The Last of Us may have been a masterpiece, but it wasn’t a perfect game, and of the few flaws that people could find in it, the one that is brought up most frequently to this day is its AI. More specifically, its friendly AI, and how your companions would, for instant, keep running around the environments even during stealth sections and enemies would somehow remain completely oblivious of them.
As per Naughty Dog, that’s no longer going to be a issue in The Last of Us Part 2. Speaking to US Gamer, lead game designer at Naughty Dog, Emilia Schatz confirmed that artificial intelligence in the upcoming sequel has received a complete overhaul, and that both friendlies and enemies now behave much more realistically.
“That’s basically had a huge overhaul,” said Schatz. “So the A.I. of your buddies is a lot more robust in being able to get out of your way […] and also be helpful. They’re able to sneak through environments in a way that it was just impossible to do on the PS3 because we were very limited in our resources to do anything. We started with development of buddy stealth in Uncharted 4, so your brother Sam was able to sneak through environments to a certain degree. In The Last of Us Part 2, we’ve really done a huge step beyond that—they stay out of your way. […] They stay hidden and, yeah, it’s a huge improvement on that.”
She also confirms that enemy AI is much more formidable, and that sneaking up on enemies without alerting others is “very hard” and “really requires a lot of more finessing.” It remains to be seen how well this new AI functions during gameplay, but it’s heartening to know that Naughty Dog is addressing the issues with the first game.