- Call Of Duty: Ghosts Revealed, Multiplayer Detailed
- Xbox One Launches This Fall
- Halo Television Show, NFL Xbox One Experience Announced
- Microsoft And Remedy Reveal Quantum Break For Xbox One
- Forza 5 Officially Revealed For Xbox One
- Xbox One Always Connected To Cloud, Achievements And Xbox LIVE To Change Dynamically
- Kinect 2.0 Comes With Every Xbox One
- Xbox One's Kinect 2.0, TV Capabilities Demonstrated
- New Xbox One Features "Trending" Section
- The Next Xbox Is Called "Xbox One"
SDCC 2012: The Last Of Us Panel
Naughty Dog's panel for The Last of Us featured more voice actors than game developers in its lineup. This is appropriate in a way because, while the developers are the ones to bring life to the world, the actors are the ones who make the unique experience that is a Naughty Dog product possible. Without actors equally as dedicated to the product, willing to "come home every day with bruises" from acting out the game's various intense scenes, the whole thing would be just another action adventure romp, albeit a highly-polished one.
Actress Ashley Johnson provided us with the above quotation, afterwards stating that she "probably gave more bruises than [she] got." It's this highly physical acting that she and fellow actor Troy Baker had to perfect in order to bring believable life to the world of The Last of Us. It's ironic, given just how intangible the world of a video game really is.
This acting was shown off during a brand-new scene shown at Comic Con, one that revealed not only new action but a new character as well. Bill, played by W. Earl Brown (There's Something About Mary,) has a safehouse and, as rumored, a car. Joel and Ellie desperately need a vehicle, although the reasons for this are unclear. As the new scene begins, Joel and Bill flee through the door of the safehouse, ushering Ellie inside before slamming and barring the entryway. But our heroes aren't out of the woods yet. Seemingly out of the blue, Bill slaps handcuffs onto Ellie, chaining her to a pipe. Joel and Bill have a brief scuffle, during which Ellie manages to rip the pipe from the wall and club Bill over the head.
After a brief yelling match, Bill checks Joel for bites and things settle down a bit when he finds none. Joel explains that he and Ellie need a vehicle, but Bill is uncooperative. Finally, they convince the gruff Bill to help them look for the parts to build a car. We assume that this will take the form of a mission in the game. After this, the scened fades to black.
Following this demo, Naughty Dog explained that they wanted to make players feel like they were in their character's shoes as much as possible. They don't want The Last of Us to be a game that glorifies violence; in fact, the new scene that they showed off contained almost no violence except for the brief scene of infighting. Instead, they want combat to be a last resort, something that players only initiate when desperate or cornered. The results of these battles should be disgusting, not empowering.
This discussion leads into a second demo, footage that had supposedly never been shown off before but in fact has been available on Sony's YouTube channel since E3. In this footage, Joel and Ellie are fleeing from an unknown enemy. They lose them as the scene opens and use an end table to block off the door behind them, ensuring their escape. From here, they head outside. As they walk down a ruined highway, Ellie spots a movie poster from before the disaster and comments on it.
Naughty Dog took this opportunity to pause the demo and offer a bit of commentary. They discussed how they wanted to use bits of one-off dialogue, such as the one that they were about to show off, to explore the differences between the two leads. Joel, who was born long before the calamity, has the perspective of a warm and safe childhood guiding him, even as he murders and fights to stay alive. Ellie, on the other hand, was born after the disaster occured, and her psyche is one filled with violence, a trait of having grown up in such turbulent times. She thinks that to fight and kill is natural.
With that explanation, the demo recommences. Joel comments on the poster, saying that he remembers seeing the movie before the disaster. Elli then asks if the protagonist, a wolfman, ends up gutting his girlfriend in the end. Joel, seemingly a little disturbed by the conclusion that Ellie has jumped to, replies that it was just a "dumb teen movie," and no, of course there was a happy ending.
Following this brief exhange, the pair climb up through a broken second-story windown and into what was once a fancy hotel. They explore the hotel, comment on its lavishness, and climb upstairs onto the roof. From here, the pair hear the voices of scavenging enemies, and the demo played out in the same way as the E3 demo. Before ending the panel, Naughty Dog left us by saying that they wanted to make even the enemies relatable. There will be no evil stereotypes in The Last of Us, at least not intentionally anyway, and this should make you think twice about fighting.
The Last of Us continues to be one of Sony's most promising games, and the brief look we had at Comic Con, while somewhat insubstantial in that much of it was comprised of E3 footage, just served to reinforce how dedicated Naughty Dog is to making this game something special.