Next year is a big old year for gaming. It’s certainly packed like sardines with amazing releases, in the first half of the year anyway. Ni no Kuni, Tomb Raider, GTA V, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Bioshock Infinite, Tearaway, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeros, Beyond: Two Souls and Dark Souls 2 to name but a few. There should also be the new consoles from Microsoft and (my manufacturer of choice) Sony, with Nintendo having released their Wii U (still think it’s a weird name) in November. The new consoles will (if released next year, though they’ll doubted lot be announced next year) bring with them a raft of rushed out, half finished ‘meh’ games or ports of current-gen games. No, whilst the hardware may excite next year the software for it most definitely won’t (though I’m more than happy to be proven wrong).
The focus of this blog then shall be on what is by a country mile my most eagerly anticipated game of 2013. The Last of Us. Frequent readers of the blog will know that Naughty Dog are my favourite video game developers of all time. My favourite PlayStation series was Crash Bandicoot, my favourite PS2 series was the Jak trilogy and my favourite PS3 games have been the Uncharted trilogy, so as you can tell as soon as I saw the debut trailer with the paw print logo I became very excited. Very excited indeed.
The Last of Us follows protagonists Joel and Ellie as they travel across a post-apocalyptic America. 20 years or so prior to the current story, a human version of a cordyceps fungus emerged and quickly began wiping out the human species with nature gradually taking back the land. Joel is a hardened fighter who has promised to help 14 year old Ellie, who has never known life before the outbreak, escape from the a harsh city under rule of martial law. Along their way they not only have to fight the infected, whose sole aim is to spread the fungus to the entire human race, but also humans in the form of survivors who live out in the wilderness who see Joel and Ellie as rivals for resources but also the military who have made it their mission to get Ellie back into the quarantine zone.
From the gameplay footage that has been shown it basically looks like an immensely badass version of the Uncharted games where violence and survival have been turned up to 11. The player takes control of Joel with Ellie being controlled by AI. Anyone who has played a game where a second person is controlled by AI immediately became concerned upon hearing this (Sheva from Resident Evil 5 anyone?) but again, from the footage shown Ellie looks like she can more than handle her own whilst not getting in the way of the player.
Anyway before I go on and on and on about how fantastic the game looks I’ll just end it here with a link to the story trailer that was released on Monday. The 7th of May can’t come soon enough. Then again the world is ending on the 21st of this month so it doesn’t really matter, wonder if it has anything to do with cordyceps?
By Ian Dutton