The Last of Us designer Ricky Cambier says classic games like Ico and Resident Evil 4 helped Naughty Dog shape the upcoming survival-action game's powerful story and characters.
Speaking with MMGN, Cambier says he believes The Last of Us is able to blend the tension of basic survival with the brutality of the game world's "kill or be killed" philosophy.
"We knew we wanted to really push the story, push the tension of basic survival," he said. "We really wanted to give you that feel of action. So I think there are elements of this [action and survival] that exist within the genre, but I don’t think anyone had put them together quite like we felt we could."
The game's two main characters -- Joel and Ellie -- build a formidable relationship as they trek across a post-pandemic US, often facing off against other humans in a battle for food and resources.
Cambier says the emotional weight of the relationship needed to be balanced with the tension of the world's issues, otherwise it may have fallen into the trap of the "unlimited ammo, regenerating health" game cliche.
"We always wanted to take the character building and interaction, look at something as far back as Ico, and blend it with the tension and action of Resident Evil 4.
"Our game doesn’t feel like either of those, but those have bits and pieces of what we wanted to do."
Cambier iterates that Naughty Dog wanted to create as realistic a survival game as possible, with actions that seem real.
"With The Last Of Us you get this very thoughtful approach to survival in a world, which is what we think it would really be like," he explains. "You’re not going to be able to run at enemies armed across the street, because Joel wouldn’t do that. Joel understands how dangerous the world is."
The Last Of Us launches on June 14