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Naughty Dog explains The Last of Us’ combat systems at GDC

Naughty Dog Designer Anthony Newman took to a GDC panel today to discuss The Last of Us‘ combat systems.

According to Newman, Naughty Dog designed various melee combat styles, each suited for different main characters, including Joel, Ellie, Bill and various enemies.

“There were a ton of different mechanics we tried to put in the game, but we had to be really careful about putting them in, in terms of elegance and being comfortable,” Newman added, as reported by Polygon. “You need to be comfortable with cutting them and letting go of them in order of make your game more accessible.”

The ability to block melee attacks existed in-game until the system was revamped to become the take on the rock, paper, scissors system that remains. The block was in the game up until four months prior to its release.

Last, Newman said that Naughty Dog made an intentional choice to zoom-in on character faces as much as possible to promote the human struggle found inside the game itself. Drawn-out, graphic death sequences were inspired by similar sequences — usually involving the Chainsaw Man — in Resident Evil 4.

The Last of Us was Stevivor’s Game of the Year for 2013. A sequel may or may not be in the works at Naughty Dog.


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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist nearing twenty (TWENTY!?!) years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.