Sony Blog Manager Fred Dutton shared a video today spotlighting Ashley Johnson bringing Ellie to Life in The Last of Us alongside news that the demo is officially available in God of War: Ascension below.
To quote: As you'll find out in just two weeks' time, Naughty Dog's rabidly-anticipated new survival adventure The Last of Us does a phenomenal job of making you really care about its two protagonists, Joel and Ellie.
Partly through Neil Druckman's nuanced writing, partly through the tactile, reactive gameplay, and partly through the pitch-perfect performances of the voiceover cast, The Last of Us packs an almighty emotional wallop to go with its blockbuster action set-pieces.
It's bar-setting stuff from the Uncharted studio, and these are characters that will resonate with you long after the game's epic conclusion.
To find out a little more about how Naughty Dog pulled it off, we sat down for a quick chat with Ashley Johnson, the young actress bringing world-weary teen Ellie to life.
PlayStation.Blog: How did you first get involved with the project?
Ashley Johnson: My voice-over agent sent me the audition and asked if I'd be interested in doing a video game. She warned me that it was motion capture and that whole thing.
I said yes, so I went out for the audition and met with Neil, Bruce and Evan. I did a few auditions and got the part. After that I put on the mo-cap suit and we did auditions for Joel, until we finally settled on Troy (Baker).
PSB: How did you get on with mo-cap? Was it your first time?
AJ: Yes, it was my first. It's been really fun. It was definitely difficult at first to get over the fact that you're wearing this really strange suit but once you get into the scene and get into the character... Neil would show us all the environments and we'd get to see pictures of the world we were in - that made it pretty easy.
PSB: Does the suit make it more difficult to really inhabit the character?
"I actually think it helps in a lot of ways."
AJ: It definitely was very different for me because I'm not used to it. Sometimes when you're playing a character, how you're dressed or what shoes you have on, that changes the way you walk and how you act.
So when you have that funny suit on - just a skin-tight jumpsuit - and your hands are covered, and you have a sock on your head, it can be a little challenging at first!
But a couple of hours in you get used to it. I actually think it helps in a lot of ways. You have to expand your imagination a little bit more, which I think is really good.
PSB: Have you played the final game yet?
AJ: I've played parts of it. I haven't been given a finished copy yet. But I've played parts when I've visited Naughty Dog. I've been tempted to play more... but I want to wait. I want to experience it as a whole. I don't like spoilers and I don't like watching trailers - I like to play something from start to finish.
PSB: Has what you have seen of Ellie in the game surprised you at all?
AJ: It's very weird. I think if you were voicing a character and then you see that person walking around with your body movements you'd think it was weird too. Weird and exciting. Mostly I'm just so excited that it's done and I can't wait for people to play it, knowing where the story goes. It's going to be good!
The Last of Us Demo Now Available in God of War: Ascension
If you were wise enough to purchase a copy of God of War: Ascension, you can now pop that disc into your PS3 and download the demo for The Last of Us.
Instructions for installation came with a voucher code inside the Ascension case, so find that flyer and get to downloading! If you're having trouble finding the flyer, just insert your God of War: Ascension disc into your PS3, select "The Last of Us Early Access" on the main menu, and you'll be taken to the PlayStation Store to download the demo. Once downloaded, simply find it on your XMB and install it to start playing.
The demo features the Outskirts level of The Last of Us, in which Joel and Ellie, along with Tess, will encounter multiple Infected enemies. Runners and Clickers have distinct behaviors and methods of attacking you.
You're going to need to explore the environment and scavenge your surroundings for items and objects that might give you the kind of offensive or defensive advantage that suits your play style.
If you're already sold, this demo should sate your hunger for the full game until it launches (just over two weeks from now!). If you haven't read or seen much about The Last of Us, hopefully this demo will pique your curiosity to pre-order The Last of Us today. The Last of Us will be available June 14th, 2013.
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