Uncharted 4
Review

Uncharted 4 has no regrets

There’s a brief moment in the first hour of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End where Nathan Drake, a retired treasure hunter, combs through the artifacts from his adventures that he keeps in his attic. The space is ruined with meticulous clutter—each individual relic a callback to some grand excursion—and as I explored this makeshift museum, I found myself falling prey to the same fond memories that overtake the game’s protagonist. Sifting through this digital archive prompts Drake to discover his old holster, now holding a toy gun. Almost instinctively, I make him pick it up, and then I steer him…

Jak and Daxter
Feature

Jak and Daxter: the Search for Player Two

This article is part of PS2 Week, a full week celebrating the 2000 PlayStation 2 console. To see other articles, go here. /// I hear him pad up next to me before I feel his whiskers tickle my ankles. A wet, impatient nudge tells me to hurry up already—there’s something I should see up ahead. Won over, I look down. “What is it, Dax?” His ears perk at my response before immediately shooting down to the ground with the rest of his body. Head low, eyes steady, he slinks forward to his new objective with laser focus. But, after reaching…

the_last_of_us_mondo
News

The Last of Us soundtrack is getting the beautiful vinyl LP it always needed

“Whoa. Look at this place!” Ellie says as you walk through the doorway, into an old record store. You’re on your way to Bill’s hideout and this abandoned town is the first place that lets you truly grasp Ellie’s alienation from our own world. It’s not that she just doesn’t listen to records. She’s not some teenager who doesn’t care or understand obsolete pieces of art work. To Ellie, a record is a foreign artifact—like a moon rock or ancient Egyptian scroll. It’s a difference in the age gap that no one from the world before the outbreak would’ve had…

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News

Watch Naughty Dog give a fascinating peek into the AI of Ellie

One of the best sessions I attended at GDC this year was on the AI pathfinding of Ellie, everyone’s favorite surrogate daughter from The Last of Us. Admittedly, “AI pathfinding” sounds sedative, but actually proves to be enlightening. It turns out the way Ellie’s movements, shooting abilities, and bad jokes respond to Joel were a large part of why you kinda almost felt paternal or maternal for a game character. I wrote about it here.  Not that that matters anymore, as now you can go watch the whole thing at Gamasutra, who released the video from the paywall today for…

the-last-of-us-left-behind_2
News

Watch the devs of The Last of Us wrangle over the differences between film and games

The Last of Us has been getting a lot of buzz lately, with the Left Behind DLC and whispers of a sequel whetting our appetites for a second helping of what may be the grimmest buddy film/game.  Luckily, you can sink your teeth into this nearly two-hour documentary on the making of it. There’s a lot of footage of guys from Naughty Dog sitting on the couch, but that’s OK because they’re generally talking about interesting stuff, like what does and doesn’t work in a novel, and an action movie, and a videogame. They also talk about how they feel…

the-last-of-us-shot-one
News

Naughty Dog to flip coin to decide whether or not to make a Last of Us sequel

On Reddit, the narrative designer of The Last of Us has said there’s a “50/50” chance of a sequel being made, which continues a proud tradition of ambiguity on the issue. At one point, a sequel was deemed a remote possibility, with no chance of the lead characters of the story returning. He told the PlayStation blog: As far as the journey Joel and Ellie goes on it ends with this game. We were very conscious that we didn’t want to leave this story dangling. If we never do a sequel we’re okay with it, because we told the story…

original
News

Naughty Dog to those who think The Last of Us is too violent: Get over it

The Last of Us is an ice-cold, hopeless, and harrowing bloodbath through an ugly, post-infected America, and one of the best games of recent years. It’s also been the source of controversy, with some critics complaining that it was too grizzly and violent. All this moralizing momentarily caused the game creators to strip any violence whatsoever from from the new DLC Left Behind. Then they thought about it and went: naaah.  Here’s Neil Druckmann’s spoiler-heavy explanation of why violence is in fact crucial to his vision:  What if there were no infected in this game? What if there was no combat at…