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The Last Of Us is a survival adventure video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony. Since its release on the Playstation 3 in 2013, the game has garnered a reputation as one of the most critically well-received and influential video games of the era. Its sequel, The Last of Us Part II, was announced in 2016 and was released on June 19th, 2020.
In The Last of Us, players control Joel, a survivor of a viral outbreak that turns humans into zombie-like creatures. In the opening sequence of the game, Joel's daughter is shot by a soldier, deeply embittering Joel to humanity. The majority of the game takes place 20 years after the outbreak, where society has devolved into militaristic war zones and independent settlements. Eventually, Joel meets Ellie, a girl who is infected with the virus but does not turn into a creature, suggesting she may be the hope for finding a cure. Joel is charged with transporting Ellie to a militia known as the Fireflies, who will take care of Ellie. Along the journey, Joel and Ellie grow close after overcoming multiple harrowing situations.
Once Joel and Ellie reach the Fireflies, Joel learns the Fireflies plan to kill Ellie in order to analyze her body to find a cure. Joel decides to abduct Ellie and escape the Fireflies camp, killing their leader along the way. Afterwards, he lies and tells Ellie that the Fireflies could not find a cure, and the game ends here.
Naughty Dog began developing The Last of Us in 2009. The game was directed by Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann. Its first trailer was shown at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards (shown below). The game was released on June 14th, 2013.
On February 14th, 2014, The Last of Us: Left Behind was released as downloadable content, serving as a prequel to the series. An enhanced version of the game, The Last of Us Remastered, was released for the Playstation 4 on July 29th, 2014.
The Last of Us Part II
In February of 2014, Straley and Druckmann announced they were working on a sequel. The Last of Us Part II was announced in December of 2016 alongside a trailer for the game (shown below, left). A gameplay trailer for the game was released at E3 2018 (shown below, right). That trailer was praised for the viciousness of the showcased gameplay, as well as its high animation quality in a sequence where Ellie kisses a girl at a dance.
Months preceding the June 2020 release of the game had major leaks about the game plot, with some gaming communities reacting negatively to new character Abby and the plot of the sequel in general.
The game was released on June 19th to universal critical acclaim. On Metarcritic, the sequel received generally negative user reviews.
The Last of Us was extremely well-received critically, gaining a score of 95/100 on Metacritic. Reviewers praised the look of the game, its well-told and intricate story, and its mix of stealth, shooting, and crafting gameplay. It was the third best-selling game of all time on the Playstation 3, and sold over 3.4 million units in three weeks. The game won over 240 Game of the Year awards. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson won multiple awards for their portrayals of Joel and Ellie.
The game has a thriving online presence, with over 410,000 Facebook likes and a subreddit with over 45,000 followers. The game has a strong YouTube presence as well, as both Let's Play and analysis videos about the game have grown popular. YouTuber Grant Voetgle published an analysis of the game that gained over 1.2 million views (shown below, left). Super Best Friends Play played the game on their channel, with the first episode gaining over 550,000 views (shown below, right).