Naughty Dog’s next game will look like Star Wars in a surprising way

Neil Druckman takes place on television. In January 2023, the co-president of Naughty Dog and creator of The last of us will see the release of the HBO adaptation of his post-apocalyptic claim to fame, which he also co-wrote. But looking beyond the show and focusing on Naughty Dog’s future, it seems Druckmann can’t quite shake the TV bug – and it’s given him a new take on the gaming medium. video as a whole. And it’s one that bears surprising similarities to Disney’s approach to the Star Wars universe.

The cinematic game — As developers of the Uncharted series, Naughty Dog’s games have consistently drawn comparisons to the movie. Unexplored is the studio’s riff on Indiana Jones in a Video Game, a big-budget action movie you can play. The series is one of the best examples of the trend for AAA games of 2010 to try to be more cinematic.

says Neil Druckman The last of us could only be adapted as a television series.HBO

In a December 26 interview with the new yorker, Druckmann said he saw Alfonso Cuarón’s film children of men in theaters while working on Unexplored and thought, “Why doesn’t anyone in games tell a story like this?” Druckmann then made The last of us in 2013. The game received praise for telling a dark, character-driven story that could go along with its cinematic inspirations.

The last of us remained with Druckmann for the nearly ten years since the game’s release. A sequel, a remake, and now a television adaptation have occupied much of Druckmann’s last decade. Despite its cinematic inspirations, when it came time to bring The last of us on screen, says Druckmann the new yorker that he could only see it working as a TV series.

Working on the HBO show made Druckmann more interested in the prestige television style of storytelling. Druckmann revealed to the new yorker that the next game he’s working on at Naughty Dog will be “more structured like a TV show”.

Prestige – Moving from a movie-influenced style of storytelling to a more television approach seems like a natural evolution for Druckmann’s aspirations to create video games. While the games he has worked on have worked to tell some of the most well-received (or sometimes controversial) stories in gaming, they are very similar to the language of other art mediums.

Star Wars’ pivot to prestige television was a huge success.disney

Over the past decade, the art on screen has seen the rise of prestige television with shows like breaking Bad, game of thronesand Chernobyl (whose creator directs the The last of us HBO show). Druckmann has already dipped his toes while shooting prestige television. The Last of Us Part II was co-written by Druckmann and Halley Gross, a writer best known for her work on Westworld. Even the original The last of us has a well-structured story that uses the seasons of the year to divide the story into smaller sections.

This approach to storytelling could play out similarly to the pivot of the Star Wars franchise, from big-budget movies to smaller series. Shows like The Mandalorian, Obi Wan Kenobiand Andor allowed Disney to tell more contained human stories within the larger Star Wars universe. These series were critically acclaimed, even being hailed as better than most mainline films.

Druckman won’t be the first game developer to take inspiration from television to create an episodic video game. Telltale Games has made a name for itself making episodic video games like the ones in 2012 The Walking Deadand the life is strange The series also divided its first two titles into chapters which were released over time. These two games were released at the same time as The last of usso it’s interesting to see Druckmann return to this idea nearly a decade later.

The last of us proved that Druckmann and Naughty Dog can expertly use and reinvent cinematic language in video games to tell a groundbreaking story, it will be interesting to see how they do the same with prestige television.

The last of us arrives on HBO and HBO Max on January 15.

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