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Latest Dev Diary Dissects The Last of Us Part II’s ‘Insane Attention to Detail’

A couple of weeks ago, Naughty Dog and Sony unleashed the first video in a four-part The Last of Us Part II dev diary series. That inaugural episode provided a story overview. Episode two went live last week, sharing details about the sequel’s gameplay and wider environments. The latest video is out now, offering a dissection on Naughty Dog’s “insane attention to detail.”

In the video’s opening, Creative Director Neil Druckmann explains that Naughty Dog spends an extensive amount of time researching a topic before writing anything on it. Said research can include books, films, interviews, and news about current events. Out of that research comes a sit-down discussion with the team; the story enters the mix shortly thereafter. An attention to detail on this front allows developers to then craft fictional characters that are more well-rounded, more authentic.

According to Art Director John Sweeney, a desire to achieve authenticity pervades every department at the studio. This should appear evident in animation, mocap, and special effects, all of which work in tandem to achieve a believable level of realism. Ultimately, the goal is to immerse players with both story and visuals.

As technology has advanced, Naughty Dog has been able to squeeze in even more details. For example, a character’s veins will pop on their forehead if they’re angry; similarly, their skin will redden depending on emotional and physical circumstances. Such minute details will additionally manifest in a character’s red eyes or the way tears flow, Druckmann adds.

Enemy AI received the same care in development. Co-Game Director Anthony Newmann reiterates that more nuance flows from human enemies. Their awareness has increased since the series’ first entry, for example. Additionally, they’ll call each other by name, share intel regarding Ellie’s whereabouts, and react emotionally to certain situations.

See the full dev diary in the video below:

The Last of Us Part II finally launches in a few weeks on June 19th for the PlayStation 4.

[Source: PlayStation on YouTube]