It’s no wonder TheFineBros ‘React’ series has taken off – we love hearing other people’s opinions on things. That’s why social media is so huge and why the entire journalism industry exists, in a nutshell. What’s so refreshing about this series is that these people aren’t paid critics or savvy social media types, meticulously tweaking every post to get as many Likes or followers as possible – their reactions are in the moment, they’re real.
It’s safe to say I’m addicted to this series as a whole, but this one video has really stood out for me.
Games are part and parcel of our life and culture now, and as such we can take them for granted. It fascinates me seeing how these elders, for whom video games didn’t even exist in their youths, play through and react to The Last of Us. I want to talk about some of my favourite bits.
– “He looks like he’s a computer-generated character, maybe not”. I chuckled at this line, not because I think it’s an idiotic statement but it makes me smile that graphics have advanced so much that people struggle to tell the difference. I had similar comments from my own extended family on Christmas 2009 playing (funnily enough) Uncharted 2, also from the “naughty dog”. I wonder if people ever believed games could ever look this way back when Donkey Kong was released.
– “It’s a movie, not a game” – one of those moments you couldn’t write. As gamers, we’ve been ‘trained’ to subconsciously notice the transition between gameplay and cutscene – if the camera jumps to behind your character and doesn’t move, you know you can start moving. This makes it all the more funny to see everyone not pick up on the change.
– Another thing I found hilarious was watching everyone push Sarah into the wall and have her crab-walk around. It’s second nature for gamers to have their character’s movement and camera flow together in harmony. Having said that, I downloaded Fear Effect in a PSN sale and those tank controls had me doing the same thing.
– You have to have a heart of stone not to feel incredibly sad at Sarah’s death, but these people are (I’m assuming) all looking at this through the eyes of parents – a context completely different to my own life experiences (thus far). I’m actually surprised more of them weren’t moved to tears at the end.
– It’s a testament to Naughty Dog’s storytelling and gameplay design that the opening of The Last of Us could get (almost) anyone hooked. A lot of modern games like to throw tutorials and an abundance of lore at you from the get-go but The Last of Us starts off grounded and easily relatable, and, as one of the elders notes, you don’t actually do too much game playing in the opening. You do enough moving around and a few QTEs to stop it being a long cutscene, but on the other hand you don’t have loads to learn from the get-go.
– There is this image that older people are all completely dismissive of gaming, but, as we see in this video, it looks like everyone enjoyed their experience playing The Last Of Us and perhaps developed a respect for video games – even if they thought it was a bit too dark. Don’t knock it ’til you tried it, as the old saying goes.
– Also, it’s true: Troy Baker has a really nice voice.