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Is It A Good Idea To Hype The Last Of Us Through The Roof?

We were all amazed when Sony and Naughty Dog dropped that bomb on us last year. The debut video remains one of the most impressive trailers we've seen this generation.

And with Naughty Dog at the helm, the hype and anticipation is already building. After all, we're talking about a developer that has delivered arguably the best games of the past five years, as each Uncharted installment garnered plenty of critical acclaim and widespread praise from gamers. Then you've got the fact that The Last Of Us is obviously a PS3 exclusive, and that just generates more hype and general discussion.

But is it a good idea? If you put expectations high enough, no game can live up to the hype. Don't forget that although Naughty Dog is one hell of a developer, it's feasible that a project like The Last Of Us falls just outside their comfort zone. It may be similar in mechanics to Uncharted but it likely won't be the same, and the studio's history doesn't really include anything like this new IP. Obviously, we have complete faith in those guys, but I think it's dangerous to heap so much pressure upon the team.

Let's not forget that according to recent report, Naughty Dog has split their staff into two teams; one to work on The Last Of Us and the other to work on Uncharted 4. Not that we have any doubts that both titles will be amazing, but we've got a long ways to go...and you know what can happen in the span of a year, especially among the gaming media and forums/communities. By the time we get towards the end of 2012, it'll start to feel like if The Last Of Us isn't the Game of the Year, it's just a failure. And that's what we're worried about.

There's nothing wrong with anticipation. Good word-of-mouth is a plus. But as with anything else, you can always have too much of a good thing...

Related Game(s): The Last Of Us

Tags: the last of us, naughty dog, uncharted, naughty dog games

2/1/2012 8:56:24 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (32 posts)

aaronisbla
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 @ 9:22:51 PM
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no, i think the hype shouldnt reach epic proportions. I want the game to be great, but id rather not know too much about it until it hits. with hype, that would be hard to avoid details and possible spoilers

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SoulController
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 @ 9:29:31 PM
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I think U3 suffered a bit from too much hype. But I trust Naughty Dog and think The last of us will turn out great

Last edited by SoulController on 2/1/2012 9:30:15 PM

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tes37
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 @ 10:16:12 PM
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Knowing that Naughty Dog is working on a new IP has already gotten everyone's attention. Their reputation makes any sort of hype unnecessary.

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dmiitrie
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:21:09 AM

You're certainly right that Naughty Dog has gotten people's attention. But as good as a developer as they are, nobody's infallible.

I have full confidence that the game will be great, but statements like, "they're so good that they're beyond hype" is exactly the type of thing Ben was talking about.

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tes37
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:53:29 AM

I agree, but I didn't make a statement like they're so good that they're beyond hype.

Hype isn't necessary. If you like their previous games, you will most likely look into their new stuff out of curiosity, whether you buy it or not.

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dmiitrie
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 3:57:46 AM

Fair enough. I guess I read too much into that last line. Sorry.

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hellish_devil
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 @ 11:11:59 PM
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I hyped Uncharted 2 so much it kinda dissapointed me the first time I played it. A few playtroughs laters it has become one of my favorite games.

So that does not happen to me again, I prefer to avoid watching trailers. I have done that for The Last of Us and for many other games. That way I come to the game with no expectations, unless it is a sequel of course.

Last edited by hellish_devil on 2/1/2012 11:12:57 PM

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 @ 11:21:29 PM
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I think too much hype, way too early can backfire, causing way a too high imagination expectation, thereby leaving some players to feel the game was somewhat underwhelming once actually played.

Myself, I'd rather the hype doesn't really start until about 30 days before the game actually releases, & 45-60 days at the very most. Then maybe that would help to settle down some of us who run rampant with the most wildest & most vivid imaginations(which BTW isn't really a bad thing, as I sometime have a hard time just trying to catch up to my own vivid imagination station).

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bigrailer19
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 12:21:11 AM
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This is why I dont pay too much attention to game that are so far off. It's pointless and yes it's good publicity for the developers but for the media it's a story, or something to write about. I like to stay caught up on stuff, but I won't go out of my way to catch every last detail.

