Naughty Dog Explains Why The Last of Us Part II Isn’t an Open World Title

Naughty Dog Talks About the Nitty Gritty of The Last of Us Part II Development and Story

Just a few days ago Naughty Dog finally dropped a brand new trailer complete with a release date for The Last of Us Part II. As it turns out, it’s set to be the developers biggest and most ambitious game ever, so big in fact that if you’re getting the physical version of the game it comes with 2 Blu-Ray discs. And with so many questions still left unanswered game director Neil Druckmann recently sat down for an interview with IGN where he talked in depth about what fans can expect from the story and overall game design.

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It’s been no secret that The Last of Us Part II has taken quite a while to create with the original game releasing back in 2013 however Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann says there’s more than good reason for that. “We didn’t set out to make the biggest game we’ve ever done, we set out to tell this really ambitious story that became the biggest game we’ve ever done. And that’s why we took as long as we have.” He continued, “The story we laid out four years ago is really complex, has a large cast of characters. The core of it is simple, but where it goes and the twist and turns are complex. We needed more time for cinematics, we needed more locations, we needed more types of enemies. So the scope of it kept growing.”

And if you’re worried that the complexities and size of the game are going to take away from the overall experience, Druckmann wants us to put the fear aside. “It’s not padded, it has that pacing of the first game. You’re going on this crazy, emotional, harrowing roller coaster ride that has these highs of tension and these slower, more provocative, thoughtful moments…those kind of events are sprinkled throughout the entire game.”

Last of Us Part II PlayStation Experience 2016 Reveal HERO

So with all these thoughtful moments and this roller coaster ride of game we’re set to embark on next year, what’s the story actually going to look like? According to Druckmann The Last of Us Part II is going to more open at times than others, but overall it’s not set to be an open world title. In fact it’s going to be a balancing act for the sake of the story. “Depending where you are with the story, we might open things up significantly and say, ‘Here are some optional things you can go explore, some side stories, or you can go directly next to where you’re meant to go. But the tension is not high, and as the tension ratchets up, we might tighten things up, you might play a very scripted, authored Naughty Dog setpiece. And we know we can go in both directions according to the need of the story.”

Neil Druckmann had more to say on the matter, “Unlike an open world game that is usually open all the time, that [type of] game doesn’t work for us for The Last of Us because that loses tension. If I need to go rescue someone, and [the game] says ‘OK go rescue them right now…or do these 10 other things on the side,’ you lose tension.”

The Last of Us Part II is set to release on February 21st, 2020. Are you excited to finally get your hands on the game we’ve all been waiting so long for? Let us know your thoughts about the game in the comments below and don’t forget to keep it locked for updates!