Watch The Last of Us: One Night Live-performance Monday, July 28
I love great video game stories. Today, the narrative potential of our medium has never been greater. The best video games blend world-class acting, writing, music and gameplay to create art that rivals the best works in other entertainment mediums.
To celebrate that point, I’m excited to announce an experimental project I’ve been working on with Naughty Dog and PlayStation.
On Monday July 28th, one of last year’s most acclaimed games, The Last of Us, will come to the theatrical stage in Los Angeles for a special one-night-only performance.
One Night Live will highlight the artistry behind The Last of Us with a live reading of select scenes by the principal actors, under the direction of Neil Druckmann from Naughty Dog. Scheduled to appear are Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, Merle Dandridge, Hana Hayes, and Annie Wersching. In addition, Academy Award winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla will perform selections from his score. How this all fits together will remain a bit of a mystery until it happens, but trust me when I say it will be a very special evening.
This one-time-only performance will be staged at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Monday, July 28 at 7 PM PT. PlayStation fans who will be in the area that evening can secure free tickets to attend the performance in person. Check the PlayStation Facebook page for details on how to register.
If you can’t join us in Santa Monica, select portions of the program will be streamed live around the world on Twitch, YouTube and PlayStation Network’s Live Event Viewer. And while it goes without saying, the event will include some story spoilers.
I hope you’ll join us on July 28th to celebrate The Last of Us and the creativity of the people behind it.
Voice of The Last of Us’ Ellie rips Ubisoft over male-only cast in Assassin’s Creed Unity
Ashley Johnson, the voice actor whose role as Ellie in The Last of Us earned her a BAFTA award, weighed in on Ubisoft’s male-only cast of playable characters inAssassin’s Creed Unity, chiding the publisher and its developers for not including women.
"When I saw the gameplay and saw that [in] their multiplayer you do not have the option to play as a female. I was like, ‘Give me a fucking break!’" Johnson told VideoGamer.com in an interview on Friday. “It’s 2014! How many video games do you have to make to realize maybe have an option to have a female be in there?”
However, her co-star, Troy Baker, cautioned that if this controversy means video games now include an obligatory female character, it risks tokenizing them and making the situation worse.
"I think that’s almost even more disrespectful than not having women in the game," Baker told VideoGamer.com.
During E3, Ubisoft became enmeshed in controversy when Alex Amancio, the creative director for Assassin’s Creed Unity, said playable female characters were excluded from the game’s four-player co-operative mode because modeling and animating them in the game would have doubled their workload.
"It’s double the animations, it’s double the voices, all that stuff and double the visual assets," Amancio said. "Especially because we have customizable assassins. It was really a lot of extra production work." Ubisoft representatives held to this answer as other publications questioned and criticized the design over the week of E3.
Ubisoft later issued a statement, reiterating the diversity of the Assassin’s Creed development team and noting the series has had playable protagonists who were men and women of color.
Still, Johnson said the choice made by Assassin’s Creed Unity and its justification “did make me upset. … There are a lot of females that play video games, and it would be nice to see stronger females in a game that are not just the damsel in distress, the love interest or she’s oversexualized.”
The Last of Us Remastered New Screens, - Hands on: The Last of Us Remastered
With The Last of Us Remastered’s PS4 release just weeks away (July 29th), I dove into a pre-release version of the game to see exactly how Naughty Dog is leveraging PS4’s hardware to upgrade last year’s biggest Game of the Year winner.
First, there’s the immediately noticeable bump in native screen resolution. The jump from 720p (PS3) to native 1080p (PS4) gives the visuals a major shot in the arm. The crisp new presentation banishes those nasty jaggies to the margins, while higher resolution environment textures adorn the lovingly crafted post-apocalyptic environments.
But the kicker is the new framerate. I’ll admit to being at least a bit skeptical on hearing that Naughty Dog would target a smoother, more fluid 60 frames per second for The Last of Us Remastered. I wondered whether it would add a distracting layer of artificiality, that it might somehow interfere with the game’s cinematic look and feel. Luckily, based on my hands-on experiences at a recent media event in New York City, those concerns feel entirely unwarranted. Played at the higher framerate, The Last of Us Remastered has a silky smooth feel that makes aiming and camera control feel more responsive and natural.
Conveniently, the PS4 version was shown side-by-side with the original PS3 game. Curious, I picked up the DualShock 3 and panned the camera around for a few seconds, before hastily switching right back to Remastered. It’s nice to see that Naughty Dog is giving players the choice to lock TLOUR to 30 frames per second — which PlayStation.Blog’s own Ryan Clements currently favors — but for me it’s 60 FPS or bust, no contest. I suspect this one will boil down to personal preference.
Then there are a slew of subtler visual details. Lighting quality has received a boost, with improved shadow detail. Joel and Ellie’s in-game character models also look more detailed, sporting higher resolution textures that allowed me to see the fabric weave in Joel’s filthy flannel shirt. The 1080p presentation also helped me spot subtle visual details I’d never noticed in the original PS3 version, like the way tiny streams of blood trickle down Joel’s arm when he’s injured, or how rats weave erratically through garbage-strewn ruins.
The gameplay remains unchanged, though the higher framerate does lend a feeling of increased responsiveness. The most notable difference is that the L2 and R2 triggers now control aiming and firing — and yep, you can switch back to the classic L1 and R1 controls if that floats your boat.
Though I didn’t get a chance to try out the multiplayer mode (a personal favorite), the campaign is looking mighty promising. The Last of Us Remastered will come complete with all previously released DLC, including the excellent story chapter Left Behind. And at a reduced price of $50, it’s a good bet for new PS4 owners who missed out on one of the best games of the generation, or seasoned TLOU veterans eager for another dose of Joel and Ellie.
If you’ve seen the new screenshots for The Last of Us Remastered I recently posted and wasn’t impressed, I’d advise you watch the trailer by clicking the above link to see the trailer in 1080p @ 60 FPS. You might change your mind.
(NOTE: A powerful PC and a high speed internet connection is required to stream video at 1080p and 60fps – otherwise you may experience buffering or video playback issues. If you consistently encounter issues, you can view lower quality versions on YouTube.)
The Last of Us Remastered PS4 - New Screens
Video Game Character Poster - Female Edition
(Male Edition coming soon)
I feel that there should be more female protagonists in video games. The gaming industry in my opinion is such a sausage fest.
Video Game Posters
Featuring No Man’s Sky, Portal, Child of Light, Mortal Kombat X, The Walking Dead, Wolfenstien: The New Order, & The Last of Us
The Last of Us Remastered PS4 bundle Announced for Europe
We’re really pleased to confirm that we will be releasing a PS4 bundle for The Last of Us Remastered in Europe! It has a €429.99 RRP and will include the following:
• The Last of Us Remastered • PlayStation 4 • DualShock 4
Grab your interest? Check your local retailers for listings to pre-order now.
The Last of Us
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I made the Ellie face, window, comic books, etc initially based with images on the same game and the artwork of TLOU.
Yes, a tired look, but I wanted to retain their characteristic attitude…