Naughty Dog’s next IP after their Uncharted series is the much anticipated The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic survival-horror game and PS3 exclusive. Despite it being delayed recently from May 7th to June 14th, The Last of Us is a game which I believe might ruffle some feathers when it finally hit the shelves.
Previously, quite little had been discussed about the game’s campaign, gameplay, etc., until EvolveEnt (via MadAssGamers) revealed their exclusive interview with Arne Meyer (Naughty Dog’s Community Strategist), who talked a bit about these subjects, and more.
In said interview, Meyer talked about the game’s campaign,which apparently is going to be around 12 to 16 hours long, depending on how the player plays the game. Which is honestly quite refreshing, compared to singleplayer campaigns in other games which may be somewhere around four to eight hours long. This is the reason why Naughty Dog wanted to delay The Last of Us, I feel, so they could concentrate more on a singleplayer experience.
Meyer also detailed how the balance of power will be a contributing factor on how human AI reacts to player: if the player has a weapon (i.e. a gun) the human AI will react accordingly and will be aware and acknowledge that the player has the upper hand, but if the human AI has a weapon and the player doesn’t, the AI will be more aggressive – because they know the power is in their hands.
Among other things, he even describes that because there is so little resources, the player will have to scavenge for things to use, like bandages or ammo. Since resources are so scare, this sort of feature, I believe, will force the player to think on what to use and how to use it when it comes to using items in a survival/life-or-death situation.
You can watch the full interview over at EvolveEnt, where these subjects are discussed in more detail.
This is all intriguing news to hear, but what about the game’s mechanics? How will they function? Well, unfortunately, I can’t give you that answer. However, in a rather lengthy, yet detailed, spelling-mistake-ridden post over at NeoGAF (via GameChup), there’s a list of mechanics which were derived from a “The Last of Us’ demo”. Even though the post on NeoGAF has been officially confirmed fake by Neil Druckmann (Naughty Dog’s Creative Director on The Last of Us), the mechanics themselves do seem quite interesting. Let’s take a look a some of the fakes anyway.
Joel (one of the main characters) has his own hitbox, meaning that if he got shot in his arm, he would clutch said arm, and he will constantly lose blood until the wound is fully patched up, meaning the player would first have pick out the bullet, disinfect the wound, and then bind it. For point of reference, I would suggest turning to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater’s survival viewer mechanic.
However, just because the player has patched themselves up, that doesn’t mean that they’ll be going back into the fight as nothing had happened. Joel’s arm will still hurt, so if he was to wield a two-handed/heavy weapon (say, a shotgun), the accuracy of the weapon will be all over the place, because his arm will still be too weak to fully stabilise the weapon. This could last for minutes!
Also, bindfire is not possible in The Last of Us. Since ammunition is rare, every bullet has to count. The player first has to aim if they want to shoot, otherwise they will just bring up the crafting menu. So, a bit like the original Dead Space, except the crafting menu is replaced with frantic flailing.
You can read the full fake list over at NeoGAF.
It’s a shame that these gameplay mechanics are fake, but perhaps maybe Naughty Dog might develop something close to them. We can only speculate.
I’m genuinely looking forward to The Last of Us. I believe it’ll be a step-forward in how mechanics are handled in survival-horror games, assuming the fake mechanics turn out to be true in the final product. Also, the refreshingly long campaign will hopefully jumpstart a trend, where AAA games are no longer multiplayer-focused, and instead put all heart and concentration into the singleplayer campaign, and have the multiplayer as the add-on (which is what Naughty Dog are planning to do with The Last of Us).