E3 Impressions: The Last of Us

The theme of  a post-apocalyptic survival game isn’t unheard of, in fact, it’s really quite a prevalent style found in some of the most recent games. I think I’ve found one, however, that’s going to rock the pants off me this upcoming season. Naughty Dog Studios is getting ready to release The Last of Us, a PS3 exclusive that’s far darker, grittier, and more adult than the former hero study of Nathan Drake in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series. Seriously, the main characters of The Last of Us live such a violent lifestyle that it makes Drake look like a toddler still sucking on a bottle.

Apocalypse – WOW!

Now I’m a huge fan of the Uncharted series. I love the quips, the humor, and the high octane action. I’m excited though to see a studio who I’ve always associated with jovial, family friendly, entertaining series [ Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot, Uncharted ] actually branching out into a far more mature realm with The Last of Us. This story deals with a duo, similar to how they did with Uncharted, but the pairing is far different. Here’s why I’m so excited for this game:

  • You play as Joel, a rugged survivor with a brutal attitude, who befriends and takes a young teenager, named Ellie [ Ashley Johnson ] , under his wing. It seems as though you’ll be playing primarily as Joel as you go throughout the game, but the AI of Ellie looks phenomenal.
  • I’m hoping there will be moments within the game where you can switch, or the game switches, the character you play. I understand that Ellie doesn’t really seem like she poses a threat, but I think that’s the strategy of it. It would be a whole new game challenge if you had to deal with drifters, infected, etc. as a young girl vs. a rough and tumble survivalist.
  • There seems to be some sort of infection going on. This was apparent to me since the first few trailers that were ever released for this game. It seems like some sort of fungus, or organic infection, that’s turning any living organism into some sort of zombified cannibalistic creature. This means, not only are you traversing the apocalyptic city scape, but you’re fighting off drifters AND infected as enemies.
  • The infected enemies seem to be dubbed “Clickers” and so I’m stoked to see how they became infected, etc. I also like the inventory system as it seems to be very fluid and easily accessible. The characters seem to mesh well and the vibe of the game seems to be increasingly focused on moment to moment combat, seamlessly ducking in and out of cutscenes and gameplay.
Overall, I’m stoked by this game – and even though I know it’s probably going to be rated M for Mature I’m so eager to grab this up like warm, piping blueberry pancakes from a morning skillet! It’s slated to be out some time [ I’m hoping earlier than later ] in 2013. So here’s to hoping the apocalypse doesn’t happen in December so I can focus on my gaming apocalypse in 2013!


Thanks Naughty Dog giving me something to look forward to, for providing me with two brand new characters I can now obsess over!

4 responses to “E3 Impressions: The Last of Us

  1. If I’m honest this game didn’t leap out at me as quickly as it seems to have done for a lot of other people. I get a bit tired of apocalyptic themes. On the other hand this game does look like it handles the theme in a more unique way and i’m liking the look of the female character and how she interacts with the player. If I have the money and the time I would definitely like to try the game out. Plus Naughty dog don’t tend to disappoint so I doubt they will here.

    • Yeah, my first impressions of this game made me tout it with very high expectations. I remember the first time I saw the pairing of Ellie and Joel, and as a designer, I kept asking myself – “Naughty Dog, are you going to let me play as Ellie? – is she an incredibly intelligent AI like Sully was for Uncharted? What am I to expect out of this side-kick THIS time?”

      So far it seems that they’re going to be sticking with the smart AI function, but I will say there were other things that intrigued me about the gameplay. The easy to use UI seemed simple to get to and visually easy to navigate, but once again it goes back to how will Joel interact with Ellie? If there’s a swap-in/swap out function where I can switch between which character I decide to play, I think that would be icing on a cake!

    • Yeah I knew that it was a 2013 release. I’m actually not worried about that actually. It’s almost a relief for me to be honest. Consider the fact that the trailers all feature a PS3 logo as a running system so far. This means, that unfortunately for rumor hogs, that it’ll be a current-gen game release. This also brings some heat off of Sony to build a new ‘next-gen’ system. They currently still have so much untapped power coming out of their current system that I’d find it hard to believe they’d release something too early to the public. The games they are releasing that are exclusives and they graphically are pushing the boundaries of the PS3. I can’t wait to see the future of gaming and if I have to wait a year or a couple of months [ ie January or Feb. releases ] well then I’ll do it.

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