The Last of Us Part 2, like its predecessor, will place a lot of emphasis on stealth, but Naughty Dog have also made attempts to improve upon the first game’s deficiencies in this area in more ways than one. The game boasts smarter enemy AI, you more tools at your disposal for stealth gameplay, and there are new enemy types – or more dangerous versions of older ones – that make life difficult for the players.
In fact, according to co-game director Kurt Margenau, stealth is one of the better aspects of The Last of Us Part 2’s gameplay experience. Speaking in an interview with Gamereactor, Margenau said that the game “really shines” when you’re engaging with its stealth mechanics. He brought up the new enemy types that make stealth more intense, while also talking about the smarter and more dynamic ways enemies react to you and behave, remarking that there are “a lot of interesting AI systems to play with.”
“We feel like the game really shines when you’re in that stealth mindset,” Margenau said. “You have lots of tactics available: you can watch people patrolling around, there are dogs, and you’re in a state where your brain is engaged at a high level. We wanted to make sure that it was possible and realistic to reset that state as much as possible on your own by escaping instead of just dying and restarting.
“We want to immerse you in the world so much and never make it feel gamey or pull you out of that experience – obviously dying does that. Not to say we’re making the game easier, we’re just extending the combat interactions and making them more interesting. And because we added so many more abilities for the player, AI had to become so much smarter to compensate for that. So, because you can hide in grass, they will search in grass. They’ll start looking underneath vehicles and they’ll call out and investigate if you kill one of their friends. There’s a lot of interesting AI systems to play with.”
Naughty Dog have talked up The Last of Us Part 2’s stealth mechanics quite a bit, and they’ve certainly been saying all the right things. Stealth in the first game was really good, but the prospect of having much more polished, refined, and reactive systems to interact with is certainly an exciting one. We’ll see how well that promise is realized when The Last of Us Part 2 releases for the PS4 on June 19.