First Last of Us screens are doctored but plausibly gorgeous. Also confirm that Joel is really an old Nathan Drake

Seriously, it's him. We have proof. Sort of. Or maybe not

CG reveal trailers. They're a lot like porn. Initially exciting, and certainly enough to get the blood pumping, but ultimately shallow and unfulfilling once the moment has passed. Because however stylised and thrilling they might be, you just know that they're not real.

But now that we've all suffered the cold-existential comedown from the reveal trailer for Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, we have the video game equivalent of a real, actual, stable girlfriend in the shape of these first in-game screens. She's very real and lovely, and only wearing slightly too much make-up.

That make-up comes by way of some extra anti-aliasing, as admitted by Naughty Dog's Arne Meyer in a NeoGAF thread, but they're otherwise thoroughly plausible given what ND has achieved with Uncharted 2 and 3. Thus I have no problem allowing myself to get excited by them. The screens obviously come from Game Informer. The big letters spelling out 'Game Informer' should tell you that.

Game details? There are a few more to go along with these. Apparently you'll control Joel, with Ellie remaining an AI companion throughout. So far though, she's reported to be pretty capable and not requiring of any babysitting, so that's good. As for gameplay, we know that combat will be a mix of melee and gunplay, with melee weapons wearing out and breaking, and thus needing replacing.

Clearly, Naughty Dog is playing its cards very close to its chest at the moment. At the min things sound (and look) a lot like a cross between Uncharted and Ninja Theory's Enslaved. Which would be good, but I suspect there's more going on here.

Another thing I also suspect that either Joel is Uncharted's Nathan Drake aged 15 - 20 years, or that Naughty Dog isn't putting the imagination into its character designs that it should. Because a simple beard is not enough to distract one as eagle-eyed as I that he is basically Drake's character model with a bit of grime and a few wrinkles painted on. Want proof? Check this proof, which I have created using cutting edge CGI techniques:

Above: Joel from The Last of Us

Above: Old Nathan Drake

Above: Joel from The Last of Us (this is from GI's cover art rather than an in-game screen)

Above: Old Nathan Drake (this is also from GI's cover art rather than an in-game screen)

Above: Joel from The Last of Us

Above: Old Nathan Drake

Above: Joel from The Last of Us

Above: Old Nathan Drake

Also, as Cundy has just pointed out to me, Ellie looks a lot like a young Chloe in that second set of images. Now we need a middle-aged Sully and a granny Elena to turn up and we have the whole set. Good lord, Naughty Dog. The Last of Us looks potentially amazing, but seriously. Some new people ideas. Have them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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