The Last of Us Part 2's Director Explains How the New Shambler Enemy Works

The Last of Us Part II is bringing back enemies from the first game, but it’s also introducing some new foes players are going to have to adapt to. One of these is called the “Shambler,” an enemy who looks like a building mass of disease and does its best to worsen players’ experiences. Neil Druckmann, the director of The Last of Us Part II, gave some insights into the new enemy to explain its existence in the game and what players are going to have to watch out for.

The Shambler is an enemy that some Last of Us fans might’ve heard of through some previews of the game that emerged alongside Naughty Dog’s latest trailer reveal. Just like the other enemies in the series, it’s named for its actions and shuffles towards players menacingly until it gets within a certain range. It’ll then release a cloud of acid that hurts players if they stand in it.

Druckmann described the Shambler in a post on the PlayStation Blog where he compared it to other enemies in the game like the Runners and the Clickers. While you can encounter this type of enemy on its own, he said things get worse whenever there are other types of foes around since it obscures players’ vision with its harmful cloud. The gif below shows the enemy's attack in action.

“We have Runners that close the distance quickly,” Druckmann said. “We have Clickers that move slowly but are one-hit kills. Shamblers provide this area of attack, where they have this cloud of gaseous acid that burns materials around it. It burns your skin. The way you saw it in this demo is that they’re mostly on their own. It gets really interesting because you have a cloud that hurts you when you enter it, but it also blocks your view, then Runners burst through it. So the combinations get really interesting.”

via Gfycat

As for the justification for the existence of the creature that wasn’t found in The Last of Us, Druckmann referenced the documentation found in the first game that laid out the stages of being infected. He hinted at some of the ways that this thing might’ve come to be including environment causes and mutations experienced over time.


“Now we have to justify why there are different stages,” Druckmann said. “Why are there mutations of these things? Without getting into it here, there is something about the environment and how much time has passed that has allowed these mutations to occur.”

The Last of Us Part II is scheduled to release for the PlayStation 4 on February 21, 2020.