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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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