Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us had its luscious gameplay revealed to us during E3, and there’s already been a consensus among gamers that it truly looks amazing, with some people already giving it their "Game Of The Year 2013”. Naughty Dog have high acclaim for the Uncharted series, and judging from the amazing video that was displayed, it looks like The Last of Us is set to be Sony’s next biggest title.
From the start of the video, it’s clear that there’s been a great deal of work put into the character models and animation, which is a bit of a Naughty Dog trademark. The environment is very well designed, and has a similar dystopian feel to the film I am Legend, but keeps its distance from the zombie games that it might be compared to. When the two protagonists step outside from a ruined shop in the opening scene, Ellie points out a poster for something called “Dawn of the Wolf”, and an icon pops up showing that the player is able interact with it. I was practically clawing at the screen wanting to press that button, so I was left a little disappointed when they didn’t. Big mistake. It would have been a lot more informative to show how the character is be able to interact with regular objects.
During the duo’s walk through the hotel lobby, Ellie implies that she doesn’t know what life was like before “things went to shit” which gives us a little insight as to how long it's been since the apocalypse. When we finally see other humans, it’s pretty clear that they’re not friendly. We’re not really told why, which makes me even more desperate to play this game in order to find out.
The enemies seem very smart compared to typical shooters, but it’s mostly the chatter that impressed me. It was all very contextual, which was greatly enhanced by the excellent voice acting. I was also surprised that Ellie appears to be making herself pretty useful, even just as a diversion, and I can see that as a really helpful mechanic.
Another stand-out was how incredibly brutal and emotional the combat was. It really shows what kind of society they’re in, and the super-realistic sounds of skulls caving and limbs snapping really adds to the gritty and ruthless style of fighting.
One thing that stood the most was how the actions were far too complex to be conveyed through regular controls, so I can’t help but feel that some of the immersion will be stripped by those pesky quick time events. Regardless, The Last of Us is shaping up to be one of the best games to grace the PS3, and honestly I can’t wait to get my hands on it.