Report: The Last of Us out in late 2012/early 2013

USA Today is reporting that Naughty Dog’s hoping to get PlayStation 3-exclusive offering The Last of Us out the door by late 2012/early 2013.

The article goes on to say that the survival horror title will be set from the same third-person viewpoint as the studio’s critically lauded Uncharted franchise.

Naughty Dog’s Christophe Balestra said that the developer is “trying to move the medium of video games into an area elevated in the same manner of respect” that movies have done.

“We want to redefine what our medium is even called. ‘Video game’ is not an accurate name anymore. It is not necessarily a game with rules and a winner and a loser. It’s an experience.”

The idea of The Last of Us was conceived after watching the BBC nature documentary Planet Earth, says creative director Neil Druckmann, which showed how ants became infected with the cordyceps fungus.

Development of the game began in 2009 after Uncharted 2: Among Thieves shipped, with some members of the Uncharted team moving straight to Drake’s Deception while the rest began work on The Last of Us.

Elsewhere, Naughty Dog also confirmed that the game’s score will be composed by Gustavo Santaolalla of Brokeback Mountain fame. You can hear a snippet of his work on The Last of Us at the end of the VGAs trailer.

“He’s awesome,” commented Druckmann. “He picks and chooses what he works on; he could work on all these big movies. We brought him in here, showed him the game, walked him through the whole story and what we’re trying to do, and he said ‘I want to be a part of this’.”