The Last of Us

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The Last of Us
TheLastOfUs.jpg
Box art featuring protagonists Joel and Ellie.
Developer(s) Naughty Dog
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Director(s) Bruce Straley
Neil Druckmann
Designer(s) Jacob Minkoff
Programmer(s) Travis McIntosh
Jason Gregory
Artist(s) Erick Pangilinan
Nate Wells
Writer(s) Neil Druckmann
Composer(s) Gustavo Santaolalla
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4 (Remastered)
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action-adventure, survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Blu-ray Disc, download

The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released on June 14, 2013, for the PlayStation 3. A DLC episode, Left Behind, was released on February 14, 2014. An updated version for the PlayStation 4, The Last of Us Remastered, is due for release in North America on July 29, 2014, Australia and Europe on July 30, 2014, and the United Kingdom on August 1, 2014.

The player controls Joel (voiced and motion-captured by Troy Baker) escorting the young Ellie (Ashley Johnson) across a post-apocalyptic United States that has been ravaged by infection. The player uses firearms, improvised weapons and stealth techniques to defend against hostile humans and zombie-like creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus.

The Last of Us received wide critical acclaim for its writing, voice acting, sound design, level design, and art direction. Its narrative was praised for its characterization, subtext, and depiction of the human condition. Considered one of the most significant titles of the seventh generation video game era, The Last of Us received over 200 "game of the year" awards from numerous publications. It was also a commercial success, and became the second-largest video game launch of 2013 (after Grand Theft Auto V), selling over 1.3 million units in its first week. As of July 2014, the game had sold over 7 million units worldwide.

Gameplay[edit]

The Last of Us uses a third-person perspective. The game involves gunfights, melee combat, and a cover system. For most of the game, the player controls Joel; Ellie and other companions are controlled by the AI. The player must move through a post-apocalyptic environment, fighting off infected and gangs of hostile human survivors. Typically, the player can attack enemies directly, or use stealth tactics to pass undetected.

A player creating an item
The real-time crafting system, which can be accessed in the backpack[1]

To defeat enemies, players can use long weapons such as rifles, shotguns and bows, and short-barreled guns such as pistols and revolvers; they can also scavenge limited-use melee weapons such as pipes and baseball bats. Bottles and bricks can be thrown to distract, stun or attack enemies.[2] Weapons can be upgraded using collectable parts at workbenches,[3] and Joel's physical abilities, such as his health bar and crafting speed, can be upgraded by collecting pills and medicinal plants.[4] Equipment such as health kits and Molotov cocktails can be forged from collectable items including liquor, towels, and blades.[3] The game does not pause while crafting or swapping unholstered weapons, forcing the player to manage their time effectively in combat.[3]

The game features periods without combat, often involving conversation between the characters.[5][6] The player must solve simple puzzles; for example, by using floatable planks to move Ellie (who cannot swim) across bodies of water, and using ladders or dumpsters to reach higher areas.[7] Story collectibles, including notes, maps, and comics, can be scavenged and viewed in the backpack menu.[8]

The game features an AI system called "Balance of Power".[9] This new system allows enemies to react realistically to any combat situation they are placed in by taking cover if they see the player, calling for help if they need it and even taking advantage of the player's weaknesses, such as when Joel runs out of ammunition, is distracted, or when he is being attacked by other enemies. In turn Ellie is able to help out Joel by throwing objects at threats to stun them, announcing the location of enemies Joel is unable to see (such as when he is flanked) and, in the latter half of the game, using a pistol.

Multiplayer[edit]

The Last of Us has three multiplayer game types, each hosting a maximum of eight players.[10] "Supply Raid" and "Survivors" are both team deathmatches, the latter without respawning. In "Interrogation", teams "interrogate" enemies after defeating them to learn the location of the enemy team's lockbox; the first team to capture the enemy's lockbox wins.

