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Has Naughty Dog been teasing life after The Last of Us all along?

Richard Lee Breslin

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Has Naughty Dog been teasing life after The Last of Us all along?

Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Naughty Dog is one of Sony’s flagship development studios for the PlayStation brand, thanks to its iconic franchises such as Uncharted and The Last of Us.

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Naughty Dog’s first big hit was with the original Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation back in 1996 - a series that would go on to be a firm favourite for fans of the platforming genre for many years to come. However, arguably, Naughty Dog shot to fame with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune for the PlayStation 3 in 2007, and would go on to be an all-time great series for the studio.

Check out The Last of Us trailer below!

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The last entry in the Uncharted series would be Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in 2017, followed by its standalone expansion The Lost Legacy in 2017. Both of which were for the PS4 (and later released as the Legacy of Thieves Collection on PS5). Speaking of which, Naughty Dog, when are we going to get a proper Uncharted game for the PlayStation 5? Seriously, what gives?

It’s been a while since Naughty Dog has given us a proper new game. The last new game was The Last of Us Part II in 2020 for the PS4. The following two games were the aforementioned remastered bundle, Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection and the remade The Last of Us Part I, both of which arrived in 2022 for PS5. What’s more, if recent rumours are to be believed, The Last of Us Part II is next in line for a remaster.

Furthermore, there have also been recent rumours suggesting that if Naughty Dog were to develop a new game that is not a remake or remaster, it might closely resemble the sci-fi RPG Mass Effect 2, according to one insider. If that is indeed true, could Naughty Dog’s next game have been hiding in plain sight all along? To be more exact, could we have known about this game for the last 10 years when The Last of Us was first released in 2013?

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“Hey Ellie, I found one of those comics you like?” A phrase that fans of The Last of Us will be familiar with, especially to those collectable hunters, namely, when it comes to the ‘Savage Starlight’ comics. This is a series of in-universe comic books that are a particular favourite of Ellie’s and can be found scattered throughout The Last of Us Part I, as well as the odd poster on a wall. If you manage to find all ‘Savage Starlight’ comics in the game, it will earn you the ‘Endure and Survive’ trophy, a motto that Ellie lives by.

In The Last of Us Part II, Joel also becomes an unexpected fan of the comic book series, indicating that the man who once forgot how to be a father due to past trauma, now has a strong desire to learn what’s important to Ellie. It was certainly a subtle, but heartwarming moment. ‘Savage Starlight’ would make a return in The Last of Us Part II as collectables once more, but this time as character trading cards.

“Set in the year 2186, the plot of ‘Savage Starlight’ centres around Dr. Daniela Star's adventures in space. She discovers a method of travelling faster than light via a jump drive and soon finds that a group of hostile extraterrestrials known as the Travelers are threatening mankind,” reads the plot synopsis.

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Despite not being an actual comic book that you can buy (at least officially) or having its own video game, it’s interesting that Naughty Dog has gone to so much effort building the ‘Savage Starlight’ universe. Mike Oeming, who designed Dark Horse’s very real The Last of Us: American Dreams comic, also designed the in-game comics for ‘Savage Starlight’. Naughty Dog even included a poster of its non-fictional comic book series in the prologue to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

We know the chances are that Naughty Dog’s next new game will likely be The Last of Us Part III and we can’t wait for that. Yet, what awaits after? Call me an optimist, but when we consider the recent rumours of Naughty Dog’s next game being something akin to Mass Effect 2 plus look to the ‘Savage Starlight’ seeds that have seemingly been planted over the last decade, I’m hoping that the next new IP from the Sony studio centres around the intergalactic space adventures of Dr. Daniela Star.

Topics: Naughty Dog, PlayStation, The Last Of Us, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Uncharted, Sony

Richard Lee Breslin
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