Naughty Dog's Ricky Cambier Just Made Us Feel Worse About the Ending of The Last of Us...


Naughty Dog's Ricky Cambier Just Made Us Feel Worse About the Ending of The Last of Us...
The game designer talks the final scenes of his latest blockbuster title
I just got off the phone after a lengthy chat with The Last of Us Game Designer Ricky Cambier (follow him on Twitter here) and I’m feeling devastated all over again from talking to him about the ending. Spoilers follow.

Read the full interview here.

I had a very strong reaction to the final scenes of The Last of Us and you can read more about them in my review and our post release chat with Cambier naturally included talking about the ending. NaughtyDog was always committed to a certain vision for the story, which came up when I asked did they ever consider implementing a branching narrative…

“No,” says Cambier. “Strictly because this is a character driven narrative, this is the arc for these characters. And as soon as you put this branch in here now you have at the end you’d have two different characters. And that was just never the idea.”
I then went on to relate my experience of a climactic scene, again SPOILERS FOLLOW.


We feel as sucker punched as this Infected...
We feel as sucker punched as this Infected...Enlarge Enlarge

There’s a moment late in The Last of Us where Joel is forced to murder a room full of surgeons and medical staff in order to save Ellie from certain death. As I mentioned that this scene of carnage was what really pushed me over the edge, Cambier asked a question, the exchange follows:

RC: Did you kill all three of them?

CLICK: I did, did you not have to?!

CLICK: Oh God, now I feel worse!
[laughs] – No you didn’t have to. So you definitely got into a…

CLICK: I got into a mode there!
Yea! So I mean for us Joel was in that place. And some people will throttle back right there but that’s the place I think Joel was in. So for us to get you into that right that, that’s kind of the goal [laughs]!

CLICK: So you could actually just kill one of them and then walk away!?

CLICK: Oh God, I shot them all in the head. I feel terrible…

It’s a sign of my engagement in the game at that point that I simply never considered not taking Joel vengeance to its extreme – though I do remember trying to find a non-violent way to bypass the surgeon, once I’d taken that first headshot the rest felt like an inevitability.

So, even weeks after finishing it, The Last of Us can still make you feel utterly devastated.
So what did you do at this point in the game?

The Last of Us is out now (read our review) and you can find the full interview with Naughty Dog’s Ricky Cambier here.

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