Friday, July 6, 2012

The Last of Us Preview

Here is a game I'm looking forward to. The Last of Us. Check out the trailer and the gameplay demo and see what you think. I'll add my two cents at the bottom.

So here's what I think. The Last of Us looks stunning. And I'm not just talking about the visuals. The atmosphere is perfect. Too many movies and games depend on the really dark and bleak environments to set the mood. This doesn't have to be done all the time, we don't need constant darkness to get the point.

The Last of Us has some amazing lighting to looks like its struck the perfect balance of light and shadow and how the two drape over, and veil the real world respectively. And though the game doesn't depend on the copy and paste atmosphere gamers have seen time and again in post-apocalyptic games, it still manages to create an element of suspense in a new and refreshing way.

The gameplay looks BAD. And in the best possible way. The controls seem responsive and easy to use. What's more, it doesn't seem like a simple point and shoot, "even though it's the end of the world, I conveniently have a BAD shotgun or something or a machine gun and can take on entire hordes of foes." It seems in The Last of Us, the player will have to employ stealth and make decisions as to which course of action is the best option. Do you want to sneak past the group of scavengers? or do you want to take the fight to them, hopefully unawares, or did they spot you and you have no choice but to shoot your way out of the situation? Looks interesting. Sneaking behind cover, the ruins of the city, behind walls and corners is beautifully animated and the movements look organic and natural. Anyone else think the COGS in Gears of War must have some huge thigh and calf muscles to crouch and move around the way they do?  

Another aspect I find intriguing is the fact that the story is set in a post-apocalyptic setting with scavengers searching for supplies and goods and there are even what looks like fungus-covered zombie-like man eaters. As such, the player will be scavenging as well, searching for anything and everything that can be used to survive. In trailers and gameplay, the main characters Joel and Elli can be seen searching bodies, and I'm assuming the environments themselves for things such as ammo, bandages, perhaps lighter fluid for that sweet Molotov in the gameplay video, and so on. Despite that fact that many games claim to be in the survival post-Apocalypse genre, there is relatively little "surviving" other than shooting at anything that moves. And that's all well and good, but the added element of searching your surroundings for supplies and weapons actually sounds like it can and will add to the overall fun of the game.

And finally, perhaps what strikes me the most, is the variation. From what I've seen of other gameplay vids, what the characters do or say plays almost like a sort of real-time choice system. Think of a game like Mass Effect and the choices you make in terms of action and dialogue, but in real-time. THAT would be awesome and it appears that this may be the case. It would seem the player also has the choice to look into environments and explore topics of conversation, such as when Elli might ask a question and/or comment on something she sees while they make their way through the city, and the player can opt to learn more about the story and the character's history, or skip it and carry on with the game. I'd imagine gamers who are more into RPGs will enjoy learning about the characters and the story, and gamers more prone to play shooters will probably decide to move on. And of course there's those who are a bit in between. Regardless, The Last of Us is a game to look forward to. I'll definitely keep my eye out for any news. 

Other Previews

Halo 4

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