So all of us are familiar with standard stealth gameplay, if you’ve ever played Metal Gear Solid or Hitman then you know what I’m talking about it. It seems that the folks at Naughty Dog are familiar with it too and in incorporating stealth into The Last Of Us, they intend to put some subtle twist on your standard stealth action.
In speaking with GameIndustry.biz, the game’s director Bruce Stanley, provided a bit of insight into the game’s “dynamic stealth system. He said:
“The AI know about each other. They’re searching rooms and they split up but then they’re going to reform and one of them doesn’t show up, he’s going to start asking: ‘Where’d he go?’ They’re going to start looking for their buddy and they’re going to start getting panicked. Suddenly there’s a risk even to taking out somebody stealthily and you still have to move around. That’s part of our dynamic AI system here, our dynamic stealth.”
This isn’t exactly the first time this has been done, the key will be if the awareness last and how agitated the A.I. gets when someone goes missing. In most games, initially the A.I. becomes upset or on alert when you snatch one of them, but eventually they go back into their normal state. It will be a real balancing act because without that dynamic, some games would become infinitely more difficult. Not to mention that the characters in The Last Of Us aren’t superheroes or trained assassins, they are just regular people trying to survive.
The concept of dynamic stealth has its own implications in terms of creating tension on the player, but it’s not the only method that Naughty Dog will be using. Another way the game will do this is by not stopping the game when you use your inventory system. The Last of Us doesn’t pause when you access the inventory to use and craft items. On this, Stanley said:
“Our inventory system is living, meaning the game is still running. You’re not paused when you’re going into your inventory. So it’s just like you’ve pulled the backpack off of your back and you’re in there creating something live while the enemies are moving around the environment and coming to get you if you’ve engaged with them. So what we want to try to do is make you feel that there is a consequence to it.”
That should add a bit more fun to the action, though I wonder if it will at least slow down a bit. I understand they want to keep the game at a high level of tension and create a sense of uncertainty but there are limits. The main characters are just regular people so the game has to account for that somehow. Either way, it should be one hell of a ride.
The Last of Us is currently scheduled for release sometime in 2013.