Like it did with The Last of Us on the PlayStation 3, Naughty Dog is pushing the PS4 to its limits with The Last of Us Part II. While playing, players are likely to take note of this in the game’s graphical fidelity. However, the animations are bound to stand out just as much, perhaps even more so. If Neil Druckmann’s statement on the work Naughty Dog’s doing proves true, Ellie’s animations alone could be one of “the best controlling and looking third-person action characters out there.”
Speaking with PlayStation Blog, Druckmann said the PS4’s power allows the team to accomplish far more than what was possible on PS3. While this will be evident with larger environments and infected hordes, advancements in animation may truly win the day. Previously, Co-Director Anthony Newman spoke about “motion matching,” which ensures character movement looks more fluid, courtesy of the blending of animations frame-by-frame. Druckmann’s statement echo Newman’s, boldly positing that Ellie may be one of the best animated third-person action characters.
Druckmann told PlayStation Blog,
… Ellie has this whole new animation system called motion mapping. Not just Ellie, all the characters. It makes movement more responsive, but also more realistic at the same time. So I think Ellie is one of the best controlling and looking third-person action characters out there.
The fidelity we can get in the faces and the motion capture—we can better translate what the actors are doing on stage into the game, and get these nuances so we can rely more on the way someone blinks or the way they squint instead of lines of dialogue. It allows the writing to be much more nuanced than it’s been before.
Naughty Dog’s impressive work with animations is evident in some of the recently released gameplay footage. Every movement of Ellie’s seems meticulous, smooth, natural even. How this will translate to the full experience remains to be seen, of course. But what’s been shown off, thus far, couldn’t look more impressive.
The Last of Us Part II is due out early next year on February 21, 2020. On March 3rd, Dark Horse will release The Art of the Last of Us Part II, a 200-page art book filled with concept images, creator commentary, and other pieces of insight.
[Source: PlayStation Blog]