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E3 2012: The Last of Us is an E3 showstopper

5 June 2012

If you’re really a PlayStation fan, then you’ve probably already watched Sony’s E3 2012 keynote. And if you did that, then you definitely saw The Last of Us, what I firmly believe might be the “game of the show.”

I had a chance to sit down with Anthony Newman, Game Designer over at Naughty Dog studios, as he walked me through that same demo we saw at yesterday’s press conference. But, trust me when I say this: watching The Last of Us through a livestream is not the same as getting quality 1-on-1 time with the game.

I’ll keep this short, and to the point. This is why you need to care about the last of us.

The demo starts with about 10-15 seconds of total blackness; queue my first “holy crap” moment. You couldn’t tell during Sony’s conference, but sound effects and environmental ambiance are so spot-on, that—and I know this sounds very cliché—I felt like I was really there with Ellie and Joel. Graphics aside, Naughty Dog proved to me that, in terms of production value, The Last of Us is nigh unparalleled.

Oh yeah, and those visuals. I don’t need to spend much time selling you on this. Watch this trailer. Graphically, the game is already on par—if not better—than Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. And don’t forget: The Last of Us still has about half-a-year (at least) in the oven.
The voice acting is what you’ve come to expect from a Naughty Dog game. And by that, I mean Hollywood-level quality.

If I can stress one other thing about The Last of Us that probably wasn’t properly represented at the conference—with all that cheering and clapping—is that the game keeps the player engaged with an extremely high level of tension. Entering a room, turning a corner, or hearing an object fall in the distance instantly fills you with an almost “Silent Hill” level of tension. You feel like a god if you’ve got five bullets in your clip, but in reality, you’ve only got those five shots. Once your clip is empty, you’re no longer the hunter; you’re the hunted.

One last thing that stood out is the game’s crafting system. Using random materials that you’ve picked up along your way, you can have Joel reach into his bag and concoct weapons and items that’ll help you along the way all in real-time. Oh, you found a bottle of booze and an old rag? Yeah? Still got that lighter? Good, then it’s time to light some goons on fire with a Molotov cocktail.

I really don’t need to say more. You’ve seen the trailers, you’ve seen the demos. You probably already know if The Last of Us is your jam or not. I’ll close by saying this: I’m all in, and I’m not the only one.


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