Keep an eye on ‘The Last of Us’
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 21:01
One of the most significant changes to happen to the video gaming industry in the past decade has been the importance of brand recognition. Much like the film industry, which spends ample time touting that a particular film is directed by Steven Spielberg or “From Producer J.J. Abrams,” or “A PIXAR Animation Studios Film,” brand recognition for AAA games is becoming increasingly prevalent.
While the names of console manufacturers is all but standard pop culture knowledge (Nintendo, Sony etc.), in recent years major third party developers with a history of acclaimed titles (Bungie - Halo, Bioware - Mass Effect, Valve - Everything) have seen increased name recognition awareness.
One of those such studios is Naughty Dog. The first party Sony developer is responsible for the creation of some of gaming’s most enduring, iconic, and beloved franchises. Juggernaut series including “Crash Bandicoot,” “Jak and Daxter,” and most recently the wildly acclaimed “Uncharted” games (the sequel, 2009’s “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” stands as the ninth most critically acclaimed game of all time on review aggregate site gamerankings.com)are all creations of the Santa Monica, Calif. developer.
Suffice to say, when word gets around that Naughty Dog is working on a new intellectual property, you probably should be paying attention.
As the sun begins to set on this generation of consoles, and all media eyes are looking towards the next generation, Naughty Dog has boldly decided to launch a brand new IP on the 6+ year old, yet still incredibly capable, Playstation 3.
Fittingly the game’s title is “The Last of Us.”
Enter a near-future post-apocalyptic world. An insect virus has mutated a majority of the human population into mindless zombies. You play as a black marketer named Joel, a grown man weathered beyond his years as he escorts a young teenage girl named Ellie across the devastated and overgrown land that was once the U.S. in the face of the infected and other scavengers. The goal? Survive.
“The Last of Us,” is built upon a modified and upgraded version of the game engine that powered “Uncharted 3. “ On the visual side expect spectacular results, perhaps the best seen on a home console to date. As far as gameplay, the mechanics will be similar to the “Uncharted” series. Expect familiar third person duck and cover shooting, mixed with melee hand to hand combat. In a twist from those games however, expect more of an emphasis on the latter. Being a survival post -apocalyptic adventure game, don’t expect to have a steady rain of bullets at your disposal as if you were Nathan Drake. Stealth will also have a much more prevalent role than in the “Uncharted” series.
Further blurring the line between game and film as they had with the “Uncharted” games, expect expertly directed cinematic cutscenes performed by the cast with full motion capture.
Multiplayer will be included in the title as well, however it is clear that the first and foremost goal of “The Last of Us” is for Naughty Dog to once again raise the bar for what gamers should expect in a masterfully crafted single player experience.
“The Last of Us” will release exclusively on Playstation 3 on May 7, 2013. Don’t miss it.