There are all sorts of ways for The Last of Us Part II’s infected to kill you, but one of the more entertaining ones never made it out of production. According to pre-alpha gameplay, the game used to have death by arse blast.
TLOU2 lead systems and principal combat designer Matthew Gallant shared footage from the game’s development, spotted by TechnClub, over on his portfolio site. It’s rough and takes place in a giant grey room with few objects, but clearly shows Ellie going toe-to-toe with some Shamblers, one of the game’s harder enemies. Unlike their finished form, however, the prototypes have engorged butts that blow up when shot or fallen on.
“I collaborated with the AI programmers to develop, tune, and debug the NPC behaviours, including a completely new set of skills for dog NPCs,” writes Gallant. “I wrote the scripting logic that controlled each fight, and helped to shape and iterate on combat layouts with the level designers. Earlier in production, I also pitched and prototyped several new infected enemy archetypes (including shamblers and chained infected).”
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) October 12, 2019
Shamblers are TLOU2’s evolution on the original game’s Bloaters. They’re the gassier aquatic version by virtue of spending so much time in Washington’s rainy areas. Gallant doesn’t mention their exploding asses in the pre-alpha phase explicitly, or the reason why that mechanic didn’t make it into the final game. Who knows what else we were denied?
The Last of Us Part II hasn’t received any expansions since it released over a year ago. While some form of multiplayer DLC was rumoured for a long time, it doesn’t appear as though that’s in the works anymore. Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Sony is currently planning to remake the first game for the PS5.