New ‘The Last Of Us’ Screenshots Released

Published 2 years ago by

The Last of Us Screenshots

When we know so little about The Last of Us – a game quickly becoming one of our most anticipated – every bit of information we can glean is that much more precious. Thanks to a few brand new screenshots and details, an Eastern seaboard setting and a mix of melee and shooting combat can be confirmed, as can the engine behind the game’s gorgeous visuals.

Considering Naughty Dog‘s previous efforts the direction being taken for The Last of Us truly is as puzzling as it is promising. The newest in-game screenshots come courtesy of GameInformer‘s exclusive coversage, and confirm our suspicions that the setting and mechanics being planned for the game will be both familiar and refreshing to players.

We aren’t just talking about the more than striking resemblance of the main character Joel to everyone’s favorite quipping adventurer, since the similarities to Nathan Drake have been talked about since The Last of Us announcement trailer. Nor are we talking about the stealth mechanics that will likely ground the game firmly in the survival genre. But while recent post-apocalyptic games have taken place on a grand scale or distant planets, it seems the setting for The Last of Us will be much smaller and intimate.

The Last of Us Setting Pittsburgh

As can be seen by the above screenshot, the Fort Duquesne Bridge located in Pittsburgh, PA figures prominently, with Joel apparently even pointing it out as a landmark. Whether Pittsburgh will be the only location in which the game is set can’t be known, since the exact plot is still unclear. Whether Joel and Ellie are content to survive amidst the ruins of an apparent fungal plague or are intent on escaping to a safe zone is anyone’s guess. The bridge does bear a ‘Quarantine’ sign, so conspiracy theorists may feel free to speculate that some humans have been isolated – perhaps the whole state of Pennsylvania? – while the rest of America searches for a cure.

The type of drama and potential violence that humanity is ready to display in Naughty Dog’s survival tale became even clearer when The Last of Us cover art was revealed, and the screenshots continue to emphasize the same. Despite the criticism the developer has taken for its less than perfect shooting mechanics in the Uncharted series, things may be looking up for fans of melee combat. The first trailer showed how precious ammo can be, meaning survivors will often be forced to get…a bit more brutal.

The Last of Us Melee Attack

Joel may be taking the worst of this attack, but having the player feel somewhat vulnerable will only make the drama and danger seem more believable. According to GI the weapons will only be useful until they break, so hopefully the system will be too sophisticated to be reduced to simply swinging a bat – as satisfying as that may be.

Considering the melee combat of Uncharted 3, it may be safe to assume that a similar quicktime-approach will be taken. With the extremely cinematic approach to that series’ presentation, pulling out of an open world and into locked animations was at times frustrating, but considering the fact that Naughty Dog has been working on this for more than two years they’ve hopefully made more progress.

That length of development has also apparently been spent on keeping the character of Ellie from becoming more a nuisance than a benefit to the player. The young girl accompanying Joel will not be playable at any point but controlled by the computer, but there’s no need to worry that the game will descend into one massive escort mission. Apparently the AI routines for Ellie have been a major focus for the team, and the early results are promising. Forgive us if we still insist on keeping our fingers crossed.

The Last of Us Joel Ellie Street

Obviously escorts and vulnerability are a breeding ground for frustration – see our review of AMY for proof – but when done right both aspects can be greatly rewarding. Considering the fiction of the game, it wouldn’t make any sense for the seemingly-capable Joel to weigh himself down with a useless teenager.

Whether Ellie can actually offer some benefits or is merely being protected from the savagery of fellow survivors is something that will hopefully be explored in the future, but for now gorgeous environments and promising mechanics is enough to keep our hopes up. We haven’t quite reached ‘redefine gaming’ levels of promise, but there’s still time.

What do you think of the setting and new elements revealed? Any more details or interesting tidbits that you can spot in the screenshots? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

The Last of Us is expected to be released for the PS3 in late 2012 or early 2013.

