I recently completed The Last Of Us Remastered, having had it for over a year but never getting round to it. Although I do not think it was a masterpiece like many critics and players proclaimed, I still thought it was a very good game. However, I will not claim it is overrated (that word is very much overused) just because I did not enjoy it as much as others. It is simply a matter of different tastes. What I would like to do is compare The Last Of Us’s story with one of my favourite games of the previous generation, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
The Last Of Us tells the very deep and personal story of a man (who has suffered greatly) accompanying a girl (who has also suffered greatly) across the US for a specific purpose (I am trying to avoid spoilers here). Along the way they meet very believable and interesting characters, their relationship and bond grows, and they have to work together to survive. Skyrim, on the other hand, is a typical fantasy story about stopping an evil dragon hell-bent on destroying the world.
However, for all the emotional strings The Last Of Us pulls, I feel myself far more drawn to the world and story of Skyrim. How so? Skyrim has an overarching narrative that is far more memorable. Skyrim creates this living, breathing world where your actions shape and affect it. It has reams of lore to pore over, and sidequests that give the story a sense of greater purpose. Almost every character, building and so on has a story to tell and gives the world a sense of wonder.
Furthermore, you create your own character, and all these elements combine to make you feel as you are in the world itself: you are the Dragonborn, and you are living the game. The Last Of Us made me feel I was playing as Joel rather than being Joel, therefore I wasn’t nearly as emotionally invested as in Skyrim.
These are just two examples. There is nothing wrong with linearity, but what I think games like Skyrim prove is that what you lose in narrative is more than made up for in immersion. This is a key aspect of why I love games. A game as focused and as tight as The Last Of Us does not immerse me to the same level as a Skyrim or Dragon Age, and this is why I will remember these games far more fondly. Francis Jackson Well, each to their own. There’s nothing so immersion-breaking in The Last Of Us as that guy in Dragonreach who, after 300 hours, is still advising that we go and check out the mage’s college over in Winterhold. We have. We’re its archmage. Give it a rest.
As I sit here in excitement for the forthcoming Star Wars movie, I am already enjoying the volley of merchandise, trailers and, more importantly, Battlefront. I played both betas, thought the game looked and played amazing, and it left me dying to get my hands on the full version of the game. However, looking online at the nasty world that is the Internet, I found more and more negative comments on the game, mostly by people who hadn’t played it.
I ignored them, naturally. I continued to wait in anticipation for the game that would reignite my childhood addiction to that galaxy far, far away. Apart from the usual novella-length YouTube comments about why I personally shouldn’t preorder games, the sense that Star Wars was really coming back was palpable, and when the day of release finally came, I stayed up until midnight to play the game the second it went online.
I was thrilled. The game looked excellent, sounded even better, and I was hooked instantly – as any true Star Wars fan should
“For all the emotional strings The Last Of Us pulls, I feel myself far more drawn to Skyrim”