The Last of Us, but the First of Many?

Naughty Dog leads the resistance against the acceptance of poor storytelling.

Naughty Dog wants to “change the fucking industry” with their upcoming project, The Last of Us. And dammit, I think they might do it. Neil Druckmann, creative director and writer, preaches an all too familiar stance on the lack of good storytelling in games and the quick praise received from reviewers. The Last of Us is not just a survival game, nor is it just a zombie game. It’s a “love story,” says Druckmann, “it’s not a romantic love story, it’s a love story about a father-daughter-like relationship. We approached this genre because we felt no-one is getting to the heart of it. It tells you something about the human condition….”

There used to be an embeded media player here, but it doesn't work anymore. We blame the Tumbeasts.

There were two teaser trailers released before the announcement trailer was shown at the VGAs. One featured stock footage of human self-destruction, riots, hate, theft and abandonment with narration. The other was a closeup of an ant, then it abruptly went to black to end on a horrific screech. Vague would be a word for it, but intriguing nonetheless. The trailer above makes me extremely happy as a gamer and a filmmaker.

The trailer is only 2:39 and in it I see nods to various films, comics and games. The flashes of wild legs running past the lens? 28 Days Later. The overgrown city street sweeping shot? I Am Legend. The father-daughter relationship? 28 Days Later again, as well as “The Sacrifice” comic that went along with Left 4 Dead‘s DLC; specifically the storylines involving Zoey and Bill. I see the familiarity between Ellie and Ellen Page (Juno, Inception) but at first I saw a teacup Zoey, surviving in the only world she knows, a post-apocalyptic one.

Looking through the group of screenshots that Naughty Dog released, I can’t help but feel like there might be an undertone of “Y: The Last Man,” “The Walking Dead,” or Children of Men. Is it bad to see so many possible influences thus far? I think not; the main thread of all of those different pieces is survival and how it affects a person. If you find none of that appealing, then The Last of Us may not be a game that’s worth the wait. However, what it might do in the long run for the games you do enjoy, will be. Naughty Dog has yet to announce a release date, and I’m okay with that. Take as long as you need to make it right and make it compelling… just keep releasing things for us to look at.

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Sources: Eurogamer, Druckmann Image via PlayStation.Blog.Europe

Katie Horstman
Katie Horstman
Katie Horstman

Staff Writer

Katie has always had a connection to games and was able to make Super Mario Bros. a motion game before Nintendo even thought of the Wii. She has a serious addiction; an illness if you may, of loving ridiculous games. She has been through an extensive digital rehabilitation, but we fear her addiction is surfacing again.

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