Be Seen, Not Heard: Naughty Dog Dev Diary Explains the Clickers

by Joseph Leray

The scariest thing about “Killer7” wasn’t that the Heaven Smile enemies were invisible or bloodthirsty terrorists, it’s that they emitted a blood-chilling cackling laugh before blowing themselves to smithereens. “BioShock”’s Splicers were equally vocal: I always heard their crazed muttering before I saw them, and it always set me on edge.

If “The Last of Us” is as atmospheric and tense as Naughty Dog promise, Clickers will carry those previous games’ torch as harbingers of fear. As Neal Druckmann, creative director for Naughty Dog, explains in this developer diary, Clickers are infected humans who have been totally blinded by an aggressive, parasitic fungus and who use echolocation to find prey.

As players explore the ruined world of the “The Last of Us,” those throaty clicks will let them know a Clicker is nearby, which is bad news for anyone interested in keeping their face and torso in one piece.


As we explained in our preview, the Clicker’s echolocation also opens up gameplay possibilities: Ellie and Joel  can throw bottles or rocks to lure the blind Infected into traps.

At any rate, this dev diary -- titled “Hush” -- is the first of a series of planned videos peeking behind the scenes at Naughty Dog. It mostly deals with the concept and creation of the Infected, which audio director Phillip Kovats emphatically describes as “not zombies.” I don’t mean to split hairs, but: if it looks like a zombie, shambles like a zombie, and rips out throats like a zombie, I’m not sure quite what else it could be, fungal infection notwithstanding.

“The Last of Us” is a PlayStation 3 exclusive and was recently delayed to early June.

[PlayStation Blog]

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