The Last of Us is an action/adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 3 video game console, and later for PlayStation 4 as The Last of Us Remastered. It was officially revealed on December 10, 2011 during the Spike TV Video Game Awards and was released on June 14, 2013.
The Last of Us is considered to be one of the greatest video games ever made, with its story in particular being praised by critics.
The Last of Us is a third-person action-adventure game with elements of survival horror. The player controls a smuggler named Joel for most of the game, as he journeys across the ruins of America with a teenager named Ellie. The player also plays as Ellie for part of the game, as well as Joel's daughter Sarah in the game's intro.
Throughout the story, the player traverses through ruins, and must navigate through the Infected (humans transformed into zombie-like creatures by a fungal infection), and hostile human factions. To handle these groups, the player can use open combat, stealth tactics, or avoid combat altogether. In combat, the player has access to long-range and short-range weapons, including handguns, a rifle, bow, and shotgun. Additionally, the player can scavenge a number of resources: these include ammunition, bricks or glass bottles used to stun or distract enemies, pills and medicinal plants for upgrading player attributes (such as maximum health or crafting speed), spare parts for upgrading weapons at workbenches, manuals to learn new skills, and crafting resources. The player can craft a number of items, including bombs, shivs and health kits: however, resources and ammunition are limited and must be managed wisely.
In September 2013, a strand of the Cordyceps fungus has mutated to affect people, turning those infected into aggressive zombie-like cannibals. Once the outbreak reaches his home in suburban Austin, Texas, single-father Joel, along with his daughter Sarah and brother Tommy, attempt to flee but are quickly caught up in the ensuing chaos. During their escape, Sarah is shot by a soldier and dies in Joel's arms.
Within the following two decades, the outbreak causes the fall of civilization. What remains of the United States are heavily policed Quarantine Zones (QZs), and independent groups of survivors take refuge in abandoned cities. A hardened Joel now works as a smuggler within the Boston QZ alongside a woman named Tess. After hunting down Robert, a black-market weapons dealer who stole a cache from them, they learn that Robert sold their weapons to the Fireflies, a militia group rebelling against the quarantine authorities. Tess kills Robert and goes with Joel to retrieve their cache. The Fireflies' leader, Marlene, agrees to double their cache in exchange for smuggling a teenage girl named Ellie to Fireflies in the area outside the QZ. While sneaking out, Joel, Ellie, and Tess are caught by a patrol. Joel and Tess discover Ellie is infected during the escape, but Ellie claims she has already been infected for three weeks (most people lose their humanity within two days). Joel and Tess realize that the Fireflies hope to use Ellie's apparent immunity to find a cure, and take Ellie through the ruins to the meeting point. However, they arrive to find the Fireflies dead. Tess reveals she has been bitten by an Infected, and sacrifices herself to hold off the pursuing soldiers, giving Joel and Ellie time to escape.
Joel decides to go to Tommy, a former Firefly, in order to locate the Fireflies' base. With the help of Bill, a reclusive smuggler who owes Joel a few favors, the duo obtain a working car from the ruins. However, while driving through the ruins of Pittsburgh, they are ambushed
The game was first teased before the Spike Video Game Awards on November 29, 2011, with a billboard in Times Square mentioning "a [PlayStation 3] exclusive you won't believe". Initial trailers showed an apocalyptic event, including riots, epidemic, quarantine, and violence, as well as a clip of the BBC's Planet Earth showing an ant infected with Cordyceps unilateralis, a dangerous parasitic fungus that usually kills insects such as ants. On December 9, 2011, players of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception spotted an in-game reference to the aforementioned trailer with the newspaper headline "scientists are still struggling to understand deadly fungus". At the Spike Video Game Awards, Sony officially unveiled the game, a brand new intellectual property from Naughty Dog, created by a previously unpublicized 80-person Naughty Dog development team. A gameplay trailer, made up of in-game footage, showed a man and a teenage girl fending off other survivors and what appeared to be people with unusual fungal growth before running out into a dilapidated city covered in greenery, reminiscent of the film I Am Legend.