Much of my time with The Last of Us wasn’t pleasant. Granted, some of that unpleasantness is by design, since this is a survival horror game in many ways. However, some of the displeasure I felt playing the game wasn’t intentional. After starting things off with a bang, the pace drags to a crawl as it establishes its core gameplay. Worse yet for me, that gameplay is primarily stealth-based, which generally isn’t my cup of tea. On top of that, I had a hard time investing into the moment-to-moment action when the gameplay and context balance just felt off during its first half.
Having said all that, it eventually hits its stride to provide one heck of a closing act.