Hi folks,

I was lucky enough to go hands-on with a new demo of The Last of Us this past week, which showcased two 'stages' - Lincoln and Pittsburgh. Both are fairly brief but offer a great example of the diversity of gameplay available in Naughty Dog's upcoming action-adventure, and I came away very impressed.

Be sure to check out the full preview here -- http://www.psu.com/a019445/The-Last-...best-PS3-games

From our latest hands-on with Naughty Dog’s hotly anticipated The Last of Us, it is abundantly clear that the Uncharted developer has successfully created a gripping action-adventure that is wholly distinct from the treasure-hunting, baddie-capping antics of Nathan Drake. And thank god for that, because The Last of Us is, by a country mile, shaping up to be one of the most compelling games you’ll play this year, let alone on Sony’s aging PlayStation 3.

Our latest hands-on with the game was separated into two distinct chunks: Lincoln and Pittsburgh. Fortunately, it’s clear this wasn’t an arbitrary choice on Naughty Dog’s part, as each ‘level’ offers its own distinct flavours, giving us an enjoyable--albeit brief--look at the different gameplay experiences available in The Last of Us.

To put it succinctly, Lincoln is The Last of Us in full-on exploration mode, with Joel and Ellie starting off in surrounding woodland before skulking through a creepily abandoned town. This being my first hands-on with the game (PSU's own Kyle Prahl went hands-on with The Last of Us in January, which you can read about here), I was immediately struck by the meticulous attention to detail in the visuals and animation. Joel and Ellie remind you right away this is very much a Naughty Dog game; each character boasts some characteristic behaviors, and much like Nathan Drake, they don’t sit around stiffly and lifelessly. Ellie whistles quietly and wipes the blood off her combat knife. A few feet away, Joel adjusts his backpack and tends to his aching muscles. It’s subtle, sure, but it adds to the authenticity and believability of the pair, both superbly voiced and instantly likable.