The Last of Us was probably one of the biggest surprises of the VGAs, not necessarily because of its theme — post-apocalyptic worlds and zombie look-a-likes are nothing new to people even remotely interested in games — but because of the developer behind it: Naughty Dog.
What you may not know about the game, beyond a swift mentioning of it by GTTV’s Geoff Keighley at one point, is that it’s been in development for two years already, by a “secret team” created at Naughty Dog — which I was happy to know involved Enslaved‘s lead designer Mark Richard Davies — right after Uncharted 2: Among Thieves had shipped.
Creative Director Neil Druckmann, besides saying he’s been working on the game “for the last two years,” also gave an insight as to who Joel and Ellie, the main duo, are. Joel, a “brutal survivor,” is played by Troy Baker, also known as Booker Dewitt from BioShock Infinite, and Ellie, a “young teenage girl who’s braver and wiser beyond her years,” by Ashley Johnson. They will both be performing aurally as well as physically, lending their voices and doing motion capture for the game.
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t as much of an insight as it was mostly describing the actual announcement trailer, which made the above pretty clear and evident.
It has also been uncovered that The Last of Us will not feature any multiplayer, much like Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, which is fine as we’ve been proven time and again that Naughty Dog has the wit to deliver excellent single-player experiences. Besides, having multiplayer, hence people/zombies/things re-spawning, would defy the name of the game as there would never be the last of anything. The one thing that is unique to this project, and that makes it highly interesting, is the fact that it’s been rated M for mature, which is uncharted territory for Naughty Dog. Pun totally intended.