Aesthetically, The Last of Us may very well look like a post-apocalyptic version of Uncharted, which is by no means a bad thing. But what the recent gameplay demonstration at E3 failed to show is that the title will mark a thankful departure from the heavy linearity of Naughty Dog‘s previous series.
Speaking to GTTV at E3, Neil Druckman, the creative director behind the project, revealed that exploration would be heavily encouraged within the game and would reward players with back story that further contextualises the characters:
“It’s a story that has specific beats that you’re going to experience, but within those – or between those – we really want to open up the environment to let you explore so you can choose how much you want to go off the beaten path and find these narrative moments that will tell you more about who Joel and Ellie are, and their different perspectives on how they view the world.”
Druckman then went on to reveal that Joel and Ellie are not the only ones to have survived the apocalypse, and that the team have many characters that have yet to be unveiled:
“You will be allied with other characters. Right now, we’re just focusing on Joel and Ellie but we have a pretty big cast of characters that we haven’t revealed yet.”
If the dynamic between these additional characters is anywhere near as well done as what we have already witnessed, then this is going to be one apocalypse that is well worth surviving.