The Last of Us was first revealed at the 2011 SPIKE TV Video Game Awards, and has kept us hungry for more ever since we got eyes on that trailer. This year's E3 finally gave us some juicy gameplay to sink our teeth into, with some interesting new features that may add a little non-linearity to this epic adventure.
First is the story, certainly broken from the mold of the typical post-apocalyptic war, aliens, or undead scenarios. Second, despite The Last of Us being classified in the action folder, there will be more strategy than your typical run-and-gun titles, as health does not regenerate and ammo is scarce. Finally, though the story will follow a fairly steady line, every situation will have many variables for success, and your choices will affect how well you emerge from the encounter.
Though we know this game has been in production since Naughty Dog split their workforce at some point between Uncharted 2 and 3, most gamers expected The Last of Us to be pushed back to 2013. It came as no surprise, then when Naughty Dog staffers told Jimmy Falon they were indeed shooting for a 2013 release date for the game. Let's just hope it doesn't get pushed back any further than that.
Rapture may have been left behind, but this third game of the series still oozes with the same brand of alternate reality that has made BioShock's locales so memorable. Aboard the floating city of Columbia, the events of Infinite take place before those of its predecessors, but all indications show that the story will be as wholly satisfying as the underwater original.
Against new foes called Heavy Hitters (replacing the Big Daddies), you'll still have an impressive array of weapons, as well as psychokinetic powers at your disposal. Vigors and Nostrums are your upgrades now, the former granting you combat powers, and the latter giving you passive abilities and statistical boosts. Yet skills are not as interchangeable as in the past, as a strong focus on consequence will deliver the new shift with Infinite. This is mostly true with the dubbed "1999 Mode" (in homage to System Shock 2), a more difficult setting that truly has the burden of your choices impacting the gameplay and story.
BioShock Infinite was sadly absent from this year's E3. If it needs the extra production time, though, I won't argue, as this bold move by Irrational Games needs to be flawless for the fan base to stay stalwart.
Date: July 18, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*