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The Last of Us VGA trailer - Dissected

An analysis of Naughty Dog's latest...

Naughty Dog revealed their brand new project, The Last of Us, at the VGAs last week. No gameplay was shown, and not much was revealed in regards to story, but there was a very intriguing trailer to whet our appetites.

The Last of Us looks to be a mix of survival in a ruined city, requiring players to scavenge for resources like ammo, and perhaps food. Freaky zomblie-like monsters will provide a reason to stay on your toes and we're pretty sure you'll have to gun them down regularly. What else are zombies for, right?

Regardless, we're excited to see more, mostly because it's Naughty Dog.

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We've grabbed 23 HD screen shots from the trailer, and gone through and analysed each scene. Cast your eyes below for analysis and the opportunity to stare at pretty pictures.


The trailer opens with a shot of some pretty leaves, the wind whistling gently and the sun shining. Not bad, you think. Then the camera pulls back and enters a grotty room - dirty curtains, cracked mirror, blood-splattered wall and a dead bloke on the bed. Not your ideal holiday destination by any means.

Naughty Dog hasn't said what tech this is running on, but given how capable the engine used for Uncharted 3 is, and how much time and effort has been spent in developing it, we're guessing this will be running on the same engine that powered Drake's last adventure.

Just as we're shown the pool of blood the man's arm is leaking into, a girl's foot splashes into it and carries on running down the corridor. She comes to a halt and we get a look at her worried face. This is Ellie (no, it's not Ellen Page), one of the main protagonists in The Last of Us.

We hear some sort of commotion going on in the room above, so Ellie legs it up a flight of stairs and stops just outside the doorway. She draws a carefully knife and flicks the blade out. Inside the room is Joel (who looks a little kake male Hawke from Dragon Age 2), the other main protagonist. He's in a bit of a scuffle with a hoodie off the local estate, presumably because Joel wouldn't "hand over the mobile phone bruv".

All joking aside, the hooded fella is most likely another survivor, at the very least the lack of screeching screams and spewing puss differentiates the goon from the nasties that show up later. Why Joel actually batters him to death, we don't know. We assume they're fighting over scarce, valuable resources, which introduces an interesting dynamic.


After Ellie reveals her presence, Joel asks her to search the dead survivor. "I'm going to take care of his body then we quit this place," he says. Ellie flips over the body and has a rummage through his bag, promptly finding a few unused bullets. "Bingo."

It's at this point that the camera cuts to see some mysterious figures charging past, screeching and making feral noises. Joel snatches Ellie up off the floor and leads her in to the bathroom. As Joel hides, we see the mysterious figures enter the room and begin charging around, as if looking for something. A third figure enters the room and drops to the floor where the dead survivor laid. We don't see what happens, but it sounds as if the figure is eating the body.

Joel turns to Ellie then draws his revolver. After quietly pulling the hammer back, he spins round the corner but is ambushed by one of the freakish monsters immediately. We can't get a good look at it because of all the motion blur, but one thing's for sure: it isn't trying to give Joel a comforting hug.


It lunges at Joel's face, looking for a quick nibble but Ellie comes to the rescue and takes care of the rampaging ghoul by stabbing it in the back a couple of times before Joel pushes the thing away, takes aim and blows its face off.

"This is our routine," narrates Ellie. "Day and night, all we do is survive. It never lets up."

At this point, Joel and Ellie are sprinting down a corridor for the exit. Joel turns and takes another wayward shot with his revolver before barging through the doors. Outside is a ruined city - broken down cars, rusty barbed wire, and empty flooded streets.

"He tells me how these streets were crowded with people just... going about their lives."

"Heh, must have been nice."

The trailer then cuts to black and shows the title: "THE LAST OF US". We've got so many questions, but it's not a bad trailer by our reckoning. What do you make of it?