I do not think that many would argue with me when I say The Last of Us is one of the best narrative experiences to be found in the gaming world. If you have played it, I'm sure I don't need to remind you of how good it is. If you have not played it, I'm sure you have heard of its greatness at the very least.
If, for some reason, you are one of those people who have not played The Last of Us nor have you heard of it, then you have some excitement in store when you finally do pick up the game. It's a story of a man and a girl who have to survive the hardships of the world after a fungal infection has effectively turned nearly everyone on the planet into raving zombies. It's a situation we've encountered multiple times in games and movies, but trust me when I tell you that The Last of Us stands apart. It tells its story so well, your immersion will be complete and utter.
As you might have noticed, this list is about things that don't make sense about the game. I just want to say here and now that everything I wrote about does not mean I don't like the game. I adore The Last of Us. What I have written here are the most careful of nitpicks, the minutest of flaws. Read on if you want to have one of the most perfect narrative gaming experiences pulled apart for your enjoyment.
25 Who Was In The Line Of Fire?
At the beginning of the game, Joel is trying to take his daughter, Sarah, out of the Infected-ravaged city. Since she sprained her ankle, he has to carry her. They're stopped by a soldier who has been ordered to create a perimeter around the city and to let no survivors through.
The soldier opens fire on the two of them and Sarah is mortally wounded. The soldier shot at both of them with a burst of gunfire. However, only Sarah was injured even though Joel had turned around to shield her.
24 I Thought You Were Friends
Some people who played The Last of Us might have been upset at Joel's decision to take Ellie from the hospital. Even though she would not have survived the surgery, whatever kept her immune from becoming Infected could have been replicated and saved the rest of humanity. I was more upset at Marlene and the Fireflies.
Marlene herself knew Ellie would have made the choice to save the world.
And yet, she refused to give Ellie that choice. She kept Ellie unconscious the whole time and was going to operate on her without permission.
23 Need A Brick?
Two hallmarks of the game are the perennial bricks and bottles that can be found everywhere. Joel and Ellie can scoop them up and throw them at enemies as a distraction or as a weapon. They're quite useful.
But are there seriously that many readily available bricks and bottles in the world? In The Last of Us, you couldn't go more than ten feet without finding a bottle to pick up or a brick you could use to smash someone with.
22 Do You Have Perfect Vision?
The zombie infection in The Last of Us is a unique one in that it is caused by cordyceps, a mutated fungus that can infect and grow in humans. When the fungus is fully grown, it can release spores into the air that can infect anyone who breathes them in.
Oftentimes, Joel spots the spores and puts on a gas mask for his safety. How does he spot them though?! Some of those things are tiny. It seems like Joel should be at risk of breathing in those minuscule spores before he spots them.
21 A Little Warning Would Have Been Nice
About halfway through the game, Joel and Ellie meet two brothers trying to escape the cesspool that is Pittsburgh. (Sorry, Pittsburgh.) The youngest, Sam, unfortunately gets bitten by an Infected. He doesn't tell anyone though.
Sam knew what was going to happen to him after the bite.
He had lived long enough in this new world to know that. But he still did not tell anyone, not even his older brother Henry. Did he think he was going to fall asleep and wake up better? (Wow, this is actually depressing and I feel bad nitpicking this.)
20 Mega Backpack
As a gamer, I am very fond of large inventory spaces. Who doesn't like having everything they need to beat a game readily at their disposal? It can often seem unrealistic to have your protagonist carrying a bunch of stuff when a normal person could never hold that much.
The Last of Us, while striving to keep the game as realistic as possible, fails in that regard. Joel's backpack is carrying nails, bricks, guns, machetes, and more. How can he ever be stealthy with that much clanking around in his backpack?
19 At Least Try Dog Paddling
One of the obstacles players have to face in The Last of Us is how to help Ellie across large bodies of water. It appears that, even though ample time has passed in which she could have learned, Ellie does not know how to swim. It almost feels like a bit of a cliché.
