Naughty Dog’s next game, The Last of Us, should not be defined as zombie game the developer has stated. The game is more about the bond between Ellie and Joel, which has been described as “a father-daughter-like relationship”.
In the world of The Last of Us a fungus has caused changes in the host behaviors. These hosts’ actions change to benefit the survival of the fungus rather than the host. This would explain the zombie like behavior the infected displayed in the reveal trailer. The game’s Creative Director Neil Druckmann explained to Eurogamer:
If the game was about the monsters, we would have not showed them. The story’s not about them, so [we thought] let’s get it out of the way.
In any other medium it’s all about the characters. [We want you to] care so when horrible things happen you feel something. That’s what Naughty Dog can bring to the genre and really own it: every decision we make is about the characters and their relationship.
We approached this genre because we felt no-one is getting to the heart of it. [The Last of Us] tells you something about the human condition – that’s what you want to do as a storyteller.
In fact, Naughty Dog were worried when they saw the Dead Island trailer, which they thought would be a similar game:
We saw it and we thought, wait a minute, someone else is doing this – it’s really moving, there’s this family that’s been torn apart. You saw the game and it wasn’t that, I’m not saying whether it was a good or bad game, but it wasn’t that. And we feel our trailer is very representative of what we’re going for.
He also said:
This is going to sound corny and it might not appeal to gamers, but I would say it’s a love story. It’s not a romantic love story, it’s a love story about a father-daughter-like relationship.
We know that The Last of Us will be a third person affair. We don’t know whether or not the player will control either Joel or Ellie. Given the post-apocalyptic realistic approach shown in the trailer it is safe to say that ammunition will be limited. It would certainly be a nice change from the very gun centric gameplay featured in the Uncharted franchise.
Are you tired of hearing about The Last of Us yet? If not what features or gameplay mechanics are you expecting?