The latest edition of Game Informer discusses Naughty Dog’s latest project, The Last of Us. In an interview in the magazine, director of the game Bruce Straley has divulged into some of the back story and the two protagonists. He has also confirmed that the game will be taken into the online space. I will warn those who are interested in the game and its story that you are about to encounter spoilers.
In this version of Earth, the human population has been wiped out by a fungus. Joel, the male protagonist, is in his late forties and smuggles guns and drugs between the quarantine zones. As a wish from a “dying friend,” Joel smuggles out fourteen year old Ellie, who lives in a military house within the quarantine zone. Their meeting is where the game begins. The military catches the two trying to escape the zone, so they must escape their presence. Afterwards, they head West. Their relationship during this trip was influenced by movies such as True Grit and Road to Perdition.
Joel and Ellie must work together throughout the game in order to survive. During one sequence, they encounter bandits disguised as survivors. They will need to defend themselves with a mix of melee combat and environmental weapons such as a wooden plank. Health packs will be available, but require time to apply. They will also have the ability to pass weapons to each other.
The reason Naughty Dog went down this direction was to further develop the type of relationship experienced by Nathan Drake and Tenzen in Uncharted 2. During Drake’s visit in Nepal, both Drake and Tenzen worked together to navigate the icy caves of the Himalayas. It will be interesting how an older man and a teen girl will work together as a team and whether the two require that bonding period to be an effective duo.
As mentioned earlier, Bruce Straley revealed that the game will have online functionality:
“We’re going to have some sort of online component. We’re working on a bunch of ideas, but we haven’t nailed anything down. We definitely know it’s going to be awesome.”
The Last of Us does not have a concrete release date, but it has been speculated for a release late 2012 to early 2013. It will see a release on the Playstation 3.