The Last of Us

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The Last of Us
TheLastOfUs.jpg
The Last of Us cover art
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
Engine In-house engine[1]
Havok (physics)
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Release date(s) PlayStation 3
  • WW June 14, 2013
  • JP June 20, 2013
PlayStation 4
  • WW Q3/Q4 2014
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 for the PlayStation 3. It was officially revealed on December 10, 2011 at the Spike TV Video Game Awards and released worldwide on June 14, 2013. It was released in Japan on June 20, 2013. The Last of Us Remastered, an updated version for the PlayStation 4, will be released in in the third or fourth quarter of 2014.

The player controls Joel (voiced and motion captured by Troy Baker) escorting the young Ellie (voiced and motion captured by Ashley Johnson) across a post-apocalyptic United States in 2033 that has been ravaged by infection. The player uses firearms, improvised weapons and stealth techniques to defend against hostile bandits and zombie-like creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus.

The Last of Us received worldwide critical acclaim for its writing, voice acting, sound design, level design, and art direction. Its narrative was praised for its characterization, subtext, and critical depiction of the human condition, dealing with themes of sacrifice, loyalty, fate, and hope. Considered one of the most significant titles of the seventh generation video game era, The Last of Us received 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 March 2014, the game had sold over 6 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[2]

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.[3] Weapons can be upgraded using collectable parts at workbenches,[4] and Joel's physical abilities, such as his health bar and crafting speed, can be upgraded by collecting pills and medicinal plants.[5] Equipment such as health kits and Molotov cocktails can be forged from collectable items including liquor, towels, and blades.[4] The game does not pause while crafting, forcing the player to manage their time effectively in combat.[4]

The game features periods without combat, often involving conversation between the characters.[6][7] The player must solve simple puzzles; for example, by using floatable planks to get Ellie (who cannot swim) across bodies of water, and using ladders or dumpsters to reach higher areas.[8] Story collectibles, including notes, maps, and comics, can be scavenged and viewed in the backpack menu.[9]

The game features an AI system called "Balance of Power".[10] 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.

Multiplayer[edit]

The Last of Us includes a separate multiplayer component called "Factions", a mode that adds to the world the single-player story established. From the beginning, the player is allowed to pick a faction, either Hunters or Fireflies, to become a part of. The player has 12 weeks to hold out by keeping their clan alive through collecting supplies during the matches, with each match counting as a day. By surviving to the end of the 12 weeks, the player has completed a journey and is allowed to choose their faction again.[11] The focus of multiplayer play in The Last of Us is Clan growth and survival. Scavenging supplies is the way to accomplish these goals. Supplies are gained based on how well the player does in the match. Killing an enemy, assisting in a kill, reviving allies, and crafting items all earn a player's parts. At the end of the match, these parts are converted into supplies. Enemies drop supplies when they die, which can be looted. While the player can populate their Clan with random non-player characters, they can populate the Clan with their friends' names via Facebook. This personalizes the player's Clan and doesn't post to their Facebook wall. To further aid player's immersion, there are special events which allow the player to rescue his/her characters friends' names, among other things. Linking up with Facebook also gives the player access to three boosters.[12] The mode features a crafting system identical to that of the single-player, where the consumables can be found in certain supply box set throughout the maps.

Factions also lets the player customize loadouts to suit the player's playstyle. There are four customizable loadout slots. Each loadout has two weapon slots, four survival skill slots, and one purchasable equipment slot. When the player starts a Clan, it begins with eight loadout points to distribute into these slots. As the player's Clan's overall store of supplies grows, the player can eventually earn up to 13 loadout points. The amount of loadout points that the player gets is directly related to many how many supplies they earn throughout the life of the Clan.[13]

The component features two game modes of eight players max: Supply Raid and Survivors. Both offer unique challenges to the Clan's survival and count towards the Clan's progression.[14] Supply Raid is a standard Deathmatch, where the team who runs out of respawns first loses. Survivors is a no respawn mode where teams win rounds by killing off the entire enemy team or ending the round with more players, and win the match by winning four rounds. Crafting ingredients and producible items do not carry over between rounds. A third game mode called "Interrogation" is featured after installing the 1.05 patch. Teams must 'interrogate' five enemies by downing them. Having all five interrogations leads to that team location their enemy's lockbox and must open it or have the most amount of interrogations to win. The multiplayer characters are customizable of which their hats, helmets, masks, and emblems can be personalized.

