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The Last of Us

The Last of Us actress 'wasn't prepared for the positive' response to Ellie's sexual orientation

Mar 13 // Laura Kate Dale
[Small spoilers below for The Last of Us.] When asked if she would be interested in reprising the role of Ellie in a future The Last of Us sequel, she replied simply with an energetic "Oh fuck yeah!" before apologizing to the amassed journalists for her use of language. When pushed on the issue and asked how she would go about portraying an older Ellie, she cautiously told us: It just depends if they want to revisit the story again. Ellie could go either way, [Joel] lied to her so you don't know how she would take that -- would she be mad at him, would she be okay with, there's many places you could go. Interestingly, we also learned that while Ashley Johnson has done on screen roles in huge projects like The Avengers, she is still recognized more often for her work voicing Ellie. I probably get recognized for The Last of Us more than anything, which is crazy because it isn't physically my face. Last of Us has changed my life in so many ways and we shot it for over three years so, and including the DLC I guess four, so being part of something for that long and the experiences you have, the relationships you form, I wouldn't change it for anything, it's one of my favorite things I've worked on. Considering Johnson was up against some pretty tough competition for this years Best Performance award including Kevin Spacey and Troy Baker, we asked her how she felt about her win and if there were any nominees she expected would win the award instead of her. I feel good, I mean I'm kind of a little overwhelmed I guess, shocked and um, yeah. Struggling to find my words. Everybody up for the award was awesome obviously, that's why they were all picked out. For me Troy Baker, and I'm not just saying that because I know him, but his character in Far Cry 4 was so ridiculous and amazing. Melissa Hutchison, I'm such a fan of those games, she's just incredible. Obviously Kevin Spacey, he's a pretty good actor. Those first two in particular though they both really stood out to me. Even though Ashley Johnson had just won a BAFTA for her performance as Ellie, we asked her if there were any aspects of her performance that she looks back on and cringes. There are definitely times playing through Left Behind where I wanted myself to get out of the way. Ellie would just get right in the way and I'd be like "just fucking move." She'd start whistling randomly and Clickers are right there and it's like "Okay they're right there can you please just shut up because now they're definitely going to hear us." Just as our time talking with Ashley was coming to a close, we decided to ask her a couple of ending questions about Left Behind being a coming out story for her character. Firstly, we wanted to know how she felt watching players learn that her character is gay. Usually when I try to tackle any role I know early on in the process what the sexual preference of that character is because that can be a huge part of who they are. With Ellie it was something that wasn't ever really discussed. I think with Ellie growing up in this world it wasn't something that was every really necessarily brought up. When we finally got to the DLC and Neil Druckmann told me what he wanted to do, I was like yeah of course, that completely makes sense for who Ellie is and why her relationship with Riley was so important to her. I was surprised by the way people reacted. We didn't know how people were going to respond and I think I was more prepared for the negative comments. What I wasn't as prepared for was the positive ones. I've had so many men and women come up to me and told me things sometimes they haven't even told their parents. It has profoundly changed my life. We finished up the interview by touching on the critical reception that Left Behind had. I wanted to know if Ashley Johnson thought Left Behind would have won the BAFTA for Best Story if Ellie had been in a heterosexual relationship rather than a homosexual one.  I don't know, I think for me it's just hard to answer because now that's who Ellie is and that is what it is. I know that Neil didn't want to make that decision based on trying to make a crazy statement of get any kind of controversy. It was just a character based decision and I think that relationship did have a big impact on people. I don't know, but I'm really going to think about it. I think they definitely took some risks with the story. I think if you told most people Left Behind was just the story of two teenage girls hanging out and figuring out their place in the world, I think a lot of people wouldn't be interested in playing that. I think after the full game came out and players had a chance to connect with Ellie, I think they wanted to know more about who she was. I sat down with Neil and he told me what the story would be and he just sort of said to me "I think Ellie is gay, this is her story. I think Riley was her first love and that's the story that I want to tell" and right then I was like "Yeah, I'm on board, let's do it." I think in general the story is focused on their love and that relationship and the importance of that which excited me a lot.
Ashley Johnson Interview photo
An interview spanning high and low brow material
Last night Destructoid attended the videogame BAFTAs in order to do some hard-hitting journalism. Speaking to Ashley Johnson following her BAFTA win for Best Performance for voicing Ellie in The Last of Us and its story DLC L...