In every mode, the player picks a faction, Hunters or Fireflies, and must keep their clan alive by collecting supplies during matches. Each match counts as one day; by surviving 12 "weeks", the player has completed a journey and can choose their faction again.[11] Killing enemies, reviving allies, and crafting items earn parts that can be converted to supplies; parts can also be scavenged from enemies' bodies. As the clan's supplies grow, its members earn more loudout points to carry more equipment.[12] Players can personalize their characters with hats, helmets, masks, and emblems, and customize their loadouts to suit their playing style.

Plot[edit]

In 2013, Joel (Troy Baker) is a single father living near Austin, Texas with his twelve-year-old daughter Sarah (Hana Hayes). One night, an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus ravages the United States, which transforms its human hosts into cannibalistic monsters. As Joel, his brother Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce), and Sarah flee the chaos, Sarah is shot by a soldier and dies in Joel's arms.

In the 20 years that follow, much of civilization is destroyed by the infection; survivors live in heavily policed quarantine zones, independent settlements, and nomadic groups. Joel works as a smuggler with his friend Tess (Annie Wersching) in a quarantine zone in Boston. The pair hunt down a local gangster to recover a stolen weapons cache. Before Tess kills him, the smuggler reveals that he traded the goods to the Fireflies, a rebel group fighting against the quarantine zone authorities. The leader of the Fireflies, Marlene (Merle Dandridge), promises to double their stolen cache in return for smuggling a teenage girl, Ellie (Ashley Johnson), to Fireflies hiding outside quarantine.

Joel, Tess, and Ellie sneak out in the night, but after an encounter with a patrol, they discover Ellie is infected. Full infection normally occurs in under two days, but Ellie claims she was infected three weeks ago, and that her immunity may lead to a cure. The trio fight their way out of the quarantine zone to the drop-off point, but find that the Fireflies there have been killed. Tess reveals she was bitten during an encounter with the infected; believing in Ellie's importance, Tess sacrifices herself against pursuing military soldiers so Joel and Ellie can escape.

Joel decides to take Ellie to his brother Tommy in hope that he knows the remaining Fireflies' whereabouts. With the help of Bill (W. Earl Brown), a smuggler who owes Joel a favor, they acquire a working vehicle. Driving into Pittsburgh, they are ambushed by bandits and their car is wrecked. They ally with two brothers, Henry and Sam; after they escape the city, Sam is bitten by an infected and attacks Ellie. Henry shoots Sam and commits suicide.

In the fall, Joel and Ellie finally find Tommy in Wyoming, where he has assembled a fortified settlement near a hydroelectric dam. Joel contemplates leaving Ellie with Tommy, but after Ellie confronts him about Sarah, he decides to stay with her. Tommy directs them to a Fireflies enclave at the University of Eastern Colorado. They find the university abandoned, but learn that the Fireflies have moved to a hospital in Salt Lake City. As they leave, they are attacked by bandits and Joel is severely wounded.

In the winter, Ellie and Joel shelter in the mountains. Joel is on the brink of death and relies on Ellie to care for him. While hunting for food, Ellie encounters David (Nolan North) and James (Reuben Langdon), scavengers willing to trade medicine for food; David reveals that the university bandits Ellie and Joel killed were part of his group. They kidnap her, intending to force her to join their group of cannibals. She escapes after killing James but David corners her in a burning restaurant. Joel recovers from his fever and sets out to find Ellie. He reaches Ellie as she kills David; Joel consoles her before they flee.

In the spring, Joel and Ellie arrive in Salt Lake City and are captured by a Firefly patrol. In the hospital, Marlene tells Joel that Ellie is being prepared for surgery: to produce a vaccine for the infection, the Fireflies have to remove and examine Ellie's infected brain, killing her in the process. Joel escapes and battles his way to the surgery room, then carries the unconscious Ellie to the basement parking garage. There he confronts and kills Marlene to prevent the Fireflies from pursuing them. On the drive out of the city, Joel lies to Ellie about what happened, telling her that the Fireflies had failed to produce a cure with other immune candidates and abandoned the experiment. The pair arrive on the outskirts of Tommy's settlement. Ellie expresses her survivor's guilt and asks Joel to swear that his story about the Fireflies is true; he does.

