Very early on Sunday evening, while most of you were cutting logs, the SA Gamer team were hard at work to ensure that the PlayStation media briefing was live for you to view by the time you woke up. One particular reason everyone was so exceptionally excited for Sony’s conference was to see where The Last of Us 2 would be heading next. What we all got to witness were some violent scenes combined with more heartfelt moments in Ellie’s life before the world turned into the nasty mess we now see in The Last of Us Part II.
Since the reveal on Sunday evening, we have all learned that Ellie once had a female love interest in her life, Dina. It’s in this very scene that we get to see the fantastic facial animation Naughty Dog has painstakingly been working on for the last few years. Ellie has grown up, and can now take care of herself. Where is Joel? We have absolutely no idea. In our session behind closed doors, we once again see the same bit of gameplay that you would have witnessed in the E3 trailer. The person at Naughty Dog who is playing it next to us has obviously played it so many times that everyone in the room struggles to tell it apart from the original reveal, which makes everyone question just how scripted everything will be in the game.
According to Emilia Schatz, Lead Game Designer at Naughty Dog, there are going to be sections that are very much based on pre-planned scripts – it’s after all the linear approach that made it the classic we all know and love, but there are small bits that we failed to notice in the live sessions. Early on, just after the scene morphs from the iconic kissing scene through to the moment where Ellie slits the throat of some bad guy, there was a moment where Ellie approached the scene that had some poor sod being disembowelled. At that point, the person playing went completely prone with Ellie, unlike the crouching we originally witnessed in the trailer. Remember that scene where she crawls underneath the car and shoots the woman attacker in the face? It’s something that’s going to become commonplace in the final game.
According to Naughty Dog, you will find yourself crawling underneath cars and other items for cover to hide from a search party. Though this particular trailer was scripted to have Ellie being pulled out from under the car once she shot the woman in the face – it’s not always going to turn out bad for you when you attack your foes from a prone position. The other bit that fans might find quite interesting is that Ellie will now have a dedicated button to dodge mid-attack. Though they did not confirm what button will perform the dodge manoeuvre, you will have to manually dodge any incoming attacks with a well-timed button press. This can completely change up the battle system and very possibly lead to combo attacks for bigger crowds or when Clickers get a little overbearing. We’ll have to wait and see how that all turns out, especially now that we know that there is definitely a multiplayer mode that will be returning to the series.
Other than that there is nothing else the developers could share with us. What you’ve seen in the trailer is all they’re willing to share for now, but now that we have seen a person physically playing that section of the game we can confirm that it looks absolutely stunning in 4K and HDR on the PS4 Pro.
We’re just going to have to wait a little bit longer for that official release date, which we’re guessing might come when PlayStation Experience once again shows up at the end of this year in December. We just want a release date, you naughty, naughty dog.