Last of Us film photo
Last of Us film

Last of Us film 'pretty faithful' despite 'some big changes'

Rinko Kikuchi for Joel
Jan 27
// Steven Hansen
The Last of Us writer Neil Druckmann is working on the screenplay for the upcoming film and he's just finished a second draft, along with a table read with "a bunch of actors," according to a Game Informer interview. Sam Raim...
Writers Guild Award photo
Writers Guild Award

Big names dominate Writers Guild Award nominations

Two Assassin's Creeds, Alien, and The Last of Us DLC
Jan 13
// Brett Makedonski
Anyone that's of the belief that mainstream videogames are often devoid of great writing will need to look somewhere other than the Writers Guild of America for vindication. The organization's nominees for Outstanding Achieve...
PS4 bundle photo
PS4 bundle

Buying a new PS4? If so, you're gonna get The Last of Us too

Not to be confused with The Last of Us 2, because that doesn't exist
Jan 13
// Brett Makedonski
Sony's sweetening the pot a bit for any prospective PlayStation 4 buyers. Beginning in the coming days, all PS4s will come bundled with a code to download a copy of The Last of Us: Remastered. The inclusion of Naughty Dog's m...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

Naughty Dog milks The Last of Us with more DLC

Crossbows and ski goggles and viking hats! Oh my!
Dec 09
// Kyle MacGregor
The promise of the subject line was alluring; the email's contents utterly deflating. Deadly new additions to The Last of Us multiplayer, Naughty Dog promised. Would it be a three-way firefight between Fireflies, hunters and...

Why I love The Last of Us multiplayer, in a nutshell

Nov 26 // Kyle MacGregor
Luckily, I'm well-stocked and have a plan. I have a shotgun, body armor, explosives, and a two-by-four if anyone gets too close; I'm a walking arsenal in a world where you're lucky to scrape together a full clip. I have a defensible position, and I've laid trip bombs at the entrances. They'll need to walk through an explosion or two if they want to come get me. That's my hope, at least. My teammate gets picked off out in the open. I'm all alone now. A sinking feeling sets in. My chances of pulling off an unlikely victory are dwindling with each passing second. They could just run out the clock. No, they'll charge my position. Look, here's one coming around the corner.  I surprise him with a shotgun blast to the chest and finish the job with a rifle round. I'm still outnumbered, though, and they now know exactly where I am. Here they come. One sets off a trip bomb, buying me precious time to reload. My latest victim, I surmise, is getting healed by his teammate. Dare I go for the kill? Sure. What do I have to lose? Woah! As I approach them, a Molotov cocktail flies my way. But the throw is wide. Thank God! Quickly, I return the favor, engulfing the pair in deadly flames. My heart is pounding. Two enemies left. Still outnumbered. Always outnumbered. Twenty seconds. It's do or die. One enemy rushes straight at me. My shotgun makes quick work of him. Now it's mano-a-mano. I see a blip on my radar and dart toward it. There's no time to think. A bomb sails my way. I run through it, desperately, then take an arrow to the chest. My body armor now gone, I manage to get one shot off, lighting up my final foe at point blank. Victory! [embed]284285:56457:0[/embed] The Last of Us multiplayer is filled with little moments like these, harrowing times that see players walk along a knife-edge. Some will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Others will succumb to the pressure. Maybe they'll just get plain unlucky. Oftentimes it doesn't matter how talented you are. A cohesive team can fell even the toughest of opponents. The outcome really doesn't matter. All I care about is the intoxicating feeling that comes before. The feeling of blood rushing through your veins. The adrenaline. It's the reason I play the game, the reason I shall continue to play it for years to come. Come join me sometime. It's a blast.
The Last of Us online photo
The intoxicating rush of everything hanging in the balance
We're outnumbered, down to our last pair of lives. The clock is ticking; it's as much of a threat to my team's survival as the four armed men bearing down on our position. I don't like our chances -- not one bit -- but moments like this, they're the reason I play the game.

