A Surreal Experience – Building The Last of Us Episode 5

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Since its original debut nearly a decade ago, the original The Last of Us’ core characters, Ellie and Joel, have left an indelible mark on our studio, our fans, and the wider world of this franchise. So many members of the Naughty Dog team have had a hand in bringing the two to life. And it would be difficult to think of these characters and their origins without the performers that brought them to life, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker.

With the HBO series having just completed its first season, and with The Last of Us Part I now available for the PlayStation 5 console and for pre-purchase on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store (available March 28, 2023), our behind-the-scenes series Building The Last of Us next turns to Naughty Dog Co-President and HBO series executive producer Neil Druckmann discussing the two actors and bringing them into the show in new roles, while Baker and Johnson reflect on seeing the roles they performed take on new life in The Last of Us HBO series, the surreal nature of stepping into new roles in the TV series, and more.

Watch the video below to hear from Baker, Druckmann, and Johnson, and be sure to check out past entries in our series, including a look at how Ellie and Joel’s relationship is at the heart of The Last of Us, a dive into The Last of Us’ unforgettable opening, how TLOU’s Clickers continue to scare us, and how the cruel world of The Last of Us is brought to life.

A Surreal Experience – Building The Last of Us Episode 5

***Spoilers for The Last of Us game and show follow.***

In bringing the entirety of The Last of Us to life in a new medium, Druckmann hoped the talented teams involved in developing The Last of Us would be proud of this adaptation, including those performers who were so essential to bringing these characters to life.

“The people I was most nervous about liking the show wer

PS5 Creators: How Resident Evil 4 harnesses PS5’s power

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Resident Evil 4, launching this Friday, March 24, is a remake of the acclaimed original. It preserves the essence of the 2005 survival horror while introducing modernized gameplay, a reimagined storyline, and vividly detailed graphics. 

We asked the game’s director Yasuhiro Ampo, sound director Hiroshi Tamura and art director Hirofumi Nakaoka how they leveraged PlayStation 5’s unique capabilities, including 3D audio, adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and stunning graphic fidelity to create the game on PS5.

PlayStation Blog: What were your first impressions when first learning about the power and capabilities of the PS5 from a developer perspective?

Yasuhiro Ampo (Director): The enhanced data reading speed allows the game to handle higher volumes of assets, while also generating richer graphics and reducing loading times. Immersive horror is one of the key elements for the Resident Evil series, so it’s extremely beneficial that players can remain uninterrupted during their gameplay even during scene transitions.

3D Audio creates realistic soundscapes in games and it’s an essential component that brings something new to evoke fear and horror. How did you leverage 3D audio in RE4 to conceive an even more terrifying audio experience?

Hiroshi Tamura (Sound Director): 3D audio was essential for shaping the audio for RE4. In moments of quiet tension, we dynamically 3D-layered sounds, such as the irregular cracking of wooden houses settling or other subtle noises over the bass produced by Ambisonics audio (a type of 3D audio format). In intense combat sequences, we made sure most sounds are outputted as object-based 3D audio, so that enemy or object noises can be heard behind the wall or the floor above. Our goal was to create an immersive experience by amplifying the suspense and building a three-dimensional soundscape. In addition, all the music in this game was produced and mixed in 7.1.4 channels.

Game controls in RE4 have also been refined and modernized. How did you leverage unique PS5 features such as adaptive triggers and haptic feedback in the game?

Yasuhiro Ampo (Director): We wanted players to share the sensation that the game’s main protagonist, Leon, was experiencing inside the game. For example, the DualSense controller will intricately vibrate and play sounds when Leon reloads a gun. The resistance of the adaptive trigger also changes depending on the weight of the gun.

Thanks to updated graphics, RE4 enhances the original game’s feeling of isolation and its haunting environments. How did PS5 help you achieve this?

Hirofumi Naka

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is available to pre-order today, pre-order bonuses detailed

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Aloy’s journey continues in Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores — an expansion which sees the fierce Nora hunter pursue a sinister threat in the untamed wilds of a far-future, volcanic Los Angeles which has been wracked by violent tectonic activity. Pre-orders for Burning Shores, which launches on the PlayStation 5 console on April 19, 2023, are available as of today.

