Eyes on “The Last of Us”

Kind of reminds me of that Will Smith movie.
The post-apocalyptic landscape of a destroyed city should be a familiar sight to gamers. But what flavor of desolate and deserted world is it? Cities? Sure. Zombies? Yup. Mutants? Absolutely. Crazed survivors? How could there not be? Now, I could be describing the Capitol Wasteland from “Fallout” or just the brain-eater populated universe of “Left 4 Dead.” Instead I’m describing Naughty Dog’s newest project, “The Last of Us.”
This game made quite a big impression at E3 this year, after having been scuttled about the internet here and there through videos and articles for a few months.
The two protagonists, Joel and Ellie, seem to be thrust into circumstances together that require them to survive by any means necessary. Joel is apparently somewhat handy with his fists and a gun, but other than that he’s no super action star. Ellie is your typical young girl who is able to fit where Joel can’t, and seems to save his bacon more than once when things get too hard to handle.
The two seem like a good team, working in tandem through stealth and action sequences that had E3 audiences on the edge of their seats when the gameplay was revealed at the show.

Combat looks as visceral as “Resident Evil” but with the fluidity of Naughty Dog’s flagship title “Uncharted.” If you pay attention, you can see just how crucial ammo is in the game by how hard Joel aims to ensure his shots hit home. Of course, when he runs out of ammo, things get down and dirty.
Survival horror has never looked so good with actually trying to force you to conserve ammo and make you really think about your shots rather than the spray-and-prey method. This strategy and sense of danger is probably why “Resident Evil” and “Silent Hill” games have been so successful over the years. If “The Last of Us” can deliver the same sort of urgency in combat and level of thinking, it will definitely be a hit with that crowd.

The enemies in “The Last of Us” appear to be afflicted with some kind of fungus.
As for the monsters, they kind of look like a cross between zombies and pizza toppings. Mushrooms to be precise. Whatever has happened to the planet to make everything so overgrown and awkwardly lush in urban metropolises has clearly affected the people of the world as well.
We’re not sure yet if this is a postmortem transformation or a gradual infection, or both. Whatever it is, it’s gross and we like it.
Pretty graphics, a well-known yet refined gameplay style, intriguing story premise and still some time to go before it’s released. Naughty Dog has come a long way from their “Crash Bandicoot” days, and hot damn it is impressive.