Dear Programmers, Artists, Animators, Writers, Actors, Designers, and everyone else involved in the development of The Last of Us,
Hi. My name's Ethan. I finished The Last of Us just the other night and have been digesting it since then (as an aside: video games don't generally require me to digest them the way I've been sitting with this one, so already--good job). I don't have a great deal to say, though I hope the little I do is meaningful.
To preface, I've been disenchanted with video games for the past few years. The industry hasn't delivered a single thing that seemed more than a 90's shooter or cRPG with a new coat of paint on it. They put them in new contexts, with flashier graphics and some novel mechanics, but no one has taken what's been done (techniques in design, art, animation, and programming) and made something complete. Most games from this generation have felt like tech-demos--interesting concepts and $60 promises for future potentials. They've all felt very empty to me. I think it is truly awesome that we get to end this console cycle with The Last of Us.
Very simply, you made a great piece of art--a complete piece. And that isn't to say that you just made a great game, this is an artwork. This is the first work of the medium I've come in contact with that utilizes the many and intricate points of interaction between game and player--fully considering what can be done to communicate the depth and scope of a narrative. I mean, dude, I felt some stuff. Ya'll (quite artfully) gave me the tools to immerse myself in that place and with those people, and by the end you had me right where you wanted me (player agency be damned!). I'm almost embarrassed by how much I cared--and that I cared enough to do precisely what I knew in the back of my mind was worst for Joel and Ellie. I am torn, and that is really, really cool.
Ladies and gentlemen of Naughty Dog, hats off to you. I can only hope I have the opportunity to work with people half as talented as yourselves in the future.
Peace and grace,
Edit: updated topic thread to reflect content
I couldn't agree more with the sentiment of above letter. "The Last of Us" is "The Godfather" (best movie ever made) of gaming.
As a 42 year old gamer who has been playing video games since the late 70's, I have to say that "The Last of Us" is the summit to which all games should strive to reach. It is the perfect mariage of story and gameplay. Thank you Naughty Dog and all those that helped in creating such a masterpiece.
I have to say this is probably the pinnacle of gaming achievement; at least to me, for the past for years.
And now I love video games with heavy emphasis on storyline and gameplay, and this game practically meged the two of them together. It was a very cinematic and movie-like experience, something that I love in video games and is hard to find most days.
And the storyline was very cool to follow and I enjoyed it every step of the way. I really cared about the characters and didn't want any of them to die.
Loved it. A 10/10 in my book.
I keep a list of games in my head that I really love; so far nothing has beaten Red Dead out of its top spot, but the Last of Us did give it a run for its money. It's placed as my 2nd favorite game now.
1. The Last of Us
2. Red Dead Redemption
3. Assassin's Creed II
4. Mass Effect 2
Love the game, wish I could turn off all the hints and on screen prompts but besides that darn good job boys.
But for real please let me turn off on screen prompts!!!
Such a deep world to get lost in, but the constant reminders and hand holding break my connection constantly.
Again love the game.
Finally, the structure of my question is that you would have to disprove every possible outcome to be correct and I would just have to have one that would likely be beneficial. That's statistically in my favor by quite a bit.
Could not agree more. The setting, the detail, the story and characters alike all blew me away again since i've first tasted Half-life 1 and 2 back in the day. TLOU has definetely taken the #1 spot on my list that also kept growing since the early 80's.
For what it's worth a big thanks from me as well to ND. I tought after the UC series they would struck out but they did not. Can't wait to see what they have in store for us for the DLC and, come later date, a PS4 title.