Naughty Dog is trying something new with The Last of Us Part II, aiming for heart-pounding realism and immersion. On the subject of heart-pounding, every character in the game will have a heartbeat – from the protagonist Ellie to all the enemies you’ll encounter. Depending on the situation, Ellie’s breathing will change. So whether you’re near enemies, running around, in the middle of a heated firefight, you’ll notice variations in the character’s breathing and heartbeat. Likewise, all the enemies will share this same technology.
Here’s what the game’s co-director Anthony Newman had to say about The Last of Us Part II’s new heartbeat system:
Just every facet of the game updated some new level. One of them is the audio where, I’m not sure if you noticed it, but as Ellie sprints around and then she settles, she’ll kind of [mimics heavy breathing] catch her breath.
What’s happening behind the scenes is that [Ellie] has a heart rate that is oscillating up and down. It goes up when you sprint, it goes up when you melee, it goes up when you take damage, and goes up into the presence of enemies. And that modulates the bucket of breathing sounds that she’s able to use.
It’s been incredible because I found myself able to play cat and mouse with Clickers better than ever before because I can kind of understand them by the noises that they’re making. And the humans will do the same thing with breathing and sprinting and stuff.
It certainly seems like Naughty Dog wants to outdo itself with its upcoming release. The company has already stated that The Last of Us Part II is its most ambitious and longest game to date. And with talks of how sophisticated the AI will be, it will no doubt be a wild ride.
And we now know it’ll release exclusively for PS4 on February 21st, 2019.
What do you make of this new immersive technology? Does it make you more excited for the game? Let us know!