The Last of Us Hands-on Preview

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The Last of Us Hands-on Preview

Naughty Dog's latest stars unlikely, but unforgettable, companions.

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Been looking forward to this game ever since that first gameplay preview.

It's nice to see Naughty Dog flexing their muscles on something with a bit more substance to it than Uncharted.

Looks like Naughty Dog just can't seem to get past them rigid controls.

There's undoubtably going to be comparisons to Lee and Clementine, so I hope for Naughty Dog's sake they can present us with something equally gripping yet characteristically diverse.

And to what point do you protect Ellie? Can she actually die, or does she suffer from immortality like every other companion this generation?

How would you describe the Ellie's AI? Does she act more like Elizabeth from Bioshock or like Ashley from RE4 (or is it something completely different?)

I can see that either making or breaking the game.

Tombsite:
How would you describe the Ellie's AI? Does she act more like Elizabeth from Bioshock or like Ashley from RE4 (or is it something completely different?)

I can see that either making or breaking the game.

She's definitely more like Elizabeth. She never feels like a burden or hindrance.

Susan Arendt:

Tombsite:
How would you describe the Ellie's AI? Does she act more like Elizabeth from Bioshock or like Ashley from RE4 (or is it something completely different?)

I can see that either making or breaking the game.

She's definitely more like Elizabeth. She never feels like a burden or hindrance.

Well that is reassuring. Will keep an eye out for the review once this hits retail. Looks like this is the year of interesting female characters in games.

Susan Arendt:

Tombsite:
How would you describe the Ellie's AI? Does she act more like Elizabeth from Bioshock or like Ashley from RE4 (or is it something completely different?)

I can see that either making or breaking the game.

She's definitely more like Elizabeth. She never feels like a burden or hindrance.

So she's an unbreakable health and ammo dispenser that sits right out in the open? Or is she an active combat AI that hides well and if you fuck up might actually end up in peril? Because either of those can be used to describe Elizabeth. Post E3 and E3 one, respectively, hey the game is about alternate universes, as far as I am concerned there is an alternate universe with a better Bioshock Infinite out there :D

EDIT: Answered in the comment below, thankfully she is neither Elizabeth nor Ashley.

About the game, I do hope we can go with minimal UI, I have a great big aversion for glowing stuff. I can judge when something is useful based on it being usable, if I have to search around a bit so be it, I'd rather not have giant glowing maps in my survival action.

Casual Shinji:
Looks like Naughty Dog just can't seem to get past them rigid controls.

There's undoubtably going to be comparisons to Lee and Clementine, so I hope for Naughty Dog's sake they can present us with something equally gripping yet characteristically diverse.

And to what point do you protect Ellie? Can she actually die, or does she suffer from immortality like every other companion this generation?

No, she can die. When enemies grab her, a meter will pop up that indicates her increasing peril. Meter fills up, and you're restarting from the nearest checkpoint.

This game is a reason for me to go out and get a PS3 some time.

Susan Arendt:

Casual Shinji:
Looks like Naughty Dog just can't seem to get past them rigid controls.

There's undoubtably going to be comparisons to Lee and Clementine, so I hope for Naughty Dog's sake they can present us with something equally gripping yet characteristically diverse.

And to what point do you protect Ellie? Can she actually die, or does she suffer from immortality like every other companion this generation?

No, she can die. When enemies grab her, a meter will pop up that indicates her increasing peril. Meter fills up, and you're restarting from the nearest checkpoint.

Good.

I know developers just want to make it easy on us with these unkillable companions, but it takes away from their presence when they can't die, or warp next to you when they've fallen behind.

You mentioned frustrating controls, could you elaborate on what made them so?
Is it to do with unrebindable buttons, or overall sluggishness of movement?

Trying times force people into early adulthood and casting is for professionals, and all that, but...

Does nobody else feel kind of creeped out by Ellie's sounding (...in voice and cadence and expression, all) at the very least a decade past her supposed 14 years?