Story[edit]

The Last of Us takes place in the United States, twenty years after a fungal spore-based infection rapidly spread across the globe, wiping out a vast majority of the population by warping its hosts’ brains and turning them into deadly predators capable of killing with a single bite. The remnants of the world’s population has been reduced to either struggling survivors or ravenous infected mutants. The game features several locations across the United States, including Boston and Lincoln, Massachusetts, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Characters[edit]

The two main characters are Joel (Troy Baker), a survivor of a fungal pandemic that has devastated civilization, and Ellie (Ashley Johnson), a fourteen-year-old orphan who has grown up in the post-apocalyptic world. Other characters include Joel's smuggling partner, Tess (Annie Wersching); Marlene (Merle Dandridge), leader of the Fireflies resistance and a friend of Ellie's mother; Robert (Robin Atkin Downes), an arms dealer; Sarah (Hana Hayes), Joel's daughter; Bill (W. Earl Brown), a skilled mechanic; surviving brothers Henry and Sam (Brandon Scott and Nadji Jeter, respectively); Joel's brother, Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) and his wife Maria (Ashley Scott); David (Nolan North), a leader of a group of survivors; and James (Reuben Langdon), David's ally.[15]

Plot[edit]

Joel is a single father living in Texas with his twelve-year-old daughter Sarah. One night, a sudden outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus ravages the United States, which changes its human hosts into cannibalistic monsters. As Joel, his brother Tommy, and Sarah flee the initial 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; the survivors live in heavily policed quarantine zones, independent settlements, and nomadic groups. Joel now works as a smuggler alongside his friend Tess, operating from a quarantine zone in Boston. The pair hunt down Robert, a local gangster, to recover a weapons cache stolen from them. Before Tess kills him, Robert reveals that he traded the goods to the Fireflies, a rebel group fighting against the quarantine zone authorities. Joel and Tess encounter the Fireflies' leader, Marlene, who promises to double their stolen cache in return for smuggling a teenage girl, Ellie, to Fireflies hiding outside quarantine. Joel, Tess, and Ellie sneak out in the night, but after an encounter with a patrol Ellie is revealed to be infected. Full infection normally occurs in under two days, but Ellie asserts 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 surrounding military soldiers to give the pair a chance to escape.

Joel and Ellie trek westwards across the country, meeting temporary allies along the way as they struggle through abandoned cities and towns overrun with the infected, and violent bandits. In the fall, the two finally find Tommy (a former Fireflies member) in Wyoming, where he has assembled a fortified settlement near a hydroelectric dam. Joel contemplates leaving Ellie with Tommy, but after repelling bandits and being confronted by Ellie about Sarah, he ultimately decides to stay with her. Tommy directs them to a Fireflies enclave at the University of Eastern Colorado. The two find the place abandoned, but learn that the Fireflies had moved to a hospital in Salt Lake City. They are attacked by bandits as they leave, who severely wound Joel during the escape.

In the winter, Ellie and Joel take shelter in the mountains. Joel is on the brink of death and relies on Ellie to care for him. After killing a large stag while hunting, Ellie encounters David and James, a pair of scavengers willing to trade medicine in exchange for the meat. While James goes to recover the medicine, Ellie and David are attacked by a horde of Infected, but manage to fend them off. Afterwards, David reveals that the bandits Ellie and Joel killed at the university were part of his group; he allows Ellie to leave with the medicine. David sends a posse to track Ellie the following morning, forcing her to lead them away from Joel and be captured. Ellie learns that David and his men are cannibals and escapes after refusing to join them, but David eventually corners her in a burning restaurant. Meanwhile, Joel recovers from his fever and sets out to find Ellie, fighting through David's gang to the restaurant. He reaches Ellie as she violently kills David in self-defense; Joel consoles her before they flee together.

