The real-world virus behind The Last Of Us 'ant trailer'
- The Last Of Us
The internet is currently falling over itself with speculation about The Last Of Us, a new PS3-exclusive game that’s being teased in minimal fashion over at its official website, lastofus.com. The current best-guess is that it’s the new title from Quantic Dream and it’ll be some kind of zombie-based survival horror.
The first teaser, the ‘ant trailer’ shows footage of an ant in the grips of a particularly horrible virus. You can see The Last Of Us ‘ant trailer’ on the official site home page.
Fans of natural history programmes – of which I am one - may well recognise this ant horror, as it appeared in one of the venerable Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Life’ programmes some five or so years ago. (I can’t actually remember which series of ‘Life…’ it was from, but obviously one by the brilliant BBC Bristol.)
I’ve tracked down the relevant clip – it’s below – but a word of warning: if you’re eating, have eaten in the past hour, or are planning to eat any time soon then I’d leave off watching. Otherwise, gawp in fascinated horror. (Sorry about the ad but you can skip it.)
For more on the cordyceps unilateralis fungal virus that’s doing for these insects, here’s the wikipedia page, here’s an article about it affecting caterpillars, and here’s another one from National Geographic about the ‘zombie ants’.
There’s that word: zombie. Obviously, putting two and two together, The Last Of Us is a zombie game. But given the nature of the virus, will it be a ‘traditional’ zombie game where you’ve got to avoid getting your limbs munched by the lurching hordes? Well let’s hope not. Let’s hope it’s something a little fresher than that, and if it is indeed Quantic Dream at the helm then chances are it might well be.
Sure, there’s the whole pandemic scenario, a well-worn trope in all types of entertainment media, and likewise the ‘it came from the jungle’ premise (which given the screenshot at the top of the page seems likely) is hardly breaking new ground, but the nature of the virus – if indeed The Last Of Us does centre around something similar to cordyceps unilateralis infecting humans – conjours up some interesting possibilities.
I could go on for another 1000 words speculating with ‘what ifs' about those possibilities, but with ifs you can put all Paris in a bottle so I’ll leave that to others on the internet. The Last Of Us will be unveiled properly on Saturday at The Spike VGAs (if it’s not leaked beforehand) so we’ll have to wait patiently until then to get the real deal.
Here's the other The Last Of Us trailer, which shows the real world in chaos.
There's also this newspaper shot, clearly showing that humanity has been infected by something. And shock horror it's not just America! Little ol' England is mentioned.
We'll have more on The Last Of Us after Saturday's unveiling.
Words: Nick Ellis
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