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

 

8. There’ll be many enemy types

 

The two enemy types on show in the trailer are the scuttling fungas mutant people and other human survivors. If these are the only two enemies in The Last Of Us it’s going to get stale pretty fast. So there won’t be just two.

The fungus that inspired the one in the game is fairly specific in what it does to the insects, basically taking control of the ant, making it move to higher ground so that the spores can reach a wider area once a stalk has grown from the then dead ant. It’s possible that different stages of infection in humans will create other behaviours and thus different enemies. The man Josh beats to death has a weird, lumpy face: an early stage of infection?

Away from infected and non-infected humans, there are also animals to consider. A core idea to the game is that the ant strain of the fungus jumped species which suggests animals might get a dose too. And we know there’ll be animals in the game because of this piece of concept art:

The Last Of Us Concept art screenshot

Although a herd of Bambi’s distant relations is unlikely to do little more than startle you when they pelt out of the bushes and run away (although does Ellie’s rifle suggest you could hunt them for food?), North America is full of predators. There’s scope for the game to feature bears, alligators, wild dogs and other creatures wanting to gnaw your legs off now that the human populace isn’t there to keep them in check.

And what of animals escaped from zoos, parks and private collections? If you’ve seen I Am Legend you’ll recall Will Smith facing down a lion on the streets of New York. And if you watched Louis Theroux’s documentary on America’s Most Dangerous Pets you’ll know there are plenty of ferocious, non-indigenous wildlife to be found in the States.

 

9. You might not be immune

 

Veering slightly away from actual gameplay into speculation territory, there are lots of questions to be asked of the nature of the infection itself. At the end of the trailer Ellie bemoans never having seen the world as it was when everything was fine (“Must have been nice,” she says). Considering she’s in her teens at the time of the game that means the fungus has been around for a lengthy amount of time.

So the infected have been around for a while, but how long do they live? It’s unlikely the ones in the trailer have survived several years, suggesting the infection is ongoing and outbreaks still occur in the remains of humanity. It makes sense as a parasitic disease that kills all its hosts at once, kills itself. It suggests that, rather than immunity, survivors have simply avoided infection through reduced population. If, as in point 8 above, there are stages, then avoiding infectious individuals or spores will be crucial.

 

10. It’s a nasty, bloody game

 

The Last Of Us has already been slapped with an 18 PEGI rating and the bloodied dead bodies and viscious knifings in the trailer show us that the game’s tone will be dark. The Uncharted and, er, Crash Bandicoot games both contained violence, but it was more of the George Lucas/Indiana Jones variety than George A. Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead (at least in Uncharted’s case). The Last Of Us will be very much the adult-orientated experience.

Also, both Josh and Ellie seems to have a more dubious morality. Josh kills another human being and Ellie makes a joke about it! Naughty Dog’s press blurb suggests Josh might even have been like those survivors he now offs, with Ellie – or rather protecting Ellie – being his ‘last chance at redemption’. This suggests themes of morality in an amoral world will be present in the story. Bring it on.

We’ll have more on The Last Of Us as soon as Naughty Dog start releasing more info spores.

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