The recent State of Play didn’t reveal many major new details, but there was still plenty to dive into.
Sony and Naughty Dog recently decided to help make the wait for The Last of Us Part 2 a little easier by treating fans to nearly 25 minutes of new details and gameplay footage in a dedicated State of Play broadcast. Much of the presentation essentially summarized many details that have already been revealed, but there were still plenty of new and interesting things that were shown for the first time. In this feature, we’ll be going over 10 of the biggest new pieces of info to come out of the presentation.
The Last of Us’ story spanned an entire year (after that time jump, that is), with multiple seasons covered, and The Last of Us Part 2 will be doing something similar. Though Naughty Dog haven’t said if the structure of the story will be similar to the first game, during the presentation, creative director Neil Druckmann confirmed that the story would span multiple seasons. We got brief glimpses of the snow-capped winters of Jackson, Wyoming, and the lush and overgrow Pacific Northwest.
Ellie’s lust for revenge will take her across the country once more, which means we can expect to see many locations throughout the game. The likes of Jackson and Seattle have already been confirmed, but what’s more interesting is that, according to Druckmann, Naughty Dog have focused quite a lot on the creation of the cities and locations we will visit in the game, and how closely they resemble their real-life counterparts. As we know new version of the Naughty Dog engine was used for the development of the game, and according to Druckmann, that was a big asset for the creation of all these locations, as well as their, as he puts it, their “wide range of exterior and interior environments.”
That The Last of Us Part 2 will feature Seattle as an important location has been known for a while, and during the recent State of Play, some more new details emerged on that. Apparently, “much” of the story is set in Seattle, and this is where Ellie will come into conflict with hostile forces. More specifically, Seattle is occupied by two warring factions, and Ellie will have to deal with both of these on her quest for vengeance.
THE TWO FACTIONS
What exactly are these two factions though? There’s the Washington Liberation Front, an armed group of highly trained soldiers that originally fought to free Seattle from military control and now occupies most of it, and violently kills any outsiders and trespassers. The second faction is the Seraphites – also known as Scars, because of how they voluntarily scar themselves – who are a group of zealouts. They specialize in stealthier forms of combat, and are usually equipped with bows and arrows.
We know by now that The Last of Us Part 2 will feature several large, open-ended areas with a focus on exploration and optional activities, similar to Uncharted 4 and The Lost Legacy, and during the State of Play presentation, more new details on the nature of these areas emerged. There will be additional resources, hidden new areas, and more scattered across the map that players will have to discover through exploration. To traverse some of the larger areas, Ellie will also make use of horses or boats. Interestingly enough, one particular bit of the new gameplay footage shown off also showed Ellie traversing water herself, so I guess she learned how to swim after all.
TRAVERSING THE ENVIRONMENTS
Other than horse riding, boats, and the added mobility options Ellie will have – such as jumping and crawling through gaps – Ellie will also be able to use ropes to navigate vertical environments, or even swing across larger gaps. One of the more interesting details that were revealed was the fact that by exploring these environments, you can find alternate routes to get past enemies, skipping past combat arenas and encounters entirely.
Throughout the gameplay footage shown off, we saw Ellie making use of plenty of manoeuvres during combat- all of them looked absolutely brutal. Things such as using other enemies as shields make a return, of course, but some new wrinkles were also revealed. You can break glass windows to vault over during combat for cover, you can craft explosive arrows for, well, explosive damage, and you can also use stun grenades, which you can then use to finish off enemies that have been affected, or make your hasty escape while they recover.
MORE COMBAT DETAILS
Out of all the new combat and stealth details revealed and shown in action, one in particular really caught our eye- that you can actually manipulate different enemy types to fight each other and either use that as a distraction to slip past unnoticed, or pick off the remaining stragglers afterward with each. The presentation showed Ellie luring a bunch of Infected and then using a distraction to get them to attack a large group of human enemies. It remains to be seen how frequently players will be able to make use of such tactics, and how dynamic these situations will be, but there’s a lot of potential for exciting stealth gameplay here.
Speaking of the Infected, that brings us to our next point…
Though human enemies are going to be a force to be reckoned with in The Last of Us Part 2, the primary threat in the game’s world remains the terrifying Infected. Runners, Stalkers, and Clickers will be returning from the first game, while we also got another glimpse at the new Shamblers. The most exciting bit of info, however, was the fact that there are more new types of Infected in the game that we will only see when the game is out. Though we did not get a look at it, a loud, horrifying, blood curdling roar could be heard in the backdrop of a black screen to give us the briefest taste of what this new enemy will sound like.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Naughty Dog have a knack for cramming their games full of the tiniest of details, and though they obviously did not focus on that singularly at any point during the State of Play broadcast, it was constantly apparent that The Last of Us Part 2 will be the same. When Ellie stabs someone, you can see blood squirting out of their wounds and them twitching on the floor as they die. When she shoots her gun, bullets leave behind wispy trails of smoke in the air for a couple of seconds. When things heat up during stealth and combat, you can actually hear her breathing getting louder and heavier. When she’s customizing her guns on the weapons workbench, the animations are exquisite. There are tons of such details littered throughout the footage that we saw, and it all looks incredible.
Oh, and there’s even a PS Vita in there. Talk about zombies, am I right?