The Last of Us Part II is based on an "extreme amount of research"

By Heidi Nicholas,
Speaking in Naughty Dog's latest video, Neil Druckmann says The Last of Us Part II features "insane attention to detail" based off "an extreme amount of research".

This most recent episode in their video series, "Inside the detail", shows off some of the research Naughty Dog went into. Narrative lead Halley Gross says the Naughty Dog team wanted to "create the most authentic characters that you've seen in a game" — and not just the main characters, but everyone you encounter. To that end, Druckmann says that when discussing a theme such as justice or retribution, the team would "read a ton of books, and look at the movies, and even watch interviews and news programs" about world events, and then ask themselves, "what's happening here, what can we draw from this, how can we base these fictional characters on reality to make them feel more authentic".

The Naughty Dog team adds that new tech in the game allows them to reflect more physical details: for instance, a character might have a popping vein when angry. Co-game director Anthony Newman says they even added "human nuance to our human enemies" to ensure they added to the "emotional content of the game". This displays itself, he says, when they "refer to each other by name", or "see their friend die". Their attention to detail sent them on three trips to Seattle to replicate Ellie's path, to study foliage from different parts of the country, and to research such minute details as signs and the awnings of buildings.

There's not long to go until The Last of Us Part II is released, and fans have been shown several glimpses of the game in the lead up to its launch date, including a longer and more in-depth look at new gameplay footage with the most recent State of Play episode. The Last of Us Part II releases in just over three weeks, on June 19th.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!