Video by Tristan Cooper

Look how their lips actually touch in multiple places. How Ellie’s nose bends once it makes contact. How there are tiny little plucking and slurping noises. I swear you can even see Ellie’s cheeks turn red at the end.


They’re all tiny, almost imperceptible details in isolation, but they all add up to represent one hell of a kiss. There are no mailboxes here. This is two people locking lips in a very real way, and it helps get some very physical emotions across that we don’t encounter in video games very often.

It’s easy to say, well, technology has just got better, but a kiss like this isn’t just the result of advances in motion capture and animation. Those advances have been made in this case expressly for scenes like this, and wouldn’t have come about without Naughty Dog expressly wanting to pull off a scene as captivating as this.


As video games get bigger, louder and more expensive in their never-ending pursuit towards “realism”, it’s worth remembering that not every improvement we see has to be about resolution, or lighting, or explosive effect. Sometimes the most important touches in a video game can be the most delicate ones.