Naughty Dog is undoubtedly most known for their Uncharted series on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. But with that series wrapped up (as far as we know, that is), the team is moving on to a new IP, The Last of Us.
When you first see it, you’ll likely think of Will Smith’s 2007 movie I Am Legend, but this game looks to have an even more human story than that. But you be the judge, and get yourself caught up with the reveal trailer:
Ellie and Joel are the main protagonists in the game. She’s probably about twenty while he is at least in his forties, and it’s not clear whether they’re a father-daughter team or whether they were thrown together as the last survivors of what can only be assumed to be the apocalypse of sorts.
On first glance (and second, and third), The Last of Us looks nothing short of stunning. In fact, we’re not sure there is a better looking game out there for console or PC. we’ve never seen this level of detail in a game. Facial expressions are photo-realistic, blurring, lighting, and shadows are akin to what you’d see in a Michael Bay epic (i.e. real life), and motion capture looks nothing perfect, for lack of a better word.
You can tell that Naughty Dog is doing something different here. They’re going after a few different audiences. There’s the survival-horror genre they’re tackling with the scarcity in the game, the zombie-alien genre, and the oft-forgotten emotional gut-wrencher genre as well. We may have made some of those category titles up, but nonetheless, they’re there, and they’re all effective.
What we have yet to see about this game is just how we can expect to control the characters. When we see cinematic storytelling this good, we almost wish that it wasn’t a game and it would all play out for us. Then, of course, we come to our senses.
In all seriousness, though, the game has the grittiness of the latest Tomb Raider stuff we’ve seen, and while it is clearly a different game, we wonder if we’ll be relegated to quick time events a la Uncharted or if we’ll see something a little more fluid and user-interactive.
The trailers we’ve seen so far have in fact been running in real time on Sony’s PlayStation 3. However, these are almost certainly not what the final in-game playable graphics will be like. While we would love them to look this good, we’re just not sure it’s possible on the current generation of systems. And with Sony supposedly staying hush hush about the PS4 for at east another year, we’re going to come right out and say that the game will be launching on the current crop of consoles.
So, a game this ambitious has delays written all over it. We know some things about the storyline, but not a whole heck of a lot, and the game is supposedly launching by late-2012. We’ll be surprised if Naughty Dog actually manages to hit that target, but we certainly won’t be complaining about it. That said, we fully expect this game to pull an invisibility cloak over itself a la The Last Guardian for at least a year until E3 2013. Fret not, though; we’ll keep you posted.