Every time there's a lake, river, or pool, Joel has to find a piece of wood that floats so that Ellie can leap onto it and he can then push her to where they need to go. Months pass while they're together, and swimming lessons were never on the agenda.
18 Inventory Frozen In Time
The passing of seasons is the way that The Last of Us segments their story. Events happen consecutively in the summer, fall, winter, and spring. Between each season, a time jump occurs. However, despite the obvious passage of time, Joel's inventory from one season to the next remains the same.
Are you telling me that he never picked up an extra gun when we were not playing as him? Did he never decide to use some of his ammo in those missing blocks of time?
17 Fungal Bites
I can understand a fungal infection occurring through breathing in fungal spores, but when did bites become a part of this? One of the most common ways for people in The Last of Us to become infected is to get bitten by someone who is already infected.
Why is that a thing? And if the fungus does somehow get into the bloodstream, couldn't an anti-fungal medication be used? If not, I'm about to have some serious nightmares tonight.
16 I'll Be Taking That
We get a chance to meet up with Joel's younger brother Tommy and his group of people during a fairly laid-back moment. Despite being the nicest collection of people Joel and Ellie have met in the entire game, that does not mean they are not cautious and on high alert for dangers in this new world.
If that was the case though, it's a wonder that Ellie was able to steal a horse from them and run away with it. Shouldn't Tommy's group have kept a weather-eye on their transportation?
15 Did She Really Have No Other Choice?
Marlene, leader of the Fireflies, has to trust two smugglers to take Ellie, the potential savior of humanity, to a group of researchers who could reverse-engineer a cure for the Cordyceps Infection.
These smugglers, Joel and Tess, end up being supremely reliable, but did Marlene seriously have no other option? She's the leader of the Fireflies, an organization with many members. Were none of them available for this really important mission?
14 Tough As Nails
Perhaps the most shocking moment in The Last of Us was when Joel fell off a building and landed on a jagged piece of metal. This sharp spike pierced Joel all the way through, and I bet most of us who played the game thought he was a goner. Turns out we were wrong.
Joel actually survives this injury.
I want to know how he survived the fall, the impalement, the blood loss, and the subsequent infection without any aid from a doctor.
13 Friendly Neighborhood Nail Weapon
The craftable items in The Last of Us came in handy when ammunition for our weapons ran out. Then we could rely on smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails. We're introduced to nail bombs by Joel's friend, Bill.
Once thrown, the nail bombs explode once an enemy is near them. However, the bomb does not hurt Joel or his allies if they walk close to it. How is this simple nail bomb sophisticated enough to differentiate between an ally and a foe? It's just nails in a can with some explosive powder, right?
12 Ellie's Exclusive Group Membership
Ellie and Joel have more to worry about in the world than Clickers, Runners, and Bloaters. They also have to contend with messed-up humans. Some of these guys are just bandits, but others are actually people with despicable nourishment. The leader of this group is a man named David.
For some reason, David gets it stuck into his head to get Ellie to join his club. Ellie had proven herself to be a formidable opponent against David's group, but that did not deter him from wanting to invite her.
11 Does This Look Familiar?
Miracles of miracles, Joel and Ellie get their hands on a car during their journey. Thanks to Joel and his lack of foresight, they lose it. On their way through Pittsburgh, they run into a trap set by some bandits. Joel, having pulled similar tricks himself, should have known what was going to happen.
In fact, he should have avoided the city entirely when he came to that road block, even if it meant doubling back. He said as much to himself after he and Ellie had already fallen into the trap.
10 Loudest Take-Down Ever
I don't know about you guys, but I got so confused every time I stealthily took down a regular infected person when a Clicker was nearby. Normally, Clickers respond to any loud sound in the area.
But I seriously feel that even if the Runner I was choking out gurgled loudly, the Clicker would (mercifully) never notice. It's as if the Clickers had selective hearing. If you so much as walked too quickly, they would zero in on your position. But noisily taking out a fellow Infected was A-ok.
