When it comes right down to it, things just don’t get much bigger than Naughty Dog’s upcoming The Last of Us Part 2. The game is looking to be the blockbuster title of the year (outside maybe CD Projekt RED’s Cyberpunk 2077), and it looks to take a deep dive into the brutal world of Joel and Ellie once more. The team has gone to great lengths to create a fleshed out world, such as the post-societal Seattle, as well as the more nuances you’ll encounter with your foes. And this time around, they are going to be smarter.
Co-director Anthony Newman talked to Ungeek about the new and improved AI seen in the sequel. One aspect he wanted to highlight was how it was smarter in how it deals with stealth attacks. The AI now has what’s called the ‘middle state’ that will have enemies constantly on guard when they see one of their allies drop from a stealth attack from afar. It helps Ellie on one level, as it no longer means that when this happens everyone will instantly know where you are, but creates a more sophisticated and tense AI.
“In Last of Us 2, we introduced this middle state that honored the fact that if someone witnessed their friend getting killed with an arrow in front of them, of course they’re gonna be alerted, they know someone did that. But they shouldn’t know exactly where it came from. There’s this kind of middle state of ‘vague awareness.’ So when you play the game, you’ll hear enemies say something like ‘I think it came from over there,’ so they’re kind of uncertain about your location, but they have a pretty good idea of where you are.
“In the Last of Us 1, if you kill someone with a silent weapon like a bow and arrow, you’d have the expectation that no one would know where you were. But if someone saw their friend die, we call it “witnessing a silent kill” — if they witness a silent kill, in Last of Us 1 they would immediately know where you were. It’s because in that game, we only had two states, enemies either didn’t know where you were at all or they knew exactly where you were.”
The Last of Us Part 2 will launch only on PlayStation 4 June 19th. If the sound of the above worry you, don’t stress, the game has a variety of difficulty options, which you can read more about through here.