Naughty Dog and Sony released the first part in a dev diary series about The Last of Us Part II last week. The inaugural episode focused on the sequel’s story, whereas this week’s video centers on gameplay. For the most part, the latest entry covers much of what’s already been shown. There’s a dedicated jump button, combat should be more intense this time around, etc. Naughty Dog also shared a bit more about the sequel’s open levels, which are far wider than the franchise’s first outing. In fact, Part II is so open that many players are bound to incidentally bypass “full scripted” events.
Near the back half of the “Inside the Gameplay” episode, Co-Game Director Anthony Newman touches on Part II’s larger levels. According to him, the idea was to make level design even more open than that of The Last of Us.
In this game, we’ve gone so far in making the level design open that there are actually entire story moments, entire combat encounters, full scripted sequences that you may completely miss. And there are things that we feel like even though a portion of our player-base may never see these things, the fact that when you do encounter them you feel like you discovered them… It lends them this charm and this magic that is unique to games…
The new video also offers somewhat of a deeper look at the player and character upgrade systems. Developers note that Ellie’s selection of tools will be much more robust. Plus, hunting manuals that provide upgrade boosts are returning. Still, “there aren’t enough resources in a single playthrough to fully upgrade your character,” Newman notes. Players will have to live with their decisions in this regard. As such, Naughty Dog wanted to ensure that every upgrade tangibly affected gameplay.
Watch the full “Inside the Gameplay” video below. (Talk of level design begins around the 5:15 mark):
There are two dev diaries left. The third, which is all about “the details,” goes live on May 27th. Naughty Dog and Sony will release the final part on June 3rd.
The Last of Us Part II arrives next month on June 19th for the PS4, alongside a stunning limited-edition PS4 Pro etched with Ellie’s tattoo design.