The Last of Us GOTY photo
The Last of Us GOTY

Sony: Last of Us actually deserves its GOTY Edition

Game of the Year Edition for The Last of Us hitting PS3 in Europe next month
Oct 25
// Kyle MacGregor
Just like every other game these days, The Last of Us is getting a Game of the Year edition. However, unlike some other games, Naughty Dog's latest probably deserves one, Sony argues. "With over 250 Game of the Year...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

The next multiplayer maps for The Last of Us will be free

Naughty Dog's way of saying thanks for putting up with matchmaking woes
Aug 21
// Jordan Devore
Naughty Dog has been working to address issues with long wait times in The Last of Us' multiplayer matchmaking and while progress has been made on that front, there's more left to do. "Over the last two weeks, we've discovere...
Photos photo

Naughty Dog is throwing a Photo Mode contest for The Last of Us Remastered

How's that for extra motivation?
Aug 15
// Jordan Devore
Capturing cool, beautiful, or otherwise standout moments in videogames can be such a joy, and I'm hopeful that more developers will follow the recent examples set by inFamous: Second Son and The Last of Us Remastered by inclu...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

Here's some new junk to outfit your characters with in The Last of Us Remastered

Just in time for the Season Pass to be over
Aug 07
// Brittany Vincent
The Last of Us Remastered released last week and the first DLC bundles have been released. On August 5, the Grit and Gear Bundle was released which includes six new items which are: Skull Cowboy Hat Welding Mask Fire Weldin...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

The Last of Us: Remastered shoots to the top of the UK sales charts

Fourth largest launch ever on PS4
Aug 04
// Brett Makedonski
In the weeks leading up to the release of The Last of Us: Remastered, Sony said that "a huge portion" of PS4 owners hadn't previously played the original version on PS3. It seems that's certainly the case in the UK, or a...
Called to duty photo
Called to duty

Called to duty: Two Naughty Dog designers join Infinity Ward

Aug 01
// Steven Hansen
A couple of Naughty Dogs have gone to join Riley the Call of Duty dog at Infinity Ward. Twelve year Naughty Dog veteran and narrative design lead Taylor Kurosaki split to the nationalistic shooter factory, he announ...

