Sunday, February 25, 2018

Neil Druckmann Talks The Last of Us Inspiration

As creative game director at Naughty Dog, Neil Druckmann can surely take pride for his contribution to The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. Among these, the former is a critically acclaimed and commercially successful game with a sequel in works. At the 21st DICE Awards, he opened up about his source of inspiration for The Last of Us and its strong narrative in an interview with director Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane, Black Mirror).

neil druckmann the last of us
Neil Druckmann Talks The Last of Us Inspiration

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Druckmann says that how much he was fond of Monkey Island and the Sierra games. He revealed that as a story-centric game, Half-Life truly blew him away. His time at Naughty Dog started off as a programming intern working on Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing. These eventually led him to work with adventurer Nathan Drake for the action-adventure genre of Uncharted game series.

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While working on these projects, Druckmann was always seeking answer for better ways of telling stories throughout the gameplay and with that mindset, his goal was to create characters who can tell stories without wearing any fancy costumes. So, when he got the chance to shape the world of The Last of Us for Naughty Dog in 2013, his long-time dream actually came true at long last.

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In the game, the protagonist tries to protect a girl from the hazards of a post-apocalyptic world while constantly fighting ravaging infected populace of their surroundings. The perfect blend of story-telling through the elements of survival horror was created in the process and it left a deep impact on gamers and pop culture. With a record-breaking game taking the gaming world by storm, the developers focused on a sequel.

the end of the world4 netflix jessica barden alex lawther
The End of the F***ing World

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Currently, The Last of Us Part 2 II is in works for PlayStation 4 and already two breathtaking trailers are dropped. As he was talking about it, Druckmann reveals that the game took major inspiration from the dark comedy original Netflix series The End of the F***ing World and the emphasis were mainly focused on the dialogue of the sequel. According to him, the story of the series is well written and acted, which you would agree too if you have already watched the show or the trailer.

"There’s a show on Netflix called End of the F***ing World – which is so well written, acted, and quirky – has been totally inspiring the stuff we’re doing in [The Last of Us 2]. Again, more on the dialogue stuff."

Though the show, The End of the F***ing World is worth a binge watch if you are all game for a good time, the black comedic tones of the series hardly matches with a post-apocalyptic game setting of The Last of Us filled with cannibals and hostile humans everywhere. The edgy dialogues of it however, go along fine with the messed up atmosphere of the game. Neil Druckmann was probably referring to laughing at the darker side of things in Naughty Dog's crown jewel.