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What Makes “The Last of Us” Work So Well?

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Like many of you, I recently finished Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. I found myself involved, affected, and taken aback; it moved me in a way few games have this generation. It’s probably the most emotional I’ve felt about a game since Red Dead Redemption.

Looking back, however, it’s not difficult to see the faults in Naughty Dog’s storytelling. It is derivative of a lot of post-apocalyptic/zombie fiction, but worse than that, it gives in to some of the worst habits of this genre.

But I still can’t deny the game’s strength. I’m going to break down a few of the issues I found, and then explain why I think Naughty Dog manages to overcome them.

*Major spoilers for The Last of Us follow the break*

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