Left Behind downloadable content[edit]

In the winter, Ellie scavenges for supplies to treat the wound Joel sustained at University of Eastern Colorado. In flashbacks set weeks before the main story, Ellie's friend Riley (Yaani King) has joined the Fireflies. She convinces Ellie to sneak away with her to an abandoned mall, where she reveals that she is being deployed to another city. The pair argue and reconcile. Ellie begs Riley to stay; they kiss. Drawn by their activities, infected pursue Ellie and Riley through the mall. They escape, but both are bitten. They consider suicide, but choose to embrace their final hours together.

Development[edit]

The concept for The Last of Us arose after watching a segment of the BBC nature documentary Planet Earth (2006), which documented a Cordyceps fungus-infected ant. The fungus takes over its brain and produces growths from its head; the idea that the fungus could infect humans became the initial idea for The Last of Us.[13] Further inspirations included the films True Grit (2010), Road to Perdition (2002), The Road (2009), 28 Days Later (2002), Children of Men (2006) and The Day of the Triffids (1962);[14] the graphic novel and TV series versions of The Walking Dead (2003); the non-fiction books The World Without Us (2007) and Polio: An American Story (2005); and the novels The Road (2006), City of Thieves (2008) and The Last Town on Earth (2006).[15]

Naughty Dog worked in secrecy on The Last of Us for two years after completing Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009). To compensate for the goal of creating a new intellectual property while developing the Uncharted series, Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Ballestra split the company into two teams for the first time, with one to develop Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (2011) and the other The Last of Us.[16][17][18]

Stealth and cover mechanics are featured in the game. The concept art shows Joel and Ellie ducking behind a shop counter as other survivors search for them.

The new project was headed by studio game director Bruce Straley. Mark Richard Davies, who had been the lead designer for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2010) at Ninja Theory, also worked on the game.[19] It was the first time the studio had introduced a second new intellectual property in the same hardware generation.[20]

Creative director Neil Druckmann stated that the team took inspiration from a sequence in Uncharted 2 where protagonist Nathan Drake teams up with Tibetan guide Tenzin. The idea of building a complex bond between two characters through gameplay led to the creation of Joel and Ellie and their relationship. Druckmann added when they were watching the film No Country for Old Men, they were struck by the lack of music in the soundtrack for the majority of the film. Druckmann noted that the lack of music in the film helped intensify the tension between the characters that was almost palpable.[21] Druckmann and Straley have studied films, books, and television shows with post-apocalyptic and dystopian settings, but soon found the real world to be a much more helpful source of inspiration. In studying the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Druckmann learned about paranoia and man's need to protect himself when faced with the threat of extinction; the polio epidemic of the 1880s showed him how differences in class can color people's perceptions of blame in the face of a great disaster. Examining the history of human suffering helped Druckmann answer the question of whether The Last of Us was the kind of game that needed a stereotypical bad guy.[22] Naughty Dog was also inspired by video games like Ico and Resident Evil 4, which helped shape the game's story and character building. Designer Ricky Cambier stated that they wanted to create as realistic a survival game as possible, with actions that seemed realistic.[23]

Druckmann stated that he wanted the story in The Last of Us to raise the bar for other video game developers, as he felt the standard of storytelling was not as good as it should be within the industry.[24][25]

Naughty Dog requested the game be focus tested on female players as well as male, after the research firm it was working with was planning on running it by male gamers only. Druckmann explained how the studio stepped in after discovering the notion of polling female gamers for their take in the game was not on the table. He said that "another aspect that influences how a game is promoted is focus testing. Players are rounded up and are asked to view materials and answer some quantitative and qualitative questions about it". He added: "My big surprise during this process is that the research group wasn't planning on focus-testing female gamers - it's something we had to specifically request. I hope this is a relic of the past that will soon go away".[26]