In the spring, Joel and Ellie arrive in Salt Lake City. They make their way through the flooded highway tunnels but are caught in the rapids, with Joel barely rescuing Ellie from drowning. A Firefly patrol capture them. Joel awakens in the hospital and is greeted by Marlene. She informs him that Ellie is being prepped 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, from where he carries an 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, Ellie finally awakens, and Joel lies to her about the events, telling her that the Fireflies had tried and failed to produce a cure with other immune candidates and had given up trying. 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]

Beginning at the end of the autumn section of the main story, Left Behind recounts how Joel was impaled during the pair's escape from the University of Eastern Colorado. Ellie takes Joel to a nearby mall and administers some temporary first aid. She discovers a military medical helicopter that crashed through the roof. Sneaking past numerous infected, and discovering the fates of the helicopter's crew, she finds a medical kit in helicopter ship with supplies to treat Joel's wound. As she makes her way back to Joel, she discovers the bandits from the university have tracked them to the mall. Outnumbered, Ellie uses the surrounding environment to pit the bandits and infected against each other. As Ellie reaches her destination she is ambushed by bandits and infected, but manages to defeat both groups and get to Joel.

During Ellie's journey through the mall, the game flashes back to three weeks before the main story. Ellie is awoken at her boarding school by her best friend Riley, whom Ellie has not seen for six weeks. Riley reveals that she has become a Firefly, and convinces Ellie to sneak away with her to a nearby abandoned mall to catch up. As they explore the mall, Riley eventually admits that she is being deployed to another city by the Fireflies and, against orders, wanted to say goodbye to Ellie. After they argue, they play a game with water guns and dance to music in a nearby store. Ellie begs Riley to stay, and Riley discards her dog tags; Ellie kisses her. Drawn by the music, infected appear. Racing through the mall, the girls try to escape by climbing some scaffolding. The structure collapses as Ellie is climbing, dropping her back into the mall; Riley climbs back down after her. They manage to kill the infected, but both are bitten in the struggle. They decide to enjoy their last hours together rather than give into fear and commit suicide.

In the present day, after treating Joel's wound, Ellie thinks about Riley's last words and leaves the mall to find somewhere to shelter from the approaching winter.

Development[edit]

Naughty Dog worked in secrecy on The Last of Us for two years after completing Uncharted 2: Among Thieves prior to announcement; the game went gold on May 15, 2013.[16] To compensate for the goal of creating a new intellectual property (IP) as well as continuing the Uncharted series at the same time, Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Ballestra had ordered the splitting of the company into two teams, with one team going on to develop Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and the other The Last of Us.[17][18] The specific number of employees who worked on the project (although suggested to be somewhere over 40 people) and the total cost of development were not specified.[19]

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 the place.

The announcement confirmed that the new project was being headed by studio game director Bruce Straley. Former lead designer on Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Mark Richard Davies, also had been working at Naughty Dog on the game.[20] After Uncharted 2 shipped in 2009, some of the development team from the game formed the team for The Last of Us, while the remainder worked on Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception;[21] The Last of Us marked the first time that Naughty Dog had become a two-team studio.[22] It was the first time the studio had introduced a second new intellectual property in the same hardware generation.[23]

The concept for The Last of Us arose after watching a segment of the BBC nature documentary Planet Earth, which documented a Cordyceps fungus-infected ant, where 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 game.[24] GamesRadar pointed out the game's inspirations by the film version of The Road and the graphic novel and TV series versions of The Walking Dead, as well as by 28 Days Later and the film versions of Children of Men and The Day of the Triffids.[25] Other inspirations for the game included the non-fiction books The World Without Us and Polio: An American Story, the films True Grit and Road to Perdition, and the novels The Road, City of Thieves and The Last Town on Earth.[26]

