The Last of Us Part II PS4 PlayStation 4 1

Did you think The Last of Us: Part II looked good in last night’s gameplay reveal trailer? Well, the new gameplay details Naughty Dog just shared during an E3 2018 panel may just blow your mind. There’s a helluva lot to get through here, so forgive us the hastily compiled summary and let’s get into it, because there’s a whole load of hype here.

One really nice touch mentioned in the panel is that enemy AI will refer to each other by name, which should really help sell the illusion that these are real people you’re up against. As illustrated during the latest demo, the gameplay is much more emergent than ever before, allowing for a breadth of creative solutions to almost any scenario.

Stealth, in particular, has been overhauled, allowing you to squeeze beneath vehicles and through tight spaces. You’ll no longer be automatically hidden in grass; if you’re body’s peeking out then there’s a greater chance you’ll be spotted, so it all depends on the density of the foliage. The developer’s also talking up the release’s greater sense of verticality.

It’s the AI that sounds truly impressive, though: they’ll pass messages to each other as conflicts escalate, meaning that bad news will gradually (and naturally) proliferate through encampments. They’ll be better at seeking you out, too, and they’ll work together in an organic manner to flush you out. And this is just the humans: there’ll be more infected varieties, too.

Of course, you’ll have a richer palette of abilities in order to deal with the constant threats. Ellie can now jump, but she also has more options when prone. Not only that but a new evade mechanic has been integrated into the combat. Oh, and the animation system has been completely overhauled to ensure everything feels more realistic.

Impressed? You should be. This is sounding like Naughty Dog’s biggest and most ambitious game ever, and while it’s very much an iteration on what it’s done before, we reckon it’s placing its attention in the most important areas. If last night’s demo didn’t already make it abundantly clear: this is going to be nothing short of incredible.