Game Review: Analyzing Plot and Characters in “The Last of Us”

The Last of Us is a critically acclaimed third-person action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game was released on June 14, 2013, for the PlayStation 3 console and later remastered for the PlayStation 4 in 2014. The game has been praised for its storyline, characters, graphics, and gameplay mechanics. In this article, we will be analyzing the plot and characters in The Last of Us to understand why the game has received such positive reviews from critics and players alike.

Plot Overview:

The Last of Us takes place in a world infected with a fungus called Cordyceps that has turned almost all humans into Infected or Clickers. Players assume the role of Joel, a smuggler living in a post-apocalyptic United States, who is tasked with transporting a young girl named Ellie across the country to a resistance group known as the Fireflies. Ellie is immune to the Cordyceps fungus, and the Fireflies believe that she could be the key to developing a cure for the disease.

The plot of The Last of Us is emotional, tense, and bleak, and it delves deep into the consequences of living in an infected world. Joel and Ellie must face various challenges, including hostile human factions, violent infected, and the harsh environment itself, during their journey across the country. The game throws several plot twists at the player, making it unpredictable and keeping the player engaged.

Characters Overview:

The characters in The Last of Us are some of the most well-written and fleshed-out characters in any video game. Joel is a morally ambiguous character who is still dealing with the loss of his daughter during the initial outbreak of the Cordyceps fungus. Ellie is a brash and sarcastic teenager who has grown up in this apocalyptic world and has had to become tough to survive. The duo’s journey together is what drives the game’s narrative forward.

The supporting characters in the game, such as Tess, Bill, and Henry, all have their distinct personalities and backstories that add to the game’s world-building. The voice acting and motion capture performances in the game are top-notch, making the characters feel real and relatable. The relationship between Joel and Ellie is the game’s strongest point, and the way their bond develops over the course of the game is truly heart-warming.

Analyzing the Plot:

The Last of Us’s plot is a balancing act between gritty action and emotional character development. The game’s storyline is full of heart-wrenching moments that explore the relationship between Joel and Ellie. The writers have done an excellent job of creating a post-apocalyptic world that feels believable and immersive. The use of flashbacks adds depth to the characters and provides context for their motivations.

The game’s major themes are the nature of humanity and the lengths people go to survive. The game’s world is so bleak that the characters are forced to make tough decisions, such as whether to save innocent people’s lives or leave them to die to save themselves. The Last of Us does an excellent job of exploring the human condition and making the player question their morality.

Analyzing the Characters:

The characters in The Last of Us are some of the best in any video game. Joel is a flawed character who has done terrible things to survive in this apocalyptic world. At the same time, he is also protective of Ellie and will do anything to keep her safe. Ellie is a strong-willed and brave teenager who has grown up in this harsh environment. She is initially suspicious of Joel, but their relationship grows over time to become a meaningful bond.

The supporting characters, such as Tess and Bill, have their distinct personalities and add to the game’s world-building. Tess is a no-nonsense smuggler who helps Joel and Ellie initially and has a history with Joel. Bill is a paranoid and selfish man with a secret past. Finally, Henry and Sam are brothers trying to survive in this infected world.


The Last of Us is a masterclass in storytelling in video games. The game’s plot is emotional, tense, and keeps the player engaged with its unpredictable twists. The game’s world is immersive and believable, and the characters are outstandingly written and performed. The game’s themes of humanity and survival make the player question their morality, and the relationship between Joel and Ellie is one of the strongest in any video game. The Last of Us is a must-play for anyone who wants to experience the potential of video games as a storytelling medium.

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