Five Reasons to Love The Last of Us

The apocalypse is a common theme found in games, ranging from I Am Alive to Fallout.

Late last year, Uncharted developer Naughty Dog teased their take on the genre with The Last of Us.

In the game, players take control of anti-hero Joel, tasked with protecting young teen Ellie as they travel across this nightmarish, post-doomsday world. While we’ve seen snippets of trailers and heard some information about the actual gameplay, a lot remains to be seen. Of course, with E3 around the corner, it’s a given we’ll learn more about the PS3 exclusive soon. Until then, here’s a list of five reasons to get excited for the game’s expected fall release:

5) Stunning Visuals

When initial screenshots for the game were teased last year, there were some in the gaming community who commented that the images of plants and greenery looked inseparable from a photograph.

Now that we have more footage and images, the use of light, color, shading, and animation all look nothing short of photorealistic. While we haven’t yet seen any gameplay footage, to say the visuals are promising is an understatement.
(Trailer language NSFW)

4) Advanced AI

Naughty Dog has said before that the AI in The Last of Us will be complex. While you will have a follower in Joel’s young companion, instead of being a buggy hinderance, Ellie will fetch items, take cover, and keep herself out of trouble, meaning you won’t always have to rescue her or go back and forth to get her to tag along.

Enemies, too, will react to your actions, also taking cover, communicating, and organizing as they work to take you out.

3) Brilliant Story Conventions

With the likes of the Uncharted series, Naughty Dog has more than proven to us that they know how to spin a good yarn. Weaving together ideas of an apocalyptic wasteland, survival, and desperation, they’ve set the stage for great character development. Particularly between the two main characters, Joel and Ellie. Their relationship is not a one-sided protector/dependent one. Instead, Joel protects Ellie, and relies on her naivete to make up for his loss of innocense. In a strange sense, they complete each other, and such an idea has the potential to make them interesting and compelling characters in a deep story.

2) Realistic Take on the Apocalypse

How will the world end? Will it end?

No one knows for sure, but the post-apocalyptic world we see in The Last of Us is arguably more believable than the ones seen in games of the same genre.

Instead of  a deserted, bleak wasteland, we see rich, eerily beautiful environments, overgrown by plant life after humanity has deserted it. In a desperate attempt to protect themselves, citizens are quarantined and sectioned off from the outside, and the world around you feels forlorn. Survivors outside of quarantine zones fight for supplies and the will to live, and a feeling of loss and emptiness accompanies the overall atmosphere, giving The Last of Us a serious and realistic tone.

1) A new take on Zombies

Typical slow-moving, moaning zombies have been replaced by a much more frightening variety. Inspired by the occurrence in nature of a fungus taking control of the mind of an ant, The Last of Us deals with humans who have been infected by the evolved spores of a like species. The result? A weird, contorted, mushroom-headed monstrosity that moves quickly and hunts based on echolocation. While the bulk of fighting will be against other survivors, players can expect to encounter their fair share of zombies throughout the game.

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