Everyone, acclaimed developer Naughty Dog is at it again. The team behind the hit title The Last of Us recently unveiled a gameplay teaser for its sequel. Not known for hurried releases, Naughty Dog aims to keep players salivating just a bit longer.
The teaser opens with something of a rarity in The Last of Us – scenery bathed in joy and celebration. On the sidelines, Ellie hangs back and observes the party. Talking with whom we assume to be a friend, chatter about patrols and Ellie’s “old man” hints that her and Joel are living within an organized community.
While sharing a moment with her love interest amongst an envious crowd, Ellie is told, “I think they should be terrified of you.” As the camera pans and fades to black, that phrase soon carries a sinister hidden meaning.
Though the mood is hopeful and vibrant, it soon becomes gritty. While Ellie fights her way through a forest filled with enemies, Naughty Dog’s behind-the-scenes work becomes apparent. The game touts an updated rendering engine, and it absolutely shows. Environments are gorgeous and reactive, character movements are smoother than silk, and the sound design impresses.
Apocalypse stories always toe the line between themes of focus. The Last of Us subjected its characters to important struggles: man versus nature, and man versus man. The Last of Us 2, with its introduction of a cult-like antagonist to the series, is no different. Sure, players still have to fight off hordes of infected. However, conflicts between Ellie, her companions, and other humans will have you questioning who your true enemies are.
Taking the teaser at face value, positive changes are obvious. Melee combat is more immersive and adds a new dodge mechanic to the mix. Character movements are fluid and realistic. If that wasn’t enough, deaths are more gruesome and really convey aggression. As we learned in the reveal, Ellie is hell-bent on revenge. It becomes clear that while combat is plentiful, mercy is in short supply.
Gunshots introduce hit markers. Stealth is still supremely important, but you can now hide under objects as opposed to only behind them. When cover isn’t available, feel free to grab a human shield.
Overall, The Last of Us 2 looks to improve upon every aspect of its predecessor’s gameplay. When the game finally hits consoles worldwide, gamers will surely be impressed.