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The Last of Us Preview

"The Last of Us is a little different from what I expected." That's what I was thinking when I was lucky enough to get hands on with a two part-level taster last week. The demo showed me two very different sides to Naughty Dog's upcoming action title, both of which provided me with a different look at what the game has to offer.

Just in case you aren't up to speed, The Last of Us sees Joel and 14 year old Ellie set out on a trek across the land, after the battle hardened Joel agrees to protect Ellie and lead her to the safety of a resistance group known as The FireFlies. This sees them struggle to survive as they battle their way across a land which has been devastated by a strange fungus, which in turn has created 'the infected', a mutated form of humans who are out for blood.

The first part of this demo took part in Lincoln, where I joined Joel and Ellie as they entered the city in order to meet up with an ally 'of sorts' in order to hook themselves up with a car. One of the first things I noticed about The Last of Us is that it feels quiet, there's no soundtrack playing over the top here, nor are there as many of the scripted set-pieces which you'll find in Uncharted, although they do occur. Instead The Last of Us feels like it is opened up for you to explore. You'll hear banging on doors and you'll have the opportunity to investigate. Shops and other building are also open for you to nose around, which is essential if you want to arm yourself because equipment is scare in this ghost of a land.

Obviously being a demo, action was not far away and the Lincoln demo gave me a short glimpse at the infected. The first stage infected you'll come across is a Runner, a sort of half human/half infected hybrid. These guys are dangerous, although generally you'll either take them down using bullets, or if they get too close, with a set-piece, quick-time button action. In this respect Runners are fairly easy to take down, although from what I've seen they seem to come in packs, which does make things slightly more difficult. If it's a challenge you're after then the Clickers will certainly provide this. These guys make a clicking sound so you'll always know when they are near. Also you don't want them to get too close to you because they'll kill you instantly if you're not on the ball. Thankfully you do have plenty of weapons at your disposal, such as guns, bricks and anything else you can pick up, and if you are running short you can even make weapons, allowing you to tape scissors to sticks, create Molotov cocktails and all other manner of concoctions. All of this can be done from your menu, although you'll need to find special tables in order to improve these weapons further.

Everything about The Last of Us seems so impressive, even from my short time in the Lincoln level I was impressed. To give an example of this, in one particular set-piece, Joel got caught in a rope trap, meaning that I was having to shoot and kill Runners while hanging upside down - all before they either killed Joel or Ellie, it was a tremendously tense, yet rewarding experience.

It's not only the infected you will be up against, as I found out when moving onto the next part of the demo. Here I found myself taking control of Joel as he and Ellie headed into Philadelphia. Unfortunately it wasn't long before they came across the next enemy type - Bandits. These guys certainly don't hang around, first trying to ambush our heroes, before trying to kill them with their bullets. Having the problem of being low on ammo I took the opportunity to run, something which the tutorials seem to recommend if you get in a bit of a jam. Doing this allowed me to get Joel around the enemy and pick them off one by one, and just in time, since Joel had taken one too many bullets to the chest. This demo was shorter than the first, but it was good to get a glimpse of some different types of enemies and see another side to the game, one that will no doubt make a lot more sense once the full plot is opened up to me.

There is no doubt that The Last of Us is looking absolutely stunning. To be honest I wouldn't expect any less from the team behind Uncharted, although it has to be said that even from this little glance, The Last of Us is a whole different beast, being more about stealth and surviving, than taking down every last enemy. You can go down that route too of course, but at least you have the choice, which is always nice.

Even from this small taste, it already feels like The Last of Us is heading towards 'classic' status. I won't know for sure until the full game gets here, but early impressions have certainly left me with a thirst for more. I can't wait.

Edited On 17 May, 2013

( 15 )
Johno Muller's avatar
Johno Muller 4 years ago
Always be tempted by this, but not a day 1 purchase for me and will probably sit on my rental list. Great preview, a shame you didn't get more game to play with.
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 4 years ago
Sorry about the images, not sure why they have went wrong.
0000000000's avatar
0000000000 4 years ago
sad to miss out on this but i was only renting it even though it does look rather incredible
Anonymous user's avatar
ANDRE 4 years ago
I have a feeling you'll be missing out on something quite special then Shep.
Pyroloveridge's avatar
Pyroloveridge 4 years ago
I think I might get this, not played a game on the PS3 for a while
DynamiteWhyte's avatar
DynamiteWhyte 4 years ago
I'm happy that you think it'll get cult classic. Day 1 purchase all round.
troublemaker's avatar
troublemaker 4 years ago
Very interested. but I'll wait on a demo. it's gotta be something very special to warrent day 1 for me. and I'm not convinced yet, as good as it does look.
Bindiana's avatar
Bindiana 4 years ago
After Naughty Dogs track record cant see me being disappointed with this game. Just need to decide whether to get the Ellie or Joel version.
Johno Muller's avatar
Johno Muller 4 years ago
Depends on how you feel about 14 year old girls I suppose
Spear 25's avatar
Spear 25 4 years ago
After the Uncharted series I have great faith in Naughty Dog. From what I've seen so far it looks great.
DynamiteWhyte's avatar
DynamiteWhyte 4 years ago
If she still looked like Ellen Page, it would be an obvious choice for the Ellie or Joel edition....
Johno Muller's avatar
Johno Muller 4 years ago
I find Ashley Johnson's voice a little annoying so to be honest I like that they dropped the 'Ellen Page' look
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 4 years ago
It's a cracking game from what I've played, though the demo doesn't exactly show a whole lot.
 TruDarkAssassin's avatar
TruDarkAssassin 4 years ago
i am sure Naughty Dog will deliver a great game experience as normal day one buy for me, with this and gta its ps3 last bang before ps4
shiny miller's avatar
shiny miller 4 years ago
For once I'm really looking forward to one of the 'big' releases! Trying to avoid finding out too much at this stage though.

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