The game went gold on May 15, 2013.[27]

Music[edit]

The Last of Us (Video Game Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Gustavo Santaolalla
Released June 7, 2013 (2013-06-07)
Genre Classical, acoustic
Length 56:21
Label Sony Computer Entertainment

The music score was composed by the two-time Academy Award for Best Original Score winner composer Gustavo Santaolalla.[18] The team wanted to focus on emotion with the soundtrack rather than horror. The main theme is acoustic guitar-led, an arpeggiated figure in a minor key over tribal percussion, building to a dissonant climax of fiercely strummed chords. The score has received critical acclaim since its release.[28] Many of the instruments in the score feature Santaolalla himself on guitar and other instruments. The orchestral portions of the score were recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville by the Nashville Scoring Orchestra. It was released on iTunes on June 7, 2013[29] and was included as pre-order DLC in The Last of Us' Sights & Sounds DLC Pack.[30]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[31]

One week prior to the release of the Left Behind downloadable content, another soundtrack was released, featuring compositions from the downloadable content along with compositions from the main game that were not included on the first soundtrack. It features works from composers other than Santaolalla.

Marketing[edit]

The game was first teased before the Spike Video Game Awards on November 29, 2011, with a billboard in Times Square mentioning "a PlayStation 3 exclusive you won't believe".[32] Initial trailers showed an apocalyptic event, including riots, epidemic, quarantine, and violence, as well as a clip of the BBC's Planet Earth showing an ant infected with Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a dangerous parasitic fungus that usually kills insects such as ants. On December 9, 2011, players of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception spotted an in-game reference to the aforementioned trailer with the newspaper headline "scientists are still struggling to understand deadly fungus".[33] Druckmann and Straley later said that Naughty Dog had actually meant to remove the cheeky clue from Uncharted 3, but simply forgot it was there.[34]

Sony Computer Entertainment officially unveiled the game, a brand new intellectual property from Naughty Dog, created by a previously unpublicized Naughty Dog development team, at the Spike Video Game Awards 2011. A gameplay trailer, made up of in-game footage,[18] showed a man and a teenage girl fending off other survivors and what appeared to be people with unusual fungal growth before running out into a dilapidated city covered in greenery, reminiscent of the film I Am Legend.[35] Shortly after the unveiling, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells posted new details of The Last of Us on the PlayStation Blog:

The Last of Us is a genre-defining experience that blends survival and action elements to tell a character-driven tale about a modern plague decimating mankind. Nature encroaches upon civilization, forcing remaining survivors to kill for food, weapons and whatever they can find. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a brave young teenage girl who is wise beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States.[36]

At E3 2012 the first publicly released gameplay demo for The Last of Us was premiered. It introduced a combat scenario to the audience, showing firsthand the tools of the trade Joel and Ellie must use to attempt to defend themselves from a small group of bandits, as well as how the bandits would coordinate and respond based on Joel's current situation and amount of bullets he had.[37] The first official television spot for the game was aired on the season finale of AMC's The Walking Dead on March 31, 2013.[38] On May 31, 2013, a playable demo was released via God of War: Ascension disc-owners. The demo features the Outskirts level of The Last of Us in which Joel and Ellie, along with Tess, encounter multiple Infected enemies.[39]

A four-issue comic book miniseries titled The Last of Us: American Dreams, written by Druckmann and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks, was published by Dark Horse Comics. The comics serve as a prequel to the game taking place a year before the events in the game and chronicles the journey of a younger Ellie and another young survivor Riley.[40] The first issue was published on April 3, 2013.[41] In a show of demand for the comics and the game, the first issue sold out and a reprint was made available on May 29, 2013. The second issue of the comics was published on the same day. This issue was set is the same mall the Ellie and Riley revisit in the DLC, providing many ties from the game to the comic.[42][43] The third issue was published on June 26, 2013.[44] The fourth issue was published on July 31, 2013.[45] All four issues were republished as one single package on October 30, 2013.[46]

