The Last of Us (2013)

by Christopher
5 minutes read


The Last of Us is a masterpiece of interactive storytelling, blending high-stakes action with a deeply emotional narrative. It remains a pivotal title in the survival horror genre, setting the stage for future games to follow.


In the wake of a global pandemic that decimates the population and spawns terrifying infected beings, Joel, a hardened survivor, is tasked with smuggling Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of a militarized quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon transforms into a brutal cross-country journey.


The game begins in 2013, with Joel, a single father, living near Austin, Texas, with his twelve-year-old daughter Sarah. One night, an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus ravages the United States, transforming its human hosts into cannibalistic monsters. As Joel, his brother Tommy, and Sarah flee the chaos, Sarah is shot by a soldier and dies in Joel’s arms.

Twenty years later, most of civilization has been destroyed by the infection. Survivors live in heavily policed quarantine zones, independent settlements, and nomadic groups. Joel works as a smuggler with his friend Tess in a Boston quarantine zone. They hunt down Robert, an arms dealer, to recover a stolen weapons cache. Before Tess kills him, Robert reveals that he traded the goods to the Fireflies, a rebel group opposing the quarantine zone authorities.

The leader of the Fireflies, Marlene, promises to double their stolen cache in return for smuggling a teenage girl, Ellie, to Fireflies hiding outside of the quarantine. Ellie, it turns out, may be the key to a cure for the infection.

“The Last of Us” is played from a third-person perspective. Players control Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting Ellie, a teenage girl, across the post-apocalyptic United States. The game combines elements of action, survival, and stealth, as players confront both hostile humans and the infected.


Joel, a smuggler hardened by life’s cruel twists, and Ellie, a brave teenager who may hold the key to a cure, are the central figures. Along their journey, they encounter various friends and foes, including Tess, Bill, and the leader of the Fireflies, Marlene.


Gameplay involves gunfights, stealth, and resource management, set against the backdrop of a richly detailed and interactive environment. Players must navigate through various obstacles and use a combination of weapons, crafting, and strategy to survive.


As a landmark in video gaming, The Last of Us not only delivers a compelling narrative and thrilling gameplay but also challenges players to consider the cost of survival in a world where every choice has consequences.

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