so today let’s examine genre in the last of us, this will be a reoccurring segment I can’t believe I never played the last of us but it is amazing.
So in terms of story, the last of us is a standard father daughter protection story. in this case, the daughter is not biological but none the less she is functionally a surrogate for the daughter, and it is your job to protect her at all cost.
now this leads to an interesting conundrum in gameply, essentially how best can you protect her with 2 obvious options you can try to just simply not engage and sneak past everything, or option 2 leave a trail of death this is more fun but leads to a primary question how best can we protect that with is important to us.
Either we protect our child, money, hell even nation with either primary aggression or defense in depth, so let’s talk about world war II. in the second world war, a primary strategy emerged from both sides when on the attack and on the retreat that of defense in depth and blitzkrieg. now some would argue blitzkrieg was a german only strategy and defense in depth was used only by the Russians this is categorically false. we need to examine the tactics themselves
Blitzkrieg is best defined as lightning advance, this is the opposite of how world war 1 was conducted and it lead to great effect in the early days of the war causing the rapid collapse of france, but it also saw use in the later stages of the war especially by the Russians after the breakthrough at the battle of the Kursk salient, essentially this rapid advance has huge advantages and almost no drawbacks, and the problems that do exist aren’t really addressable in a game about walking timidly thought the apocalpse, first if a breakthrough occurs immediately the enemy has no time to withdraw any equipment or support staff this can lead to seizing massive amounts of war materials with little effort and secondarily if a push fails you can fall back onto previously captured lines with enemy equipment to help defend. the primary drawback is as you advance away from your industrial base supply lines become stressed and eventually you have to stop for refuel and resupply.
now the primary mode of defense in the second and first world war is a system of trenches and gun emplacements layered at least twice, hence defence in depth and the lines of battle become thick rather than long, now you may say this was only a Russian tactic but I would remind you of the Siegfried line, the Maginot line, and the Atlantic wall all fortifications so well built they still stand today. all three of these fortifications caused huge problems for allied forces, the Atlantic wall made operation overlord near impossible, the Maginot line was broken primarily by french resistance after the rise of Vichy France and nearly a quarter million men died in the battle of the bulge a conflict centered around the Siegfried line, the advantages to defence in depth are a strong supply line that is well defended from advancement and some would argue that large defensive works are the only thing that can stop a lightning advance.
so how does this relate to the game, well in my playthrough i was Germany starting by rapidly advancing against enemies that I can rapidly subdue, and towards the end depending on defensive works, in this case hiding behind barrels and walls, so in terms of gameplay I would say the last of us is a world war II simulator.