The Last Of Us' Special Editions - A Significant Step-Up From Traditional Special Editions

The Last Of Us, Naughty Dog's upcoming survival adventure exclusive to the Playstation 3. If one thing stands out about the Last Of Us then it's the game's array of special editions. With different special editions ranging from a "Collectors" edition to the more common (yet still rare) "Joel" edition and sold-out exclusive "Ellie" edition. The sheer number of choice these editions offer the player are huge. The named character editions follow the theme of what they're named after; for example, the "Joel" edition contains content relevant to the character named Joel whereas the "Ellie edition" follows the same idea but with content relevant to the character Ellie. Although these special editions seem fairly normal, they're actually an ambitious move forward from the traditional special edition format - here's why:

Goodbye Steelbook, Hello Canvas Wrap

An enlarged, cut-out image of the poster's 'canvas wrap' above
A cheap, stylish, user friendly game case commonly used for most of this generation's is the steelbook case - a case replicating the standard plastic case redone in metal often containing a special piece of artwork. In the Last Of Us' case this is different. Apart from the US exclusive "Survival Edition", the Last Of Us' special editions stray from this cliche case style by introducing a 'canvas wrap' rather than a case as the poster above details. What is this you may ask? A canvas wrap is soft material (with semi-hard parts) used to encase something (in this case, the Last Of Us and all of its contents).The benefits of such a device is to offer ease to the consumer - a higher amount of ease is available in this canvas wrap than in the steel tin as everything is in one place and in addition, due to being soft material (with a harder outer-coating) the casing isn't prone to scratches or dents as the steel tin was. In short, the benefits are higher convenience, arguably nicer aesthetics and an easier case to look after (which will benefit collectors).

Included DLC That Is For Another Game

If you weren't already aware of this, the "Joel/Ellie Edition" of The Last Of Us includes an outfit for use in Littlebigplanet for the special edition's name. This means that if you buy the "Joel Edition" you'll get a Joel costume for LittleBigPlanet; this is exactly the same in the "Ellie Edition" but you'll receive an Ellie skin to show off in LittleBigPlanet. Although this has been done before (it is very rare), it has never been done quite like this. LittleBigPlanet (if you didn't know) has a complete level creation mode, therefore, the player will be able to dress up as their character and create actors wearing that costume within their level to add an additional layer of immersion to their The Last Of Us themes level in LittleBigPlanet! Because everybody loves bonus costumes in game other than the game from which the character's costume is from! Moreover, this will fuel the LittleBigPlanet community to reproduce a The Last Of Us themed level thanks to the extra boost of persuasion they've received from donning their unique threads!

Unique Mini-Comic Included Inside!

Both the EU and US special editions of The Last Of Us contain a unique comic book. Although this may initially seem cheap, it is actually a nice touch added by Naughty Dog to develop the game's world beyond what we see in the game itself and yet again help increase the level of immersion the player may receive from playing the game and simultaneously reading the included comic book. Named 'American Dreams', the comic book is the first issue of a series that has been carefully constructed by Naughty Dog Creative Director Neil Druckmann - this means that it'll be as close to the game as Naughty Dog want it and it'll all be relevant to the complete story of The Last Of Us. To those interested in tearing a game apart with regard to what it can teach you, this is one that shouldn't be missed! As time stands the first issue of this comic book is sold out if bought individually and can only be picked up by buying one of the Last Of Us' special editions or bought second hand.Set prior to the game's storyline, 'American Dreams' fleshes out Ellie's life before Joel became an influence in it.

Common, But Desired Things Included:

Not only does the Last Of Us' special editions include unique content, rarely - in some cases never - seen in game special editions, but they also contain welcome additions such as the digital soundtrack - this allows the consumer to access the soundtrack legally whenever they want - also included is a DLC package, a Playstation 3 controller face sticker skin, an artbook, a poster and a selection of Playstation Network avatars which allow the player to customise their PSN profile with exclusive avatars, only available in the special editions.

If anything, the named character editions of the Last Of Us are the best way to enjoy the game. Although exclusive to Europe (US gamers will have to buy the "Survival Edition" - a collector's edition containing different, but some similar content to the EU special editions), the "Joel Edition" (the "Ellie Edition" is sold out) retails for a justifiable price (£44 at Tesco Entertainment and is highly recommended due to carrying Naughty Dog's quality assuring stamp of quality.

US gamers can grab themselves this version.

The GAME exclusive, now sold-out "Ellie Edition" is destined to be rare in the future.

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