How to stop sucking at The Last of Us multiplayer

Jul 30 // Kyle MacGregor
Running Running is terrible. Do not do it. You wouldn't run in the single-player campaign. A clicker would eat Joel's face before he could even break a sweat. Running in multiplayer is similarly stupid.  In a game about stealth and survival the last thing you want to do is tell the enemy where you are. And this is exactly what running does. Should you not heed this sage advice, you'll pop up on the opponent's radar. This is not a good thing. Unless it's a life or death situation and you need to get away quickly, running just isn't worth it. You're liable to have someone creep up behind you and shiv you in the neck. That someone is me. People who run are my favorite. They are easy to kill. Don't be my favorite. Medical malpractice Again, this game is about survival more than anything. Getting kills is good. Staying alive is better. And if your chief goal is not dying, your secondary mission should be preventing your teammates from doing the same. It doesn't matter how good you are if one of your pals is draining your shared bank account of lives. So, how do you do that? Well, death is a two step process. First you'll get "downed," which means you get to crawl around on the ground for a bit while bleeding out. However, should a friend amble over to your soon-to-be corpse, they can help get you back on your feet. This allows you to keep on truckin' and your mate will get some points for the trouble. It's a win-win, really.  I've bled at out people's feet before, though. Some people will just refuse to heal you for no good reason. Don't be one of these people. These people are the worst. Stealing kills  The second stage of dying is "executions." While bleeders are crawling around, you can shoot at them or stomp on their head or whatever sick thing your heart desires. Doing this means their teammates won't be able to rescue them. It also earns you some points. Now, points are just lovely. They let you buy things like shotguns and body armor. I like shotguns and body armor. So, naturally, stealing someone's ability to get some goodies by swooping in and taking the products of their hard-earned murder is kind of a dick move. This isn't the biggest deal in the world, but you might want that guy you stole from to help you later on. And maybe he'd rather let you bleed out at his feet while he messages you homophobic epithets over PSN. This thing I do to be a jerk Sometimes you and an enemy will both "down" one another simultaneously. The hope in these situations is that one of your pals will save you. It doesn't always happen, though. Say all your buddies are on the other side of the map and you're certain to die. In these instances I'll position my body in such a way that it prevents my fallen foes from getting extricated by their comrades. Basically, if I'm going down I'm taking you with me. I'm a jerk like that. Maybe you have honor, though. Or maybe I'm the person you "downed." In these cases you may wish to reconsider. I do not enjoy getting my just desserts. Lone wolfing it In team sports, being selfish is generally discouraged. A solid unit is likely to outperform a group of folks running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. In terms of The Last of Us, wandering off on your own only to find yourself surrounded isn't a great feeling. I'm guilty, of course, which is why I find myself in situations where I use my dying body to prevent my enemies from being rescued. This is mostly because that one guy in my party won't stop running and keeps giving away my position while I'm trying to sneak up on someone and shiv them in the neck. Ugh. That guy obviously didn't read the first rule listed in this article.  Pretending to be a DJ  This one is just a personal pet peeve of mine. Right now, there are 167 different people around the world letting a mess of others know just how crappy their taste in music is via tinny headset mics.  These people deserve to die. You know, someday. Peacefully in their sleep at the ripe old age of 87 and surrounded by loving grandchildren, I hope. But maybe before that day arrives they'll be walking by a puddle and a car will splash them with muddy water. Comeuppance.  Other than that, the best advice I can give you is to keep your head down, be sneaky, and shoot to kill. It's a brutal game and you're probably going to suck at it for a while. You'll get better, though. Maybe. As long as you don't run. Running is just awful.
The Last of Us multi tips photo
Don't make these mistakes
Have you played The Last of Us yet? Maybe, maybe not. You probably should, though. It's really a lovely game. And it's now on PS4, which means there's an actual reason to use that thing as something other than a Netflix deliv...

This one's for you, Morph.
Today there are a bunch of new trailers for games like Assassin's Creed Unity, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and The Last of Us Remastered (which is on sale) but Bill and I would rather talk about superhero cartoons from twenty years ago, and guns we can't remember the names of in Unreal Tournament. 

Last of Us photo
Last of Us

The Last of Us has another ending that will never be released

As per the live event show
Jul 29
// Chris Carter
During the recent Last of Us live event, in addition to live performances of scenes from actors and the soundtrack, there was a surprise for fans. It's an extra epilogue ending of sorts that takes place after the game, ...
GRAFIX photo

Can you tell the difference between Last of Us PS3 and PS4?

Might run smoother in person than on YouTube
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
I can't. Okay, okay, there's definitely some extra clarity in the brickwork and people look a bit more yellow than pink. 
The Last of Us Remastered photo
The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us Remastered is getting its own bundle in Canada

Oh, it's The Last of Us...again...
Jul 28
// Brittany Vincent
You probably thought you'd heard the last of The Last of Us. Well, you were wrong. And I'm sure there are still people out there who have yet to play it, after all this time -- probably in Canada. That's why Sony has announce...
Pre-Troy Baker photo
Pre-Troy Baker

Last of Us: Ellie's voice actor almost got in a fight with the first Joel

Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson talk about meeting
Jul 28
// Steven Hansen
Here's a fun bit of trivia: Ashley Johnson, Ellie in The Last of Us, almost got into a fight with one of the actors first considered for the role of Joel. A heated push during acting and subsequent push back almost led to fi...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

PSA: The Last of Us live performance will be streaming tonight

10 pm ET, 7 pm PT
Jul 28
// Brett Makedonski
Remember that news about The Last of Us being performed live in Santa Monica for a one-off show that's being produced by Geoff Keighley? The one where a bunch of the game's actors will be on-hand to act out key scenes? ...
Not Pokemon Snap photo
Not Pokemon Snap

