A Bug’s Life was always an inspiration for Naughty Dog, if not for all of us. It was the game that defined the console gaming scene, as well as being the first game to cement aspects such as digital sound, 3D graphics and dual analog gaming once and for all. The Last of Us, a more recent release, is made using the same recipe: A protagonist has a challenge he needs to overcome, and is forced to go outside his comfort zone in order to do so. A concept too rarely explored in books, films and games. But does The Last of Us live up to the creed of the timeless Pixar classic?
The short answer is no. But a slightly longer answer would be yes. You see, Bug’s Life is not what it once was. It used to be a game about a misfit ant, looking for warriors to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, who recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe. However, looking back at it over ten years later I quickly realized that it really is a game about an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, who decides to help those around her, and who along the way, discovers love.
This was a shocking new twist to the genre I had not expected.The game starts with a bang. Bang meaning a PlayStation logo followed by opening credits, several splash screens, a menu screen, an opening cut-scene and a tutorial. Much like Ron Paul’s GOP campaign the game gets you super excited, but then slowly starts to lose you as it deals with themes like inflation policies, gay rights and views on abortion. But this is easily overseeable given Bug’s Life’s interesting take on foreign policies and civil liberties (civil liberties for straight people). Other than that, the music is nice, graphics were good once but they aren’t now because of advances in hardware over the ten last years (Nintendo fans look up “PC hardware”).
Fortunately the graphics stop being a problem as soon as you press pause, lay down the controller and quietly leave the room in order to do something else. Unfortunately this does not progress story, nor earn you trophies, so trophy enthusiasts may want to ask themselves why they bought a PS1 classic in the first place. Having said that, this isn’t as much a PS1 classic as it is an interactive videogame designed for the PS1, which allows the user to interact with characters and objects on-screen through controlling a bug (hence the name: A Bug’s Life)
So does it hold up to The Last of Us? Sure, why not?