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Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: GameInformer

TAGS: Naughty Dog, PS3, Sony, The Last of Us

21 Comments

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  1. Yeah, pretty much a given that I’ll be buying this, since the Uncharted games are my favorite video games ever.

    • The concept alone is enough to get my attention, but these shots are BEAUTIFUL!!!

  2. I’m super interested. Good on Naughty Dog for earning the right to create what they want. Quality > Quantity.

  3. The dude looks so much like an old Drake..specially his clothes…the third and last pic in the article reminds me of GTA IV…under that train bridge in Libterty City. Anyway, this looks like pure gold, getting my money 100% guaranteed.

    • 4th pic I mean

  4. im calling it,

    GAME OF THE YEAR

    this game looks great and the concept alone sold me and uncharted are the games ive played the most, one would say their my favorite.

  5. Wow, nobody has seen any gameplay footage, or have played any part of this game, but is already calling it game of the year… LOL

    Anyway, I know in a similar situation, I’d probably end up protecting someone vulnerable I find along the way. If that means I’ll end up dying, I guess that’s what’s going to happen because I don’t think I’ll be able to just leave someone alone like that in a situation like that… I might be a “survivor” but will not be able to live with myself…

  6. Booooo…..come to the other side of the state :D

    Hopefully it is state wide…but I doubt it. Fight on the bridges outside Harrisburg, try to escape foes in Beaver Stadium, take on some infected Amishmen in Lancaster, with a final stand… up “the rocky steps” (as most of you would know them as).

    • ace nobody likes philly they made the right call…hell, nobody would even feel sorry if there was a zombie outbreak in philly.

      • Haha

        • hahah im glad u laughed obviously just teasing….i went to psu nothing like a lil friendly philly/pittsburgh trash talk

          • ha yea, I have a lot of buddies, and their dads/brothers, from Pittsburgh or at least Fans of their teams….always fun :D

  7. Funny how a game we know so little about has peaked everyone’s attention. I think that’s one of the big selling factors at this point, though. It also goes to show how well received and trusted Naughty Dog is, based on their previous work. I already feel this game is a must have for me, I love the survival aspect of it. Like someone else above me said, the concept alone is enough.

  8. ok i was pretty excited about this game…but i live in pittsburgh so the fact that is based off this city is amazing!!! how many people get to fight zombies virtually in their own backyard?!!

  9. This has so muck potential and in Naughty Dogs hands it will be EPIC, can not wait for the release.

    • *much

  10. I am a little disappointed to hear that Ellie won’t be controllable at any point. Not that I mind the AI (ND does a great job with that, considering the AI in Uncharted)…but I just wanted the story (and whom I control) to really focus on the two of them. Interchangability, ya know?

    • I agree 100%! I think it’d be cool to have to play as one or the other depending on the situation. Being alot smaller than Joel, I think it’d be a pretty intense experience if at certain points you had to play as Ellie and squeeze through areas too small for Joel like certain windows, vegetation, ducting, crevices, etc (to retrieve supplies, open locked doors from the inside, etc). You two would be forced to be separated for some time and the suspense of not knowing if the other character will be alive when you are supposed to meet again would make it that much more intense (Joel basically would have to watch the young girl he is taking care of (and his only campanion) go on her own in to certain danger, unsure if he’ll ever see her again). I think it would be a great way to highlight the relationship between the characters (which I assume will be a father/daughter type relationship) and add some intense drama. Just how I would do it, though I’m sure ND will do quite well on their own haha

      • That is cool actually. Imagine control Ellie who can’t really fight back so you have to run. Like Uncharted 3 playing as young Drake. Man I’m pumped for this game, it’ll sell like hot cakes lol

  11. I can’t wait for this game. Also for those who played Enslave Odyssey to the West, that game could have easily been a game that was terrible because of the AI companion, but the developers made the AI helpful and not a hindrance. As some have already stated given how good the AI is in Uncharted, I don’t think we have to worry too much about it.

  12. Definitely buying this game. I have no doubt that it will be good, if not amazing.

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