Game of show for many (though in our opinion it was a close thing between this and Bethesda’s Dishonored), Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was about as far from their Uncharted series as you could reasonably expect a similar third-person adventure game to be.
At a show where ever other developer seemed hell-bent on besting Uncharted and its sequels in the action stakes (see Tomb Raider, Star Wars 1313, Dead Space 3 and Resident Evil 6), Naughty Dog had chosen an altogether different path as they looked to eschew the fast gun play and monkey-like climbing of Nathan Drake in order to explore a subtler and altogether more atmospheric affair as characters Joel and Ellie look to survive in a game perhaps best described as an interactive re-telling of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
Surely pushing the PS3 to its very limits, The Last of Us is hauntingly beautiful and eerily affecting, set within a ruined world where humanity has been decimated and the remaining survivors pick through the rubble in order to carry on living.
Anyone who has seen the latest trailer will have course seen the amazing encounter Joel has with a rival group of survivors as he bumps them off one-by-one in a quite breathtaking display of very real (and brutal) combat.
What they won’t have seen is a secondary play-through in which one of Naughty Dog’s developers replayed the same section but in an entirely different way – even confirming that Joel needn’t have engaged the threat at all and could have sneaked by them instead; the game giving you the choice and letting you make that judgement call based on the cost versus benefits – impressive stuff.