The Last of Us & Surviving Horror
Almost everyone seems to be saying, The Last of Us is "just another zombie game". And with no real emotional substance in modern titles to make the horror hold any meaning, I can see why people are getting tired of zombies. But I can't help feeling that people are being shortsighted, & stubborn in there views on The Last of Us. So, may I ask that you keep an open mind? Not just about this game, but in all areas of life & entertainment. If you continue to dismiss things at a glance, you'll always be cheating yourself out of a learning experience.
I have yet to see the full potential of what a pandemic like a zombie apocalypse can provide for gaming. But from what I've seen of Naughty Dog's new game, it's already exploring some of the elements I've longed to see explored in a game.
Survival horror (as I once knew it) has been dead for a long time now. The "survival horror" of today, tends to cater to the attention span of adolescent violence whores in desperate need of medication. While still fun, they have an unnecessary focus on gore & over the top action. The games I loved, had me wanting to avoid confrontation. Games where ammo is so scarce, three bullets are sanctuary (a joy to find, like in the trailer). With a focus on stealth, what fighting there is should done by hand. And if you get outnumbered, you had better have those bullets or you're dead.
With the technology (and money) behind games today, vast improvements can be made to the formula of the original survival horror. Such as exploring deeper narrative elements, not only in cinematics, but in gameplay as well. What would you do if it was the end of the world, & somebody tried to steal the first bit of food you've seen in days? In the trailer, one man beats another man to death & has a young girl loot his corpse. Which one of them started the fight?
So far we've seen that the game is focusing on a strong narrative, that monsters are not your only enemy, that you're surviving in a harsh world with extremely limited resources, & that you yourself might just be a monster (if only in character). So what's left after that? ...It's Naughty Dog, so quite a bit I'm sure.
The first trailer for The Last of Us shows that it could very well be a return to form, as well as an evolution for the genre. And I, for one am excited.
Side note: They aren't exactly zombies. No name for them has been announced, but my guess? All of this is purely speculative, but since these creatures are the result of a deadly fungus, we can expect a name based off that of the fungi. It will probably be an evolved form of a parasitic fungi of the genus Cordyceps, which manipulate the behavior of their host.
Continued speculation can say that humans won't be the only ones infected, fungi do tend to "grow" on many things after all. We could find ourselves face to face with any number of giant fungal mutants. And if the bullet ants in the early teaser are anything to go by, some of them could be very interesting. The clicking noises from the teaser could be another hint at mutant bullet ants, being that clicking is one of many ways ants communicate.
Even if everything I've said on the game here turns out to be false, it could have been true based off what was shown in the trailer. My point with this post is only to help people keep an open mind about what could be, rather than dismissing what they see without any real thought.