This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us!

For fans of The Last of Us, the game’s introduction segment is something that we have never forgotten. With the release of its HBO adaption this month, more information about the game’s development is coming to the forefront despite the game first being released in 2013. This includes the news that the game originally began with players taking on the role of Joel, instead of his daughter, Sarah, as the pair flee their hometown of Texas to hit the road after a zombie outbreak hits.

This news comes to us after the release of behind-the-scenes featurette ‘A Father’s Love’, which showcases Naughty Dog’s work on The Last of Us’ epic opening. In this episodic documentary, series creator Neil Druckmann says “for a long time, the plan was to play Joel, not Sarah and it was like, you as Joel would hear a commotion over at your neighbour’s house, you would walk over there, you’d see they were infected, then you’d head back and grab your daughter, then run. But it felt like, I’ve seen this… The fact that you are seeing it through a very innocent child made everything creepier and scarier.” We have to agree.

The developers wanted to showcase the bond between father and daughter.

The video continues with various developers behind the game talking about the choices they made leading up to that scene. Artists, animators and designers share their creative decisions on how they worked to build tension leading up to the big moments, using sound design and minimal lighting to add to the atmosphere.

The developers also touch upon the idea of control switching to Joel after the car crash as from here on out, this was about a father fighting for his daughter. Whereas, having the previous scenes with Sarah at its helm, showing her interests in her room and the comfort and safety of their home felt paramount to the beginning of the game.

Did you think playing as Sarah instead of Joel was the right choice? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to GameLuster for more gaming news!

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