Parents' Guide to

The Last of Us Part I

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Bloody horror remake with themes of friendship, sacrifice.

Game PlayStation 5 2022
Last of Us Part 1 Box Cover

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 7+
The story is great and it's not scary plus there's no nudity

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 16+

Great post-apocalyptic third-person shooter game with a good storyline.

Game mechanics are quite intuitive and easy to learn. There are great options for different ability levels, and additional gameplay options (like auto-aim for people like me who can't aim well with their thumbs) that apply to all levels, and those difficulty options can be adjusted for a number of different categories, including toughness and tactical AI of enemies, toughness of player, effectiveness of stealth, helpfulness of allies, and availability of resources. Additional options that make it much easier to play (like infinite ammo, infinite resources, one-shot/blow kill, etc.), and filters to make the game look different, are available after the first play-through, and there are other options not usually found in games (e.g., permadeath). I used the "Moderate" difficulty setting for my first play-through, and I enjoyed using the highest possible difficulty level to keep the enemies tough and smart while using those additional "second-time through" options to make my own character more formidable. The game is made for PlayStation and is not currently available on Xbox, but it's available on PC via Steam (recommended only for high-end gaming computers), which allows using the keyboard to control play (and using the mouse to aim and shoot, which is great for console-challenged players) and also allows control by any of the popular gaming console controllers. I'd say it's not appropriate for prepubescent children, being chock-full of violence, very frequent profanity, and visual gore (which can be modified or reduced via settings), but given the world we live in, most kids today are used to that. The story is episodic. There's a strong storyline, especially in the area of loyalty and protectiveness toward family, but there are shocking and heart-wrenching plot turns as well. There's no explicit or implied racism, sexism, or religious or gender discrimination that I can see, but neither is there any pronounced virtue-signaling (the game was written in 2013), except that homosexuality is normalized (at least two characters are gay or gay-curious), and there's plenty of diversity casting, though no interracial nuclear families (which seems obligatory in today's entertainment industry) as in the 2023 HBO series version. Aside from the pandemic fungus that causes its victims to become murderous mutated zombie-like killers, what's left of the federal government is the bad guy, though the anti-government "freedom fighters" aren't angels either. There's one temporary character whom adults may detect could be a pedophile, but aside from one brief kiss, no actual sexual activity takes place in the game either on-screen or off. Lots of killing, though!

This title has:

Easy to play/use
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (12 ):

Though decidedly not for young kids, this remake transforms a bona fide PlayStation classic into a modern masterpiece. The Last of Us Part I (called simply The Last of Us at the time) rewrote the book on narrative game design when it originally launched in 2013. Combining state-of-the-art visuals with award-winning writing and performances, it delivered a deeply compelling story about loss, pain, and hope shared by two strangers forced to survive together in an apocalyptic landscape. All of that remains unchanged in this remake, which wisely opts instead to focus on enhancing the experience via modern graphics. The character models here emote with lifelike pain and happiness as they carefully creep through a world that is strangely beautiful in its desolation. It's filled with crumbling homes containing artifacts and possessions that tell the stories of people long gone, public spaces and malls being slowly but surely reclaimed by verdant plant life, and endless details, from a makeshift daycare set up by a small group of survivors for their kids in hopes of creating some sense of normality to weather-faded posters advertising familiar-yet-fictional brands, products, and movies, many marked by the month and year the world came to an end.

The action complements the story. Joel and Ellie must kill to survive this world, but it's never easy. On most difficulty levels, players will die instantly and in violent, flinch-inducing fashion when attacked by certain enemies (and after just a couple of hits by many others), making nearly every encounter deeply stressful. Resources are few and far between, which elicits a feeling of true excitement whenever Joel or Ellie discover a trove, and upgrading weapons and crafting items -- sometimes in real time in the heat of battle -- results in a sense of accomplishment and growth, even though the game never really becomes much easier. It all makes for an unforgettable, character-driven interactive adventure that will be a surefire hit with both returning fans and a new generation of players who have come of age to play mature games. The Last of Us Part I is that rare remake that loses nothing of the original while taking advantage of everything modern gaming technology can offer.

Game Details

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