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is available to pre-order today, pre-order bonuses detailed

Pre-ordering will give players access to the following digital bonuses:

  • Blacktide Dye Outfit (available at the first dye merchant)
  • Blacktide Sharpshot Bow (available from the first merchant in the Burning Shores)

The story picks up Aloy’s story right where Horizon Forbidden West left off – so, to enter the Burning Shores, you must complete the main quest (up to and including the final quest Singularity) in Horizon Forbidden West. Following the events of Singularity, she will receive a call over her Focus, beginning the DLC.

Aloy will then be able to travel to a dangerous new region south of the Tenakth Clan Lands, where players will experience a compelling new storyline featuring new characters, machines, and adventures – we look forward to sharing more details with you very soon!

Horizon Forbidden West is available now in the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog.

Learn your Crash Team Rumble character role, beta launches April 20

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The wait for a new entry into the Crash Bandicoot franchise is finally over! Crash Team Rumble is an all-new spin on the Crash formula, pitting players into epic 4v4 competitions, where each team aims to collect and bank more Wumpa fruit than the other. Between the many unique and varied heroes, equipable powers to change your loadout, and map specific relic stations that can cause havoc on the enemy team, there’s a lot to unpack and experiment with in Crash Team Rumble. With all the zany chaos you’d expect from the Crash heroes and villains, the first step to understanding how to Rumble is learning your character’s role: Scorer, Blocker, or Booster.

Learn your Crash Team Rumble character role, beta launches April 20

Scorer characters

The name of the game is scoring Wumpa! Scorers like Crash are speedy heroes who can easily traverse the map, collecting Wumpa fruit and relics to assist their team. Scorers provide the bulk of your team’s scoring potential, so protecting your Scorers will be crucial to victory!

Blocker characters

The best offense is a good defense! Blockers excel at taking out opponents or defending your team’s Wumpa Bank. They’re extremely powerful combat characters who can easily take on multiple foes at once, and still hold their own.

Booster characters

Support your team by boosting your score! Boosters are specialists who aim to capture the various gem pads scattered around each map to boost their team’s score. Taking control of a cluster of gem pads increases the amount of points scored for each Wumpa fruit delivered to your Wumpa Bank, allowing them to turn the tides in a flash.

To give a better sense of how the developers themselves feel about each hero role, we checked in with the Toys For Bob’s associate creative director Lou Studdert on how each role impacts the game:

What role do you tend to play as?

Lou Studdert: While each role brings something new to the table, Scorer characters tend to be our first pick. They’re well-rounded, and give you the tools to play the way you want, whether that’s collecting Wumpa, or pestering the other team.

Is there a most difficult role to compete aga

Tactical RPG Miasma Chronicles launches on PS5 May 23

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Hey everyone, James here, Brand Community Manager at 505 Games and I’m here to announce that our upcoming game Miasma Chronicles will be coming to PlayStation 5, on May 23  – yes, that soon!  

For those of you who know little about Miasma Chronicles, let me set the scene… Miasma Chronicles is an intensive tactical RPG, from The Bearded Ladies. We join Elvis and Diggs, two brothers on a journey of discovery through the heart of a New-America which has been ruined by a devastating force known only as the ‘Miasma’.  

What is Miasma Chronicles? 

Miasma Chronicles is set in the near future, shortly after an environmental renaissance which is set to fix the worsening ecological problems. Companies were quick to capitalize on these issues and being environmentally friendly was just seen as ‘good business’. 

Luckily, one man implemented a solution, and the result was a time of balance between humanity and nature – A Great Stability. Since then, the world has changed, and a new threat has emerged, a force of nature now dominates, known simply as the Miasma.  

Over the years, people learned to co-exist with the Miasma, but now it grows angry, causing death and destruction. Can it be destroyed? Can it be tamed?  

The First Family now rule this post-apocalyptic New-America. They rule via exploitation and fear. The citizens of small towns and cities mine resources to help fund their ‘mission’ to rid the world of the Miasma – and fill their pockets.    

Ok, what about gameplay? 

Miasma Chronicles has been designed as an homage to PS1 RPGs of old (Xenogears, Final Fantasy etc). It’s the type of games we love to play –and love to make.  

It’s predominantly a tactical game that will test your skills and patience, but you will also explore a variety of environments from small towns, sprawling forests and giant industrial cities – meeting weird and wonderful characters along the way as you play through the deep narrative.

The story focuses on two unlikely brothers, Elvis and Diggs. Their mother simply up and left when Elvis was young, leaving a broken heart, a metal glove and a message to find her. Obsessed with finding her, the brothers will travel across America meetings new friends – and foes with their own intentions – along the way. Revelations must be earned. 

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