Naughty Dog Explains the Reasoning Behind Ellie’s “Slightly Younger” Look in The Last of Us

May 16, 2012Written by Alex Osborn

Those with a keen eye may have noticed that Ellie looks a bit different in the latest trailer for The Last of Us. While she still bears the same general appearance, her face looks a bit younger than it did in the debut video. Naughty Dog has commented on why they decided to make this change, saying that Ellie as a “younger teen” fits better into the context of the story.

Naughty Dog’s creative director Neil Druckmann told IGN that coming up with the character design for Ellie has been no small feat, as an exorbitant amount of work went into finding the perfect look.

When we came up with the character of Ellie we put a lot of thought into what we wanted her to look like, researching the facial proportions, coloring and bone structures of dozens of faces and bodies. In addition to this, we held numerous casting sessions to ensure we had the right performance capture artist to represent Ellie, eventually selecting actress Ashley Johnson.

Druckmann went on to discuss the actual change to Ellie’s character that viewers will notice in the trailer, pointing out that they “decided to modify Ellie’s model to better reflect Ashley’s personality, and also resemble a slightly younger teen more fitting to the story.”

According to game director Bruce Straley, Naughty Dog has some exciting reveals in store for E3. “Our team has been working hard to have something ready at E3 that will please our fans. We’d love to say more, but we don’t want to spoil anything,” he said. I don’t know about you, but all of us at PlayStation LifeStyle can’t wait!