ok, this is a break from my break, only because you named me doc, i want to reply to that of course, good manners and all :)
the road isn´t really about the post apocalypse either. the setting is more like a metaphor for desperation. it´s about a father and a child/son who lost their wife/mother because of her suicide. it is about a hopeless, desperate, meaningless struggle to survive, a fight for survival even if there´s nothing worth surviving for, about a father that wants to protect his son but who struggles to find the reason for it because he has lost hope completeley as well. he only wants to stay alive because of his son. if his son wouldn´t exist he would have killed himself already.
tlou plays with exactly the same elements but fails to deliver in every way. joel lost hope, only functions, no emotions, he´s just alive, no meaning in life beyond survival. ellie finally gives him hope again, a reason to live. it´s the EXACT same story in a slightly different packaging - but while the road touched me emotionally (the book so much more than the movie), tlou was just a videogame with a nice (but rip off) story.
i had to roll eyes a lot of times because the stolen elements are so obvious. it´s lazy.
western devs might create new ip´s more often but they recycle stories and gameplay elements over and over again while many japanese devs maybe do recycle their existing ip´s but they are creating truly new game experiences within these old and established franchises.
gameplaywise it is ok but underdeveloped. it never really shines. it has potential but it never truly gets there. the game is nowhere near a great game imho and a perfect example for hyperbole. it´s a good game but in my book, yeah, it is one of those extremely overhyped ones.
my personal goty this far is mario luigi dream team bros by the way. i LOVE this game. i´ve played the ds M+L games as well and enjoyed them but dream team bros is on a whole new level presentationwise. it´s addicting and fun. tons of new gameplay elements that are creative and work perfectly well, it´s insane really. a great handheld game and an instant classic...sometimes i just don´t get games journos and reviewers.