Somebloke:
Trying times force people into early adulthood and casting is for professionals, and all that, but...

Does nobody else feel kind of creeped out by Ellie's sounding (...in voice and cadence and expression, all) at the very least a decade past her supposed 14 years?

Actually, she does sound like 14 to me. I have met many girls who had deeper voices than her or who sounded a lot older than they were.

I am very much looking forward to this game and hoping to get it at launch. Let's hope I won't suck too hard at stealthing.

This looks awesome. Been looking forward to it for a long time, loved all of the Uncharted games' control mechanics and storytelling so this was always gonna be a must-have for me. The design, the feel, the relationship between Ellie and Joel...if the gameplay holds up (which I think it will) and the story doesn't turn to stupid then this has huge potential.

Cannot wait for this to be released.

I very much enjoy the uncharted games but they are clearly more spectacle than substance. I'm a little jaded with game journalism heaping praise onto games for doing something "good enough"but not particularly well. For example, the characterization un uncharted 3. Therefore, I am especially critical of the reception of this game, which seems to rely on story more than other undertakings from this studio.

Look - there have been a lot of games recently that have intrigued me, even excited me, in their pre-release marketing of late but that preview has amazed me. While I didn't read what you wrote with it (sorry! I'm worried I'll run into just a little too much information about this game) there are a couple of really cool, and some disappointing, things I noticed from the footage I hadn't really managed to appreciate in previous trailers and what-not:

* The sound design if superb. As the main character walked through the abandoned streets of whatever "quaint" little American town that was with only Ellie at your side I felt lonely. I knew Ellie was there, and it was comforting, but I knew that was it. Every step and action you took was felt almost deafening. The only noise was when the main character and Ellie made them. It's been awhile since the sound design has impressed me in a game.

* I already like Ellie. She's a teenager (I'm pretty sure there is an unwritten rule that teenagers in movies are suppose to be as dislikeable as possible at this stage) so it's practically a miracle. She reminds me a lot of a few of my friends at that age, actually. A little thing I liked was she swears - I've never met a teenager who didn't except in games and movies. It's an odd thing to appreciate but I did.

* The environment is actually quite pretty, in the depressing fall of humanity way. It was really nice to see - these dull, unpleasant design of almost every other post-apocalyptic game really, really bores the hell out of me.

* This game is going to draw a lot of comparisons to the Walking Dead, isn't it? Not unfairly I suppose - but I hope it doesn't work against the product if it's even half the game I'm expecting it to be.

* Like Uncharted, I don't think I'm going to like The Last of Us as a game that much. It looks like it'll play a lot like Uncharted - those less over the top - where the players only contribution to the events of the game is to progress from point to point. It's a shame, but I'll enjoy the scenery and the characters enough to make it worth while. I'll just be disappointed that I have no real agency and question why it's a game and not a non-interactive medium like film.

Somebloke:
Does nobody else feel kind of creeped out by Ellie's sounding (...in voice and cadence and expression, all) at the very least a decade past her supposed 14 years?

Nah, she sounds a little older to me, but not by much. If I hadn't been told she was 14 I'd have guess 16. I mentioned above that she reminds me of a few of my friends at that age; her voice sounds similar as well. That a little creepy, I suppose.

EDIT:

90sgamer:
I very much enjoy the uncharted games but they are clearly more spectacle than substance.

This is a more succinct way of putting what I was trying to address before. I've got no real discussion to add to your comment, I just wanted to clarify what I said because I understand I can get rather... incoherent at times. Thanks!

So PS3 only?
Journey, Tokyo Jungle and now this?
Have I said that I HATE console exclusives?
If not, here it goes.
I really HAAAAAAAAATE platform console exclusive games.
I have nothing accept timed exclusives (6 months after PS3 launch it gets ported to PC and X360, for example)
But it pisses me off when platform is limited just because.

I'm excited for this game. So who else ready to board the hype train?

