PS3 News: The Last Of Us Might Prove That Game Writing Is On The Rise - PS3 News

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The Last Of Us Might Prove That Game Writing Is On The Rise

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

Tags: the last of us, naughty dog, video game writing, game stories

6/4/2013 9:51:05 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (16 posts)

kokoro
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 @ 10:43:16 PM
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I've read many books, including the very awesome Anna Karenina. But it's not really clear in my mind how I would argue that books have better writing. It seems that the writing in a game has to be different to writing in a book. I think what makes a book like Anna Karenina so great is how the writing is able to paint an incredibly deep and perceptive picture of human interaction and the many subtleties that characterise it. But then I'm not so sure if that kind of writing would fit in very well with a game, because a game has other elements that contribute to painting such a picture.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 @ 11:49:46 PM

I find that game stories (and I'm generalizing a lot here) tend to be very surfacey. They lack the depth and extra layers that we find in great literature. We get a strong sense of the character in games but they are usually a personification of some personality whether it's macho or heroic or the unwilling protagonist. And they tend to do very cliched things with the plot that good books and movies have already left behind.

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kokoro
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 2:36:02 AM

Yeah I see what you mean.

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qx512xp
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 @ 10:47:15 PM
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I can't wait till I play this game.

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556pineapple
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 @ 11:36:19 PM
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I loves me some good storytelling in my games. I can't pick this up right away, but hopefully in a couple weeks time, I can get it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 @ 11:50:45 PM
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That actually makes me want to play it more than any of the things I've heard or the small amount of media I've allowed myself to view.

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kokoro
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 2:36:40 AM

Same here :)

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Beamboom
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 2:18:42 AM
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I've never read the book (I wasn't aware you read these kind of books Ben!) but the movie The Road is one of my favourites and ever since the first trailers I saw of this game it did remind me of that movie.

It looks like I might have tucked away my PS3 a little too early after all. Oh well, this game will make for good entertainment over at my cabin too. :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 11:12:32 AM

I don't usually read those kinds of books, actually. It was just a change of pace from the classics. :)

Loved it, but I refuse to see the movie. You just can't capture what the book captures on a screen.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 12:44:53 PM

Indeed - one must always see the movie first, if you are to enjoy both.

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___________
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 5:54:00 AM
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id be nice, but i seriously doubt it.
the writing and story in uncharted 2 and 3 is nothing to write home about, so why would the last of us be anything different?
i just hope the characters are allot better explained, and interviewed than uncharted 2.
no more throwing new characters into the game, and them and drake acting like best friends of 20 years, when the game does not tell you zip about their past.
hopefully the relationship of how jole and tess know each other, how elie got in the mess, where her family is, every character.
hopefully get a insight into how the outbreak happened, from day zero to the end of the game.
but it wont.

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PC_Max
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 9:58:38 AM
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Well, a story can be well written... but the substance and ploy of the story are not necessarily original or interesting.

My impression from those here and those posting articles is they really want you to buy this game, regardless of what little has been seen or original. Granted the writing could be top notch and they have done everything right, but is it original enough to be worth to play or is it a game to let age and wait for it to price drop, especially after the PS4 comes out.

People have been telling me I am wrong about this game. But no one has bothered to tell me why, even though my taste in games and how they are delivered (story wise) is different and therefore does not make my opinion invalid.

Again, as I have reiterated in past posts, I am a big fan of Naughty Dog, but I am not going to buy it just because they developed it. I have to see if it has something I would enjoy, as did the uncharted series, which attempted to take players to different environments to change things up.

And the fact people are supposedly given it perfect scores before really any reviews are out tells me there may be some bias here in opinions of the game. Don't know. Excitement is good, but not blind excitement. I want to see the product and more at E3 to make a final judgement. I would like to something that gives me a Wow factor. Not seen that yet. Beyond Two Souls has done a better job for that thus far. Naughty Dog MAY have more hidden before they decide to Wow! I hope so.

Keep Playing!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 11:14:13 AM

Your post is confusing. The perfect scores from critics don't mean anything to you? Or you say they're biased?

And in one breath you say you want an original story, but in another, you say you need a game that appeals to your tastes. So which is it? Both? Why wouldn't TLoU be something you want to play?

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PC_Max
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 5:33:58 PM

Unfortunately Ben I have not bothered or tried to see the reviews until the game comes out. BUT I have today decided to check them out today based on your passionate response and to see if the reviewers were allowed to reveal more of the story and also their personal gameplay experience. Joystik had a rather emotional one, which struck me and now has my interest perked up more so than before. In as much as your opinion or review of the game is a valid one, I have learnt not trust single sources, and again, everyones tastes are diff.

And your response saying I want an original story and I need a game that appeals to my taste. Explain where the conflict or contradiction is there. I don't see it. Unless you are just upset with my view.

Regardless of what your point was move on. I think I can have a game that appeals to my tastes and it can be original. And I am talking specific about this game. Granted originality is fleeting in games, but good stories I suppose can be offered with a twist to make it feel or experienced differently.

I won't be buying the game day one, but its on my wish list for down the road. Ignoring the infected characters and such, the human story now looks very appealing in the game. For me that definitely has me smiling at Naughty Dog. Unlike you I am no priveleged to get the game ahead of time to find out, but now I know more than I did before.

Last of Us looks to be fun, emotional and an experience.

Keep Playing!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 6:19:51 PM

I was just wondering what was more important to you- an original story or a game that's to your taste.

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championsyedm
Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 6:13:04 PM
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"The Last Of Us" Buy From Amazon
http://thelastofuss.blogspot.com


Last edited by championsyedm on 6/14/2013 6:13:18 PM

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