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E3 2018

The Last of Us Part II to Explore Two Different Timelines, Huge Combat Changes



Ellie The Last of Us Part II

A treasure trove of The Last of Us Part II information was unearthed at the E3 Coliseum today, including revelations regarding the game’s combat and bi-linear story arcs.

The biggest bombshell was the discovery that the game will explore two different timelines. Fans have theorised that the second timeline could be anything from an exploration of Ellie’s mother to a pre-attack and post-attack Ellie following the destruction of Jackson, the first game’s final destination and the sanctuary in which the Part II trailer is set.

The most likely timeline set-up will likely be Ellie in pre-attacked Jackson and post-attacked Jackson. The reason being was the revelation that the church scene, as seen in the trailer, is set four years after the events of the first game in Jackson, whereas the gameplay demo is set five years after.

Essentially, in the year between those two events, something majorly bad happens in Jackson, which has clearly affected Ellie’s psyche, as seen in the cinematic trailer’s preference for hard cuts and dual timelines. There was no confirmation of the actual content of the timelines by Naughty Dog, though, so a wide array of alternate possibilities remain.

A multitude of gameplay improvements will be introduced too, ironing out issues seen in the first game. Part II will introduce new traversal and prone move sets, adding another dimension to the game’s tension-laden combat.

A new dodge and evade mechanic will be introduced as well, which will be incredibly important for Ellie’s hand-to-hand and melee combat. Realism is the major goal for Naughty Dog in combat here, so players can expect a more difficult, guerrilla-warfare style extension of the first game’s gun-heavy play.

To match this more versatile and gritty take on combat, the game’s level design will focus upon verticality, allowing for multiple path and resolutions to combat scenarios. The levels themselves will be designed more organically, with the effectiveness of stealth areas such as grass being dependent on lighting, foilage, and height.

In terms of combat fluidity, the developer wanted a greater emphasis on creative and emergent moments via an increase in options; Part II will add layers to the combat, including items, weapons, and stealth mechanics.

Regarding AI, Naughty Dog has massively improved the system to prioritise realism; enemies will now communicate, transmit information, and proceed through systematic check-ins to track Ellie down. The AI will react intelligently to the situation, including smaller changes in the environment such as sound.

A major gripe with The Last of Us was the omnipotence of the AI once the player has been spotted, which is being rectified in the sequel. In response to this AI telepathy, enemies will whistle and actually communicate once Ellie has been spotted. The  effectiveness of this communication is dependent on the player’s stealth skills and/or reaction time.

The infected, which are yet to be extensively revealed in trailers, will be expanded with whole new classes. The major antagonists for the game will be a religious group called Seraphite.

For animation and graphical changes, The Last of Us Part II will be a more advanced type of the facial capture and mo-cap technology seen in Uncharted 4. A lot of work has been put into facial animation technology, with nuances of the face (including creases and folds) prioritised.

In terms of the whereabouts of Joel, who was absent from this year’s E3 trailer, he is to be found “somewhere out there in Jackson.”

For more details, check out the full E3 Coliseum with Naughty Dog below:

More details will likely be revealed in the coming days, so be sure to follow OnlySP on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube for all the best from E3.

E3 2018

Konami Willing to Make More Remasters



Zone of the Enders Konami

Konami has said that it is willing to remaster more games if fans ask for them.

During an IGN interview at E3 about Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner Mars, Konami brand manager Benjamin Kinney expressed the company’s willingness to produce more remasters:

“Eventually if you’re loud enough and you speak with one voice, anything is possible.”

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner Mars is a remastered version of the PlayStation 2 game featuring a new VR mode, coming to PC and PlayStation 4. The title was initially announced at Sony’s Tokyo Games Show in 2017.

The remaster will come native at 4K with recreated textures, updated particle effects, and new control schemes to name just a few of the many improvements across the game. The title also includes a new Very Easy mode so players can experience the story.

The most notable addition is VR support. Playing Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner Mars in VR will put the gamer in the cockpit of Jehuty, the character’s giant mecha. Konami has recreated the cut scenes and assets to contribute to an immersive situation. The developers have worked with first-party VR companies such as PlayStation VR and HTC Vive to refine the game, making it as smooth as possible to reduce any chance of motion sickness.

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner Mars has a gallery mode with VR where users can tumble and look at various models in game. The game will sport “next-gen audio,” supporting Dolby Atmos and Dolby 7.1 surround sound.

The first game has not been remastered for the PlayStation 4 nor VR, but if the fans ask for it, Konami may listen.

4K and VR demos are available on the PlayStation Store to download.

To keep up with all the latest from the game, be sure to follow OnlySP on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

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