The Start Of The Last Of Us

Survival horror is a genre of games that really needs a new champion. I haven’t really had a title that could hold me on the edge of my seat since Silent Hill 2 and, while that could be blamed on the fact that I’m exponentially more jaded than I was at that time, I still feel like I’m missing something. Well, it seems Naughty Dog has decided to try and fill that hole, and it’s hard for me to not get excited.

The trailer for The Last Of Us was revealed last night at the VGAs, and it does a fantastic job of building excitement. I’ve been burned by early trailers before that seem to be hinting at a dismal and stressful game only to have it turn out to be an outright zombie slaughter (I’m looking at you Dead Island). As a result, I’m attempting to stay cautiously optimistic, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t just a trifle giddy. At first glance, it seems to be a very I Am Legend-esque story which, in Naughty Dog‘s capable hands, could be incredible story telling.

Nothing of actual merit has been released for the game so far, so outside of wild speculation I’m afraid there’s not a whole lot to go off on. The only official information is the synopsis for the trailer:

The Last of Us is genre-defining experience blending survival and action elements to tell a character driven story about a population decimated by a modern plague. Cities are abandoned and being reclaimed by nature. Remaining survivors are killing each other for food, weapons and whatever they can find. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a young teenage girl who’s braver and wiser beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States.

The trailer features characters named Ellie and Joel in a derelict hotel, starting off with Joel locked in combat with what I assume is another survivor. Joel quickly downs the man with a stick to the back of the head, leaving Ellie to search his pockets to find a few bullets. Before she even has a chance to count her rounds, they’re forced to seek shelter in the other room and… you know what? Just watch it.

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I’ve watched the trailer at least a dozen times while trying to come up with a synopsis here, and the truth is I don’t really know what we’re dealing with here. What I do know is Naughty Dog has set the table for what could be an incredible story, which may finally give me a reason to keep a light on at night again. All I can say is that I have never trusted mushrooms before and, after seeing this I see no reason to start giving breaks to legumes as a whole.

Ellie is heard talking at the end of the trailer stating, “This is our routine. Day and night, all we do is survive. It never lets up. He tells me how these streets were crowded with people…just going about their lives. It must have been nice.” It was Ellie. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing how nice your world is.