The Last of Us Part 1 Video Discusses Combat, Explains Lack of Dodging

Director Matthew Gallant says there's a "whole set of mechanics appropriate for Clickers" in the remake that would be "subverted" with dodging.

Posted By | On 02nd, Sep. 2022

The Last of Us Part 1

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part 1 is out today, and is a remake of the 2013 classic. The development team has been discussing its philosophy and outlining improvements to the environments, cutscenes, art direction and lighting. The latest video goes over combat and what’s changed.

Right away, game director Matthew Gallant addresses the elephant in the room – why didn’t the developer “retrofit” dodging from The Last of Us Part 2 in the remake? He explained, “If you’re facing a Clicker in The Last of Us Part 1, you need to keep your distance from that Clicker because if it grabs you, it’s gonna kill you. I think we found a great balance for that in The Last of Us Part 2 playing as Ellie, but it just felt wrong for Joel.

“There’s a whole set of mechanics that are appropriate for Clickers in The Last of Us Part 1 that would kind of be subverted if you could dodge away from them. It would just be a very different feeling game.”

Principal designer Christian Wohlwend added, “Authenticity to the original game drove every decision that we made.” He noted the sequence where Ellie and Joe are in a truck and see an injured person walking towards them who turns out to be a hunter. When it rolled into combat on PS3, the scripting was complicated since it had to unload and load enemies to maintain continuity.

“But because we didn’t have that constraint on the PlayStation 5, we can have more enemies all alive at the same time,” says Gallant. “There’s an AI coordinator that’s kind of distributing the enemies amongst these positions. So you should be able to play that fight ten different ways and have the AI respond ten different ways.”

Wohlwend said that the AI systems are all next generation in the remake but “the actual gameplay is very familiar.” The idea is to retain the cat and mouse style of gameplay, as players duck around cover and dodge Clickers.

The Last of Us Part 1 is out today on PS5, with a PC version coming later. Check out our review here and detailed graphical comparison with the PS4 remaster here. You can also check out various tips and tricks here.


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