Naughty Dog tells us about The Last of Us Part 2's creepiest new enemies (and they aren't Clickers)

A Seraphite with an axe from The Last of Us Part 2.

You've probably been wondering who those creepy fanatics in The Last of Us 2 are - you know, the ones who are so fond of hanging and disemboweling folks? While navigating between scores of exciting E3 2018 games we got the chance to sneak up on co-game directors Kurt Margenau and Anthony Newman and shank them with a list full of questions about The Last of Us Part 2. Their responses helped shed some light on just who these strange people are (aside from stealth-kill fodder for Ellie).

The first thing you should know is what they call themselves: the Seraphites, as in followers of the Seraphim (angels from the highest ranks of Heaven in Abrahamic religions). Margeneau and Newman confirmed that Seraphites appeared as the antagonists in both the brutal Paris Games Week cinematic trailer and at the PlayStation E3 2018 show. So… what's the deal? Why do they act so much more strangely than most of the enemies we encountered in the first Last of Us?

"Basically this world is incredibly harsh, and different groups of people banded together and figured out how to survive in different ways," Newman explained. "So the people in Jackson [where Joel and Ellie settled] have learned to survive in kind of a cooperative, wholesome way. The Seraphites are a more fanatical group, and they center their lives around faith and spirituality in a way that has become kind of fanatical and hostile and aggressive to outsiders.

"They're super deadly, and the way that they communicate with each other with the whistles, they're able to coordinate with each other without revealing to the player exactly what they're doing. So you can pay attention, but you're only kind of getting partial information about their plans. It makes them a lot creepier to deal with."

They have their own lingo when they aren't communicating via whistles, as well - you might have picked up on the Seraphites calling Ellie "wolf." Margeneau wasn't willing to explain much more about that, but he did assure us that "the depth and meaning will be revealed later."

If you're missing all the clickers and company from the first game, read through our list of the best zombie games. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.