Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

The Last of Us Part I, the remake of the juggernaut from Naughty Dog and PlayStation, has just arrived. So this is an opportunity to go back to what made The Last of Us a success at the time.


  • Naughty Dog makes The Walking Dead
  • The touching story of Ellie and Joel
  • A performance worthy of a movie
  • A next-gen game on PS3

Naughty Dog makes The Walking Dead

In early 2010, there was a studio on the rise: Naughty Dog. After making itself known with Crash Bandicoot, the American studio gave us Jak & Daxter and Uncharted, two popular licenses that allowed it to build a strong reputation. Even better, the games with Nathan Drake prove that Naughty Dog can do a lot of things technically speaking. So when the announcement of a post-apocalyptic game with the same level of realism dropped, there was something interesting.

Especially since at that time, zombies were also fashionable. The Walking Dead began airing in 2010 and quickly became one of the most loved and watched series. On the video game side, we have Resident Evil which continues to unite many fans. So some naturally expect another game in the genre with Naughty Dog sauce. But no! In the course of communication, we learned that The Last of Us, as it is nicknamed, has nothing to do with the Capcom license. Marketed as an action-survival game, it quickly becomes clear that Naughty Dog has traded in horror in favor of storytelling and emotion.

With this original choice for the season, the studio scores points and breathes a new air into its project that you want. Naughty Dog is betting on the right horse and it’s especially true because the studio knows how to tell stories. And with The Last of Us, he would further establish himself as a master of the genre.

The touching story of Ellie and Joel

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

When it was released in 2013, the game was critically acclaimed. While some reporters point the finger at a selective AI and limited game mechanics, they all agreed to salute the excellence achieved in the title from a narrative point of view. In our attempt, we will discuss immediately “an amazing scenario” and D’ “an atmosphere that clings to your skin, even when you let go of the pad”. Edge magazine continues: “Naughty Dog delivers one of the most compelling, emotionally epic stories of this console generation.”

This account with small onions, it is especially brought to a well-managed rhythm. For Neil Druckmann, who directed the project, the best narrative structures are those that constantly change pace. In The Last of Us, intense action phases are followed by quieter moments, but no less important. In an episode of In Game, we discussed in particular a masterful scene at this level: the giraffe scene. After a harsh winter, we found a changed Ellie, agitated, no longer responding as before to our movements and directions…

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

Additionally, The Last of Us deals with themes that are rarely addressed in video games. If Naughty Dog’s title already stands out for its atypical approach to post-apocalypse, the relationship it promotes is just as important. Qor describe it, Neil Druckmann then talks about a “father-daughter love story”. The bond forged before our eyes between Ellie and Joël is as believable as it is captivating and moving. This is due to the narrative of course, but also to the gameplay that pushes us to find a synergy between the two characters, puts us in difficulty when they are separated or even moves us in front of some choices that we are forced to make. to make. .

But Ellie and Joël aren’t the only ones in The Last of Us. In the course of our adventure, we discover many characters with different and marked personalities, sometimes tragic fates and stories that we never knew. that’s why we don’t see a AAA. Without going overboard, The Last of Us isn’t afraid to shake things up a bit. The title has moved more than one player, even those with the most hermetic hearts. Not only does The Last of Us tell us a good story, but it’s good, either from a narrative or visual perspective.

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

Narration and character are amazing, and not just “for a game”

Andy Kelly in the UK magazine Computer and Video Games

A performance worthy of a movie

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

If The Last of Us marks the spirits, it’s also because it’s one of the first action games to have such a cinematic dimension. A point that is also held against it by some who consider its gameplay too little present to qualify it as a very good game. .

Whether it’s the camera shots, the dialogue, or their overall quality, most of Naughty Dog’s game scenes are memorable, starting with its introduction. For many, this is the most important opening in the history of video games and we understand them. By allowing us to include Joel’s young daughter, Sarah, for a few minutes, The Last of Us plunges us into the heart of the matter and takes the opportunity to break our hearts in the process. And then there is the drama of the three acts of Henry and his younger brother Sam or its conclusion which is filled with a tension of script writing worthy of the greatest. cliffhanger consecutively.

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

Throughout these scenes, The Last of Us plays with cinematic codes that no game has before it. We feel his cinematographic inspirations, from I am a legend passeth The Road, 28 days ago or The Sons of Man, to finish The Revolt of the Triffids (don’t forget the series The Walking Dead sure). Also note that the music of The Last of Us was completely created by a composer who is used to films, Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla. It provides a quality soundtrack that also marks the spirits well and contributes to the immersion and emotion of the title. As for the more successful interpretation of the cutscenes, this, in particular, is allowed thanks to the performances of the actors (including Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson) and capture of movement.

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

The interpretation is not only good, but the graphical beauty of the game makes the events of The Last of Us overflowing with realism. Everything that happens immediately is more memorable, more powerful, and more moving because the environment is so believable.

IGN’s Colin Moriarty

A next-gen game on PS3

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

Motion capture plays a huge role in the game’s visual rendering, which is also applauded. It must be said that if the technique of making the game’s body language more realistic has been used for a while, Naughty Dog has made it an important property. One of the reasons that led to the studio’s move in 2010 was precisely to be able to build their own motion capture studio. If you’re interested, Naughty Dog’s Damon Shelton has already provided it a conference on the use of motion capture for The Last of Us. You can see it below.

Technically, Naughty Dog has given itself The Last of Us and the rendering should be beautiful. If today, we find the graphics of The Last of Us getting older, for the time, and especially for the PS3, they are surprisingly realistic and more successful. In 2013, few games managed to reach this level, no one dared to tell some journalists. With such a translation, The Last of Us then has what it takes to stand out as a great game and an important license in the PlayStation ecosystem. And when you add it all up, it naturally becomes a monument.

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

We can also talk about the excellent multiplayer mode, the not so good DLC that followed or the remastered version that arrived shortly after. But if these elements have contributed to the success of The Last of Us over time, they are not the ones that make the title a monument in the video game world, but those that we have listed above. It is with them that Naughty Dog’s title can be counted and remembered as one of the best video games of all time, and to this day. A game that you can rediscover with the remake The Last of Us Part I

Why was The Last of Us a video game monument when it was released?

Learn more about the universe of The Last of Us

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