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Ellie playing the guitar

The Last of Us Part II – Is there a Downgrade?

The Last of Us Part II is the highly anticipated sequel to the original which came out in 2014, well now it’s 2019 and we’re waiting for the game to come out in February. Well we got some new gameplay footage and there’s definitely some differences between what we’re seeing now and what we’ve seen before in 2018. Well we’ll show you what we mean by comparing some gameplay.

Environment Reaction

Over here we can see Ellie climbing over a snowy building presumably trying to get inside. Well if you look closely when she’s climbing over some rooftops, you can see that the the snow is trying to catch up with Ellie’s movements and is leaving marks. Now there isn’t really any comparison for the snow effects as in previous footage we’ve seen has her walking through some grass, and it reacts pretty well. There’s some clipping we’ve seen from the 2018 footage, but that makes sense as they’re big plants she’s walking through.

In this case we can look at the environment’s reaction to Ellie with this other footage from a grassy area. You can try to compare the two pieces of footage and you can basically see that the grass and flora interact with Ellie as she moves looks just about the same overall. Clipping and all as Ellie is moving along the environments at several moments, so this seems to remain unchanged.

Ellie Sneaking along Grass 

We also see Ellie sneaking around prone through the grass as well in both the new and 2018 footage. It only happens for a moment but she does it when she sees some cultists talking. Well now we get to see some extended proning and crawling in the new footage. It’s actually really hard to tell, but these animations basically look the same, you can see Ellie crawling through the grass in the new footage and when you see Ellie prone in the old 2018 footage,  you can see that they both use the same stance when prone, so that seems to be fairly unchanged.

Environment Lighting

There may be some small lighting differences between the footage that we have seen. In this dark room in the house in the new footage looks all nice, you’ve got the flashlight on and can see all of the small details around the house, well in the old footage with Ellie in the old store, the lighting looks… It’s hard to really tell as the 2018 footage took place at night and it seems that everything is a lot brighter to see in the more darker areas in both footage. If anything it does seem that the old footage’s lighting looks just a bit better.

Ellie’s Face

Over here you can clearly see Ellie’s face as she looks at something in bewilderment. We don’t know what she’s looking at but over here in the E3 footage, we can see Ellie’s face early on. Now it’s probably just the angle, but Ellie in the old footage just looks a bit better in this frame. It’s probably because that scene itself could simply be a cutscene using better models instead of in-game models, but her face is so detailed here. Compared to the new footage where her face looks a bit less-detailed it might be downgrade, or is using an in-game model. It’s really hard to tell.

Ellie Taking Cover in Building

Here, we can see Ellie taking some cover trying to hide from a bunch of goons in the old footage. Now we see Ellie in a slightly different situation but nonetheless taking cover. Surprisingly, there are a few differences between the two points she’s taking cover in. If you look at Ellie’s hand, she seems to have her hand resting onto the cover she’s taking, trying to lean on it. Well in this new footage, we see Ellie hide and take some cover, but when she crouches her hand isn’t touching the wall as she moves. Her hang makes gestures about to touch the wall, but doesn’t as she moves. Now this could just be a very minor detail, but it shows that there could be some different contextual animations for when Ellie does stuff around the environment.

Ellie Aiming and Shooting

Now let’s take a look at what happens when Ellie starts shooting things, like bad guys and clickers. Right under the car, we can see Ellie take aim as a cultist tries to put her head under the car to look at Ellie and makes a clean shot in the head. You can see that the bullet penetrated her head and a small red mist is seen indicating she’s dead. Well here we can see Ellie shoot at this clicker in the new footage and the results make it look less impressive than it should.  The clicker looks more like it got pushed back rather than get destroyed by this shotgun and the person dying in the old trailer was a bit more detailed than expected. I’m going to go with this being a slight downgrade as well.

Ellie Going through Cracks

Here you can look at Ellie in the new footage going through a crack, and here in the old 2018 footage you can also see Ellie slipping through a crack as well. There is barely any difference, but you can see that in the new footage, she doesn’t hold her hand up when moving and in the old footage, you can see that Ellie is resting her hands on the wall as she goes through it. This may be just another contextual animation as you would have no reason to hold your hands against a door you’re sliding through, though this could just be another different animation.

Ellie Escaping Grab

Now let’s take a look at Ellie trying to escape from a grab after shooting at the woman’s face in the 2018 gameplay showing. We see that as the man is struggling against her, the square button appears and we see a struggle animation. She escapes and is given a chance to put a few rounds into her attacker, but when we compare Ellie getting grabbed by a clicker, we can see that the animation is a bit faster, and she’s gets out pretty easily since it’s a clicker. Now we don’t know if the animations are going to be exactly the same against every type of enemy, but we can assume from the new trailer that Ellie will have a lot of different animations.

Conclusion

From what we can see from this comparison is that the footage we’ve seen recently is just a bit more different from what we’ve seen in 2018. We can’t exactly be sure if what we’ve seen was in-engine or was just mostly using gameplay from a devkit to look better, but we’re sure that the e3 demo was for the most part was faithful to what the game currently is. We hope that these differences will improve the game when it gets in our hands.

For more news on The Last of Us Part II, check out here.

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