At yesterday's Sony press conference (did you think we forgot about them?), Naughty Dog floored us all with a demo showcasing their new IP, The Last of Us.
Only a few details were known about the game prior to yesterday's demonstration, and, well, we still don't know all that much. It's not a zombie survival game, as some originally suspected, and there are hints of Uncharted-influences in the design, but we really only have basic details.
What we do know, however, is that now that we've gotten our eyes on it, we want more. Check out the gameplay video here and salivate with the rest of us.
The developers tell us that, even though this demo was combat heavy, the game will allow you to play through the hotel floor in different ways. For example, in this same building scene, it's possible to sneak your way past all of these scavengers hunting for supplies.
Most impressive in this demo (aside from the stunning visuals and voice acting) is what's going on under the hood: the AI. Called the "Balance of Power AI," enemies will realistically react to certain stimuli in combat, such as, in this video, when protagonist Joel's revolver clicks empty. The enemies hear it and become more aggressive. Similarly, Joel's young partner Elle grabs a nearby brick and knife to help Joel fight off the enemy, allowing Joel to rush in and claim the final strike.
From what we've seen, this is a game that everyone should have on his/her radar. The bleak desolation of this post-apocalyptic world and the surprising emotion prompted by the 14-year-old Elle at your charge will no doubt lend itself well to a gripping story. Thankfully, Naughty Dog has exceeded all expectations when it comes to story writing.
The Last of Us is due out sometime next year, exclusively for the PlayStation 3.