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The Last of Us: American Dreams helped develop Ellie’s story in the game

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The comics are a stand-alone story

The Last of Us: American Dreams, the upcoming comic from Dark Horse, allowed creators to expand and develop Ellie's personality, motivations and backstory for the game.

In an interview with the PlayStation Blog, Naughty Dog Creative Director Neil Druckmann explained the benefits of crafting a comic while the game is still in production.

"Because we haven't finished the game yet, we've been able to weave some of those threads into the story of the game," said Druckmann. "So there are certain parts as you play the game, if you've read the comic book, you'll understand what Ellie's referring to, or have a deeper understanding of what made her make that decision.

The comics are a stand-alone story, meaning readers will not have to play the game to understand them. American Dreams explores Ellie's early days, diving into the events and motivations that shaped her into the character seen in The Last of Us.

Dark Horse Comics and Naughty Dog announced the four-issue comic book series American Dreams at this year's New York Comic-Con. Druckmann will co-write the comics with Faith Erin Hicks, who will also provide the artwork. Christina Strain will color the series. The Last of Us: American Dreams is expected in the spring of 2013; the game is expected in 2013 as well.