I disagree completely. I found the gameplay and survival elements to be excellent and don't at all think it was a purely cinematic experience. It was VERY good in the latter category, but I'm replaying it because I enjoy the combat and the sneaking and the survivaling. Cool if you don't feel the same way, but saying it as if it's objective fact is not something I can get behind.
I actually appreciated it more when I did the "Survivor" difficulty run. Something about a 'perfect steal run' is very satisfying (and interesting when you can see how many enemies you can just sneak passed...).
Like I said before, buried within The Last of Us there was a better game and even a better story, but that didn't happen. But it doesn't matter because most people liked the final product, so... whatever I guess. *shrug*
I think UNANIMOUS LOVE (or fanboying/girling) for something can really kill the buzz for later adopters. A lot of people, after hearing all the praise for TLOU, had trouble seeing it since it does get built up (I assume).
Otherwise, I think The Last of Us has a brilliant story. Maybe not in its brief synopsis, but the nuances in human interaction and desperation. You're kind of vague about how the end kind of makes it or breaks it, but I think that was the point. The game always makes an effort to blur the lines of its cast; they created flaws for every virtue, and so on.
If you mean it had a bad story because of its "pseudo zombies" (Clickers), then I agree there; but that was a big criticism even before the game's release. I'd argue that they really were more a means to an end, plot-wise though --- it's the humans that take on most of the '
I liked the "story" because the people felt real and the dialogue felt far from "video game-y". And again, that atmosphere. The wrecked city, the empty college, the abandoned evacuation centres, the "repurposed" resort, and a restored dam. I've played many-a-game because they could pull off a feeling and a look; literally creating their own world to wash you up in. The story didn't have to have a complicated and intricate plot, an optional "do or don't" ending, in-game politics, MIRACLE CURE, and so forth because the setting worked so well on its own as something you could explore and learn about.
I was probably one of the harsher critics of TLOU when it came out, but I've got to admit that it's really grown on me over the past year. There's a lot of subtlety and nuance to the combat and stealth than I initially gave it credit for. It doesn't always work (and I still maintain that the beginning areas of the game are awful compared to how much it opens up in terms of tactics and player agency), but it's very different from everything else out there. Combat feels nasty, mean, and rarely leaves you unscathed. I really like those aspects of the game and it totally sells the atmosphere.
On that replay, yeah.... the first few areas of the game are a huge pain in the ass at some points... Summer had that big sequence with everything in the hotel. Holy smokes what a pain (eat ass, basement section, eat....ass!!!).
Actually, that reminds me. This is definitely one of those titles that really shows you how important 'down time' is in a game.... Those brief little pauses in the game are totally appreciated.