'The Last Of Us Part 2' Enemy Have Individual Heartbeats That Affect Gameplay
If it wasn't already clear based on everything we've learned about the upcoming sequel so far, The Last Of Us Part 2 is a game that wants you to question every single kill. There might be angry dogs to deal with, Clickers to fight, and brutal fellow survivors out for your blood, but Naughty Dog wants you to know that every one of these creatures has a heart - it wants you to feel every life taken. Heavy stuff.
In an interview with Polygon, The Last Of Us Part 2 Co-Director Anthony Newman explained that Naughty Dog has been working on some new tech that makes every enemy's heartbeat a unique, immersive part of the experience that further engages you with the game's world and, I imagine, makes you feel that much worse for every kill.
"Just about every facet of the game has been updated to some new level," Newman explained. "One of them is the audio where, I'm not sure if you noticed it, but as Ellie sprints around and then she settles, she'll kind of catch her breath."
As it turns out, there are various conditions in the game that will cause Ellie's heart rate to shoot up. It's the kind of things you'd expect, like being hidden inches away from an enemy, sprinting for a length of time, or burying a hammer in the back of someone's head. This doesn't mean there's a stamina metre that limits your actions, but an elevated heart rate can have a tangible effect on Ellie.
"What's happening behind the scenes is [Ellie] has a heart rate that is oscillating up and down," Newman said. "And that modulates the bucket of breathing sounds that she's able to use."
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This new heartbeat tech also extends to the humans, animals, and monsters that Ellie comes across over the course of The Last Of Us Part 2, and it'll affect them in exactly the same way it affects Ellie, meaning you'll have a better understanding of where your enemies are, and how worked up they are.
"It's been incredible because I found myself able to play cat and mouse with Clickers better than ever before because I can kind of understand them by the noises that they're making", says Newman. "And the humans will do the same thing with breathing and sprinting and stuff."
The whole thing sounds like another in a long line of ways Naughty Dog is working to make The Last Of Us Part 2 its most immersive and intense video game to date. We already know that every human enemy has their own name, but a heartbeat too? I'm gonna feel so bad about all the murders I'll be committing when the game arrives in February.
Featured Image Credit: Naughty Dog