9 Wonky AI
Luckily for all of us, our friendly AI-controlled companions never got us noticed by enemies. But I think we can all admit that they occasionally broke our immersion.
There were times when I had Joel crouched behind cover, but Ellie, Bill, or Tess was stomping around out in the open like a mad person. It was especially tense when Clickers were nearby. I would be moving inch by pain-staking inch, and CLOMP-CLOMP-CLOMP went Bill beside me.
8 How Did Frank Get That Far?
Frank admittedly got himself bitten by an Infected while trying to take that elusive car battery for himself, but I'm shocked he was able to get so far by himself without being torn to shreds.
As Joel, we had to sneak our way past dozens of Clickers, a swarm of Runners, and a gigantic Bloater. And Joel had two other people helping him get by. Frank, on the other hand, only had himself, and he was able to get by with only single bite mark impeding his progress.
7 'Tis But A Wound
Ellie must be some kind of genius when it comes to traumatic wound-healing because I do not know how else Joel could have been on his feet again after such a grievous injury with only a single shot of medicine to help him out.
After receiving what is presumably some antibiotic courtesy of Ellie, Joel is back on his feet and fighting baddies once again. It was almost as if he had never fallen on a metal spike and had not been bed-ridden for more than a month.
6 Robert's Last Bad Idea
We only get to meet Robert briefly at the beginning of the game, but right off the bat, we can tell that he's not too bright. I mean, why else would he send some thugs to take out Tess so that she and Joel would not find out he tried to renege on their deal?
Firstly, he only sent them after Tess. Did he not think that Joel would go after the person responsible for Tess' demise? Secondly, did he not realize who he was dealing with here? Tess is a more than capable fighter.
5 Rags For Everyone!
Why was it so hard to find rags in The Last of Us? More than any other item you can pick up in the world, I feel like rags would be the easiest to find. Instead, bottles and bricks are a dime a dozen, but I have to scrounge around to find a measly piece of cloth.
In the room I am currently in, there are more chances for me to find a "rag" than there are for me to find a brick. Heck, Joel could have torn up his shirt if he really needed to find a bit of cloth.
4 Signs The Fireflies Were Not The Good Guys
Ellie has a near-drowning experience towards the end of the game. Joel drags her from the water in a panic and begins CPR. Two men in uniform then approach him with guns and ask him to put his hands in the air. Joel, wishing to get Ellie breathing, does not comply and they knock him out.
We find out later that these guys are the Fireflies, the people we were trying to bring Ellie to in the first place. But that still makes us wonder, why did they have to knock Joel out when he was clearly trying to save a little girl's life?
3 Bad Meat
When Joel was put out of commission by his injury, players got to control Ellie as she struggles to find food for Joel and herself. She comes across a deer while she's rabbit-hunting that she wants to bring down too.
A deer is a large animal, larger than a rabbit at the very least. There is no way Ellie would have had the resources to preserve and prepare the deer's meat all on her own. So what was she planning on doing with that unlucky animal?
2 A Secret Super Hero
A handy gameplay mechanic in The Last of Us is the ability to accentuate Joel's hearing. With the press of a button, you can have Joel "hear" enemies through walls and other solid objects, which translates into you seeing the enemies on your screen.
No way is that an accurate representation of how hearing works.
Even if your hearing is superb, you don't just see an outline of the entire creature making noise appear. Of course, without this mechanic, I would not have survived the game.
1 Don't Leave Me Hanging!
The part of The Last of Us that makes the least sense is the ending. How could they have done that to us?! Ellie confronts Joel about whether or not he lied to her about how their encounter with the Fireflies ended, and he straight-up lies to her face again.
She says, "Okay," and that's it.
Does she believe him? Does she not? The whole situation understandably seems fishy to Ellie. Does Joel think he's doing a good thing for Ellie? The only time this ending will make sense will be once I have The Last of Us Part II in my hands.