Page 45 Review by Stephen
It was late into a very long night and I was pausing for breath, halfway up a derelict skyscraper whose basement had proved a death-trap of fungally infected clattery creatures which, at the drop of a pin, could accelerate from 0 to 90 in your terminally doomed direction. I dont know why I had a pin on me, but I certainly kept dropping it. Where was a BFG when you needed it?
I cant recall if I had just clambered out through the window and onto a series of precariously lilting swing stages overlooking the lushest of urban parkland, or whether I was about to. (I dont do heights: I get vertigo on the bathroom scales). But it was raining. It was still inside but outside it was raining, the heavy drops hammering onto the few unbroken panes of glass with that exquisite, hypnotic sound which makes you feel cosy and warm. And, oh lord, the lighting was electric! I stood there, entranced, I kid you not, for half an hour listening to one of my favourite sights and sounds reproduced with hyper-reality in a virtual reality, and if a Clicker had come for me I would have surrendered with a decidedly Shakespearian ecstasy.*
The Last Of Us was almost impossibly beautiful, each individual autumnal leaf floating on a lapping ponds surface and lit in a way only modern television screens can deliver. Or acid I really wouldnt know. It was also terrifying: those Clickers were so swift that you could be immolated any second and, as with the best console games, I was so immersed that it was me being slaughtered. Id certainly seen so many of my fellow travellers bite that contagious, airborn dust.
Which brings us yet again to my problem with graphic novel spin-offs of interactive video games. They cannot help be anything but a let down, even with FRIENDS WITH BOYS Faith Erin Hicks at the helm. Turning the page could be called interactive but your reading skills arent invested in keeping you alive.
I can list dozens of ways in which reading the best graphic novels is a superior experience to playing a game against a computer, and I can list dozens of ways in which button-bashing for your life is a kiddier thrill ran reading some rubbish comics. The simple truth is that they are disparate, incomparable experiences, yet an adaptation from one medium to the other only invites those comparisons.
Which is why I never read this.
Takes place before events in the game.
* Death. For Shakespeare, orgasms were to die for.