This Naughty Dog needs a bit of rest.
By now, just about everyone knows about The Last of Us Part 2 and it’s huge success. The game was one of the most anticipated ones coming from Sony’s Naughty Dog studios for years. It’s a technical showcase of what the PS4 is capable of, much like the first game was a technical showcase of what the PS3 was capable of when that title released at the end of that console’s life cycle. It’s also made people excited to see what the developer will do with the technology of the PS5, but we will have to wait a bit it seems even though they are excited about the potential.
Naughty Dog VP, as well as Co-director and Co-writer of The Last of Us Part 2, Neil Druckmann went on the Talking Games podcast. When discussing the future of the studio, he said they were, of course, looking forward to working on the PS5. One of the big things is the new SSD technology, and how it will help the studio with one of the biggest things they often try to tackle in their games, the lack of loading. The lack of constraints that the SSD will have for loading in games in general he sees as exciting for what the studio often strives to do.
“At the end of a [console] generation, you always feel the constraints. You always feel like you’re pushing against a bunch of walls and finding the little cracks where you can take things a little further whether it’s memory or CPU or hard drive speed. When you start a new generation, it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have to build new tech for the new hardware, and that can be an uphill battle. But on the other hand, all of a sudden you feel this freedom of, ‘Oh my god, we can breathe again!’ ‘We can break away from these constraints.’ And one of the things that we’re excited by is the solid-state hard drive and what it means for almost seamless loading.
“We do so much work, on our end, once you start the adventure, you never see a load screen. And there’s so much work that happens behind the scenes of how we design the levels, how we chop them up, and it’s all invisible to the player; you never see any of that work. But now, knowing that we’re going to be able to load things more quickly, it just means the designers don’t have to be as constrained by how they lay things out. How we think about things. When we load new characters. So I’m excited to see the doors that opens for us.”
Ultimately, however, it will probably be a while before we see what Naughty Dog tackle next, but for now, it seems after The Last of Us Part 2 the team is taking a break. It’s unclear what that actually entails and what the time frame is for when they’ll get back to developing something, but it also probably explains why there’s no DLC planned for the game.
The Last of Us Part 2 was a long development and there have always been reports of intense crunch at the studio, so a nice break is probably needed. We’ll keep you updated on when we know something about their next game- Neil Druckmann recently said that it could possibly be a new IP, or maybe even The Last of Us Part 3.