David Attenborough doesn’t seem the most likely source of inspiration for a video game. Not a tale of survival set 20 years after a worldwide fungal pandemic turned most of the world’s population into zombies, anyway. But this is the starting point for new PS3 survival horror game The Last Of Us – specifically, an episode of Planet Earth that featured ants attacked by a brain parasite that burst out of their heads and infected the colony.
Our main character Joel – seen above facing down a typically aggressive undead assailant – and his partner Tess live in a quarantined area where they take a job smuggling out 14-year-old Ellie. Which means coming into contact with the infected humans and the roaming gangs trying to stay clean and survive.
But it’s the infected that concern us during this first play of the game – a third-person mixture of stealth and action reminiscent of The Road and I Am Legend.
There are two types. The first, ‘Runners’, are in the early stages of the disease. They’re fast and attack in groups. The second type are ‘Clickers’, so-called as they are blind and use echolocation to hunt you.
The game is terrifying, partly because of the expertly created atmosphere, partly because of your low supplies, but mainly because if the infected catch you, you’re done for. It’s a one-hit kill.
Which is why the yell of fright we let out on turning to find a Clicker bearing down on us was justified. An addition to his legacy David Attenborough should be proud of.
The Last Of Us is released on PS3 on 7 May