The Last of Us – Shoreditch, London

On the 24th May 2013 Velocity Gaming was lucky enough to attend the Last of Us promotional event in Shoreditch, London hosted by Playstation Access, IGN UK and the developers of the game Naughty Dog.

The event took place in an old theatre on Shoreditch High-street, which looked liked it was spat straight out of the Last of Us Universe. The event was centered around a Q&A session with Neil Druckman and Bruce Straley (Naughty Dog) plus voice actress Ashley Johnson (Ellie) as well as a live playthrough of the Pittsburgh level controlled by Game Director Bruce Straley himself. For your viewing pleasure we have included the YouTube livestream below (Psssss – start from 35:28 to skip to the interesting part).

The game’s Creative Director Neil Druckman spoke about the game’s development since its announcement at Gamescom in 2012. The studio found some difficulties when brining together the vast amount of game components into one final piece. He also gave us an insight into the development of the incredible soundtrack for the game which was entirely composed by guitarist Gustavo Santaolall and it’s importance to the emotional dynamics of the game.

Great effort was put into turning the derelict and unused cinema into a post-apocalyptic hangout for ticket winners and industry VIPs. Revelers were treated to tasty food and an open bar serving beer and mojitos throughout the evening. The absolute greatest part of the event was the fact that attendees had ample opportunity to get hands on with two levels of The Last of Us; Lincoln and Pittsburgh. Scattered across the venue were 73 HD screens each setup with a PS3 console and Tritton headset. There was no waiting to have your turn at this promo, it was jump on and have a go. Occasionally there were some very minor omissions from gameplay since the levels were from the Alpha phase of development. However, this was more than compensated for by the beautiful visuals on the HD TV’s and the realistic surround sound from the headsets that made it easy for players to fully immerse into the game’s world.

We had the opportunity play through the Lincoln stage of the game during the evening.

The stage begins with Joel and Ellie moving through a small woodland area that cornered the edge of the derelict city. The game’s protagonists intend to seek the help of Joel’s friend who has bunked down within the city. As part of the level you figure out ways to set off trip wire booby traps, shoot enemies as they run towards you whilst swinging from a snare and fight off ‘Clickers’ for that crucial headshot.

The Last of Us uses a salvage system to forge weapons from spare parts. The player is required to rummage through the cupboards & drawers of abandoned buildings as well as collect recipes to learn to make new weapons. With a bit more searching ready made weapons can be found such as smoke bombs.

Overall I found the Last of Us to be a very emotional and gripping game. It’s stunning visuals and sounds, combined with Naughty Dogs’ trademark ability for characterisation makes it both compelling and heartwarming. The Last of Us does something really special. It takes gamers through an emotional gruesome story through the eyes of two very relatable characters.

We are looking forward to playing the final version of the game that is available now, exclusively on the PS3.

TD and NL

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