Naughty Dog wowed E3 watchers with its stage demo for The Last of Us during Sony’s press conference. The brutality and savage nature to the action and the tension driven by the scarcity of ammo is quite different from the usual third-person cover shooter, and the way Ellie interacts with Joel, whether its friendly conversation or chucking a brick upside the head of some thug so Joel can move in for a head-slam-against-a-table kill, adds such immersive, cinematic depth beyond even the Uncharted games. The demo also provides the first glimpse at the game’s scavenging and weapon crafting elements, highlighted in one particular moment when Joel digs through his bag to find components for a Molotov cocktail.
The Last of Us is definitely going to be something special, as if anyone ever doubted Naughty Dog.
Here are some additional story and gameplay details to chew on from Sony’s E3 press materials.
The population has been decimated. The United States government has collapsed long ago. Twenty years after the outbreak, abandoned cities are slowly reclaimed by nature. Roaming bands of survivors are killing each other for food, weapons, or whatever they can get their hands on.
Joel, a ruthless survivor with few moral lines left to cross, lives in one of the last remaining Quarantine Zones. These walled-off, oppressive cities are run by what’s left of the military. Despite the strict martial law, Joel operates in the black market of the city, smuggling contraband for the right price.
Joel is asked by a dying friend to look after Ellie, a fourteen-year-old girl with courage beyond her years. What starts out as a simple job to deliver Ellie to another Quarantine Zone, soon transforms into a profound journey that will forever change Joel and Ellie.
As they trek across a post-pandemic United States, Joel and Ellie will encounter different factions of survivors that have each found a unique way of dealing with the infected humans, the lack of supplies, and the threat of other survivors. As Joel and Ellie struggle to persevere, they must learn to trust each other and work together in order to survive the realities of this new world.
At its core, The Last of Us is about the bond that forms between Joel and Ellie – it is the story of love, loyalty, and redemption.
• Become the hunter and the hunted in a brutal post-pandemic world. Play as Joel, a ruthless survivor, who is paired with Ellie, a brave young teenage girl, as they work together to endure a dangerous trek across a familiar, yet post-pandemic United States.
• Intense character-driven narrative featuring a cast of resonant characters that take you on a rich, emotional journey via Naughty Dog’s award-winning cinematic storytelling, performance capture, and high-production values.
• Explore a decimated, overgrown America reclaimed by nature, marked with remnants of human civilization juxtaposed against beautiful, lush environments, delivered by realistic and stunning graphics.
• Strategize how to survive enemy encounters as the Balance of Power AI system continuously adapts to whether Joel or the enemies gain the upper hand. Quickly maneuver to survive encounters as enemies will change their behavior based on what weapon they see Joel holding, how many of them are left alive, and whether the player has managed to surprise them.
• Learn how to survive day-by-day: scavenge for vital resources, craft weaponry out of environmental objects, and compete with other survivors for limited supplies and ammo.