E3 2012: New trailer for The Last of Us shows gritty survival elements
- The Last Of Us
Words by Dave Harrison
Although we’ve known about The Last of Us for some time now, E3 gave us our first opportunity to see gameplay from the hotly anticipated new IP from the developers of the Uncharted series.
The Last of Us has been touted as a mixture of survival and action elements, with story being a major driving focus, and it’s easy to see these claims coming to fruition. Indeed, first impressions from the video give the sense of a healthy mix between exploration of the crumbling cityscape and brutal encounters with other survivors who, just like protagonists Joel and Ellie, are scrabbling for whatever they can lay their hands on in order to survive a desolate wasteland populated by infected mutants and, well, other people .
The video starts with a blank screen, with just Joel and Ellie’s voices heard, until we can see Joel pushing a table against a door to stop whatever it is getting through. Following the frenetic start, Joel and Ellie explore a dilapidated hotel, with Ellie commenting how nice it would have been “before it all went to shit” – a clever teaser about the events that led to the world becoming this way. Whilst this sequence doesn’t involve any of the hi-octane acrobatics seen in Uncharted, it seems clear that exploration of the environment along with listening to the in-game dialogue between the two main characters will form a large part of the experience.
Following this exploration, Joel and Ellie spot a gaggle of scavengers within the hotel who are looking for any supplies they can get their hands on. What follows shows off the combat system within The Last of Us, which is perhaps located somewhere between the fluidity of Uncharted and the slower paced, more thoughtful and stealth based action of something like the Splinter Cell series. Joel has very limited access to ammo supplies, meaning that he appears to need to use positioning and the element of surprise to sneak up on enemies as much as possible in order to use either minimal ammo or hand-to-hand takedowns. We also see Ellie also helping out in the fight, throwing objects at enemies to distract them, and even trying to pull them off Joel if he becomes trapped underneath. Joel also shows off his ability to use bits and bobs in his backpack to make various home-made weapons such as pipe bombs in a not so subtle nod to the survival horror king, Resident Evil in order to increase his arsenal.
The way all these potentially disparate elements blend together looks super smooth, taking the mixture of hand-to-hand combat and shooting featured in Uncharted to new and potentially more innovative heights. That, mixed with the fun looking exploration, true survival gameplay elements (we even spotted a health bar!) and the constant threat of the Infected makes The Last of Us a game definitely worth keeping an eye on in the coming months.
Words by Dave Harrison (Twitter: @sealofmadness)
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