Zombie games aren’t anything new. But when you think about it, The Last of Us isn’t really a zombie game.
In similar fashion to, say, The Walking Dead or I Am Legend, The Last of Us isn’t necessarily about zombies but instead focuses on the human interaction/s dealt with any remaining survivor/s. Unlike in Left 4 Dead, where the zombies are undoubtedly the star of the show, it’s the human characters, specifically Joel and his daughter Ellie, that take the spotlight in the latest Naughty Dog title. Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, the game’s creative director and game director respectively, have emphasized this fact.
So what exactly is all the fuss about then?
We have to keep in mind that this is Naughty Dog. We’ve seen what they’re capable of from the Uncharted series; they can create a blockbuster with a great story and intense action without compromising it for the “popcorn” crowd. So, naturally, expectations are pretty high for a brand new IP that hasn’t had an ounce of gameplay footage seen. Regardless, as we’ve seen with L.A. Noire, if the story being told is strong enough, the environment atmospheric enough, and your emotions tugged hard enough, gameplay doesn’t necessarily matter as long as the job gets done.
With less than a week to go before we see how everything will play out, it’s already safe to say that Sony has the PS3’s final blockbuster in The Last of Us, one strong enough to bring over newcomers to the console, regardless of how late in the PS3’s lifespan it may be.