The Last of Us Part II Small Improvements Contribute to Feeling Much Great Tension

The original game The Last of Us was critically acclaimed by many, but it also had criticism as well, which is why game studio Naughty Dog made sure these feedbacks will be addressed in the sequel, The Last of Us Part II. They wanted to add new mechanics to make it more challenging for the players at the same time make more improvements for the enemy A.I., which made them smarter and flexible at times.

Creative director Neil Druckmann talked with Game Informer about the changes the team made in order to make the game feeling new while at the same time staying true to its roots. The challenge was that the world of the game was not sci-fi, so they had to add new mechanics that followed that rule. This is where the prone mechanic was added.

Druckmann stated that going prone might look simple at first, but it is actually complicated with the level of gameplay they have in the game.

…it’s a hugely complicated system to look as good as it does and be as effective as it is.

The development team had to add grass that looks good and the effect it has on Ellie when she enters that patch of grass, so it does not make her completely hidden. It creates a whole new level of tension.

The human enemies have their A.I.s redone where they have vision and hearing this time around. These characters will have their own names, and their heartbeats are being tracked. These elements could affect their audio cues, which could mean they will breathe harder or shout more. It can even change the emotional state of that person if they see Ellie kill their friend.

These are just some of the “small” elements that they have added or improved in order to address the criticisms from before. Based from the gameplay trailers, the game is looking to be more interesting to play with new elements to face head on.

The Last of Us Part II will launch on June 19 exclusively on PlayStation 4.

Interview source: Game Informer

Former News Editor