Disclaimer: As the embargo for this game doesn't officially lift for a few more hours, I won't be offering any detailed analysis. That will be saved for the review. Also, there are no spoilers in this article.
The perfect scores for Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us continue to roll in, which is encouraging. But after playing the game for quite some time, it strikes me that perhaps the latest from the Uncharted developer will be revered for it's story. Not only will the story be praised, but it may even be seen as a pioneering narrative, maybe even akin to something Quantic Dream would produce.
When I first heard about the setting and concept, I was reading Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "The Road." It was ironic because The Last Of Us has a lot in common with that book. Obviously, there is still no comparing any video game script to great literature but if interactive entertainment continues to take strides, gamers (or rather, gamers with a brain) should be hopeful. We'll get Quantic's Beyond: Two Souls later this year and that could further prove that gaming is moving onward and upward in the writing/storytelling realm.
What is maybe most important about The Last Of Us is that its story aspires to something more than we're accustomed to in gaming. We've seen wonderful examples of drama and emotion in titles like Heavy Rain and Telltale's The Walking Dead , and this year we got a complex and well-written narrative from Bioshock Infinite . Just don't be surprised if critics laud the story in Naughty Dog's new title as being another step in the right direction. And as I'm a writer at heart, I love to see examples of forward progress in the arts. Pretty pictures are nice (and man, are they pretty in TLoU) but the real impact comes from somewhere else…
Related Game(s): The Last Of Us