The Last Of Us’ dynamic stealth & ‘live’ inventory management is risky say director
The Last Of Us game director Bruce Straley has explained a little more about the stealth in the game and the dynamically aware AI system that mean that opponents know if one of their group is missing.
Speaking to gamesindustry Straley talked about how to deal with enemies and whether or not to choke out an opponent silently. “There are risks to this because now the group knows [about you]. 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?’”
The result of that is that rival survivors will start looking for their missing friends. “They’re going to start getting panicked, like ‘Something’s up’” explains Straley. “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. We’ve invested a lot of time in our AI and making sure that these humans that you’re facing in this world that we’ve created are realistic in that, there’s a brutality, there’s a violence, but it’s not gratuitous.”
Straley also talked about Joel’s rucksack and how players use it to craft vital items. “Our inventory system is living, meaning the game is still running,” he explains. “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.”
It’s all to do with emphasizing “the reality of the situation” says Stayley. “If you go in willy nilly and just expect to come out unscathed, then you’re wrong. We want to make sure that there are a lot of opportunities for action and a lot of opportunities inside of this world, but at the same time, that has to do with how much you’ve invested in exploring the world. How much ammo did you come into this scenario with? Have you been able to craft something like a molotov? Do you have two molotovs? Do you have a health kit? What do you have? And you’re using the same inventory items for both crafting the molotov as well as the health kit, so you’re making a choice: Am I going to be offensive or defensive?”