Naughty Dog Director Explains How Enemies Will Be Smarter In The Last Of Us Part II

Naughty Dog Director Explains How Enemies Will Be Smarter In The Last Of Us Part II
Credit: Sony

Now that we’re finally approaching the release date for The Last of Us Part II — which was originally scheduled to be released for the PlayStation 4 in February, then May, and now later this month — Naughty Dog has been providing a ton of details regarding the highly-anticipated survival/horror sequel.

While speaking with Ungeek, Anthony Newman, the co-director for The Last of Us Part II, talked about how Naughty Dog was able to make the AI enemies different in the sequel, saying that enemies will be a lot smarter than they were in the first game.

“In [The Last of Us Part II] we introduced this middle state that honored the fact that if someone witnessed their friend getting killed with an arrow in front of them, of course they’re gonna be alerted, they know someone did that. But they shouldn’t know exactly where it came from, “said Newman.” There’s this kind of middle state of ‘vague awareness.’ So when you play the game, you’ll hear enemies say something like ‘I think it came from over there,’ so they’re kind of uncertain about your location, but they have a pretty good idea of where you are.”

Having different states of enemy alerts is hardly a new feature for stealth games, especially if you’re familiar with the Metal Gear Solid franchise. However, the enemies in Hideo Kojima’s legendary stealth/action series weren’t necessarily challenging, nor did they try to formulate different strategies to counter the players’ actions. So, it’ll be interesting to see how the different alert states are handled in The Last of Us Part II, and whether or not there are consistent patterns to how the enemy AI reacts when Ellie is discovered.

Enemies having a vague idea of where Ellie is can be used to the players’ advantage, as you’ll be able to layout traps while you move to a different area.

Additionally, enemies will be smarter in combat after Ellie has been discovered, as they’ll work together to flank the game’s main protagonist while trying to flush her out with things like Molotov Cocktails. But, while the AI enemies will be smarter both in and out of combat, things won’t be unfair for the players.

We’re now a little over two weeks away from the release of The Last of Us Part II, which, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Naughty Dog’s next game should meet its intended release date of June 19.