We’ve become used to companions in games being less than useful and more in the way than actually being helpful. Well, according to developer Naughty Dog, the companions in The Last of Us 2 will be a lot more of an asset than in other games.
Last of Us 2 developer Naughty Dog has already revealed that protagonist Ellie won’t be facing the clicker-infested world alone. We’ve already seen one of these companions in action as the recently released gameplay trailer showed Dina and Ellie going out on patrol.
Judging from the trailer, Dina is a lot more of a help than most companions we’ve seen in other games. In a recent interview with Gamespot co-director of the game, Anthony Newman, comments on their approach to companions in the game.
“In the past in almost all of our games, the allies have done kind of fake damage, where you see them shoot enemies and it’s a little bit theatrical–like their bullets are clearly doing way less damage than yours. What I’m really excited about is that with a lot of effort and some clever AI tricks, every time you see an ally shoot an enemy, their bullets do exactly as much damage as yours do, which is just another way that players are able to make predictions and think two or three steps ahead. When they see Dina take a couple of shots, and then they realize, ‘I only need one more shot to finish off that enemy because I saw that happen.’ And I think it’s great that players can now count on that and make those kinds of plans interacting with your allies.”
Allies will also be able to do stealth kills without the player’s input, making them even more useful.
“I think, as you may have noticed in the first part of the demo interacting with Dina, our allies can do a lot of pretty exciting new stuff where they can get stealth kills independently. They have their own pretty nuanced melee system where they can interact with enemies in melee and also help you out and rescue as they did in the first game. They’re a little bit more flexible and nuanced this time around.”
It seems companions in The Last of Us 2 will require less babysitting than one would expect, with Naughty Dog working hard on making them feel like a real person and not just some A.I-driven bullet sponge.
Although Ellie will spend a lot of time in the game with a companion at her side, there will also be times she’ll need to go it alone. Having said this, Newman also commented on how allies are a core part of Naughty Dog games.
“I can’t get too much into the exact ratio of time you spend alone. I’d say the game is definitely a blend of being by yourself as you were in the second part of the demo, and being with an ally. Allies are at the core of Naughty Dog games. We get a lot of great stuff out of them in terms of this back and forth as you were pointing out.”
We can’t wait to finally get our hands on the game. The more we see and hear about it, the more we get hyped for its release.
One question does remain, however, will Joel be fighting alongside Ellie?