Naughty Dog’s critically renowned post apocalyptic action-adventure The Last of Us brings a new level of creepy and scary to a dark, bloody, violent, third-person video game.
It doesn’t just plop players into the middle of a dark, fictional universe where danger lurks around every corner and death is just a few steps away in the wrong direction. It puts them in one that looks eerily similar to the player’s actual universe. That means we’re probably just a few years away from a video game engine that can render what your actual house looks like when the power is out and you’re being stalked by some kind of serial slasher who bumps off gamers in his sleep.
The Last of Us doesn’t have a pixel rendering system that can keep you from sleeping, but it’s story of a fungus that sparks a zombie apocalypse does create something equally terrifying. According to NPR, it’s not entirely fictional.
The game’s creative director Neil Druckmann said he got the story’s central idea from a fungus that can do something similar to insects. The Cordyceps fungus can actually dig into insect’s minds and take complete control of them. It also eats away internal organs so it can reproduce and produce offspring that infect other insects. Of course, the fungus can’t do the same thing to humans as we aren’t really on the same evolutionary or biological scale. Then again, that’s what scientists always say in movies where insects learn how to overthrow humanity or some bizarre fungus finds a way to infect humans.
Photo Credit: The Last of Us