The Last of Us PC is speculated to arrive “very soon” after the survival game’s recent PS5 remaster, but in the meantime, players have spotted a telling new easter egg which – when coupled with Uncharted – seems to suggest that the next project by Naughty Dog could be a new fantasy game.
Cast your mind all the way back to the halcyon days of 2011, and you may remember that in the opening barfight level of Uncharted 3, players could find a newspaper hidden in the background (cleverly titled The Overseer, in reference to The Guardian) which carried the headline “Scientists still struggling to understand deadly fungus”. Naturally, this was a hint at what was then Naughty Dog’s next game, and the disgusting, plant-infected monsters that would populate The Last of Us.
Fast forward to 2021, and Hyoung Taek Nam, a senior concept artist at Naughty Dog, shares images on their ArtStation profile depicting fantasy-looking characters wielding swords and sitting atop dead dragons: “You know what I’m talking about,” the artist writes. At Summer Game Fest 2022, Naughty Dog creative director and The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann says they have “a new project” in the works. Clearly, something is afoot.
Well now, images from the remaster of The Last of Us have surfaced which seem to suggest even further that not only is a new Naughty Dog game in the works, but that it could be a fantasy game, or perhaps an RPG. In a very similar style to the Uncharted 3 headline easter egg, hiding among the walls of The Last of Us are several pieces of what look like concept art, showing various fantasy-style characters complete swords, armour, and a kind of mythical creature as a companion.
Coupled with the hints we have already received, it certainly seems arguable that this could point to the next Naughty Dog project.
The images come from Naughty Dog Central, a news site committed to The Last of Us, Uncharted, and the rest of the developer’s catalogue. On July 23, Jonathan Benainous, Naughty Dog’s senior environment texture artist, said that, following its PS5 rerelease, a PC version of The Last of Us would come “very soon”. Hopefully the same will apply to this potential new fantasy game.