story telling and games, and how many of those moments have been replicated since the first game to do it... Did it?

    And a better question is really, is it that bad to base your games off of these concepts when this could be the first experience for that person?

    I'm not going to deny that some of your critiques were genuinely sound, in AI and design. The point of this new project of mine is to point out WHY it got a 10/10, not to reaffirm why it DESERVES a 10/10, if it even deserves it at all.

    The things you pointed out are intriguing for sure, and I was genuinely hoping to hear differing opinions to create bigger discussion over it. It's hard to truly decide perfection, so picking at the flaws is always fun to do.
     
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  11. Khasho

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    To me this game is not a 10/10 at all.... A game should never receive 10/10 for story or graphics... More than decade ago we were playing games which gave us more freedom with the gameplay... Gave us the ability to craft different experience, A movie is where story remains the same but while watching we always think if we were the main character we would have done things differently and it is that kind freedom and experience which is needed in games these days. Games have the power to make us feel angry, sad, betrayed and other emotions but instead of the player the character feels it, and acts it out in cutscenes. I hate the word cinematic because games and movies are separate mediums and in order to make games more cinematic it is loosing its identity, they are becoming movie like which is not good for games.
     
  12. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

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    No, I mean her father Joel and you know what I mean about sexism. :)
     
    Last edited by azoreseuropa, Jan 25, 2016
  13. Apextreme

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    This was, in my opinion, and after playing in all of its difficulties, a really great game. 10's for me don't exist, but this is an amazing game, with top end production values, graphics, remarkable storyline and gameplay elements.

    I agree that it is in fact an error to think that games should equal or be "more" like movies (Like The Last OF Us). They are different things, and one of the very important aspects of videogames IS its freedom. The "I can do this OR this in the game" element.

    I think that The Last of Us fails in giving this freedom (or at least not in its conceptual perfect status), because you can't choose anything of what happenns in the story. You choose how to advance it (weapons, running, stealth, difficulty), and it impacts a little bit the experience/journey, but not the outcome.

    Good article OP. I think you can go in deeper though. But its a very nice try for the first one.

    Cheers.
     
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  14. Daggot

    Daggot GBAtemp Fan

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    Its not a first person shooter you know. Also the ps4 version runs at 60fps last time I heard.

    I just don't get people who watch these things on youtube.
     
  15. ILOVETOPLAYNESGA

    ILOVETOPLAYNESGA Member

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    My old roommate loaned me the game about six months ago, and I finally finished it last week. For me, it was an at most, 8/10. However, it isn't the kind of style I enjoy, and I thought the ending was kind of ... eh...
    Just not my style game, but I can see why some people loved it.
     
  16. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    That's right, third person, oh well. Still the same issues. I still wasn't that big on the cutscenes. I watched them so I could get an idea of what people were talking about without having to work my way through the game. PS3 was the only option due to me not wanting to buy another console just for a couple of games. Even then, it'd still be controlled with a gamepad, not exactly ideal, especially for the investment it would require.
     
  17. Issac

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    People thought it was a good game, and they gave it a 10/10. Doesn't have to be much more difficult than that :P Good idea for an article series, would love to see more in the future!
    I never understood why people focus so much on review scores, that's why I'll use a more simple system with my revies (on my web page, when I get around to it): Bad - alright - amazing. The focus should be on what's said in the review, and what motivates the score... not the actual number.
    Just like that Rainbow Six game that get good reviews: when reading the review hearing that there's no single player... it's an instant zero for me because I don't like multiplayer games. The game might be great, but it's just not for me.
    The same goes the other way around too. If someone complains about a game being the dated collect-a-thon genre (but otherwise perfectly fine), I know that I like that and will give it a go even though it gets a bad score.

    I haven't played this game sadly, but it does look really good. Not a huge fan of zombies (even if they're plant zombies) with the one exception being the Silent Hill franchise (OK, not zombies, but monsters), but since there's so much praise for the story... I'll have to test it once I get myself a PS4. (or find it ultra cheap for PS3)
     
  18. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

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    The Last Of Us didn't deserve 10/10. Now feed me that hate!
     
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  19. SockNaste

    SockNaste My Little Pony Fetish

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    I am not gonna give u any hate, but even the person you quoted didn't say it was a 10/10. So what you just said made no sense :rofl2:
     
  20. mediabob

    mediabob GBAtemp Regular

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    I don't think the last of us was a 10, but I respect what Naughty Dog is trying to do with the medium. It's hard to cross the line between movies and games and get the right balance and the story and presentation is definitely what hooked me on the game.

    I reserved it for launch and I wasn't going to play it right away because if my back log but I popped in just to check it out and that opening scene roped me in and kept me going.

    That said, at some points it becomes to linier and forgets it is a game.

    This is an interesting discussion after the explosion at IGN this morning about The Witness getting a 10, at the end of the day though we have to remember that a review is one person's opinion and that can very much very skewed by how much they like a genre/developer/etc

    I don't care for FPS games so if you asked me to review one I am sure my disdain of the genre would leak in to it. I am a self admitted massive Nintendo fan boy so I am sure that would also leak in to a review if I scored say a new 3D Mario game. For example I am also a huge Infamous fan so I loved Second Son even for all the negativity around it, but how much if that did I miss because of my love for the series?

    Sometime I think reviews can be products of the time to. It would be interesting for the same reviewer that gave a game a 10 to look at it again 10 years later and see what they thought. Some games are timeless and some not so much. When I played Last of Us at launch I would had said a solid 9 but after replaying the PS4 version I wasn't so amazed by it and probably would have gone a bit lower.
     
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