Everything We’ve Learned About The Last of Us

Game Front got a chance to spend a little hands-on time with The Last of Us last week, and we’ve published two big previews and an interview with all that info.

But if those first-hand accounts and analyses felt a little TL;DR for you, we’ve compiled this instead: a massive info dump of everything we learned, discovered, and were told during our time actually playing The Last of Us. This is the quick hits.

Up first, it seems we might be seeing a delay in the game’s release date, from May 7 to June 18. But why delay things any further? Here we go:


  • The Last of Us follows protagonist Joel and 14-year-old Ellie in a trip across the country — this we know. The country happens to be filled with the “infected,” humans who have been infected with a Cordyceps fungus that turns them into crazy monster people.
  • If that sounds like zombies, it basically is. We’ve seen two kinds of infected so far: Runners and Clickers.
  • Runners are described as early-stage infected, typified by their ability to run and increased agility. They’re less dangerous alone but tend to swarm.
  • Clickers are more dangerous alone and can rip out Joel’s jugular if they close the distance. They’re so named because they’re fully blind, identifiable by the huge fungal growths coming out of their eye sockets. They’ve adapted a kind of echo location that allows them to see objects directly in front of them.
  • The fungus life cycle starts with infection either through spores or bites. Fungus grows in the skull of the person, who maintains some humanity long after infection but whom is unable to control their own actions, much like ants infected by the cordyceps fungus in reality. They become runners within a few days; the transition to clickers takes about a year. The last stage of infection, after becoming clickers, has the fungus rooting the body to the ground and producing spores that can infect through the respiratory system.
  • Players will eventually encounter areas that are full of spores, where breathing apparatuses such as gas masks will be required to pass.

  • Survivors of the infection often live in quarantine zones, and that’s where The Last of Us begins. Joel and Ellie live in a Quarantine Zone located in Boston, which is run by the remnants of the U.S. military. It’s under martial law and highly oppressive, with lawbreakers dealt with harshly — often by execution.
  • Joel survives with his partner Tess as a smuggler, venturing in and out of the Quarantine Zone to hunt supplies and take on dangerous jobs. This is how he comes to be entangled with Ellie’s situation, as he and Tess are hired to smuggle Ellie out of the Quarantine Zone.
  • The military leadership in Quarantine Zone wants Ellie for some unknown purpose, apparently central to the plot of the story. It sounds as if they’ll also be factoring into the plot as Joel and Ellie venture across the country — presumably, in an attempt to recapture her.
  • We also know there are other survivors outside of Quarantine Zone, including gangs (one such called the Fireflies), who will also be either threats or allies to the protagonists.

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1 Comment on Everything We’ve Learned About The Last of Us


On February 12, 2013 at 11:53 am

Dude, awesome article. The game sounds heavily scripted. But.. even if it’s full with fungus spores.. feels like fresh air.