Creative director Neil Druckmann stated that the team was highly influenced from a specific section from Uncharted 2, where protagonist Nathan Drake teams up with Tibetan guide Tenzin who does not know any English. Through a short period of gameplay time, the developers had managed to build a bond between Drake and Tenzin. This idea of building a complex bond between two characters through gameplay, although over the course of an entire game, is what lead 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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29]

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.[30][31]

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".[32]

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".[33] 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".[34] 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.[35]

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,[22] 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.[36] 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.[37]

At E3 2012 was the first publicly released gameplay demo for The Last of Us. 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.[38] The first official television spot for the game was aired on the season finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead on March 31, 2013.[39] 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.[40]

Release[edit]

The Last of Us was first officially released on June 14, 2013, worldwide, with the exception of Japan, which released on June 20, 2013.[41][42] 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.[43] The censored European release of the game does not feature dismemberment and exploding heads in the multiplayer mode.[44]

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.[45]

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.[45][46]

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.[47]

The Last of Us is also available in a download edition, downloadable on the PlayStation Store. It features a unique download installer that let the player start the game only halfway through the download process.[48]

Downloadable content[edit]

There were two bonus downloadable content (DLC) packs that 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, and for the multiplayer part bonus XP, in-game cash, special customizable items and a melee attack booster.[49]

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 first 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.[50]

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.[51][52] The pack includes four new multiplayer maps including Suburbs, Bus Depot, Hometown and Bookstore. The single-player DLC will be second and is expected to release in December 2013 or January 2014 while the third DLC is multiplayer focused and will be released in the first half of 2014.[53]

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 Nighmare Bundle DLC.[54]

At the PlayStation 4 Launch Event on November 14, 2013 a new DLC titled "Left Behind" was announced. The content serves as a prequel to the main storyline and features Ellie and her friend Riley.[55] Left Behind was released on February 14, 2014.[56]

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, will ill be released in the third or fourth quarter of 2014.[57] The Last of Us Remastered will have improved visuals, 60 frames a second, native 1080p display, in-cinematic director commentary and downloadable content for both single-player and multiplayer, and will be released in the third or fourth quarter of 2014.[57] Development of Remastered started immediately after the development of the PlayStation 3 version ended.[58]

Comics[edit]

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.[59] The first issue was published on April 3, 2013.[60] 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.[61][62] The third issue was published on June 26, 2013.[63] The fourth issue was published on July 31, 2013.[64] All four issues were republished as one single package on October 30, 2013.[65]

Soundtrack[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.[22] 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.[66] 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[67] and was included as pre-order DLC in The Last of Us' Sights & Sounds DLC Pack.[68]


The Last of Us, Volume 2 (Video Game Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Gustavo Santaolalla
Released February 7, 2014 (2014-02-07)
Genre Classical, acoustic
Length 58:29
Label Sony Computer Entertainment

A 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.

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]

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.[95][96][97] The Last of Us also topped the charts in the United States, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Spain and Japan.[98] It sold 1.3 million copies in the first week,[99] and 3.4 million copies worldwide in three weeks,[100] making it the fastest-selling PS3 game of 2013 prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto V.[101][102] As of March 2014, The Last of Us had sold over 6 million copies worldwide.[103]

Awards[edit]

The Last of Us won Best New Action Adventure Game from Games,[104] and won User Choice Prize at the PlayStation Awards 2013.[105]

Film adaptation[edit]

On November 25, 2013, Sony registered a domain name that suggested a film version of The Last of Us might be made.[166] On March 6, 2014, it was announced that Screen Gems will distribute the film version of The Last of Us. Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, game director Bruce Straley, creative director and writer Neil Druckmann, and Sam Raimi will produce the film. Druckmann will write the script; on March 13, 2014, he confirmed that the film will be based on the video game storyline.[167]

Possible sequel[edit]

In an interview for Eurogamer, Neil Druckmann said they currently are considering its options regarding a sequel, although they do not have any definite plans on what game to do next. Druckmann said that a sequel would only be made if there is an interesting story that is unique and exciting enough to be worth telling.[168]

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External links[edit]