The Last of Us: How many of Us used the “listen mode”?
Shhhh…you hear that? Are you listening close enough? I can hear people already dubbing The Last of Us “Game of The Year” even Game of The Generation! It’s safe to assume most of Us are enjoying The Last of Us.
Anyhow let me give you some background on the type of gamer I am that led to the articles question at hand.
Before I do that let me just preference this by saying I remember when Naughty Dog first introduced listening mode it was met with mixed reaction maybe even leaning more to a negative reaction. Some gamers felt it gave them a crutch and ultimately detached them from a world that got everything else right, in terms of selling this world as believable — a post apocalyptic world where survival skills were critical. Some even saying it came off as if Joel — the main character had superpowers!
If you’re not familiar with the mode ND implemented this feature where if you press a button you can see through walls or through the darkness and know exactly where your foe or foes are via a cloud-like silhouette around the targeted figures, think chalk outline in 3D as pictured below.
What “listen mode” looks like [hahaha, “what listen mode looks like”, such a kidder]
This mode just felt out of place in a game that was built like this. But ND eased our fears a bit when they explained the mode was not a cheap “let me hold your hand” trick but rather a mode to simulate human hearing so you were not actually seeing through walls when you were actually seeing through walls, no, you were simulating that if you “listened”close enough you could hear where the noise is coming from. True, good sell ND but I still was uneasy about using it because even though you can hear to a degree where noise is coming from, human hearing — atleast from what I know; while you can get a general sense of where a noise or disturbance is coming from you won’t know exactly where the person or thing is and definitely not enough to approach the situation with confidence. But in this mode as I said you know exactly where the person or thing is so it left me skeptical.
Now about me as a gamer
You see I’m a huge, huge fan of immersion and realism and thus the conflict sets in. I think I’m so obsessed with it at this point lmboo that I can’t even take it when things you pick up within the world magically just disappears into your backpack, where is the realistic securing the item animation? Now I don’t blame Naughty for this I blame memory — system memory that is, but I said it to paint a picture of how real it is for me.
So when it came time to decide whether or not I would use this mode I went straight to the options menu and looked for the option to turn it off immediately but something stop me. One reason I believe was the fact that this was my first playthrough, what if Naughty really made some sense of the mode; then I would miss out on a fantastic mode that brought a little something different to this generation, “I could always turn it off right?” I thought to myself. Maybe it wouldn’t be as much of a crutch or immersion breaker as I initially thought.
The other was what if the mode is necessary within some points in the game. Lo and behold without spoiling it, in a certain part of the game when you reach it using the mode is critical. Those who have played through TLoU probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
However I decided early on, before I even pressed start to begin my journey that I would leave the option on and use the mode only if I had to but had it in my mind that the mode is a cheap way out and I was not going to use it. I have to confess though I panicked a few times and used the “option” two maybe three times before I even reached the aforementioned part.
Overall I might have used the mode a total of four times, but I didn’t want to lmboo.
I’m curious though, How many of Us used the “listen mode”? If you didn’t use it was it for the same reasons? If you did use it why?
CCU wants to hear from you.