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Nerds Without Pants   

Nerds Without Pants Spoils The Last of Us

*Spoiler Alert*

Welcome to the first ever Nerds Without Pants spoilercast. We've picked a doozy of a game to cover, too! Julian, Patrick, and special guest JD come together to talk about all things The Last of Us. No stone is unturned, as the Pantsless Ones take you through the entire story.

Join the NWP crew as they tackle The Last of Us, from summer to fall to winter to spring. The guys make no bones about their love for this game, although Julian takes some of the gameplay to task, and explains what he wishes the game's actual mechanics were. They discuss the strong female characters that buck video game norms, and praise the subtlety of the storytelling. Then, of course is that ending.

We hope you enjoy this special edition of Nerds Without Pants. Let us know your thoughts on the game (and the podcast) in the comments below.




07/23/2013 at 02:06 PM

What I am now curious about is... Could some of the problems with the game be because of the hardware.  Would having the benefits of the PS4 allowed them to make the changes to the game that would have gotten rid of the cognitive dissonance with the game.  Maybe those choices were made because of the hardware limitations...  If that makes any sense whatsoever.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

07/23/2013 at 04:24 PM

I was thinking about this very thing earlier today. I think that there are definitely some game mechanics and systems they could have put in with more powerful hardware, but I really think that my personal issues with the design--having so many guns available and enemies absorbing bullets, etc.--were simply decisions made by the devs.


11/22/2016 at 12:28 AM

I just finished this game for the first time a few days ago. I played the remastered version on my new PS4 Pro and holy crap it's the most beautiful looking game I've ever seen in real-time. I've seen graphics comparison videos and the game looked really good on PS3, but this remaster, on PS4 Pro no less, is really stunning and looks noticeably better. The lighting in this game is the best I've seen, with the only thing coming close being Witcher 3 on PC.

Anyways, I really loved the story and it's been sticking with me ever since. I've been thinking about it every day since I beat it. I really developed a bond with Ellie and thought her character was incredible, and I didn't think Joel was a villian or a hero. He was a interesting character that under normal circumstances was a decent person and a loving single father to Sarah, but the apocalypse eventually brought out the killer survival instincts in him and he became a soldier of sorts capable of killing whenever needed, but with fewer rules of engagement. Joel never seems to take a sociopathic pleasure in killing, but as long as he has some conceit for doing it the killing is clearly easy for him intellectually.

The choice Joel makes at the end of the story is really disturbing and selfish but I found myself sympathizing with getting Ellie out of the hospital. I managed to sneak my way to the operating room only killing one person that was scripted to notice you. I thought killing the doctor with the scalpal was unecessary and Joel was unhinged, but as a player I still wanted to get Ellie out of there and the needs of the many didn't outweigh the needs of the few. Joel's whole journey appeared to be about how much a parent is willing to sacrifice for a child. Joel sacrifices random people to save Ellie, then he moves up to sacrificing friends for Ellie, and ultimately he sacrifices all of humanity just to protect Ellie and let her live out her life. It isn't rational, and the Fireflies clearly had good intentions and a possible vaccine to synthesize from Ellie's death, but it's a primal part of the human condition and those are bonded protective instincts I can relate to. So I don't see Joel as the villian or hero, just a person making a lot of choices, some are extremely selfish, some are selfless and brave, and most are in-between. I had bonded with Ellie so strong that I was also willing to do anything to keep her alive. It didn't feel good killing people that didn't need to die and it didn't feel good lying to Ellie, but somehow it felt necessary. It was very bittersweet. They did a great job creating an interesting character and that's high praise for any story; it's boring having characters that are cut and dry angels or demons.

The cast of supporting characters were amazing and completely brought that world to life in ways that Joel & Ellie couldn't do on their own. Bill and his boyfriend were something I picked up on and I thought they were really compelling. Tess is amazing, and I liked Tommy and his wife. I especially liked Sam and Henry, and I got teary when they both died in one scene. As soon as I saw that Sam had been bitten I knew how the story would play out and we'd almost certainly loose both characters soon, but even once the events transpired and we did loose them both I wasn't prepared for it all. Such a huge punch in the gut. Sam & Henry were like a mirror reflecting a relationship similar to Joel & Ellie, and seeing them both die so easily and tragically drove home how fragile Joel & Ellie's lives would be in that world and how painfully and uncermoniously people can be lost.

I would be interested to see what you all think about this next part, but when Henry shot Sam and watched him die before his eyes I'm sure that had to bring back traumatic memories in Joel of watching Sarah die. In that scene Joel tries to talk Henry down by saying, "This isn't anybody's fault". He could've been defensive and said, "This isn't my fault" since Henry was pointing the gun at Joel at the moment, but instead Joel made sure to say it wasn't the fault of anybody, perhaps foreseeing that Henry was likely to turn the gun on himself. Do you think Joel feels the same way about Sarah's death? After 20 years do you think he eventually confronted all that pain and learned to cope with her death in some fashion? I went through the whole story thinking that Joel has been burying that pain deep down and refusing to acknowledge it, but in that moment his statements could give a brief glimpse into a deeper thought process he's gone through himself and is trying to impart to Henry.

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