If you’re looking for news about the Last of Us, I am probably the last person you should talk to regarding Naughty Dog’s upcoming summer blockbuster game. Although, depending on your perspective, I could be the very person you should talk to. I have put a media blackout on myself for what is quite likely the most anticipated game of 2013. Outside of the basic plot and characters, I don’t know much else about the game.
The reason for my information blackout is not because I’m not interested in the game, it is the exact opposite. I’m chomping at the bit for this game. I do this for my own benefit. It has recently come to light that there have been massive leaks regarding the Last of Us which include major plot spoilers posted on the internet. In this never ending, always updating, information lifestyle, it is growing increasingly hard to keep big secrets about big projects. Whether it’s a movie script, money laundering (thanks J.P. Morgan & Chase!) or a video game, the secret, one way or another, gets out. Personally, I love to be surprised by the twists and turns of a game’s plot and gasp when those awe-inspiring moments happen on-screen.
You see Naughty Dog is one of those developers that has built up that cache of credit with me. They have earned my trust through a reputation of excellence when it comes to presentation, characters, writing and story telling to the point where, after I’ve seen enough of the game in development to be interested, I don’t want to know anything else. The videos and stills that I’ve seen through various interviews and articles look beyond fantastic. I did this same sort of thing when Uncharted 3 (and Mass Effect 3) came out. Once I saw the E3 trailer, I was hooked. Uncharted 3 turned out to be a wonderful epic adventure. The character work they did was marvelous, as they showed new sides to Nathan Drake and further developed the relationship between Nathan and Elena. When it comes to Naughty Dog, I expect great personalities and an engaging story. I also, due to previous works, expect each Naughty Dog game to be a shining beacon of what’s possible on the PlayStation 3.
Each Uncharted game has pushed the boundaries of what people think is possible on the PlayStation 3 hardware. The Last of Us looks to be doing the same thing. The lighting and textures they’re running in the new engine is spellbinding. It looks head and shoulders above anything I have ever seen on PS3 thus far. When I saw the snapshots and video cuts on Up at Noon where Greg Miller interviews Ashley Johnson, the voice of Ellie, I knew I had seen all I needed to see. I was blown away by the level of detail and realistic lighting demonstrated in the pieces they showed off. Since that moment I have completely shut it down, regardless of single player or multi-player news. If it involves the Last of Us, I don’t want any part of it. IGN.com recently had a livestream to show off the latest build and I completely ignored it.
When I finally get a chance to play the Last of Us, I’ll go in objectively, without prejudice, and whether I enjoy or hate it will be entirely upon the game and the experience we weave together. Whether the Last of Us can meet or surpass the lofty success of the Uncharted series, remains to be seen but I have little doubt it will be an enjoyable experience. In fact, I will be shocked if it is anything short of game of the year material. Whether this sort of media blackout tactic is for you, is completely up to you. I know there are games where I can’t get enough information to whet my appetite for, in cases like this though, I enjoy the surprise. Are you soaking up all the info or are you like me and keeping your head down? Let me know in the comments below. The Last of Us hits store shelves June 14th (6/14/13).