In a recent interview, Naughty Dog Creative Director Neil Druckmann and Game Director Bruce Straley have announced story details for The Last of Us.
As the game’s trailer indicated, the setting is a post-apocalyptic United States in which most remaining inhabitants are infected by a fungal plague. After the interview, we now know that survivors have been placed into military-controlled quarantines, which are constantly threatened by an outbreak of the infectious plague.
Joel, a morally-hardened citizen living in ones of these zones, is the game’s protagonist. In the interview, the minds behind the game stress Joel’s unique experiences and how they have shaped him. Being in his late 40s, he experienced the events that led to the world’s current state. After his many hardships, he acquired a unique moral code that will undoubtedly play a large role in the story’s development.
Another citizen of a quarantine zone is 14-year-old Ellie, who has lived there since birth. Being highly-skilled in black market operations, Joel accepts a contract from an unknown third party that requires him to smuggle Ellie out of her quarantine. The plan falls apart and the two characters are left to fend for themselves in the dangerous, infected-filled wasteland—while also on the run from the military.
Joel considers leaving Ellie behind to better his chances of survival, but despite his altered morals, a promise to a dear friend drives him to do otherwise. The rest of the game follows Joel and Ellie as they desperately search for safety.
Naughty Dog sure knows how to craft a compelling narrative and convincing characters, and The Last of Us will likely not be an exception—but only time will tell if the morality aspects take the genre in a new direction.
Brad is an 18-year-old college student, writer, and the newest addition to the Default Prime review team. Working a part-time job and going to school full-time doesn't allow for much free time, but he somehow finds time for video games—as he always has.
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