Naughty Dog and Sony have released the first in a series of trailers detailing the development of The Last of Us. Today's trailer, titled "Hush", focuses on the great evil of the game -- no, not people. The Infected. Fungus-ridden people who have had their bodies taken over by a foreign agent, leading to the end of civilization as we know it. The Last of Us is heavy stuff.
This trailer goes into detail on how Naughty Dog explored what sort of "monster" they'd use for their game. It's made clear they very much wanted to avoid cliche zombies, though some of the concept shown makes it seem that they did at one point consider them. They came to the conclusion that fungus monsters was an exciting concept and visually compelling without being cliche, and so we have the Infected.
I'm rather curious as to whether the terror aspect of these enemies was planned prior to the design of the Infected. Did Naughty Dog want a monster that used echo-location, and then put a fungus face to it? Did they want an enemy that players would be afraid of, that they'd avoid, and add a monster to bring that fear to life? Did they want an end-of-the-world zombie apocalypse without the zombies before or after adding the Infected? The order of the design would be thrilling to hear about.
Good thing we've got a full series of The Last of Us development trailers ahead of us, leading into the game's release on June 14. Hopefully Naught Dog is using their extra months to really bring the game to life, as opposed to just creating a more robust marketing campaign. Not that the extra trailers aren't appreciated. As always, The Last of Us will be PlayStation 3 exclusive.