'The Last Of Us Part 2' Companions Will Be Way More Helpful This Time
Ironically enough, one of my favourite things about The Last Of Us is that you're rarely alone. Whether it's Joel and Ellie together, or if Tess, Sam, or Henry (RIP all) are in the mix, having these fascinating, beautifully-acted characters by your side while you explored an increasingly dangerous world made everything feel just a little less bleak.
The playful banter between characters, such as Ellie's attempts at teaching herself to whistle (much to the exasperation) of Joel was a real highlight, and helped to flesh out the world and characters that much more. It's probably why one of the few sections of the original game in which you find yourself completely alone is by far my least favourite part.
No matter how much I might have enjoyed having these characters by my side, though, there's no denying that the actual AI wasn't exactly fantastic. There were plenty of immersion-breaking moments in The Last Of Us when Ellie would run out from behind cover during a stealth section, scamper right past an enemy, and have nothing happen.
Sure, they'd occasionally help you out in combat - like when Ellie tosses a brick or bottle to stun a Hunter so that Joel can cave their skulls in with a crowbar - but for the most part, they weren't very helpful at all. The dialogue and acting was what made these companions feel human. Their actions? Not so much.
It's good news then, that when The Last Of Us Part 2 arrives in February next year, the various companions that join Ellie on her revenge-fueled quest (including Dina and, I assume, Joel) will be way more helpful, and actually act like real human beings. In an interview with GameSpot, The Last Of Us Part 2 Co-Director Anthony Newman explained how and why allies would be more useful during combat in the upcoming sequel.
"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," Newman said. "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."
Newman also revealed that your companions gunshots will do the same amount of damage as yours during firefights, meaning you'll be able to better work with your NPC allies, perhaps conserving ammo for yourself as you take note of how many shots your companion has fired, working out which enemies you'll be able to quickly take out yourself using minimal supplies.
It's not just your allies that will behave more realistically, either. In The Last Of Us Part 2, every enemy NPC has their own name, and will react to finding the dead bodies of their friends and colleagues (murdered by you) in exactly the way you'd expect (or hope) an actual human would react if they found their mate dead in a bush with an arrow sticking out of their head.
Featured Image Credit: Naughty Dog