The Last of Us, developer Naughty Dog’s PS3 exclusive post-not-exactly-zombie-apocalypse survival game, is coming to the Sony console on June 14th. The third-person perspective survival adventure side-steps the all-too-common zombie shooter formula– while Last of Us’ apocalypse did come in the form of a zombifying fungal infection, the primary adversaries in the story will be other uninfected humans: the military, scavengers, etc.
The Uncharted developer is taking the lessons learned in their previous projects and working to develop a more thoughtful, deliberate journey through the post-apocalyptic United States– resources (food, water, ammo) are scarce. A single shot will kill an enemy, so bluffing is a key element of gameplay with Naughty Dog describing the AI system as weighing risks based on brandished weapons, force strength, etc. and responding more realistically toward player attitudes and movement.
The Last of Us, aside from being visually beautiful, invites comparisons to Ubisoft’s 2012 I Am Alive. I Am Alive also required slow-paced, deliberate movement, though Last of Us promises a more expansive and richer experience, combining an unfolding narrative between the main character Joel, a hardened shell of a man, and his traveling companion Ellie, a young girl whom Joel has promised to look after, as well as covering an (intended) cross-country journey (compared with I Am Alive‘s story taking place entirely within one fictional city).
The infection that caused the collapse was from a fungus that really exists, although in The Last of Us‘ world, the fungus has made the leap from the insect kingdom into humans. This particular fungus is one of those creepy ones that you read about in nature that has the ability to take over its host and cause the host to engage in unnatural behavior that serves the fungus in spreading.
The Last of Us streets on June 14th and is available for pre-order now. You can see more of the visuals and some extended gameplay footage at the official website TheLastOfUs.com.