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‘The Last of Us Part 1’ Devs Reveal The Original Game’s Scariest Moment Is Now Even Worse

‘The Last of Us Part 1’ Devs Reveal The Original Game’s Scariest Moment Is Now Even Worse

Game director Matthew Gallant and creative director Shaun Escayg explained how the Pittsburgh hotel basement is now even scarier.

When The Last of Us Part I was announced back in June, one image began circulating the web. To the uninitiated, it was simply a generator. To fans, it was a reminder that playing Naughty Dog’s new-gen remake would include experiencing the terrifying Pittsburgh hotel basement once more - and I’ve got news for you folks. I had the chance to sit down with Part I’s game director Matthew Gallant and creative director Shaun Escayg who revealed that the hotel basement is now even scarier. Having played the game, oh man. I can attest.

Check out the launch trailer for The Last of Us Part I below.

Going into Part I, we knew the game would have improved enemy AI and that’s abundantly clear to see in the behaviour of the Stalkers. Gallant told me, “In the original game, the Stalkers, they just weren't a fully realised enemy. That was partly due to tech limitations [...] and so then when we were making The Last of Us Part II, we really pushed their behaviour. We gave them creepy, unique animations where they’d peek out and skitter around. They move on all fours, sneaking, and we really felt like that version of the Stalker was just so much more fun and better realised.”

The original game’s Stalkers easily blended in with the Runners but as Gallant explained, anyone who’s experienced Part II’s convention centre sequence will know just how terrifying the overhauled Stalkers are. Well, I can announce that you’ll soon be bumping into them in the Pittsburgh hotel basement. Gallant added, “We wanted to bring those remade Stalkers into The Last of Us Part I and I think they really heighten the experience of the fights that they're in - particularly the hotel basement fight with the generator. [...] I actually was one of the combat scripters on that fight in the original game and being able to see that fight now, not only with the upgraded Stalkers, but with the upgraded Bloater who can charge, I love that fight.”

That’s right. The Bloaters have had an upgrade too. If you’re playing with 3D audio, you may find yourself feeling extra creeped out. Gallant told me, “The other thing I really love in relation to the Stalkers is with the PlayStation 5, we have the 3D audio. So if you're playing with a headset, you can really spatialise the sounds of them moving around. You can be walking down the corridor, and hear one of them skittering in a room and then kind of turn and react and it just really heightens that feeling like you're being hunted. There's enemies all around you, and they're trying to get behind you. They're trying to flank you. And I think that experience, fans are really, really gonna enjoy that.”

Escayg touched on how the improved art direction of the hotel basement further heightens the intensity of the experience this time around. He said, “It’s very much heightened. [...] There are things that break, move and flex. The world feels more alive in ways that it wasn't in the original.” Who’s excited and who’s terrified? As a survivor of the new and improved hotel basement, I can promise you that you’re in for a treat.

Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Topics: The Last Of Us, Naughty Dog, PlayStation, Interview