The Last Of Us Part II Co-Director Explains The Game’s Heartbeat System

The Last Of Us Part II Co-Director Explains The Game’s Heartbeat System
Credit: Sony

After revealing the release date for The Last of Us Part II during Sony’s recent State of Play stream, Naughty Dog has slowly been revealing more gameplay details about the highly anticipated sequel, which is currently scheduled to be released on the PlayStation 4 in February of 2020.

While speaking about some of the new gameplay elements in The Last of Us Part II, Anthony Newman, who is the co-director of the game, said that all humans, infected, and animals will have a heartbeat. So, for example, when Ellie performs strenuous actions such as sprinting, jumping, and engaging in combat, her heartbeat will increase, which will lead to dynamic audio like heavier breathing and panting. The system will also be in place for all NPCs.

“I’m not sure if you noticed it, but as Ellie sprints around and then she settles, she’ll kind of catch her breath,” Newman said during an interview with Polygon. “What’s happening behind the scenes is that Ellie has a heart rate that is oscillating up and down. It goes up when you sprint, it goes up when you melee, it goes up when you take damage, and goes up into the presence of enemies. And that modulates the bucket of breathing sounds that she’s able to use.”

Newman also said that it’ll be easier for players to play a cat-and-mouse game with enemies like Clickers because the heartbeat system will make it easier to understand enemies based on the sounds that they’re making.

The Last of Us Part II will introduce new types of enemies, including dogs and new types of infected. Guard dogs, which were shown during the Seattle section of the most recent gameplay demo, will patrol the area to sniff Ellie out. Essentially, dogs will make it harder for players to remain in stealth or stay hidden, as Ellie will leave a scent trail, which can be seen when players put Ellie in listen mode.

Shamblers will make their debut in the Last of Us Part II, which is a new infected enemy that is covered in pustule-clusters. When near an enemy, Shamblers will spray acid which deals heavy damage. Also, after they’re defeated they’ll explode with violent force.

We’re a little less than five months away from the release of The Last of Us Part II, so it’s pretty safe to assume that Naughty Dog will slowly reveal more gameplay details in the coming weeks and months.