Naughty Dog understands survival horror. While people are looking to Shinji Mikami’s The Evil Within to take us back to survival horror’s roots, The Last of Us, although not a survival horror in the traditional sense, is already pushing the genre forward. Firstly, the game successfully reinvents a classic horror staple: the zombie. It might seem like a small change – to go from shambling corpses, to the ‘zombies’ seen in TLoU – but the truth is, we’ve become desensitised to traditional zombies.
The game also uses some clever pacing, switching between reflective, peaceful moments, all out action with fights against other survivors, and creepy, pitch black sneaking through dank, Clicker-infested basements. Most importantly, the game knows how to use loneliness to heighten tension.