A new video is up on YouTube that features Neil Druckmann, the creative director at Naughty Dog – the studio behind The Last Of Us – and three cast members from the outrageously successful franchise. They chat about the first game’s development, and Neil’s game-dev beard.
The cast members in question are Troy Baker (Joel in The Last Of Us, Higgs in Death Stranding, along with what seems like an infinite number of characters in other games), Ashley Johnson (who voices the beloved Ellie), and Nolan North (David in The Last Of Us, Nathan Drake from Uncharted, and many others).
You can find the video on Retro Replay – Troy and Nolan’s joint YouTube channel, where they play cool games and talk a whole lot of trash while doing so. They’ve just completed a definitive playthrough of the first The Last Of Us, culminating in this video, wherein they touch on some of the more serious – and super interesting – topics related to the franchise.
The video is almost an hour long so if you’d rather get a quick recap, here is a bit of a summary of the highlights (read: things that will just entice you to watch it yourself anyway):
- The Last Of Us was nearly called Mankind.
- Ashley talks about her favorite scenes and breaks down some of her personal acting methods for some of the more intense, heart-wrenching moments.
- Neil shares his experience of working as a creative director, and tells us why job titles don’t actually matter that much at Naughty Dog.
- Neil also gives insight into how the team manages to balance the weight of the franchise’s success with telling what is ultimately a beautifully simple narrative.
- You’ll get to see some behind-the-scenes footage of the motion capture sequences for the first game.
- Neil reassures us that the team has made a concerted effort not to make the sequel a repeat of the first game. He says if we wanted to replay the first game, we could; this will be an entirely different experience.
As the release date for The Last Of Us Part II races closer (May 29th, here we come), our excitement grows rapidly, more so with videos such as this that give us insight into the incredible development process. It’s amazing to see that games like this are so much more than the final product. They are the culmination of years of creative and technical genius, and complete and utter dedication on the part of actors who give their all to portraying a character.
It makes us love video games that much more, if that were even possible.
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