2011 VGAs: The Last Of Us Finds Horror’s Roots

2011 VGAs: The Last Of Us Finds Horror’s Roots


The trailer for Naughty Dog’s upcoming PS3-exclusive title, The Last of Us, was perhaps the biggest reveal at SPIKE TV’s 2011 Video Game Awards.

It begins with an idyllic scene, the trees waving in a light breeze, branches tickling the air as sun streams down between them, light penetrating their leaves and casting them in luminescent green. This peaceful lull does not last, however, the beauty of nature juxtaposed with the house it has destroyed, furniture old and covered in dust, vines overgrown within the walls as well as without. A body lays limp on a bed as a young girl runs past, footprint marked in a puddle of its blood.

This girl is Ellie, and she and Joel—whom we first see delivering a baseball bat to a large hooded man’s face—are survivors of a natural uprising, trying to escape an abandoned city—one of many—overrun by nature. They scrounge for supplies, even a single bullet a tremendous find, and do battle with fast-moving, humanoid creatures with pulsating, bud-like heads. Avoidance appears to be the order of the day, Joel and Ellie only combating these monsters when all other paths are closed to them.

This is The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s latest project, their entry into the survival horror fold, and one that they hope will be genre-defining. If the trailer is any indication, it aims to feature tight resource management, a healthy dose of moral ambiguity, and tense encounters with monstrous foes. Naughty Dog says that they want to offer a cinematic experience, that they intend for this to be a “leap forward” in such gaming and storytelling. At that, I nod vigorously and hopefully.

The Last of Us does not yet have an announced release date, but will be released exclusively on the PlayStation 3.

By Shelby Reiches

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