The Last Of Us trailer analysis: 10 things it tells us about the gameplay

the last of us wallpaper

“Keep watching the trailer over and over again. [There are] lots of clues and little teasers in there about what the game’s about.” Said Naughty Dog’s Evan Wells to the EU Blog shortly after The Last Of Us debut trailer was released at the Spike VGAs. Taking him at his word, that’s exactly what we’ve done, and although the video throws up more questions than answers (as these things tend to do) there are plenty of clues as to what The Last Of Us gameplay will entail.

As well as a forensic examination of the debut The Last Of Us trailer the initial batch of artwork has revealed some essential information about its gameplay. There are two key factors that need to be examined. The first is the role of Ellie. Is she a playable character with an equal billing to Josh? Is Josh tasked with looking after her and able to direct her actions as Monkey is with Trip in Enslaved – something especially worth considering since the lead designer for Enslaved, Mark Richard Davies, is now working on The Last Of Us.

The second key factor is just how much of an emphasis will be placed on ‘survival’. Imagery from both The Last Of Us trailer and The Last Of Us concept art suggests that scavenging is as integral as fending off your fellow survivors and the infected fungus people (or indeed simply avoiding them by hiding).

We’ve examined the trailer with and have answers. Here, then, are ten things you need to know about gameplay in The Last Of Us.


1. You’ll spend time alone with Ellie


In the trailer’s opening scene, the camera leads us from the outside world and into the building before revealing Ellie. As a cinematic device it suggests Ellie has been out on her own and has jumped through that broken window. The notion that she’s been elsewhere is reaffirmed when Josh declares “There you are” when the pair do hook up.

Josh and Ellie do get separated, then, and it seems inconceivable for a game with two main protagonists, either of the characters would be off on their lonesome without you as the player having an input into their actions. That you switch between characters is therefore highly probable.


2. Ellie and Josh fight co-operatively


So what happens when Ellie and Josh are together? The trailer shows not one but two combat encounters where the pair work together and in both instances Ellie’s sticking her knife in the enemy’s back while Josh fronts up to them. This suggests some kind of command-based system where you’re able to issue ‘supporting role’ orders to Ellie.

In the second combat section of the trailer with the fight against the fungus zombie, we see the pair look at each other and Ellie nodding before they spring forth and attack. Could it be that Ellie is in fact in charge and giving her tacit approval to attack? More likely there’s some kind of pre-combat command being issued in this sort of situation to ensure the pair work together as a twosome. Ready. Aim. Fire.

Elsewhere, the main The Last of Us art/wallpaper  (that image at the start of the story) shows Ellie with a sniper rifle while Josh stands in the background with pistol drawn. Again it reinforces the notion of Ellie playing a supporting combat role. Imagine a mission where Josh has to fight through a street with Ellie picking off enemies from a distance.


3. You can tell Ellie what to do


A second instance from the trailer which suggests you’ll be able to issue commands to Ellie is the harvesting of loot from the dead survivor. Josh orders Ellie to “search him,” which suggests you’ll be able to get her to do useful tasks to split the work load. There’ll probably be some puzzle solving in there as well. Hmm, two buttons that need to be pressed at once you say?