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shadowpal2
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:28:02 AM
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I guess I'm the only one who's hyped up for GTA V more than this game around here.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 9:45:56 AM

Not the only one, no. ;)

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Beamboom
Friday, February 03, 2012 @ 5:39:10 AM

Count me in on GTA5.

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Qubex
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:34:28 AM
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I think so Ben, it's the Naughty Dog we're talking about... deserved hype with a huge amount of confidence thrown in for good measure.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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FatherSun
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:56:13 AM
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Funny thing about HYPE is that you never truly know if it has gone too far until the final product is released and lives up to it all. It is definitely needed to an extent.

Hype being pushed by the developer is what should be limited. Hype pushed by the fans and the industry cannot or should not be controlled. It is an indicator that people like what they see. I myself would much rather Naughty Dog go dark for a while on The Last Of Us and only give us bits and pieces when the audience craves it. Let us wonder and speculate even doubt them somewhat. Then when the dust settles they hit us with a spectacular game.

Lastly, ND may have spilt into two teams but there is no way either team will let a less than stellar product out the door without input and some assistance or intervention. This is where my faith is. ND hadn't failed me yet.

Last edited by FatherSun on 2/2/2012 1:59:22 AM

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:58:02 AM
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I've always said much the same when it comes to hype and the expectations that spring from it. I think that people are all so damn excited because it is something that seems genuinely fresh and new, rather than being a sequel or rehash. Of course, coming from one of the most talented developers in the business is a bonus.

I think the key, for ND, is to be careful with what information they put into the public domain. Too much will lead to the game not feeling as good as it might have (as UC3 ended up for me), while not enough will lead to people letting their imaginations run rampant and getting themselves excited for possibilities.

In short, the hype needs to be kept in check to avoid too much anticipation, but too much is still better than none :)

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___________
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 3:47:55 AM
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i dont see why not.
ND always release freaking awesome games, and this time there actually doing something new and different!

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Beamboom
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 4:08:09 AM
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A game can most definitely become overhyped. In fact I think this is something most ps3 exclusives are victim of. They are all hailed like they belong to a completely different universe of gaming. For me that has lead to several disappointments where I otherwise could have had a good time.

Take Killzone 3 and the Uncharteds. Sure, their linearity makes them pretty much unsuitable for me but there's no doubt that they are pretty good games in their own rights (well, at least Uncharted is). Still, few games has disappointed me more than those, relatively speaking. This is purely because the gap between expectations and actual experience were far too wide.

If I had started playing those games with the same expectations as when I started playing, say, the FEAR games or other plain regular, middle-of-the-road games then I am pretty sure my opinion about those games would have been notably different.

I don't like the hype-train. Too many times it ruins my gaming experiences.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/2/2012 4:16:31 AM

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 9:42:29 AM

I'm with you Beam there are quite a few PS3 exclusives that have completely disappointed me because of the hype surrounding them. I wish the devs/publishers would just put out a few teases here and there within a year of release and let the internet do its job.

Devs need to stop releasing trailers for games that are 5 years away from being on the shelf, and also stop putting themselves out to be the "end all" of development as that has almost always lead to a very bad result in the end(for me personnally). If they had took the minimalist approach many of the games I have been disappointed with would be games that I would have been boasting about to all of my friends. The internet will always create hype for a game, there is little need for the devs to do much more than release a small teaser for said games.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 9:46:39 AM

I'm sorry, but if Uncharted 2 or 3 disappointed anyone in any way, their brains need rewiring. ;)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/2/2012 12:03:44 PM

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JackC8
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 8:41:50 AM
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I vastly prefer a game that exceeds my expectations rather than one that's hyped up to the point where no game could possibly live up to it.

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Beamboom
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 9:07:59 AM

Exactly.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 9:47:51 AM

Truth.

