Given the track record of the studio producing it, gamers don’t exactly need more convincing when it comes to The Last of Us. But that certainly isn’t stopping Naughty Dog from stirring up even more anticipation at Gamescom 2012, with a brand new trailer and set of images released today. Atmosphere and gritty realism are at the heart of the new assets, even confirming that that the game’s protagonist, Joel, was at one time aligned with the darker side of humanity.
We weren’t kidding that merely pitching the game as ‘the newest project from those behind Uncharted‘ is all that’s needed to get excited. The post-apocalyptic setting and plot of The Last of Us may be nothing to to either the video game or movie universe at this point, the trailer does emphasize how important the characters of Joel and Ellie will be. More important, in fact, than the various nasties they will be encountering.
Skeptics have already heard from the man voicing the protagonist Joel that the character will be anything but a hero, and the Gamescom trailer reiterates that in order to survive as long as he has, Joel has had to do his fair share of violence. Those who have been paying close attention to the game’s production will be more than familiar with the significance of ‘violence’ in the discussion, with some in the industry vehemently opposing the ultra-violent gameplay shown at E3, The Last of Us certainly among the offenders.
The newest trailer – set to Hank Williams, Sr.’s ‘Alone and Forsaken’ – again features a heavy dose of mature content, even if the close-ups of shotgun wounds are thankfully omitted. The footage is mostly a compilation of footage seen in previous screenshots, Naughty Dog’s Comic Con panel, and the E3 gameplay demo itself. Mood and mature subject matter are the stars of the new video, along with the destroyed and defiled urban environments.
In case the trailer isn’t enough, a new batch of screenshots and artwork have also been released, so feast your eyes on Joel and Ellie’s struggle for survival once more:
It’s clear that Joel and Ellie will be doing several morally questionable things to survive, not the least of which is assaulting and, yes, killing other survivors. That is certainly a serious issue to take on in a setting and visual style so close to realism, and with such a commitment to quality that is now synonymous with Naughty Dog. With a large amount of the gameplay footage shown so far centering around brutal and possibly excessive violence, the developers are doing everything they can to reassure fans that human relationships, family, and personal drama are truly at the heart of the game.
Director Bruce Straley and Creative Director Neil Druckman appear in a recently released interview laying out the team’s motivations, intentions, and aspirations for the kind of story that The Last of Us can tell. Have a look:
The list of truly incredible and well-realized human relationships in video games is a short one, so the task laid out for themselves is one that Naughty Dog will have to excel in order to achieve. But if anyone can do it, it’s the minds behind the most successful PlayStation-exclusive franchise to date. If all goes well, it may only be their first of many.
The Last of Us is slated for a 2013 release on the PS3.
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