bill-swift - June 1, 2012
Since veteran game developer Naughty Dog first announced their next big project last year, the internet has been abuzz about what exactly 'The Last of Us' would be able to bring to the table after the widely successful 'Uncharted' series.
When the debut trailer was showcased at the 2011 VGAs, it gave us all a brief, yet unforgettable, look into the post apocalyptic world of 'The Last of Us'. It's 2012 and we have now had small tidbits of information surface here and there. Various interviews, information leaks, and a sprinkle of hearsay make this video game mystery stew just about ready to serve, with the newest trailer being the pinch of salt right before it hits the table. My hunger-induced metaphors aside, this is what we know so far...
'The Last of Us' is the story of the hardened survivor and black market smuggler, Joel, as he attempts to smuggle his package out of the quarantined city and into the post apocalyptic world outside; his 'package' being the young and innocent looking Ellie. While the reason behind the task is still unknown at this point, what we do know is that the world outside of these 'safe zones' are chalked full of monstrous beings that attack on sight and survivors who have long since lost all trace of their sanity. What few safe zones are left are finally beginning to crumble under the lack of resources and overall sanity. Earlier this year Neil Druckmann, the Creative Director over at Naughty Dog, mentioned the state of this new world and how humanity has been pushed to it's limit while speaking to the guys over at Game Informer. He emphasized the zero tolerance laws that govern the remaining cities stating that, "if you scan positive for the infection, you're taken off to the side and euthanized."
At the front and center of any good game is a solid gameplay experience and 'The Last of Us' promises to keep players on the edge of their seat, calculating every move they make in an unforgiving wasteland. Survival will test players and those of us with poor management skills may feel more of the sting from the game as ammo and healing items will be far and few in between with an AI system that really seems to push the boundaries of what we've seen in similar titles. Enemies will react differently, depending on what you currently have to defend yourself and ambushes could await behind any corner. It has also been mentioned that bullet damage will be more realistic than most games and health won't simply recover if you hide behind a corner. This is the real deal boys and girls.
On the surface, 'The Last of Us' may look similar to Uncharted but there's much more beneath the surface and I, for one, look forward to peeling back the layers and letting this post apocalyptic experience engulf me for hours on end. Stay tuned as we bring you more on 'The Last of Us' from E3 2012 from June 5-7.
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