Monday, March 26, 2012

Expectations: The Last of Us

The Last of Us is a game being developed by Uncharted's developer Naughty Dog. It seems to be a survival adventure, where the main character Joel and his companion Ellie needs to survive in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed when a fungus disease destroyed the civilization. In this setting, they must fight both survivors and infected people, whose fungus changed their behavior and appearance.

With all I said up there, it seems just another zombie game or post-apocalyptic setting. But by the images and trailer I have saw till now, it seems that it is a different, interesting take on it. It is not about too badass characters killing plenty of deranged survivals and fungus-zombies. It is a struggle for survival.

Ammunition seems to be scarce, and scavenging for items seems to be as important (if not more) than shooting your way. In fact, I really hope they can use negotiation as a way to solve conflict. With ammunition being a valuable commodity, allowing the player to avoid combat or negotiate their way out would be a nice mechanic and twist from the 'shoot all that moves' politic in most zombie games.

Also, the relationship mechanic between Ellie and Joel can be interesting. How will she play? Will she be a helpful companion as it seems or ended up as a burden? By what Naughty Dog have said, they don't want this to be a escort mission, and she will be a helpful companion.

Also, this game seems to be a great way to show how people would react with the end of their civilization. Most post-apocalyptic games happens way after the apocalypse, so must people don't even remember how the world was before. Here it seems to be placed in the between phases. Joel still remember the world before, but Allie only know stories of it.

What I expect from this game, and it seems Naughty Dog can deliver, is a break from the conventions games established about both the zombie apocalypse and the post-apocalyptic world. With their great talent to write compelling stories, I am waiting to see two human characters, not two wannabe Rambos struggling for survival, not only against the zombies, but against people like themselves, also trying to survive. This also can create moral question. It is fair to steal the food of another desperate survival? Or to kill him? This can be an opportunity to do something really unique in games.

And can you blame anyone trying just to survive, specially against this:

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