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The Last of Us: Close-up zombies look like Silent Hill demon-popcorn, chewed up by Guillermo Del Toro

Monsters without proper faces. For some reason they freak me the hell out. I'm not talking about disfigured monsters, or monsters with one giant laser eye, or something like that. No, I'm talking about the ones with missing features and horrible structural aberrations where they should have normal face bits. Stuff like the Silent Hill nurses, or The Thin Man from Pan's Labyrinth, or that mouth-face girl from the remake of The House on Haunted Hill. They're all a special kind of bloody horrible.

Maybe it's some issue to do with their lack of identity, or inability to percieve and communicate. Either way, I find a uniquely strong revulsion toward the things, and feel a particularly shuddery skin-crawl when I come up against them in games, which can only be exorcised by destroying every last one of the shambling nightmares into absolute nothingness. Or running the hell away.

And now it turns out that The Last of Us' zombies are going to be exactly that sort of enemy. Great. Thanks, Naughty Dog. I know this because of a photo that appeared on ND co-founder Evan Well's Twitter account over the weekend, featuring a sculpted bust of one of the things. Of course, I'm not being entirely sarcastic when I say "Thanks". The character design is brilliant. It's one of the most rotten, stinking, horrible enemies I've seen in a game in a good long while. It's going to scare the crap out of me in-game. Particularly given that The Last of Us' melee emphasis is going to make me get really damn close to the things in order to kill them right the hell up. I'm shuddering just thinking about having to do that. Actually doing a little involuntary motion with my shoulders and everything.

Still, some poor sod actually had to sculpt this thing. Touch it with his actual hands, Shape it into being with delicate caresses of his naked finger tips, knowing full well as the thing slowly wretched into life that he, and he alone, was responsible for its existence.

Brave.

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12 comments

  • Yorko - June 8, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    The Last of Us for PC http://petitionbureau.org/thelastofuspc
  • Blaastoid - May 20, 2012 12:05 a.m.

    That looks like it would make me crap my pants if I saw that standing still in an abandoned building I was trying to loot. I give them props for making this look hella disturbing! Can't wait to play this game.
  • IceBlueKirby - March 26, 2012 5:43 p.m.

    Damn, that shit is creepy. And like the article mentions, it's going to be worse not having a lot of ammo to blow it right the hell away from a good distance. Looking forward to this game even more now, knowing that it might actually freak me out more than any game since the second and third Silent Hill games.
  • jackthemenace - March 26, 2012 1:10 p.m.

    So, what about The Slenderman? Plus, someone should totally make a game about Slendy. Like, A Pyramid-Head style enemy that can't be killed, and you can only hope to escape, at best. That'd be pretty sweet. Oh, yeah, the thing looks cool too.
  • ChiChiRocket - March 26, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    That popcorn head makes me kinda of hungry...
  • ChiChiRocket - March 26, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    Or maybe fried dumplings. Damn, I need to stop looking at this picture, I'm starving...
  • ultimatepunchrod - March 26, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    Looks nasty...nasty AWESOME! I really like the design.
  • Viron - March 26, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    Cordyceps doesn't do that Naughty Dog, why use something real if you're just gonna ignore what it actually does?
  • BladedFalcon - March 26, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    Because the real life fungus wouldn't even infect human being in the first place? It's all fiction to begin with. Furthermore, while cordyceps itself doesn't look like that, there are other fungi that do. And really, here the goal was to make it look fungoid AND as creepy and horrifying as possible, which, the way I see it is way more important than anal factual fidelity.
  • Viron - March 26, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    But anal factual fidelity is all I have left
  • Dadyo238 - March 27, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    Because it's a game about ZOMBIES TAKING OVER THE WORLD. It's not supposed to be realistic.
  • el.waxa - March 26, 2012 6:03 a.m.

    Brilliant design, truly grotesque looking. I love a good concept like this and the fact that its inspired by a real life fugus that infects insects makes it all the more frightening.

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