Earth Abides? (no spoils plz)

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#1 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4714 posts) -

So, this is sort of an awkward question, but as someone without a PS3 who is sort of curious about the game: is the basic idea behind it the same as the book Earth Abides, but with zombies?

For those of you who haven't read it, Earth Abides is this great post-apocalyptic novel by George R. Stewart from the 1950's about what happens when a plague decimates most of the Earth's human population. For 2/3 of the book it's sort of a standard adventure novel - one that isn't even very well written, to be honest- but manages to be utterly memorable by the end. Totes worth reading if you haven't, is what I'm saying.

The reason I bring it up is some of the things I've been hearing about The Last of Us sound thematically similar to what made Earth Abides so great (and I mean the ending to the book specifically , not the initial plague stuff), and I'm wondering if there's a connection there, maybe similar to how Spec Ops: The Line was connected to Heart of Darkness (but with less blatant self-promotion).

If anyone actually knows what I'm talking about, I'd prefer a non-spoilery answer, despite the fact that I'll likely never end up playing this because consoles. Otherwise just ignore me I guess. kthnxbye.

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#2 Edited by YI_Orange (1334 posts) -

I haven't read the book, but I just looked it up and you may be at least partially right.

Throughout the game you can find letters left behind by people you never see. At one point you find a series of letters written by a man named "Ish". It seems as though Ish established a small society(which eventually fell, obviously). I don't really see anything beyond that without having read the book.

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#3 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4714 posts) -

@yi_orange: Oh shit really? I wasn't expecting anything that explicit. wow.

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#4 Edited by Maajin (1172 posts) -

Neil Druckmann always said the biggest inspiration was The Road. But cool to see that the whole Ish side story was such a direct reference.

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#5 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10825 posts) -

Apart from The Road there isn't really a Heart of Darkness caliber book to draw from so they're sort of merging various things (No Country for Old Men also quite present) to create a homogenous "new" experience. Heart of Darkness is of Shakespearean quality so you could just make 20 HoD games and each one of them could potentially be awesome.

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#6 Posted by Storms (364 posts) -

@markwahlberg: Yes, definitely. You know what, just get a PS3 Super Slim, buy the Ico/Shadow of Colossus collection, download Journey, buy Heavy Rain and The Last of Us, and just enjoy some of the best gaming you will ever experience. Because console.

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#7 Edited by MarkWahlberg (4714 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: I wouldn't consider The Road to be anywhere near HoD in terms of quality, but I get your point - although your phrasing seems to imply drawing on a specific work is necessary/expected when making a game in the same genre, which (although I'm sure that's not what you meant) I find unsettling because that increasingly seems to be a thing in game dev. Hrrmm....

@storms: That's not what I was asking but ok.

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#8 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10825 posts) -

@markwahlberg: I agree with you, though HoD is so good that there's not really any reason to not make every game ever about it in the future; provided they're well made and have interesting characters. Obviously that won't happen so I'm just saying there can never be enough Heart of Darkness adaptations in film or games. As far as storylines go, I don't think we'd ever have a good storyline from a game with a large dev team if it wasn't inspired by something else in the first place. I guess the closest thing is MGS, which does have plenty of inspirations and isn't a particularly good storyline; but it is distinctive and unique.

Tactical RPGs have good storylines and its no coincidence that almost every one of them draws heavily from Three Kingdoms.

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#9 Posted by bkbroiler (1736 posts) -

I think there are a lot of direct inspirations you can infer - The Road, Children of Men, I Am Legend, The Walking Dead game (though maybe this one is more coincidence than inspiration) - I wouldn't doubt they also drew some from Earth Abides as well as many other things.

It absolutely tells it's own story, though. Well worth playing and still different from other apocalypse stories.

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#10 Edited by citizencoffeecake (1468 posts) -

Reminded me a lot of The Road in tone (with obvious differences).

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