The Last of Us Dev Diary Examines the Infected

Naughty Dog explains that deadly fungus does not a zombie make.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on The Last of Us, noting in particular a stealth gameplay trailer featuring clicking, shambling enemies, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’re going to see another zombie game. A Naughty Dog developer dairy reveals some additional details on the enemies that players will face, and the team wants to stress that there won’t be a virus that gives you a taste for human meat.

The first video of the series, titled “Hush”, shows that the origin of the Infected stems from the idea of a Cordyceps fungus, which acts as a parasite and grows from within its host. Creative Director Neil Druckmann explains that the team was watching a video of BBC’s Planet Earth when they stumbled upon the idea. “As soon as we saw it, we were intrigued by the idea of, ‘What if it jumped to humans?'”

He goes on to say that once an Infected dies, the fungus grows out of the corpse and releases spores that, once inhaled, can infect another human being.

“We went through quite a process figuring out what the Infected were going to be,” says Phillip Kovats, Audio Lead for Naughty Dog. “A very big directive from the very beginning was they’re not zombies.” Kovats states that the fungus is going to be the main enemy of the game, rather than the people, although if previous trailers are anything to go by, it looks like surviving humans will be just as dangerous as an enraged parasite host.

The Last of Us, after a release date delay, is now coming to the PlayStation 3 on June 14.

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