When looking at the recent trailer for The Last of Us Part II, it’s clear that Ellie is in for a tough fight against the new threat coming from the Wolves. Add Clickers on top and there’s certainly a lot for her to deal with. But she won’t always be alone in her struggle as, just like in the original game, Ellie will encounter a variety of characters who will join her on her journey.
Unique characters are part of what made The Last of Us such a stellar game from a storytelling perspective. However, it was a common occurrence during combat situations that companion characters weren’t as helpful as they could have been. In The Last of Us Part II, the developers at Naughty Dog wanted to address this concern from the original. Speaking with The Last of Us Part II co-director Anthony Newman, he explained why allies would have a more significant impact during combat in the sequel.
“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,” he said. “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.
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“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.”
In our recent hands-on impressions of The Last of Us Part II, editor Phil Hornshaw talked about how handy the companions were during the many fights he got himself into. In one instance, he noticed that shots from companions posed a more tangible threat to enemies. In these cases, he’d rely on their shots landing, which allowed him to finish off the weakened enemies with his attacks. There seems to be a lot more nuance to how the companions operate, which is undoubtedly appreciated this time around.