I would guess that Ellie's voice might sound older and mature because she's living through the apocalypse. That sort of thing forces someone to grow up quickly, and she's unlikely to use the lighter tones most kids her age (in our world, at least).

That said, it's cool to see this coupling of companions. Ellie isn't a useless lump, but she's vulnerable. They work together to survive. Why? I'm not entirely sure, but I'd play the game to find out.

blackrave:
So PS3 only?
Journey, Tokyo Jungle and now this?
Have I said that I HATE console exclusives?
If not, here it goes.
I really HAAAAAAAAATE platform console exclusive games.
I have nothing accept timed exclusives (6 months after PS3 launch it gets ported to PC and X360, for example)
But it pisses me off when platform is limited just because.

Journey and Tokyo Jungle are fair enough (although at that level of game it's possible that the console manufacturer is paying enough that a game is being made where no game would be made before. And porting is non-trivial effort for indie's)

But Naughty Dog are a Sony studio and have been a Sony studio for years and years and years. In an ideal world we could all play all games but Mario isn't going to be leaving Nintendo anytime soon and Sony have invested and managed this studio to get to where it is.

What I mean is, Naughty Dog isn't a 'just because' in that it's not like Sony are paying for exclusivity or ND are ignoring other platforms for inadequately explained reasons (Epic Games). They're actually owned by Sony and owe a lot of their position to Sony

Oh man, that preview hooked me in literally seconds.
And audible "aw" came out of me when she thought it was cool to walk through the woods for the first time.
Seriously, I just found that heartwarming.

I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptia. Especially the really pretty ones. Definitely keeping my eye on this one.

Casual Shinji:

Susan Arendt:

Casual Shinji:
Looks like Naughty Dog just can't seem to get past them rigid controls.

There's undoubtably going to be comparisons to Lee and Clementine, so I hope for Naughty Dog's sake they can present us with something equally gripping yet characteristically diverse.

And to what point do you protect Ellie? Can she actually die, or does she suffer from immortality like every other companion this generation?

No, she can die. When enemies grab her, a meter will pop up that indicates her increasing peril. Meter fills up, and you're restarting from the nearest checkpoint.

Good.

I know developers just want to make it easy on us with these unkillable companions, but it takes away from their presence when they can't die, or warp next to you when they've fallen behind.

...You do remember games with companions that can die though, right? That was always the worst part of those games, bar none.

Are people honestly nostalgic for escort quests now?

Karoshi:

Somebloke:
Trying times force people into early adulthood and casting is for professionals, and all that, but...

Does nobody else feel kind of creeped out by Ellie's sounding (...in voice and cadence and expression, all) at the very least a decade past her supposed 14 years?

Actually, she does sound like 14 to me. I have met many girls who had deeper voices than her or who sounded a lot older than they were.

I am very much looking forward to this game and hoping to get it at launch. Let's hope I won't suck too hard at stealthing.

Yer didn't sound much like a 14 year old to me either, after a quick Google search she's voiced by a 29 year old so does not take a genius to work that out.

Her turn of phrase for a 14 year old sounded a little off to me as well, kids gradually learn to articulate themselves better as they grow up, I suspect its been done represent how she has had to mature at a younger age, but still bit of a blip. Can be the most mature kid in the world, but unless you have had extensive extra schooling or are a bit prodigy, your still going to phrase things like a kid would, so bit counter intuitive being as I'm guessing in the cannon the school system will have taken somewhat of a hit.

I have to say when I first heard about this game I was very excited about it. I've become a bit Jaded by the over the top hype about it, being as this is the first proper game play I have seen of it, so nice some worth while reviews are now out, rather than wild speculation that was going on. But yer probably would not mention stuff like that off the bat of such a short video normally.

This all looks nice, but it's still:

a) a zombie game, and I was tired of zombies 10 years ago
b) either riddled with DRM or with no PC release at all

*looks up game*

Oh cool, a PS3 exclusive. Even better. The best way to drive away 2/3 of the potential consumers.

