The Last of Us - Recensione

Author: Mattia "Zave" Ravanelli
Date: 2020-03-02 23:06:22
There are no planes that crash, cars that explode, trains that derail or skyscrapers that collapse in Joel and Ellie's journey. When the two protagonists of The Last of Us meet and create the basis for the adventure that will occupy almost a year of their life, the apocalypse is already behind. He took Joel in the face when he was still a young father and chiseled the world in which Ellie was born. It happened twenty years ago, in 2013. The spores of a mushroom attacked mankind, spread without knowing any barrier and changed the host into a hideous, deformed, hungry and devoid of any human trait creature. Soon, 60% of the world's population fell victim, the civilization was wiped out, resisting in some pockets, including areas under quarantine within what are the skeletal bellies of some metropolis of the United States. Outside the improvised fortifications there is the world of Clickers (as mutates are also known) and there is that of hunters, survivors who prefer an existence made of raids, raids and daily confrontations with monsters to the "calm" life and under the barrel of the government rifle that runs bland and without light in quarters under quarantine. The Lights, a government military resistance group determined to seek a cure or at least some truth about the origins of the mushroom, are the target of Joel and Ellie. Their headquarters is who knows where, but Ellie is where it must end.

Between Lincoln, Pittsburgh, Boston and Salt Lake City. From the remains chewed by the vegetation of a vertically developed downtown, to the snowy woods and shaken only by the jumps of a deer and the swift legs of a hare: the apocalypse, the end of the world as we know it and the almost total extinction of the genus human are events that do not characterize the game's rhythm of The Last of Us. On the contrary: Joel and Ellie move among the junk of a twenty-first century swept away, they entrust the rhythm of their journey to the strength of a horse and not to that of a Boeing. There are seasons, but there are no days and maybe not even weeks, there is no time for frivolities. The Last of Us is a third-person action game, made by the same label that has explored and redefined the canons of the genre during the current generation with the Uncharted trilogy (or at least the last two episodes), yet it is not the carbon copy of the package featuring Nathan Drake. Joel and Ellie's is an adventure that for long stretches resembles a documentary about everyday life in a world that no longer has any rules, no prospects, no resources. Mankind, twenty years after the spread of the deadly mushroom, has not reorganized itself, it is not rebuilding, it is only waiting to die.

There are Nathan's travels and Lara's shipwrecks, but the duo of The Last of Us does not witness practically any scene worthy of a great action movie. He kills, is hunted down, seeks shelter for the night, makes alliances that last the time to discover new conveniences, is beaten and beats in turn. All in streets, courses, suburbs, sewers. And this is what marks the strange rhythm of the game of Naughty Dog ... you are there you expect the cataclysm, the mother scene, the epic triumph of sparks, flames and somersaults as a stuntman, instead you take in full face despair, anguish and a massive dose of rough determination. From shootings to hand-to-hand clashes, you will hardly find a cruder, more violent and angry game than The Last of Us out there. People die because they are killed continuously. On the other hand, there is no room for any choice, trust must have ended long ago, perhaps when Ellie was taking her first steps in a world already destined to be forgotten. People die with their skull smashed, with a bullet in the head point-blank, without ever making any discount, without following the Philippines on the moral degradation that has caught the soul of Joel or all the other non-protagonist actors. With only Ellie letting herself go to amazed comments, but preparing to quickly digest the dish and put aside any grievances.

You have never killed with bare hands or with melee weapons like you will in The Last of Us.

There aren't even the breathtaking glimpses of Uncharted or Tomb Raider, there is no lethal and immense charm of the Bioshock Infinite Columbia, in the debris, dust and weeds of The Last of Us. Which does not mean that what Naughty Dog offers is not worth the ticket price, only that the team led by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley has taken a road made of consistency, even dangerous. The rhythm, the event connected to small things and also a scenographic system that is appreciated more for the obsessive attention to detail with which every single house, shop, apartment or public office is reconstructed that Joel and Ellie find themselves visiting and raiding possibly. Drawers, beds, rugs, televisions, computers, kitchens, bar counters, billiard tables, medical equipment, shelves full of toys ... all turned upside down, entangled by the deadly grip of roots, branches, fronds and flowers. There is not (or at least: there is but it is very rare) a panorama that captivates the eye, there are no easy victories in The Last of Us.