The Last of Us 2 is delayed again, of course, thanks to the current state of the world it has no release date, but we’re still excited and we wanted to talk about The Last Of Us to feel better. So we’d figured we’d take a look back at all the news and previews and stuff and see what’s different compared to the original game. There’s actually a bit more info than you might have expected especially if you haven’t been following closely so let’s dive in.

Humanized Enemies

The enemies are getting a bit of a change-up this time around, first up it seems like they’re going to humanize them a bit. In the first game human enemies just seemed like straight forward human enemies, they were there to kill because it’s a video game and that’s what you do most of the time. But this time around every human enemy will have a name and their buddies know that name oftentimes, so if you brutally murder some dude and then his friend sees it he might actually yell out something like oh! no! she killed Derek.

It might seem like such a small weird detail but it’s kind of a big deal. These guys are trying to kill you sure but they are just still technically people you know, People that are trying to survive in a destroyed twisted world. You know they might be taking the dickhead approach and robbing other people but in a world like this, it’s kill or be killed, little things like that. Nobody though is going to the extra lengths and make you feel like you’re actually killing a person, someone who had friends.

Enemy faction

Even though this is a small addition, but think I it’s really cool worth pointing out, we’re also getting a new enemy faction, the Sara fights who seem to be some sort of religious cult, these are the guys that we’ve seen in the trailers like the really crazy ones. They’re the ones that seem to practice some sort of ritualistic sacrifice. They have to hang people by their neck and disembowel them. I know I just said that Naughty Dog is making moves to humanize the enemies that you’re killing a bit. But I feel like this crew just seems straight-up extra bad hanging people and disemboweling them and now I don’t know how that’s actually helping you in the wasteland but whatever. Obviously they did something to piss off Ellie so of course, it’s safe to assume that their days are numbered.

Infected

We’re also going to be getting some new infected as well with most notably the addition of the Sham blur this guy, this guy seems like he’s a huge pain in the ass. They’re armored so they are not easy to take out and they have an AoE attack where they emit this toxic cloud that can burn you and also messes with your vision, so it’s hard to see. Think of that, mixed with some runners, sounds really horrible and stressful. Imagine you’re in that cloud and you can’t see the runners and they come out of nowhere, and you know what, I don’t want to even deal with that.

Dogs enemy type

Dogs are another new enemy type that is definitely adding another layer of stealth and just like what they’re doing with human enemies to add a bit more emotional weight to killing them, they’re also doing for dogs. Are you ready to cry? Look well dogs can sniff you out and follow a trail you’ve left behind. You can see it in your vision and you technically can’t sneak up on those dogs because they’ll smell you, which is not good if you’re trying to stealth your way around. So taking out dogs is something you might want to do ASAP because they can ruin your stealth run real quick. And as if killing hugs in video games wasn’t sad enough, Naughty Dog made it even more upsetting because if you kill a dog their owner will start to freak out and investigate and make sure their dog is okay and if you kill the owner first, the dog will get upset and start to cry and get confused as to why their owner isn’t moving and that’s so messed up. Like I totally get what Naughty Dog is trying to do here and it’s going to be rough every time you kill a dog, and for a game like The Last of Us, that’s pretty interesting. Thankfully though Neil Druckmann from Naughty Dog did go on record saying that if you’re really good at sneaking around you can make it through an area without killing any dogs which is something I’m gonna try and have to get really good at.

Now with a new game, of course, comes Dogs, another new enemy type. We don’t have exact details but we do have small things to kind of get an idea of what’s going on. First off it takes place five years after the first game Ellie is now 19 years old with Joel being in his mid-50s and after the events of the first game they settled down in Tommy’s settlement. It seems as if they lived a peaceful and normal enough life at least for what’s going on in the world of the Last of Us, something happens that kind of messes up that peace, something that was done by a dangerous religious cult called the Sarah fights that we mentioned before and whatever they did has Ellie really pissed and she sets out for revenge. We’re assuming that they killed or kidnapped someone close to Ellie maybe her friend Jesse or Dena who you can assume is a love interest we’ve seen as characters pop up already. Honestly, that’s all we really know, there isn’t too much more to go on in a world like this you do have to grow up fast and in the past five years, we can pretty much assume Ellie really has, especially looking at her, but losing someone close to you and going on a hate and revenge fuel rampage, there’s no way you can come out of that as the same person either. I mean look at Joel in the first game he changed after losing his daughter in living 20 years in a post-outbreak world. You didn’t really get to see that change happen in real-time, it jumped ahead. You saw the before and the after, maybe this time around will see that change happen to Ellie in real-time and get to play through it.

