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Naughty Dog Talks Abandoned The Last of Us Plots

The Last of Us concept art
Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us has been one of 2013′s best games thus far, but it could have featured a drastically different narrative from start to finish.

In an interview in the latest issue of Game Informer (spotted by CVG), Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckman discussed the original approach to The Last of Us’ story, which featured a vengeful Tess chasing Joel and Ellie around the country.

“We had a tough time understanding why Joel would take this journey – we weren’t buying it,” Druckman said. “We also had a hard time buying that Tess would go on a vendetta. We could understand her pursuing Joel a little bit, but why would she go for a year around the country?”

Those things were solved by saying that Tess is going to die when she gets bitten, but her dying wish to Joel is to do this one good thing – help me do this one good thing so my soul can rest because I’ve done all these horrible things.”

Initially, Ellie, too, was different. Druckman revealed the developer had intended for Ellie to not kill non-infected humans on the journey until the end of the original idea, when Tess was torturing Joel. “We decided it wasn’t going to be about the first time she killed someone, it was more about this coming of age story of the impact that the horrors of violence has on her over the course of the game,” Druckman told the magazine.

Earlier in the week, Druckman had tweeted a photo of concept art based on the original idea, with the promise more details would come during a PAX panel at the end of the month. These behind-the-scenes peeks at a game’s development are always interesting, and we only wish more developers were as open about the process.

Next: The Last of Us 2 - Sequel Wish List

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