Elden Ring’s storytelling inspires The Last of Us director’s ideas

Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann has been inspired by the storytelling of Elden Ring, saying The Last of Us developer may adopt the RPG game's style going forward

Elden Ring's storytelling inspires The Last of Us director's ideas: a middle aged man with a gruff beard and green shirt leaning over to the left of the screen

Videogame storytelling is still an evolving medium. You can see the more traditional filmic roots in the cutscenes and cinematography of games like Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, while the non-linear narrative of 2022’s Elden Ring tells more of the RPG game’s story through items and the world itself. Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann has noticed the latter style, and it’s left him intrigued.

This doesn’t mean the next Naughty Dog game after The Last of Us PC release is going to tell its story through obtuse item descriptions, but it’s certainly interesting to hear Druckmann wax lyrical about a style of storytelling so different from that of Naughty Dog’s, and what this could mean for the studio’s games going forward.

“I’m more recently intrigued by stuff like Elden Ring and Inside that doesn’t rely as much on traditional narrative to tell its story and I think there’s some of the best storytelling in The Last of Us,” Druckmann tells The Washington Post.

“But a lot of it is in gameplay and moving around a space and understanding a history of a space by just looking at it and examining it. And, to me, that right now is some of the best joy I get out of games that trust their audience to figure things out, that don’t hold their hand. That’s the stuff I’m really intrigued by going forward.”

Druckmann then adds that this doesn’t mean they won’t ever use dialogue or cutscenes in their games, but that the more non-traditional methods of videogame storytelling may leak out into future Naughty Dog titles and how they tell their stories.

With the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection on PC and The Last of Us following it, Naughty Dog’s games seem like eventual shoe-ins for PC after a console release at this point, so the prospect of the studio’s next game taking cues from the storytelling of Elden Ring and coming maybe to PC is definitely exciting.

If you want to play more games like Elden Ring or The Last of Us, why not check out our best-of lists for open-world games and story games, where you’ll find something to scratch that itch.