In the award-winning 2013 PlayStation 3 game The Last of Us, civilization ends when the Cordyceps fungus turns humans into mindless zombies. Developed by Santa Monica-based developer Naughty Dog, the game is known for its incredibly realistic renderings of post-apocalyptic Boston, Colorado, and Salt Lake City.
To coincide with the release of the remastered edition of The Last of Us for the PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog artists John Walters and Peter Baustauer worked together to imagine what the post-apocalyptic world of The Last of Us would look like in places not covered by the game: the Roman Colosseum, London’s Buckingham Palace, Berlin’s Hauptbanhof, Paris’s Eiffel Tower, and more.
One of the things that separates the particular kind of apocalypse from others (and there are many ) is that it’s based on a fungus, so the world begins to look like it’s infected with Cordycep spores. This is an aspect of the Last of Us world that Walter and Baustauer’s digital paintings faithfully adhere to. In their work, it’s not just that the world’s most famous buildings and cities have been neglected, or even emptied of their humanity. It looks like the world is covered with sores, and it’s starting to rot.