The Gameplay Shown At E3 Wasn’t Fake
Author’s note: This story has been edited in order to cut out the parts of the Kotaku interview that dealt with the violence found in The Last of Us Part II.
Though it may have been hard to believe that much or even any of the gameplay shown for The Last of Us Part II during Sony’s E3 2018 conference was real, the game’s creative director, Neil Druckmann, confirmed that everything shown in the demo wasn’t fake.
“Those were all real systems,” Druckmann said to Kotaku. “So at an E3 demo you take complicated systems that are random and we’re making them deterministic and we play it a lot and rehearse it and choreograph it, so we’re showing off very specific things. But those are all real systems that players will experience when they play the game.”
It makes sense why so many people are skeptical about how much of that demo was scripted or “fake”. E3 demos are notorious for featuring cinematic gameplay, A.I. behavior or mechanics that don’t appear in the retail version of the shown game and 2013’s The Last of Us is no stranger to this. For example, in that game’s E3 2012 demo, the way the enemy & friendly A.I. behaves isn’t the exactly same as it is in the final build of the game.
However, it sounds like Naughty Dog has really made some improvements to how the enemy A.I. works in The Last of Us Part II.
Druckmann spoke about how the human enemy A.I. works together and mentioned that they’ve become more mobile than the enemies in the first game due to the addition of a jump button for the player.
“In the past, in the previous game, if anybody saw you, immediately everybody in the area would know where you are,” Druckmann explained. “Now there’s information propagation. So whoever sees you, they have to call it out. Whoever hears you then has to call it out.”
When you watch the demo video posted above, you’ll notice that Ellie, the protagonist of the game, is crouching & moving around in tall grass and bushes. In modern stealth-action games, this is a pretty common sneaking mechanic that practically makes the player invisible to the enemy NPCs unless those NPCs are already on alert.
According to Druckmann, those types of bushes work a bit differently in The Last of Us Part II. On the lower right hand side of the game’s UI, there’s a circle that’s next to the health bar that signifies how visible Ellie is. “The smaller the circle, the more hidden you are. You’re never fully hidden when you’re in foliage. It changes how close an enemy has to be to spot you,” he said.
What’d you think of the demo shown at E3? Let us know in the comments section!
The Last of Us Part II currently doesn’t have a release date but will be available on the PS4.