The next generation of consoles is almost upon us, and many people are looking to the new hardware to deliver a huge leap in graphical quality. Before that happens though, Naughty Dog has taken one final run at the PlayStation 3, hoping to extract the last few drops of power from the system and produce one of the console's defining games.
From a graphical perspective, of course, the truth is that once you reach the end of a console cycle it becomes harder to make the same dramatic graphical gains found in previous titles. The "evolution not revolution" approach of Naughty Dog's own Uncharted 3 is a good case in point.
Indeed, while our brief look at the demo of The Last of Us showed some noticeable engine changes over Uncharted 3 - with improvements in lighting and animation standing out particularly - the enhanced tech comes at a cost: a noticeable impact on performance, with frame-rates buckling under pressure during demanding scenes.