Monday 15 July 2013

Rob Talks Games - The Last Of Us/FTL

Words: Rob Wade

What's up, loyal E14ies? Since I've been quiet for a little while, I figured I'd chip in with a few thoughts on my recent gaming history. Since last I posted, there's been tons of news on the next-gen consoles, but to be honest at this point I've got far too much good stuff going on in my gaming collection to worry about whether the Xbox One and Playstation 4 will have a certain feature four months before the hardware ships. I'll worry about it when there's stuff worth playing.

Anyway, rant over. On to the games!

The Last Of Us

Naughty Dog's mult-million selling game is deserving of a hell of a lot of plaudits, if you ask me. I finished it the other night on Normal difficulty (for those keeping score, I tend to go Normal/Hard by default for the slightly higher challenge you understandably don't get with Easy mode). Having had some time to digest the game, I can safely say that it's one of the most engaging games of this console generation from start to finish. The graphics are incredible, particularly the scenery around the characters. The characters are so well written that it's impossible not to like them more as the game progresses, particularly in the cases of the incidental dialogue between Joel and Ellie. Encompassing all of it, more importantly, is one of the most compelling stories I've seen in gaming history. I would be hard pushed to choose between The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite for my game of 2013 so far, as they're both superbly realised in different ways.

It's not a perfect game, by any means. There's some seriously dodgy AI going on at times, and although I understand the logic of not having the secondary characters 'visible' to the enemies to avoid AI-related fuckups, it doesn't really make much sense when it comes to seeing the game in motion and sort of detracts from the immersion factor. Nonetheless, the game is an absolute stunner, and one that I'll most certainly be picking up again at some point in the not too distant future.


I have now been playing FTL for 44 hours, according to Steam. In that time, I have 0 successful campaign victories. Despite this, I don't feel that the game is anything but excellently built. I can't help but feel like I improve a little bit every time I fail, which is a difficulty curve I can absolutely deal with. It's also a game that benefits from a very easy pick-up-and-play feel, which is handy considering that most of my gameplay on this title is done on my lunch breaks at work! Moreover, it's a title that inspires a lot of interest from the people passing me at my desk, and with such a low price tag it's difficult not to recommend.

Maybe one day I'll beat it.

I've been playing some other stuff, but there's not really much to say about Animal Crossing: New Leaf beyond the fact that it's adorable and really relaxing. Once I've played a bit more of some other games, I'll put up some stuff about those too, but in the meantime, my recommendation is simple: Play the above two games.

Agree/Disagree? Why not let's talk about it in the comments below? Wouldn't some civilised discourse be awesome?