Sony debuted gameplay for The Last of Us Part II during its E3 2018 press conference. What Sony and developer Naughty Dog showed is just as gruesome as the previous trailer for the sequel; on top of a man getting eviscerated, we see Ellie perform a number of brutal takedowns and kills. It’s definitely a lot to take in all at once, and it’s also cinematic–it can be hard to tell what’s pure combat and what’s a cutscene-like transition.
While at E3 2018, we had a chance to speak to co-directors Anthony Newman and Kurt Margenau about the game. They gave us insight into what exactly we’re seeing in the trailer in terms of combat, and as it turns out, much of what looks cinematic–Ellie’s perfectly timed dodges and pulling an arrow out of her shoulder–is actually within your control. That looks to be a key component in framing and shaping the intense violence in The Last of Us Part II, as well as something that can add greatly to Ellie as a character.
“In classic Naughty Dog style, we always try to contextualize animations, so the dodge and shoot play away from the arrow is a different animation from when the blade is about to hit her,” Newman said when asked about the variety of movements seen in the new gameplay. “There’s an extremely complicated system that goes into making each of her dodges.”