The latest issue of Game Informer magazine is out, and with it the first full details about The Last of Us story and gameplay. Thanks to the industrious users over at NeoGAF, we can bring those details straight to you (spoiler free), starting with the story and settings.

The game’s main character, Joel, is a weapons and drugs smuggler who lives in a zone quarantined by the military after an outbreak of killer fungus spores wiped most human life on the planet, 20 years ago. Anyone showing signs of infection, or found having traces of the fungus in the frequent body scan is executed on the spot.  As the game starts, Joel is asked by a dying friend to smuggle Ellie, a young orphan girl who is fascinated by old-world items, out of the QZ. Of course everything goes wrong, and the duo has to escape across the entire country together.

The demo Game Informer saw took place in Pittsburgh, where Joel and Ellie are attacked by looters. The combat is centered around melee fighting, and Joel uses objects like bricks, wooden planks and his fists to drive away the human enemies. According to the game’s developers, human enemies are “the focus” of the game, with none of the infected shown in the debut trailer present in the demo.

Apart from showing some of the game’s story and a bit of gameplay, game director Bruce Straley used this demo to teasean online compenet featured in The Last of Us. “With all of these human factions scavenging through the cities, it’s not that hard to imagine what online multiplayer could look like in The Last of Us. Though Naughty Dog isn’t prepared to discuss specifics” he said. “We’re going to have some sort of online component. we’re working on a bunch of ideas, but we haven’t nailed anything down. We definitely know it’s going to be awesome.”

If you are willing to risk some spoilers, you can go a read the entire post over at the site (linked above) to read a more detailed description of the demo shown by Naughty Dog to GI.

The Last of Us is mentioned to be released  late 2012, but Sony has already informed us that this detail is based on nothing but speculation on GI’s part.

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