The Last of Us Part II Sound Designer Shares Insights on Infected
The Last of Us Part II's sound designer took to his Twitter account to delve into the process of creating the terrifying sounds of the Infected.
It’s no secret that The Last of Us Part II is the most talked about game in quite some time: a mix of its polished gameplay, very human and flawed characters, and highly divisive story. But there’s an often overlooked detail concerning the title that makes it that much more immersive. The sound designer for the title, Beau Anthony Jimenez, took to his official Twitter account to discuss the process behind its sound design.
Specifically he delves into the voice work that went into the Infected, the undead threat in the game:
— Beau Anthony Jimenez (@thebeauanthony) June 21, 2020
According to one of Jimenez tweets, his “task was to conceptualize, prototype, sound design, edit, and implement all vocals and non-vocal sound effects for the Infected in TLOU2, within systemic gameplay, in-game cinematics (IGCs), proper cinematics and player death moments.” Working with Audio Lead Robert Krekel, it took about two weeks to direct the voice talent.
First up are the main enemy set, Runners. The VAs had to properly convey the horrific process of slowly turning and how you retain just enough mental cognition to understand what’s happening but are unable to prevent the desire to kill, feed, and spread the infection. Next were Stalkers, who are much smaller and quieter so they had to be localized differently to pull them off.
There’s also the infamous Clickers, who were made to sound ferocious and terrifying to continuously frighten the player. Their sounds “were layered with various wet, gore source recorded at high sample rate with an extended frequency response microphone. This gave the vocals a texture that felt sickening and hyper-real to the listener.”
The full thread is an absolute treasure trove of sound design information for such a unique enemy type, and a fascinating look into the work and creativity that this aspect of the game requires.
For any newcomers to the franchise, or those who haven’t played Part II yet, Features Editor put together a guide of everything you need to know about The Last of Us. And here’s an explanation of when you can expect to see our own review for the title here.
Meanwhile you can check out some of the great works from fans of the game such as fanart paying tribute to Ellie, Joel and Dina as well as fanart of Ellie with Riley from the original The Last of Us DLC. There’s also some great Ellie cosplay you can check out here.