Release[edit]

The Last of Us was first officially released on June 14, 2013, worldwide, with the exception of Japan, where it was released on June 20, 2013.[47][48] Although first stated to be released on May 7, Druckmann later revealed via the PlayStation Blog that the studio had decided to push the release date five weeks back to June 14.[49] The European release of the game was censored and does not feature dismemberment and exploding heads in the multiplayer mode.[50]

Retail editions[edit]

Contents of Post-Pandemic Edition

Exclusive to North America was the Survival Edition, which included a steelbook edition of the game, full-size hardcover artbook by Dark Horse Comics, and the first issue of the The Last of Us: American Dreams comic also published by Dark Horse. The Sights and Sounds DLC Pack and a Naughty Dog sticker sheet were included as well.[51]

Exclusive to GameStop locations in the United States was the Post-Pandemic Edition. It included a twelve-inch premium statue of Joel and Ellie by Project Triforce, a steelbook edition of the game, The Last of Us: American Dreams first issue comic, Sights and Sounds and Survival DLC packs, and a Naughty Dog sticker sheet.[51][52]

Exclusive to Europe was The Last of Us: Ellie Edition and the The Last of Us: Joel Edition. They came with character themed steelbook cases and Blu-ray Discs, screen print effect posters, DualShock 3 controller skins, and LittleBigPlanet player character costumes. Miniature The Last of Us artbook and first issue comic editions were included also, as well as the Sights and Sounds and Survival DLC packs.[53]

The Last of Us is also available in a download edition, downloadable on the PlayStation Store. It features a unique download installer that lets the player start the game halfway through the download process.[54]

Downloadable content[edit]

Two bonus downloadable content (DLC) packs were included with certain pre-ordered editions. The Sights and Sounds Pack included the official game soundtrack composed by Gustavo Santaolalla, The Last of Us Dynamic Theme for the PlayStation 3, and two winter Joel and Ellie avatars. The Survival Pack featured bonus skins for Joel and Ellie for after the single-player campaign is completed, in-game cash and for the multiplayer part, bonus XP called supplies, early access to special customizable items and brawler skill.[55]

On May 28, 17 days before release, community strategist Eric Monacelli of Naughty Dog posted on the PlayStation Blog showcasing the Season Pass. The pass included reduced price access to three unreleased DLC packs, of which the one will be single-player, a first for Naughty Dog, with the other two for multiplayer maps and other expansions. It also gave the player access to a few helpful single-player bonuses for their firearm and physical abilities, as well as to the downloadable 90 minute developmental documentary Grounded: Making of The Last of Us[56] which was later release for public download and viewing on February 28, 2014.

On September 27, 2013 Naughty Dog announced the release schedule for The Last of Us downloadable content. The first DLC called the Abandoned Territories Map Pack was released on October 15, 2013 in North America and on October 16 in Europe along with patch 1.05.[57][58] The pack includes four new multiplayer maps including Suburbs, Bus Depot, Hometown and Bookstore, all of which are based on locations found in-game.

A DLC titled Nightmare Bundle was released on November 5, 2013 in North America and November 6, 2013 in Europe. The bundle contains a collection of ten head items, nine of which are available to be purchased individually, and a Nightmare Mask which is available exclusively to those who purchase the Season Pass or the Nightmare Bundle DLC.[59]

At the PlayStation 4 Launch Event on November 14, 2013 a new DLC, Left Behind, was announced. The content, which serves as a prequel to the main storyline and sequel to the American Dreams comics, features Ellie and her friend Riley.[60] Left Behind was released on February 14, 2014.[61]

