The Last of Us can’t get here soon enough, but with every new look at Naughty Dog‘s post-apocalyptic survival tale, it’s looking like the wait will be worth it. Yet even as the accolades and critical praise begins to roll in, the average PS3 owner only has a small idea of what types of gameplay will make up the bulk of the game’s campaign.

Thankfully, the latest gameplay footage shows how the developers behind Uncharted will be blending their signature combat and traversal with a much darker story. Navigating a crumbling urban landscape has made up the majority of the assets and screenshots so far, but if the rural town of Lincoln is anything to go by, Joel and Ellie have plenty to worry about beyond the ‘Infected’ scourge.

While The Last of Us will be hinging largely on the relationship between its two leads, the developers maintain that exactly how deep players wish to dive into that aspect of the game is up to them – the slower, more character-focused moments will be optional, not required. Even so, the gameplay footage (captured by VG24/7) shows how the dialogue – one of Naughty Dog’s strengths – between the two will be sprinkled through the quieter moments of the game. When Joel isn’t locked in combat, obviously.

Beyond the gameplay footage showing how well-trained Joel is in dealing with both human and Infected enemies, a few new screenshots have also been released. Once again, we’re reminded that anyone assuming that Joel is a ‘hero’ is getting ahead of themselves. Take a look:

We’re not quite sure what the in-game justification is for Joel being able to see enemies through solid objects, but the finer touches – Joel ducking when an enemy fires, moving in and out of cover fairly intuitively, and enemies genuinely being unable to track them in cover – more than make up for it.

The combat itself may be fairly familiar to anyone who has played a modern third-person shooter or Uncharted, the tension apparently leading up to the skirmishes is where we see the most promise. Every month leads more people to cry that the ‘survival horror’ genre is being slowly eroded in the mainstream, yet it seems to be alive and well in The Last of Us. We may have only a few quick glimpses, and fans may not expect it from this development team, but moving Joel through an environment teeming with enemies looks to be enough to get our palms sweaty.

What do you make of the footage? Are you most looking forward to the character moments between Joel and Ellie, the combat, or the setting?

The Last of Us releases June 14, 2013 exclusively for the PS3.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: VG24/7, PlayStation Blog