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 8:50:09 AM
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I'm certainly not hyping the game to the epic porportions some are. Uncharted 3 was an amazing game, and I got sucked into the hype, especially considering all the perfect review scores it got. But while I loved every second of it, I couldn't help but feel that Uncharted 2 nudged it out just a little bit. So...yea, I kinda felt a *little* disappointed with that game, and that sucks considering how much I was looking forward to it.

I'm not going to do that with The Last of Us. While the game looks amazing, and I've already let my imagination run wild with the possibilities, I'm going to wait until we get some more concrete details.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 9:47:34 AM

See now, that's what I mean. By all rights, any game you "love every second of" should be fully appreciated with no downside. But because of the crazy hype and everything, there is that small sense of disappointment...which logically shouldn't exist.

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 10:21:06 AM

I agree with that statement. It logically didn't make sense to me either. You're a psych-guy, you should know this more than anyone.

I think that going into Uncharted 2 (I played it almost a solid 6 months after its release) I was just blown away by the set pieces, and how cinematic they were.

Uncharted 3 was equally as amazing to me, but because of the unrealistic expectations I set for it, I felt that it fell short. Had I not read the reviews, and let my imagination run wild, I probably would've not been disappointed.

I guess that the power of the hype-train

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 12:05:57 PM

Same thing happened to me. I know Uncharted 3 is every bit as good as Uncharted 2, if not better, and yet, I have to admit the hype had a similar impact.

There was hype going into Uncharted 2 as well, but we could only base this anticipation on the first Uncharted. That was a fantastic game in its own right, but not enough to make everyone think the sequel would be the best game of the generation, bar none.

So after U2, the expectations for U3 were, in a word, impossible.

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telly
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 9:15:17 AM
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Well, too much hype can ruin almost anything. At the same time, when my favorite directors have a new movie coming out, I get PUMPED. Same goes for game studios/directors. Kojima could literally make an NFL football game and I would flip out with anticipation.

Naughty Dog's track record is pretty fantastic, so I'm definitely excited for this. But yeah, you definitely don't want to adopt a "game of the year or BUST!!!" attitude.

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Laguna
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 11:20:30 AM
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I am torn. Perhaps its was the good Naughty Dog team that did U2 that is working on The Last of Us.

Uncharted 3 was a major disappointment and was certainly not worthy of 10s.

Shortest story, lame villains and plotholes....It was a rushed product.

What is worse is the multiplayer, which is broken and Naughty Dog has perhaps the worst communication I have ever seen with a studio and their fanbase.

That being said, I have put so many hours into Uncharted 3 out of LOYALTY to them and because of Uncharted 1 and 2. Uncharted 3 is a great game but it was very rushed.

What irritates me the most is how Naughty Dog doesn't talk to its consumers.

If you go to the Naughty Dog forums, you see endless complaining because there are so many problems with the multiplayer.

Fix it Naughty Dog! Win our trust back!

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telly
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:41:02 PM

I'd add that U3 REALLY fell off in quality over the last few hours. It felt like it needed a few more months of testing. I was cursing out loud as I missed seemingly easy jumps and had to redo almost each section over and over again -- I problem I didn't have earlier in the game, or in earlier chapters of the game. I enjoyed the game tremendously, no doubt. But not nearly as much as part 2.

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SmokeyPSD
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:46:29 PM

I must be playing a different game. I only come here to find huge negativity like this leveled toward 3. I thought it was a tremendous ride myself. Didn't expect anything less and didn't get it.

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SmokeyPSD
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 1:44:38 PM
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The team was already split during UC3 development. I don't see it as a problem, it just shows how much Naughty Dog has grown since UC2.

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Laguna
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 2:17:56 PM
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Naughty Dog has also become a bit of a joke on their forum.

When they say "we will have updates very soon" People compare it to Valve time (Half Life 2 Episode 3/ half life 3 nowhere to be seen) Because when they say very soon it usually takes a few weeks to a month or two.

For example: They teased us the First DLC pack in november and we got it in mid January!

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