Here’s my piece for the Naughty Dog tribute show at Nucleus this weekend. I pulled out the watercolors for the first time in years and had a blast working on this piece over the past week.
The Last of Us was one of my absolute favorite games last year. It was layered, and elegant, and concise (which you never see in games!) and above all it had something to say. I think it’s a masterpiece, and I’m honored to know a few people who worked on it!
The show starts this weekend, 9/27, and if you’re in the area I think you should swing by. I really wish I could be there!
From Top to Bottom: Joel negotiating, Joel making friends, Joel’s “Texas Twist” firing stance, Joel enjoying the warm beaches of… Pittsburgh.
Get 50% Off The Last of Us Remastered By Upgrading Your Copy
The PlayStation 4 re-edition of Naughty Dog’s magnum opus is arriving as soon as Tuesday. The game’s price is hedged only slightly, dropped from the typical $60 price point to $50.
However, even if you’re still in possession of an original PS3 copy of The Last of Us — and of course you are; how could you part with it? — Sony has no upgrade discount in place as we’ve seen in the past with current-to-next-gen hop on’s like Call of Duty: Spooks and Assassin’s Creed IV: Pirate Face.
Low and behold, here comes Gamestop, benevolent multi-billion dollar corporation and friendly choke hold on video game distribution in the market, to save the day. Bring in your vanilla copy of TLoU between July 27th and August 2nd and the retailer will slash Remastered's tag down by 50%. If my team of mathematicians are correct in their calculations, that's a savings of $25 (don't quote me on it, though).
The Last of Us Remastered, if you don’t know, features the original new-classic brought up to full 1080p resolution and optimized at 60 frames-per-second. The game as been re-textured, re-did, and recombobulated. Included is every piece of DLC released to date, featuring the seminal Left Behind and its exercise of precision storytelling. Want to poke around Naughty Dog’s head, too? Well, good thing a developer’s commentary is worked into the package.
Fan art or potential Last of Us 2 concept art? It’s actually fan art done by the game’s concept artist! Which means… well, it means it’s still fan art. Hopefully the fact that it’s an exceptional piece of artwork will distract you from the pit of despair that’s opened within you.
Sir Marek Okon is the artiste behind what he refers to as an “homage to one of the best games I’ve ever played.” He even has a cool background story to accompany the image of an older (and much more musical) Ellie.
Our favorite post-apocalypter has become somewhat of a myth thanks to far-reaching rumors of a girl immune to the fungal infection that’s wiped out our population. Because of this, a woman at the verge of hope and desperation hunts Ellie down, seeking a cure for her own loved ones.
Still braver and wiser beyond her years. Marek Okon’s fanart is incredible — I’d play it. pic.twitter.com/LhuQiWQiJb— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann)May 6, 2014
Pretty mighty stamp of approval when the game’s creator gives the thumbs up to your concept.
This dude’s trying to kick off his film making career. Help support his dream by picking up one of his stellar prints! He would eat them if they were as nutritional as they are awesome but sellin’ ‘em is the next best thing.
Burial at Sea and The Last of Us Fan Art
by Ben Lo
The Last of Us is Bound for PS4
I’ll get through the bad news first: The Last of Us 2 ain’t happening anytime soon. Hey, come on. Don’t make that face. We pretty much knew that already.
Here be the good slice of news: A Sony higher-up has stated that the original Last of Us, including its sublime piece of DLC, Left Behind, is heading for the PlayStation 4 in all of its post-apocalyptic, giraffe-petting glory.
The news comes way of an attentive NeoGAF user (but doesn’t all juicy news, though?) who spotted a Mr. Sercan Sulun, PlayStation Eurasia’s Software Market Manager, giving an interview to CNN Turk. Thirty-six minutes in, Sulun fielded a question asking whether or not we’d see The Last of Us 2 (aka The Next to Last of Us) anytime in the near future.
"There is no information about a new The Last of Us game,” said Sulun, “But I can share this knowledge; as of this summer, The Last of Us will be on the PS4. Both on PSN and physically.”
Naughty Dog’s instant classic and the freshly released single-player DLC will be graphically enhanced for the PlayStation 4. It’s currently unknown if the port will take advantage of any PS4 specific features such as the touchpad. Honestly, I could give a shit if they program horse farts through the controller’s speaker; I’m just beyond stoked to see this brilliant masterpiece brought to the next-gen.
Stay tuned for more official news (or the Shakespearean tragedy of an official debunking).
Screens Gems is Putting The Last of Us on the Silver Screen
Another property is making the jump from the interactive medium to the passive viewing magic of the big screen. Screen Gems, the production studio responsible for the eight-hundred Resident Evil films released since 2002, has signed on to distribute a feature film based on Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us.
Ghost House Pictures, the studio behind horror hound movies like Drag Me to Hell and last year’s superb Evil Dead remake, is set to produce, automatically attaching famed director/producer Sam Raimi to the project. Wisely, the game’s co-director and scribe, Neil Druckmann, has been tapped to write the movie’s screenplay as well as warm up a producer’s chair. Bruce Straley, the other co-director on the game, and Naughty Dog co-presidents Christophe Balestra and Evan Wells join in on the fun in producing roles.
"Since our game released last June, we’ve talked with many companies about making a film," said Evan Wells, "but we couldn’t have found better partners who share our creative vision and high standards. We look forward to collaborating with Sam, his team, and Screen Gems, to make a movie that will thrill fans of The Last of Us and general audiences worldwide.”
Seeing as how Sony owns Screen Gems, they were destined to handle the rights to the PlayStation 3 exclusive. Ghost House is an inspired choice to tackle the material, though their track record is spotty (more than half their ventures are B-movie horror flicks; before Evil Dead, the American Grudge films were their only totem poles… very unfortunately).
But having a veteran such as Raimi on the project, especially given his keenness toward video games — this was the man originally meant to bring World of Warcraft to theaters — and allowing Neil Druckmann and company to lord over the material are classy ass moves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still nervous. The Last of Us may be an extremely cinematic game, but what the game gets right, which is a lot, might come off wrong translated to film. It’d also go a long way in my book if the studio that cursed us with five Resident Evil mistreatments wasn’t anywhere in spitting distance of The Last of Us, but that’s just me (obviously it’s just me since those films are the most financially successful game adaptations in history… very unfortunately).
Still, if even a modicum of The Last of Us' powerful, affecting narrative — one that touches on loss, humanity, and hope juxtaposed against constant hopelessness — endures the transition, I think I'll be happy. Pretty excited to see how this one plays out.
Watch From Dreams - The Making of The Last of Us: Left Behind
DLC add-on’s are typically just that: add-on’s; an addendum that, honestly, isn’t a crucial component to the main experience, but serves as an extra caveat for fans hungering for more.
Left Behind is a groundbreaking triumph in that regard by serving as a completely necessary expansion to the core themes of loss, love, and survival prevalent in The Last of Us. It manages to be heartwarming one moment, and heart-wrenching the next, matching the ebb and flow of emotion found in the original campaign, while helping us find out who Ellie was and who she became.
If you haven’t played Left Behind, you’ll want to detour around the massive, capital-S Spoilers in this short doc. Otherwise, enjoy the insights and inspirations Naughty Dog put forth into the best piece of DLC this generation.