Preview: Surviving The Last of Us... again
[Continued] Page 2
Surviving Pittsburgh, PA.
The next part of my hands-on demo with The Last of Us took place with what I assume was shortly after Lincoln. Now with a car at our disposal (I'm assuming we had to do some sort of mission for Bill prior to this), Joel and Ellie are heading through Pittsburgh. Remember the trailer we saw where the two of them are driving and get ambushed? This portion of the game was where that happened. The cutscene played out just exactly as the trailer, and following the brief sequence, I was tasked with taking on a whole new type of enemy -- other human survivors.
You'd think that an end-of-the-world type scenario would help man unite and band together. That's not the case as Pittsburgh has been occupied by Hunters, a "savage and unpredictable faction of humans" that kill any survivors. This portion of my demo was considerably shorter, but far more action-packed. After the wreck, Joel must survive a wave of attacking Hunters.
I must warn you, do not underestimate the intelligence of enemy AI in The Last of Us. Whether its infected or human, they are smart and will find ways to sneak around to you. And unlike the infected, the humans don't care if you make a sound -- they know you are there and can shoot from long distance. Not having to worry about keeping quiet, this scene played more like your typical third-person shooter. Ducking under the cover of a convenience store, the shootout probably lasted a little longer than it should have due to my inability to be effective with free-aim. I ended up baiting them in and smashing their skulls with a wooden plank. Again, satisfying.
This portion of the demo was considerably shorter, meant just to show us the difference in encounters between the infected and other survivors.
Both demo sequences gave a great feel for the overall shape of the game. There seems to be a nice balance between character development and action, exploration and linearity. Combat, while extremely difficult, does a nice job of capturing that true survival element. One wrong move and it's all over. Though, I once again survived The Last of Us, it wasn't without numerous deaths.
My biggest takeaway is how different the various sequences in The Last of Us feel. While the game has an overall tone of survival and character development, the way in which it is delivered changes dramatically. I've now played three separate portions of the The Last of Us, and all three have an incredibly different feel and pace; yet, somehow, they all seem to work.
Those of you looking to play The Last of Us, a demo of the game is included with God of War: Ascension and will be unlocked on May 31.