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The Last of Us review roundup: How does Naughty Dog's latest stack up?

The Last of Us review scores just hit, shortly before the PlayStation 3 game goes on sale. Here's what critics are saying. 

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The visuals 

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"The Last of Us carries over the super-high production values established in [the Uncharted series]," says Paul Sartori of the Guardian. "The environments are varied and lushly rendered, with large portions of the game taking place in open countryside and forests – a nice change from the usual sewers and abandoned labs (though they're in here too), while character models are equally highly detailed and excellently animated." 

The story 

"Most games feel like games with a story wrapped around them," acknowledges Chad Sapieha of the National Post. "Action and clunky mechanics poke up against the fabric of the narrative like the skeletons of old furniture betraying outlines under draped sheets. The Last of Us, on the other hand, feels like a true union of story and play. Action and narrative flow together logically and organically like the prose of a great book. There’s a believable  reason for everything Joel and Ellie do, whether it’s moving between the floors of a dilapidated building or trying to figure out how to operate the gate of a hydroelectric dam. The story drives everything that takes place." 

The story, continued

"The relationship that grows between Ellie and Joel as they fight to protect one another is the most genuine I've ever seen," notes Richard Mitchell of Joystiq, "brought to life by superb writing and excellent performances. It's more than a father-daughter archetype, more than an easy ploy to tug at the heartstrings. A deep love blooms between the two of them, tinged with a sadness that sometimes makes it difficult to bear."

The last word

"The Last of Us seamlessly intertwines satisfying, choice-based gameplay with a stellar narrative," gushes Colin Moriarty of IGN. "It never slows down, it never lets up, and frankly, it never disappoints. It’s PlayStation 3’s best exclusive, and the entire experience, from start to finish, is remarkable. I lost myself in Naughty Dog’s vision of a pandemic-ridden United States, in the characters that populate this unfortunate wasteland, and in their individual stories. The 17 hours I spent playing through the campaign are among the most memorable I’ve ever spent with a game." 

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