'Last of Us' wants to set new gaming standard

Posted by Mike Luttrell

One of the most anticipated games heading to the PS3 will be more than just a game, according to the publisher's lofty promotional speak.

Naughty Dog, which is known most recently for the PS3-exclusive Uncharted series, is working on a new game called The Last of Us.

The publisher describes the game as "a genre-defining experience that blends survival and action elements to tell a character driven tale about a modern plague decimating mankind."

Just what is so genre-defining about it? Naughty Dog says it's more of an experience than a game, because players have complete freedom as they explore and solve the underlying mystery.

"We're trying to move the medium of video games into an area elevated in the same manner of respect of film. We want to redefine what our medium is even called. 'Video game' is not an accurate name anymore. It is not necessarily a game with rules and a winner and a loser. It's an experience," said Naughty Dog co-president Christophe Balestra in a USA Today interview.

If this whole idea of a game being as artistic and masterful as a movie sounds familiar to you, you're not alone. It's been a mantra of Sony and the PS3 since the system was first introduced. It's long been a goal of Sony to 'blur the line' between movies and video games, allowing gamers to feel like they're stepping right into a cinematic experience.

Of course, while video game graphics have improved incredibly over the last few years, it's still very easy to tell what is a game and what's a computer-animated motion picture. That line will only continue to be wiped away, though, and Naughty Dog hopes The Last of Us is remembered as one of the milestone titles as the industry heads in that direction.