5 things we (think we) know about Naughty Dog's The Last of Us

Naughty Dog has officially lifted the curtain on The Last of Us, the first non-Uncharted game the studio has developed in five years. As soon as the trailer was released the internet was lit ablaze with speculation - much of which has already been refuted by the developers.

But fear not! There is some concrete information about the game out there, and we've gathered together all of the information we know (and some things we think we've figured out based on the trailer) into one place, giving you an easy way to get caught up on one of the biggest announcements from the VGAs.

1. Ellie/Joel are played by Ashley Johnson/Troy Baker

Despite looking and sounding a lot like Ellen Page (and sharing a similar first name, to boot), Ellie is actually not going to be played by the Inception star. Creative director Neil Druckmann took to Twitter following the trailer's release, confirming that Ellie and Joel are played by Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker respectively. The 28-year-old Johnson has lent her voice to a number of characters over the year and acted in many television shows and movies, though her experience in gaming isn't that robust.

Baker, on the other hand, has a long history in gaming, acting as both Two-Face in Arkham City and Booker DeWitt in Irrational's upcoming BioShock Infinite. At this rate, he's well on his way to becoming the next Nolan North.

2. The lead designer on Enslaved is working on it

Mark Richard Davies lied when he said he went to Naughty Dog to work on Uncharted 3. The developer confirmed on Twitter that he was, in reality, hard at work on The Last of Us, which makes even more sense. Why? Well, look at the image above. Davies worked on Enslaved before being poached for The Last of Us, and while they'll likely be different in terms of gameplay, the basic environments look eerily similar, both including big cities grown-over in a post-human world.

3. Ammunition will be scarce

One of the more interesting parts of the trailer involved Ellie rummaging through a corpse's belongings and finding a few bullets. Even though she only found a few that were actually still good, she was absolutely elated. This lets us know that ammunition will be scarce - very scarce. This might lead to the gameplay being less trigger-happy than the Uncharted games, which never made any attempts to get in between Drake and a loaded gun. Seeing as Naughty Dog has been playing up the "survival" element of the game, we might be seeing something outside of its wheelhouse with The Last of Us.

4. The creatures are caused by a fungus

This was actually one of the first things we learned about the game, and it was the thing that helped us make the connection between The Last of Us and Naughty Dog: fungus. In-game newspapers mention a deadly fungus spreading throughout the world, "infecting" people, and a variant of Cordyceps sinensis definitely fits the bill.

If you watched the documentary Planet Earth you likely remember Cordyceps as the creepy fungi that took over ants' brains and caused them to climb trees uncontrollably before bursting out of their heads and spreading. Yeah, it's disturbing. That same video was shown on The Last of Us's website before it switched over after the trailer was released, hinting that it is related. Also, look at them: that's totally a weird fungus monster thing.

5. The outbreak occurred many years ago

Cities don't get taken over by nature overnight. It would take years for the cars to rust, the grass to spread, and the trees to grow. Unless something besides the outbreak took place to speed up the deterioration of the city, many years have passed since things went south. There's also the fact that Ellie seems unable to believe there was a time that people just lived their lives instead of fighting to survive day to day, further hinting that it has been years, possibly decades, since the outbreak...broke... out. 


  • Ravenbom - January 6, 2012 9:42 p.m.

    I think we know that there probably won't be any disk installs, Naughty Dog is pretty good about that.
  • cgriff63 - December 16, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    I'm not big into Survival games, but I'll definitely get this. Naughty Dog has yet to let me down
  • Tom@o - December 14, 2011 6:44 p.m.

    I wonder, has there been any word on a release date? the fact that it's going to look beautiful (ie. the graphics rendered from a ps3 look amazing) gives me a boner. and lastly, I'm really interested to see how gameplay is going to work (the ample spread of conveniently placed rusted cars for cover in the trailer might indicate the cover and shoot from Uncharted...)
  • awinnerisjew - December 13, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    A commenter on that YouTube video called it "Uncharted 4: Drake's Infection". Thought I'd share that, as I found it funny.
  • Rhymenocerous - December 13, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    6. It will be a completely linear 'Interactive Movie' experience that just plain wishes it was a film.
  • ZiltoidTheOmniscient - December 13, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    Wow. I'm impressed how you can gather all that information and figure exactly what score the game will be given from one trailer that doesn't show one scrap of gameplay. Bravo.
  • Rhymenocerous - December 24, 2011 4:23 a.m.

    6 is not the score, it is the 6th thing we (think we) know about the game.
  • KidKatana - December 13, 2011 2:15 a.m.

    OK I retract my comment about this being "just another zombie game". Enslaved + Resident Evil with Uncharted-standard acting has me excited.
  • xarab4lyfex - December 12, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    I wouldn't be suprised if Nolan North was playing both the guy and girl
  • IceBlueKirby - December 12, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    Naughty Dog + the designer for Enslaved = a recipe for amazing. I'm excited for this game.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - December 12, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    to be honest I thought Joel was Nolan North at first
  • n00b - December 12, 2011 5:55 p.m.

    "The lead designer on Enslaved is working on it" that smells like trouble if you ask me
  • aberkromby - December 12, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    Enslaved was a pretty good game, if a little naive from a game development standpoint. Davies' talent should click pretty well with Naughty Dog's experience.
  • Bloodstorm - December 12, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    The girl looks like she was modeled after Ellen Page. It looks interesting, but alas, I'm not a Playstation owner.
  • aberkromby - December 12, 2011 4:47 p.m.

    More news: At least part of the game will most likely take place in Pittsburgh, PA. Check out this artwork from the game: Brown skyscraper is the US steel tower: Skyscraper with the sloped roof towards the center is undoubtedly BNY Mellon Center: I'm fairly certain the lower building in the foreground with the arched windows is an unusual rendition of Penn Station: The city in the backgroud is definitely Pittsburgh. I found one person who even recognized it as Grant St. on the corner of Liberty. If we actually get to play there, I'm psyched. It'll be nice to stroll through a ruined version of my hometown.
  • Soren - December 12, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    I love the fact that Ellie is not an innocent girl, since the trailer suggests that she has killed someone-maybe the fellow of the guy who Joel beat. Perhaps her personality is a combination of cunning and courage of Elena Fisher, with a touch of the evil and ruthless of Katherine Marlowe,what appears to be suitable for survive in that game scenario. I'm really excited to know more about this game!!
  • StuntzMcKenzy - December 12, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    That looked amazing makes me wish Naughty Dog wasnt a Sony exclusive. No hate I'm jealous but that would look amazing running a steady 60fps on PC.
  • Fiirestorm21 - December 12, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    Yeah, I thought of Enslaved as well when the trailer moved to that shot of the abandoned city. The survival elements are what have me intrigued gameplay wise.
  • GaryTheGuidoHunter - December 12, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    Enslaved game mixed with The Road elements. Sounds tasty
  • kyle-lea - December 12, 2011 3:04 p.m.


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