Cordycep snap: Last of Us PS4 photo mode detailed

I like this trend
Jul 25
// Steven Hansen
I already wrote about how much I loved the idea behind inFamous: Second Son's photo mode and I'm glad to see the trend continuing, even if it's an obvious marketing thing. Taking cool pictures is fun. Plus, in that article I made a great Ansel Adams Family joke. This video explains how to go about snapping shots in The Last of Us' PS4 remaster. 
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

More The Last of Us movie details out of Comic-Con

Game of Thrones' Arya Stark might be Ellie
Jul 25
// Jordan Devore
We already knew that a live-action The Last of Us movie was in the works at Screen Gems, but additional details surrounding the project have been announced today at San Diego Comic-Con. Game co-director and writer Neil Druckm...
Comic-Con print photo
Comic-Con print

Olly Moss Last of Us print makes disgusting fungal infections beautiful

By Olly Moss and Jay Shaw
Jul 25
// Steven Hansen
Very nice, isn't it? Olly Moss showed off this classy Last of Us print from Comic-Con, done in collaboration with Jay Shaw. I highly suggest clicking Shaw's linked name and visiting a huge collection of wonderful posters. Give your eyes a treat. 
BioShock photo

These PlayStation demakes transport you to a simpler time

Someone get these artists jobs in the industry, y'all
Jul 23
// Brittany Vincent
It's never been all about the graphics for me. I can appreciate slick environments and the ability to watch sweat roll down my rugged protagonist's brow. But truth be told, I've always had a thing for PlayStation-era graphics...
Last of Us deal photo
Last of Us deal

GameStop is offering a PS3 to PS4 trade-in deal for Last of Us

GameStop do what Sony don't
Jul 23
// Chris Carter
When The Last of Us comes out on PS4 soon, it'll be sold for $50. To help alleviate the cost a bit for previous owners of the PS3 version, you can trade-in your old copy at GameStop starting July 27, and pick up the PS4 ...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

Geoff Keighley's producing a live performance of The Last of Us

One Night Live
Jul 21
// Brett Makedonski
In recent years, The Last of Us has been held among many as a shining example of what narrative in videogames can accomplish. In one week, we'll get to see if its story translates fluidly to other mediums, as it'll be p...
ugh photo

Rest of us: Not considering Last of Us 2 'would be a disservice to ourselves and our fans'

So says Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer
Jul 21
// Steven Hansen
Naughty Dog community strategist Arne Meyer told VideoGamer that Naughty Dog is still exploring ideas for a Last of Us sequel. Apparently not doing so, "would be a disservice to ourselves and our fans." I don't know abou...
Last of Us PS4 photo
Last of Us PS4

The Last of Us Remastered has a 30fps option, more fixins

Draw distances improved, for instance
Jul 16
// Chris Carter
While MeriStation writer Javi Andres was attending a presentation that discussed the features of the new Last of Us Remaster on the PS4, a few details were presented that really give us a big picture of what to expect. F...
The rest of us photo
The rest of us

Sony: 'Huge portion' of PS4 owners never played The Last of Us

The rest of us
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
It's easy to get up in word arms -- "milking," "cash grab" -- about re-releases, but I am generally for them. No one is saying you have to buy Final Fantasy IV again, but a lot of people still haven't played it. No one w...
The Last of Us PS4 bundle photo
The Last of Us PS4 bundle

The Last of Us PS4 bundle probably won't be the last of these PS4 bundles

Only in Europe for now
Jun 27
// Brett Makedonski
Sony's finally so much as confirmed that it's looking to the remastering of 2013's The Last of Us to try to move some of its new consoles. The European PlayStation Blog revealed the existence of a The Last of Us PS...
PS4 photo

The Last of Us Remastered PS4 bundle spotted

Amazon France gives the heads up
Jun 24
// Jordan Devore
No official announcement out of Sony, but it seems there's a PlayStation 4 bundle featuring The Last of Us Remastered on the way. Amazon France lists the package for release on July 30, 2014. This upgraded version of The Last of Us may not be an all-new game, but it's a meaningful exclusive for PlayStation. More than enough to warrant a bundle, in other words.

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