The Last of Us steers clear of cliches
posted on 01.15.12 at 12:08 PM EST by (@salromano)
Uncharted similarity a struggle, at first.

The latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine Benelux shares new details on Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us.

Why use these “zombie” creatures? According to creative director Neil Druckmann, it’s because no other zombie game has done it right. They feel like B-grade movies created for superficial pleasure, he said. In The Last of Us, the focus is on Joel and Ellie, and their mutual relationship. He cites 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead as movie examples.

Asked if that meant it was like Heavy Rain, Druckmann said it’s not a great comparison. “David Cage meant right, but approached things wrong,” he said. In The Last of Us, the player is given much more freedom and strategic choices. Heavy Rain was too caught up in quick-time events, he said.

The debut trailer – seen here – shows Joel and Ellie confronted by one of the zombie creatures. At one point, you see the two count the footsteps of the coming creatures, in attempt to figure out how many there are, which may indicate sound being an important factor in The Last of Us. Joel cocks the gun’s trigger, hoping their ears pay no mind. He is no superhero, and is just as frigtened as Ellie in these situations. When the creature goes for him, he tries holding it back by grabbing its neck, as they’re highly infectious.

The trailer, according to Druckmann, explains a lot involving gameplay. You’ll alternate between shooting and melee combat, and ammo comes in short supply. So don’t expect Uncharted-grade shotouts. You’ll run into situations where you’ll have to help others, but nothing obvious. “I hate games where you have to brainlessly defend a NPC,” he said.

Exploration is a prime factor, as well, but risks are involved. You may walk into a cafe only to be confronted. That said, the game isn’t as linear as Uncharted, but as it’s still story-driven, don’t expect an open-world, either.

Uncharted is the team’s biggest worry. While it’s their prize and trophy, it’s also the game they worry everyone will compare The Last of Us with. Which is why they want both games to be different, and aim to steer clear of post-apocalyptic cliches. But that was harder than they thought it’d be. The first version of the game looked so much like Uncharted that it was scrapped, only to start again from scratch. In the new version, they used new lighting and rending, and rougher camerawork, as if filmed with a handy cam.

Enemies in the game are still as quick as Uncharted‘s. A fungus called cordyceps has taken over the mind and bodies of those infected, and is highly contagious, which is why Joel and Ellie must immediately run after shooting one (like in the trailer). And also because they’d rather more creatures not hear and be lured.

Thanks, Foxdies.

  • http://gearsjourney.blogspot.com Acidicsam

    This game will either turn out as one of the best games of the gen, or one of the most disappointing.

    On one hand, it sounds pretty AWESOME, but at the same time, it sounds a bit too awesome.

    I just hope they don’t focus too much on making the game feel different from Uncharted. Usually, trying to make a game feel different damages the game in the outcome.

  • FinalFantasy_fangirl

    Im still on the fence with this one. Looks good but im not feeling it.

  • http://www.gametrailers.com/factions/FoKHF/?action=news DarthXehanort

    Easily my most anticipated western game.

    • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

      @DarthXehanort: Are any other western games coming out that look any good?

  • hush404

    Cordyceps? Have you guys ever seen that shit in action? It’s actually kind of scary… and it’s real. Here’s a vid of it working it’s talent on ants.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuKjBIBBAL8

    • FaithlessMr

      @hush404:
      Jebus Christ that is extreme. It does seem like something out of a 60’s sci-fi movie, sheesh. I had no idea this existed in real life, dayum.

  • DGM09

    “According to Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann, it’s because no other zombie game has done it right. They feel like B-grade movies created for superficial pleasure, he said.”

    Naughty Dog is really needing a slap in the face already.
    Since their Uncharted series got popular, it’s just been one arrogant comment after another. Go ahead and make great games, but insulting every single other developer out there doesn’t make you look better.

    • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

      @DGM09: Well no one else has made a good zombie game,so they are completely right in this.

      • DGM09

        @KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler: Attempt at comedic value aside, that is one very ignorant statement.

        Regardless, it’s not just about this one statement. It’s not the first time they’ve said something like this (not even the first time this month).

    • http://www.gamesreflexoes.blogspot.com mateuspradosousa

      @DGM09: Yes, he was a few arrogant, but, i think that he is right in many ways

  • Aldridge517

    The only real cliche within the horror genre is survival. I always appreciate it when the author/director sees to it that nobody makes it to the end. It’s a cold blooded approach but it’s the most realistic imo.

    Sometimes nobody makes it, there’s no triumphant hero who overcomes all obstacles to stand alone at the end. Sometimes the enemy just wins. Then afterwards you can open up the sequel with a whole new cast and a new perspective. Probably in a world worst off due to the failures made in the first game.