Sgt. Sykes:
This all looks nice, but it's still:

a) a zombie game, and I was tired of zombies 10 years ago
b) either riddled with DRM or with no PC release at all

*looks up game*

Oh cool, a PS3 exclusive. Even better. The best way to drive away 2/3 of the potential consumers.

Like someone else already said, Naughty Dog is a Sony exclusive company. That's just the way they are. Besides, if the Uncharted games are anything to go by, I don't think they should be worried.

Anyways, I've been keeping my eye on this game for a while now. I love the Uncharted games, and this will definitely be joining my game collection.

Once I get the money, that is.

How sad. This is the only PS3 exclusive that I actually really want but I'm not going to be buying a PS3 for one game, right before the next generation.

AgentNein:
...You do remember games with companions that can die though, right? That was always the worst part of those games, bar none.

Are people honestly nostalgic for escort quests now?

Yes, I remember. And the bad ones were indeed bad.

Games like Ico and Resident Evil 4 however showed how escort missions could be done right. You're not going to have much of a connection with a companion when in the cutscenes they're all vulnerable, but in the gameplay they're invicible.

Great... another good game had to be dumbed down for a console.

This is an annoying complaint to make, but Ellie sounds too old.

A decade older than what she is meant to be, at least.

Christ people, It's a Sony exclusive BECAUSE it's made by Naughty Dog. Stop complaining. Tokyo Jungle and Journey are Sony exclusive and will always be because Sony paid for development of them.

This game looks amazing, and I can't wait to buy it...at full price.

But, I can't believe some of the things I hear people say about the Uncharted games though. I think it's alright if you don't like the franchise but in no way is it mediocre. The story is good, the characters are interesting and well acted and for an adventure game... I feel like I'm in an adventure. Sounds like the mission was accomplished. Naughty Dog is packed out with talented people that make great games. To the people that talk so much crap, you go and make a good game. I can't wait to see it. :P

I hope this game turns out well, it looks pretty amazing so far. They really phoned it in with Uncharted 3, but I've enjoyed every other game Naughty Dog has made, and it seems that the Last of Us will be no exception - especially if Ellie can die. I loved Elizabeth, but when I could fire a rocket directly at her to kill the surrounding enemies that were ignoring her, it kind of took me out of it a little.

Comparisons will be likely be made between these two and Booker/Elizabeth or Lee/Clementine, but having observed these two's relationship in the gameplay trailers so far, I think it's on the right track to being unique. Time will tell and I can't wait to know for sure.

AJey:
Great... another good game had to be dumbed down for a console.

You realize this is only for the PS3 right? It's been pretty much beat to a pulp in this thread as to why too, so I won't explain it here.

Back on topic. I'm really excited for this game, but your issues with the controls have me worried. I know the controls in Uncharted 3 got very frustrating at times and I really hope that the extra month they get from the delay is spent tightening them up a bit. Because when it comes to something like this, that is trying to immerse you in the world as much as possible, controlling like an elephant on roller skates can really bring you out of the experience. Oh well, still definitely picking this up on day one.

fat american:

AJey:
Great... another good game had to be dumbed down for a console.

You realize this is only for the PS3 right? It's been pretty much beat to a pulp in this thread as to why too, so I won't explain it here.

Back on topic. I'm really excited for this game, but your issues with the controls have me worried. I know the controls in Uncharted 3 got very frustrating at times and I really hope that the extra month they get from the delay is spent tightening them up a bit. Because when it comes to something like this, that is trying to immerse you in the world as much as possible, controlling like an elephant on roller skates can really bring you out of the experience. Oh well, still definitely picking this up on day one.

My problem is not with the console, but with the choice to put it on the console. A PC control scheme would benefit this game immensely. Unfortunately, it is not being developed to be good (it might be good, but that's incidental), it is being developed to be soled.

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