If you didn’t shell out for a season pass for The Last Of Us, you didn’t get access to Grounded, a behind-the-scenes feature length documentary about the game. Which was too bad, since it was actually pretty good. Fortunately, Amazon has lots of money that it likes to throw around, so now you can see it for free.
Admittedly, this is not any sort of warts-and-all look at the game production process; Grounded: The Making Of The Last Of Us is the documentary equivalent of a glossy magazine article. But it’s a really interesting, in-depth glossy magazine article. Remember, this was made before Naughty Dog and Sony discovered they had that increasing rarity in modern gaming: A platform exclusive that sold by the crate. The opening of the trailer does a good job summing up the movie:
Even at 85 minutes, Area 5, the team behind the documentary, shows off the process and the difficulties involved. It’s far more upbeat than, say, Indie Game: The Movie for obvious reasons, but it never comes off as insincere or avoiding an issue. There are parts you want more of; I personally wish they’d spent 85 minutes just on Gustavo Santaololla, the Oscar-winning composer who wrote the soundtrack.
But, hey, it’s completely free. Amazon, for some reason, has stuck it in their rental/purchase regime, so you’ll either need to add it your library or “rent” it. Or if you can wait, Sony’s promised to upload the entire movie to YouTube at some point. But either way, if you’ve got an hour and a half to kill, this is an engaging way to spend it.