The Last of Us Part II's Release Date Will Be Announced When it's "Very Close;" Lots of Info Revealed

Neil Druckmann and the rest of The Last of Us Part II's senior team share a lot of information about gameplay, characters and more.

By Giuseppe Nelva

June 12, 2018

During a panel part of the E3 Coliseum live coverage, the team behind The Last of Us Part II led by Creative Director Neil Druckmann provided a lot of information about the game.

You can check out an extensive list below.

  • The primary philosophy behind the gameplay is about “tension.” The team worked on making Ellie feel like she’s more connected with the environment, being able to squeeze under things, through things, and interacting with the environment in a way that feels more realistic and human.
  • They also tried to make the AI enemies feel like real people and not just game enemies. For instance, they call each other by name.
  • Ellie was playable in Left Behind, but the developers have expanded things a lot. The game is still centered on Ellie, but everything including combat, stealth, crafting, and traversal is taken to the next level. It’s gonna be a “really new experience” for people offering more options to players.
  • Now players can dodge, and it’s a core part of the melee system. You can also leverage yourself on surfaces to attack. Combat, in general, offers a lot more options for the player. The goal is to create a lot of creative opportunities for gameplay. It creates a lot of exciting situation.
  • Stealth is “analog” you’re never completely hidden, and how hidden you are, depends on how tall the grass is and similar elements depending on the environment. You can also jump, and that opens more vertical gameplay.
  • Crafting involves choices, and it’s expanded where it makes sense. There are different arrow types and more that can be crafted.
  • Each crafted item fills a specific niche.
  • Traversal is evolved with new options, like the ability to squeeze in narrow gaps and go prone in order to flank enemies.
  • Enemies use the same animation system as Ellie. You don’t see the transition between animations, they feel more natural, and more threatening.
  • It’s a “really big game.” It’s still a linear story, but the player has a lot of options to move around in a “pretty vast space.” The developers have pushed the “wide linear” concept even more.
  • Spaces feel like every place can involve combat, and there is always a threat. There is no safe space.
  • The AI communicates a lot. When enemies spot a body in the forest awareness ripples out, and gradually more and more people know about it, and reinforcement will come. It works realistically, and AI will also search in a realistic way to find the player and engage Ellie.
  • The infected are coming back, and their “gameplay space” is expanded. There are new classes which work with the narrative in a way that makes logical sense. They’re a real threat not just to Ellie but also to her enemies.
  • The demo we saw yesterday is still in Jackson County. Ellie is part of the community and part of the patrols to keep the town safe. Things start normal and then “bad shit goes down.”
  • Even the antagonists are humanized, they’re not just bad guys and they have more dimension and complexity.
  • The “old man” spoken of in the trailer is Joel. He is “somewhere out there.”
  • Jessie is the leader of the patrol and Joel has been harassing him to keep Ellie safe. Dina (played by Shannon Woodward) has started a relationship with Ellie.
  • The kiss scene in the demo caused issues because performance capture cameras prevent actors from getting close to each other. The initial takes were taken without the cameras to get reference material for the animators. Then they put the camera back on with the acresses turning to the side and pretend to kiss each other while just kissing the air. They tried to have their cheeks touching so it actually felt a bit like intimacy. You can check out an image below.
  • The scene was very difficult to render even from a technological point of view, especially due to the hair.
  • The release date won’t be announced until the game is “very close to release.” Now we’re indeed not very close to release.

If you want to see more about the game (which is a PS4 exclusive, of course), you can check out the spectacular gameplay from yesterday, alongside some beautiful screenshots.

Of course, The Last of Us Part II isn’t the only news coming from Sony Interactive Entertainment’s press conference, and you can check everything out in the official video recording.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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