A third DLC bundle was released on May 6, 2014 in the United States and May 7, 2014 worldwide. The Reclaimed Territories Map Pack features new multiplayer maps including Wharf, Water Tower, Capitol and Coal Mine. The Grounded DLC adds a new difficulty to the main game and Left Behind. The Professional Survival and Situational Survival Skills bundle DLCs include 8 new multiplayer skills, and the Survivalist Weapons bundle DLC includes four new weapons. Along with the patch also came a new multiplayer weapon, a Full Auto Rifle, and new trophies for both the Abandoned and Reclaimed Territories Map Packs.[62][63]

The Last of Us Remastered[edit]

On April 9, 2014, Sony announced that The Last of Us: Remastered, an improved version of The Last of Us for the PlayStation 4; the game will be released on July 29, 2014.[64][65] The Last of Us: Remastered will have improved visuals, 60 frames a second, native 1080p display, in-cinematic director commentary and bonus downloadable content, such as the Left Behind single-player expansion chapter, the Abandoned Territories multiplayer map pack, and the Reclaimed Territories multiplayer map pack.[64][66] Development of Remastered started immediately after the development of the PlayStation 3 version ended.[67] On July 14, 2014, Naughty Dog lead animator Mike Yosh, posted a photo of a gold bar on Twitter hinting that The Last of Us: Remastered has "gone gold". [68]

Reception[edit]

Pre-release[edit]

The Last of Us was exhibited for the general video game audience at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 (E3 2012), where it won five Game Critics Awards for Best of Show, Best Original Game, Best Console Game, Best Action/Adventure Game, and a Special Commendation for Sound.[69] The game received several other E3 2012 Best of Show awards from media outlets such as Cheat Code Central,[70] The Daily Telegraph,[71] Destructoid,[72] The Electric Playground,[73] Electronic Gaming Monthly,[74] GameSpot,[75] and PlayStation Universe.[76] The Last of Us was nominated for Most Anticipated Game at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards,[77] while the game's Gamescom 2012 trailer won for Best Trailer at the 4th Annual Inside Gaming Awards.[78]

Critical reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 95.04%[79]
Metacritic 95/100[80]
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 10/10[81]
Destructoid 10/10[82]
Edge 10/10[83]
Eurogamer 10/10[84]
Famitsu 38/40[85]
Game Informer 9.5/10[86]
GameSpot 8/10[87]
IGN 10.0/10[88]
Joystiq 5/5 stars[89]
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 10/10[90]
Polygon 7.5/10[91]

The Last of Us received universal acclaim, with reviewers particularly praising the story, acting, sound design, and graphics. According to review aggregating website GameRankings, The Last of Us received an average review score of 95.04% based on 67 reviews;[79] according to Metacritic, it received an average review score of 95/100 based on 98 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[80] Both GameRankings and Metacritic rate it as the fifth-best PlayStation 3 game.[92][93]

Edge described The Last of Us as "the most riveting, emotionally resonant story-driven epic of this console generation"; Oli Welsh of Eurogamer called it "a beacon of hope for its genre"; Matt Kamen of Empire wrote that it was "a masterpiece that will be looked back upon favourably for decades."[83][84][94]

The graphics and art direction of the game were praised by almost every review. Matt Helgeson of Game Informer wrote that the game's "graphical chops are unmatched in console gaming", and Colin Moriarty of IGN wrote that "everything that happens is immediately more memorable, more powerful, and more poignant because your surroundings are so believable".[86][88] Phillip Kollar of Polygon wrote that "The Last of Us' graphics, animation and sound design are some of the best I've ever experienced."[91] Tom McShea of GameSpot wrote that "the music and sound design are exceptional," and the Edge review praised the way that the soundtrack "adds to the earthiness of the game without stepping on the toes of every moment of calm."[83][87]

