As you’ve hopefully seen I’ve been replaying my way through TLOU to gear myself up for the 2nd game, this is a process I never go through except for big MCU movies. However I felt that I needed a real good reminder of such a big game, especially one which is deemed one of the greatest action/thrillers of all time. I was hesitant as I hadn’t touched the game since the release weekend and I’ve had it sat on my PS4 ever since it was a PS Plus game, never touched. Revisiting the game 7 years later does it still have the same punch as before?
When I last played this game I was 23, needless to say at 30 years old I’m a very different person and years of partying since then have made me all but forget this game. I could remember basic things about the gameplay and kind of remember the end but the beginning and middle had left my mind. I had even forgotten that Joel’s daughter had died, although I knew it started badly for her I couldn’t remember the exact details (until I started the game as her that is). Re-playing this game has a real strange mix of nostalgia and new thoughts on the game, I now have such a deeper understanding of games (especially after having to write and talk about them every week) and this has only made me appreciate this game more in every aspect. Not only can I appreciate the differences in gameplay segments and appreciate level design but I now connect more with the characters going through this turmoil, and I guess that’s why this game is amazing, because it makes you connect.
Although I have been making my way through the game rather quickly to ensure it’s finished before part 2 comes out I am still trying to take time to read the notes and hit triangle when special dialogue options come up. I can’t deny that this play through has made me feel more emotional and feel sorry for these characters I’ve never met, this definitely wasn’t the case in 2013 – so my age has only improved my enjoyment of the story and world built. Moreso I fell more pain for the main characters who are so wonderfully written and acted that it makes me feel like this game will never get old, of course the remastered graphics help it stand up in 2020 still but Joel and Ellie are 2 of the best written characters I’ve ever played as and this just makes you want to keep going until you’ve found everything about them, and makes you care when they fall out or have little bits of comedy. I am so glad that I’ve re-experienced their story as I know this will only make me enjoy the 2nd instalment so much more.
Additionally the gameplay segments are more…apparent to me now. What I mean is I am more critical of the pace the game sets which has resulted in a deeper appreciation of it. I love how the game throws you from sneaking, to action, to running whilst mixing up enemy types. Yes the gameplay makes it very obvious what type of segment you’re playing and the enemy types are never mixed (infected with humans) but having to adapt to entirely different play styles is so satisfying and ensures the game never gets tiresome. I also think that the game’s crafting/survival mechanics are perfect, they aren’t too deep and fiddly but force you to check your gun is always reloaded and your medi kits are topped up – you learn quickly that if you go into a battle unprepared you’re going to die. Not only is the pace of the gameplay almost perfect and but so is the pacing of the overall story, the way the game cleverly uses the seasons to jump through time ensures you never get bored – and many games based around zombies or the end of the world can be a little too slow paced.
In a nutshell what I’m saying is that this game still absolutely stands up in 2020, it’s still a 10/10 game and as I’ve said countless times Naughty Dog can do no wrong. This game hits every note of an enjoyable game perfectly, and although the story topics can be dark and depressing it draws you in and doesn’t let go. All I can hope is number 2 is just as good for me, don’t forget to catch up on my Play through here: