Naughty Dog has explained how they're planning to push the interactive medium via storytelling in The Last of Us.
Game director Bruce Straley strongly believes in having a story told via a game. For Naughty Dog, they stress the best way to achieve this is "how best to marry good storytelling, with good gameplay."
"We just feel that if you're going to do a story, then you should learn how to make the story. It's as simple as that. If you're going to write a book, you should probably take a class on writing.
"We're trying to emphasize the reality of the situation that Joel and Ellie are in. There are consequences to your actions. If you go in willy nilly and just expect to come out unscathed, then you're wrong. We want to make sure that there are a lot of opportunities for action and a lot of opportunities to get your rocks off inside of this world, but at the same time, that has to do with how much you've invested in exploring the world."
Straley stated that in regards to The Last of Us, its goal is "to truly marry gameplay to the emotions and motivations of the two protagonists trying to survive, Joel and Ellie." He also confirmed that Uncharted's approach of telling its story via cut-scenes won't be carried out in The Last of Us.
He continued to explain in order to add more tension for players during gameplay, the title won't pause while one is utilizing the inventory system.
"It's just like you've pulled the backpack off of your back and you're in there creating something live while the enemies are moving around the environment and coming to get you if you've engaged with them. So what we want to try to do is make you feel that there is a consequence to it."
Although there's a large amount of violence present in The Last of Us -- as clearly showcased during the E3 demo -- Straley states that Naughty Dog aren't implementing violence just for the sake of it.
"It's not just for the sake of blood and violence. It's to set the tone that when you're strategizing as the player, you're feeling like, 'Crap. Do I go left or right? Do I go up or down? How am I going to do this and what am I going to do? How much inventory do I have?' etc. So it makes me feel more invested as a player, moment to moment, in those scenarios. That's what we're trying to do."
The Last of Us is currently scheduled for a release next year.