A new interview with Polygon provides some details on some of the technology being utilized in The Last of Us Part II. One of the most significant technological advancements that Naughty Dog has talked about was a new animation system called motion matching, which can blend hundreds of small animations together and takes into account the input of the analog stick to create something that blends together to create the perfect motion. Now, it has been revealed that every character in The Last of Us Part II will have a heartbeat and it factors into the gameplay.
Anthony Newman, Co-Director of The Last of Us Part II explained that just about every facet of the game has been updated on some new level. “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. What’s happening behind the scenes is that Ellie has a heart rate that is oscillating up and down.” Essentially, every action that you take in the game can have an impact on Ellie. “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.” Anthony Newman explains how you can use this while you’re playing the game. “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. And the humans will do the same thing with breathing and sprinting and stuff.”
Naughty Dog has said that The Last of Us Part II is their most ambitious title yet, so much so that there will not be a multiplayer component to the game as there was before. Naughty Dog did say that they are working on an online component to the game but it will not be a part of The Last of Us Part II.
The Last of Us Part II releases on February 21, 2020.