The Last of Us Part II‘s new upgrade system will go well beyond boosting player statistics and will offer players new ways to play the game. That’s according to co-director Anthony Newman, who told GameSpot in a recent interview that Naughty Dog wanted players to choose their play style, with some of the upgrade options having “drastic effects” on gameplay.
There was so much we really wanted to explore in terms of player strategy. We really wanted to try and double-down on allowing players to express themselves strategically and find their own way to play the game. And so something I’m really thrilled about is the new player upgrade system where rather than having upgrades that are just minor stat booths to different things, we really wanted to have upgrades that potentially unlocked entirely new abilities or just had drastic effects on the way that you played a game.
One totally new ability you can get is holding your breath while aiming to steady your aim. It doesn’t come by default but you can learn it over time. There are entire crafting recipes, like the silencer for the pistol, that you can only learn via the player upgrade system. Or some really extreme upgrades where you can craft two of an item for the same resources. You can craft two trap mines or two smoke bombs for the same resources.
As a result of the new upgrade system, players will go through their own unique gameplay experiences when The Last of Us Part II comes out on February 21, 2020.