The Last of Us: Part II Press Details Drop for Outbreak Day
By: Bryce L. Jackson
The team at Naughty Dog celebrate Outbreak Day by letting the world know additional details of the upcoming release of The Last of Us: Part II.
*Spoiler warning for potential plot details*
Larger media outlets that got invitations to the press event got two hours of demo gameplay time the same day as the Sony State of Play livestream that revealed the biggest story trailer for the game since E3 2018. Naughty Dog has allowed the press to reveal story and gameplay reactions that will shape the narrative.
Interviews by Director Neil Druckmann and the team members at Naughty Dog gave vague details of the story and environment of TLOU: Part II. They offered a more in-depth look at the deeper interactions of the characters in the game like Ellie 5 years after resetting in Jackson, Wyoming, the budding courtship of her and Dina (who is implied to have been killed but not explicitly inferred) the enemy factions, her relationship with Joel, the cycle of violence, and the revenge tale that is playing out.
Media personnel got a gameplay demo that was estimated to be 2-3 hours. In it, they report that combat is familiar to fans of the game with some added elements that feel fresh but also appropriate. Elli’s small frame and agility are key components to her ability to traverse the environment, either with her ability to get through small spaces or her ability to climb objects. This addition gives more verticality to Ellie’s interaction with her environment for puzzle-solving and combat. Ellie build also gives her advantages in her combat style. She will be able to be more sneaky when trying to avoid combat or gain a stealth advantage or have the capability to dodge attacks from enemies. The team at Naughty Dog has introduced prone traversal for Ellie to hide under cars and high grass as we saw in the E3 2018 gameplay but have also introduced combat abilities like using her bow in a prone position from some of today’s footage.
Enemies are also smarter between both humans and Infected. The story trailer introduces us to the Washington Liberation Front who have dogs as companions. With that, dogs will be more easily alerted to your position as the player as well as track your scent (which you’ll be able to see in Listen mode). Ellie vs human interactions have more depth where if the player as Ellie kills an enemy and their WLF comrade finds the body, they will call them out by name or relation, evening the scope of the humanity between the player and the enemy. Also, if the player stealth kills the handler of the aforementioned dogs, the dogs will react to their human on the ground and not moving.
New Infected enemy types were also introduced. One is called the “Stalker” that is defined as the in-between of a Runner and a Clicker that has the ability to be just as stealthy as a human but in infected form, and another one called the “Shambler” which is similar to the Bloaters from Part 1 but are even tankier that rush the player and have an Area of Effect burst of rotten spores.
Crafting plays a crucial role again in TLOU: Part !!. New gameplay introduces a makeshift silencer for Ellie’s pistol that was not in the first game. On-the-fly crafting is back and more in-depth while weapon upgrading takes on a more personal feel and gives players the agency to make Ellie as they please.
The Last of Us: Part 2 releases on February 21st, 2020.