Graphics

On the graphics side of things, obviously Naughty Dog is definitely gunning to make this game look really pretty but one thing, in particular, that’s really cool is that they make use of this new animation technology that’s called motion matching. Naughty Dog animations are already crazy fluid, as are their transitions from Cinematic The Gameplay. But Kurt Margenau, a game director from Naughty Dog explained how exactly it works in an interview with IGN, he said “The motion matching technique is used by other studios but we’ve kind of taken it and put the Naughty Dog spin on it because the responsiveness is always a huge thing for us. So we’ve taken it and kind of built on it and made this hybrid thing of the responsiveness and quickness of something like an uncharted game, which is pre-existing and incorporating this very fluid, very realistic animation still communicates those real stakes.”  Now using this technique it’s a bit easier on the development team to get these animations looking great while doing a little less work.

If you go back and watch some of the trailers and pay attention to how Ellie traverses and interacts with the environment, you’ll notice how specific a lot of these animations are, how fast she’s moving, standing, or crouching, the environment of itself. All of it comes into play as Ellie gets around and it really helps to add to the realism of the game. If you take a  look at a character moving around in the original Last of Us and look at Ellie moving around her environment in the Last of Us part two, it’s intense, you know, this stuff is kind of like how Nathan Drake will run his hand along a wall in Uncharted, you know where the cruise ship level, he’ll lean differently and use the environment to prop himself up. It’s like that stuff cranked up to 11 here.

Upgraded system

Now the first game did allow you to collect materials and upgrade your weapons at the workbench but it was more of a basic system allowing you to do simple upgrades like, adding another gun holster, decreasing some recoil, increasing damage and clip size, stuff like that, and you can still do that here but the package and presentation is way slicker and more detailed it’s so cool. Customizing weapons in The Last of Us, it would be kind of like a generic behind the back view of Joel hunched over his workbench with the other half of the screen filled up by your big clumsy upgrade menu. The Last of Us 2 has a way cleaner and minimalist interface for selecting and implementing these upgrades and a more detailed and really cool visually interesting approach, focusing more on the weapon in question on the workbench as Ellie handles it around, moves it about and when you make changes you can see it. Animations of her swapping out different weapon parts, upgrading clips, using tools like file, filing things down, stuff like that. Selecting the handgun and watching Ellie pull it out dismantle it, take it all apart, put the gun on the table, while you fiddle with the option to decide how to customize it, it all just looks really cool honestly and we can’t wait to see what other cool detail changes in presentation the game does have.

Locations

Now the game will be taking us to some cool new locations not yet touched on in the previous game or DLC. Now when we last left off with Joel and Ellie they were settling down with Joel’s brother in a settlement in Jackson County Wyoming, now we talked about the story earlier, we still don’t know how long that lasts and like what went on here but in The Last of Us 2 we’re heading back West. Leaving the settings from the first game behind, like Boston in Salt Lake City and stuff. For new and exciting places at 2017’s PlayStation experience, Last of Us 2 director Neil Druckmann said that a large part of this second part of The Last Of Us story will take place in Seattle.

Environments

It still seems to be a long-spanning game as far as the in-game calendar goes as we’ve once again seen Ellie in environments with different climates and times of year very similar to the season transitions in the first game. Now while Seattle will serve as the setting for a large part of the game we’ve still managed to see some other environments like various woodland areas, urban subway stations, more mountainous snowy areas, in various trailers and reports so we could be getting a lot of cool new area since the Pacific Northwest is pretty vast and home to quite a few really cool options as far as just cities and environments go maybe even smaller cities and towns you wouldn’t otherwise see in a big-budget triple-a game. And these new environments are more than just a change of scenery but they’re also going to be bigger than what you’ve come to know from the previous game, the environments in The Last Of Us weren’t tiny by any means but here there’s a bigger emphasis on having more interiors for houses and buildings, more secrets and extras to find in hard-to-reach areas and full-on optional areas that you can just either take on or just miss entirely.

Not only that, but the environments here are also going to be designed with a new level of verticality which leads into how much more you’ll have areas to find and explore. So you’re not going to be stuck on the ground as much as you have in the past, which will also factor into finding higher vantage points to better plan your approach to combat and stealth situations, and it’s a result of a generally more agile alley if you’ve seen in the gameplay demos, she can also climb and jump over obstacles leading to a more fluid and natural combat and exploration compared to the first game. She can do stuff like slide and squeeze into tight areas because she’s smaller, she can go completely prone now, so you have better stealth options you could do, things like crawl around and sneak through tall grass and then, of course, the other environmental stuff she can mend up things quickly, do stuff like smash a window with the butt of her knife and just hop on through quickly and easily. It’s all a really nice improvement to see and is bound to make exploration and traversal a lot more interesting and maybe a little less chunky, you know what I mean, but those are some things that we’re really excited to see in The Last of Us 2.

Some stuff that we’ve seen that is substantially different from the first game that we wanted to mention and honestly like I said we haven’t made a post about the Last of Us 2 in a while, so we wanted to break down some of the news because we haven’t so we want to hear from you guys in the comments, what you think about The Last of Us 2 what you’re looking forward to the most, let’s talk about anything Last of Us and Last of Us 2 down in the comments.