2013's year of gaming is coming to a close and that means Neoseeker is deep in deliberation over its "Game of the Year" award. This month, each of Neoseeker's 10 nominees for Game of the Year will be profiled. Join in the discussion, speculate on the nominees, and subtly persuade us which game deserves our highest award.
I am not the biggest fan of The Last of Us. I think the combat is a tedious, uninspired system that recycles its shooting from Uncharted, but without the energy and adventurous pacing that complements it. I found the game's dependence on cinematic cutscenes the crutch of a lazy storyteller. I also wouldn't describe the game's visuals as anything beyond adequate, well, unless you're talking about the body count and blood spillage. Yet even I have to admit that The Last of Us is one of the most meaningful and significant gaming experiences of 2013.
Rarely do video games treat their audience like adults. Now, I'm not talking bout sex, drugs, and violence, video games pack in that subject material like serving water to fish. I'm talking about assuming the player is an intelligent individual who can understand things without them being read to them via dialogue written at a 5th grade learning level. The writing of The Last of Us treats its audience with respect, and that is so rare, so precious in our industry that I could never deny its place on this list.
Why The Last of Us?
- Story of the Generation - Joel, Ellie and the entire cast of The Last of Us aren't good people, but they aren't bad people either. They're just people. People faced with circumstances no human being should ever have to face. This isn't just another adventure for them, this is their life. What's left when even hope is gone? Survival.
- Joel and Ellie - Two of the best written and best voiced characters of the generation. The amount of emotion Troy Baker is able to convey in a single sentence of Joel's dialogue is enough to force a grown man to tears... I can attest to that.
- More Than Just a Story - BioShock Infinite players will finish the game and walk away wondering what even happened in that game and will spend many nights piecing together the events that made up its conclusion. The Last of Us leaves players broken, emotionally shattered and thankful for the safety and love they have, however fleeting it may be.
- Clickers - I've never felt more in tune with what it felt like to be bitten by a zombie than when one of these guys plunged his chompers into my neck flesh. Sure, it happened 10 times in a row because there was a bugged out Clicker that saw through my stealth, but it was still very visceral. It doesn't help that I have a friend that still sneaks up behind me and prods my neck with his finger nails, all while screeching, "CLICKER."
Ultimately, I'm still of the opinion that The Last of Us was an outstanding story that Naughty Dog read through and said, "Yeah, we can make a game out of this in between Uncharted 3 and the extra time it will take us to finish the next-gen Uncharted." That shouldn't stop anyone from trying the game themselves. Gamers deserve more stories like The Last of Us, and more than that deserve to be treated like we want more stories like The Last of Us.
Neoseeker's Game of the Year 2013 Nominees
- Tomb Raider
- The Last of Us
- BioShock Infinite
- Gone Home
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Saints Row IV
- Path of Exile
- Papers, Please
- Metro: Last Light
Neoseeker's Game of the Year awards are decided by editors Lydia Sung and Rory Young. Follow them on Twitter at @RabidChinaGirl and @bluexy , or read their news, reviews and features every day here at Neoseeker.
Be sure to check out some top picks from our PC community as well.