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Coming hot on the heels of a whole bunch of awards and the launch of the Left Behind story DLC, you might find yourself curious to hear how, exactly, a big game like The Last of Us even gets made. That's where Grounded comes in. It's a documentary about the making of The Last of Us, and it's available now through Amazon Instant Video.
The Last of Us has been on quite a ride this past year. When the team at Naughty Dog announced they'd been working on a new game that wasn't a sequel to the uuber popular Uncharted series, people weren't sure what to think. Then we saw that first trailer showing off several cinematic moments from the gut-wrenchingly powerful game and it seemed like most of us were officially sold on this tale of a man and a girl trying to survive the apocalypse.
The Last of Us finally hit store shelves about a year ago, winning over critics and fans alike. It received a ridiculous number of “best of 2013” nods from publications and online sites all over the world this past winter and even claimed a whopping 10 awards, including Best Game of the Year, at the recent D.I.C.E. Awards. And then there are those BAFTA nominations.
On Valentine's Day, Naughty Dog released the game's first and only piece of story-driven downloadable content, Left Behind. I originally thought this was Naughty Dog's idea of a mean joke, releasing what would undoubtedly be a bit of heart-breaking story on a day that's supposed to be about lovey-dovey emotions and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. It turns out Left Behind is a love story, actually (or a love tragedy, really), making the timing for the release absolutely perfect. The tale added to the narrative of the original game, helped flesh out one of the only weak plot points and gave extra depth to an already strong character. I won't say more about the DLC because it's still so new, but you pretty much owe it to yourself to play it if you haven't already done so.
Now it seems like Naughty Dog isn't quite ready to let the gaming world stop talking about their year-old game, as a making of documentary has now been officially announced for Amazon Instant. For fans of the medium, the game or the art of storytelling, you'll probably want to curl up with a bowl of popcorn and check this one out.
Grounded: The Making of The Last of Us us available for your viewing pleasure free of charge, giving insight into such things as “how we got Joel's beard to look so good or why Ellie acts like she does,” according to Naughty Dog Community Strategist Eric Monacelli. We're talking 90 uninterupted minutes of interviews, behind the scenes footage, concept work, mocap filming, etc. You need to be in the US to watch it on Amazon but, for everyone outside the US, Naughty Dog promises they are working to get the documentary added to their Youtube channel ASAP.
And, in case this wasn't obvious already, you want to make sure you play the game and probably the DLC to boot before tuning in to Grounded.