The game's plot, particularly the interaction between Joel and Ellie, was praised. Helgeson of Game Informer wrote that the story was a "high mark for interactive storytelling," due in part to "one of the most poignant, well-drawn relationships I've seen in video games."[86] Moriarty of IGN said "the interplay between Joel and Ellie, as well as the other characters you meet on your adventure, is one of the great highlights in The Last of Us."[88] Welsh of Eurogamer wrote that the relationship between Joel and Ellie "has been heralded as a powerful emotional hook," and Kollar of Polygon said that "because the game spent so much time convincing me to care about these characters, its emotional high notes were even more effective, and its many sad scenes even more devastating."[84][91]

Moriarty of IGN wrote the gameplay was "incredibly satisfying", and praised the combat, stealth, and crafting aspects of the game.[88] Welsh of Eurogamer praised the "breathtakingly confident game-making", while Hegelson of Game Informer called The Last of Us "an impressive action game that distills the strengths of the survival horror genre into something that's both deeper and more accessible."[84][86] However, McShea of GameSpot felt there were "many small problems in combat", such as over-scripted combat sequences and stealth sequences where enemies completely ignore Ellie.[87] Kollar of Polygon was critical of the gameplay, writing that it "leans more on the traditional trappings of third-person shooters," and that forcing the player to fight waves of enemies were contradictory to the rest of the game, which generally presented more options and showed violence as uncomfortably necessary and disgustingly realistic.[91]

LGBT themes[edit]

The Last of Us was praised for its depiction of LGBT characters, unusual in video games. The supporting character of Bill, a survivor mourning the loss of his partner Frank, is revealed as gay when Ellie finds his pornography. Sam Einhorn wrote for gaygamer.net that "the revelation added to his character ... without really tokenizing him", and that "Bill is a positive gay character in a AAA game release. You don't see that very often."[95] GLAAD, the American organization promoting the image of LGBT people in the media, named Bill one of "the most intriguing new LGBT characters of 2013", calling him "as deeply flawed but wholly unique a gay character found in any storytelling medium this year."[96]

In the DLC Left Behind, released on Valentine's Day 2014, Ellie and her female friend Riley share a kiss, making Ellie one of video games' highest-profile gay characters. Kotaku described the kiss as "video gaming's latest breakthrough moment ... a big deal because video games have never suffered from an overabundance of queer characters (let alone two young women in a queer, mixed-race coupling)."[97] Writer Druckmann described the reaction to the kiss as "mostly positive. We've seen people really connect with the material and more often than not say their favorite parts are the parts where you're playing with Riley. But not everybody, I've seen some action/hardcore gamers say those were boring. It's been a mixed bag but mostly I've seen a positive reaction."[98]

Sales[edit]

The Last of Us was a commercial success. In the United Kingdom, it debuted at number one in the sales charts and stayed there for six weeks, beating records set by FIFA 12 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.[99][100][101] The Last of Us also topped the charts in the United States, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Spain and Japan.[102] It sold 1.3 million copies in the first week,[103] and 3.4 million copies worldwide in three weeks,[104] making it the fastest-selling PS3 game of 2013 prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto V.[105][106] As of July 2014, The Last of Us had sold over 7 million copies worldwide.[107]

Accolades[edit]

The Last of Us won Best New Action Adventure Game from Games,[108] and won User Choice Prize at the PlayStation Awards 2013.[109]

Possible sequel and adaptations[edit]

In a February 2014 interview for Eurogamer, writer Neil Druckmann said the possibility of a sequel to The Last of Us was "about 50/50", but that Naughty Dog needed to find a story "really worth telling, and that's not repeating itself." He stressed that the team had no definite sequel plans.[170] In July 2014, Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer said that not considering a sequel to The Last of Us “would be a disservice" to the studio and the fans.[171]

On March 6, 2014, Sony announced that Screen Gems will distribute a film adaptation of The Last of Us. Naughty Dog confirmed that the film will be based on the video game storyline. No release date has been announced.[172]

The The Last Of Us cast will perform a live reading of selected scenes in Santa Monica on July 28, 2014, with live music by composer Gustavo Santaolalla. The performance will be directed by writer Neil Druckmann.[173]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]