The last thing gaming needs is another zombie title. Especially since the best game of last year, The Walking Dead, perfected the type.
So we were a little skeptical that the new game from Naughty Dog, the studio behind the beloved Uncharted games, is a zombie game.
It’s called The Last of Us, and BuzzFeed played it today. And now we’re not so skeptical. Here are 9 reasons you shouldn’t be, either.
1. The thing is, Naughty Dog has not made a bad game in 17 years.
From L to R: Crash Bandicoot 2, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted 3.
2. The zombies aren’t really zombies.
In the game they are called “clickers”, and Community Strategist Eric Monacelli described them to me as humans infected with a really lousy fungus. The writers at Naughty Dog were inspired by Planet Earth, specifically its discussion of the “killer” Cordyceps fungus:
3. The game’s creative director and game director both had important roles in the making of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which may be the best game of the current console generation.
Neil Druckmann, the creative director, was the lead designer on Uncharted 2, and Bruce Straley, the game director, had the same job on that game.
4. The team at Naughty Dog is still figuring out ways to cajole the PlayStation 3 into doing new tricks.
Shine your flashlight at a brown object in the game, and the light reflects back brown. Shine it at a tree, and it reflects back green. According to Monacelli, The Last of Us is the first game to pull this off.
5. Horror games need a fresh start.
The big horror series are all floundering. Dead Space 3 was bad. Resident Evil 6 was bad. Silent Hill: Book of Memories was bad. The Last of Us, which attempts to tell an actual human story and is neither fatally campy nor unnecessarily gruesome, represents a fresh start for the genre.
8. G R A P H I C S
9. The female protagonist, Ellie, curses like a fucking sailor.
In the hour-long demo I played today, Ellie, voiced by The Killing actress Ashley Johnson, used some variant of the verb “To fuck” at least ten times. We’re used to this from the beefy bad guys in action games, but coming from a character that is meant to be a 14-year-old teenage girl, it rules. Take that, tropes!