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Speaking in Grounded II, a new documentary detailing the development of The Last of Us Part 2, the game’s development team revealed how their original intention was for the sequel to be “as different as humanly possible” from the first game.
“In the first four or five months, the game was actually kind of an open world inspired by Bloodborne. It was purely melee-focused, all hand-to-hand combat,” said co-game director Anthony Newman.
Emilia Schatz, lead game designer, explained: “It wasn’t just the melee combat: we were also looking at layout structure.
“Bloodborne had a very open space that kept getting bigger and bigger as you explored. I really like that feeling that you get of mastery over the world. It starts to become almost a character I the game itself. And so that was also something we were looking at.”
As development went on, Schatz said, the team discovered that the open-world structure didn’t fit with the story of the game, and they dialled it back.
“We started out making it as different as humanly possible from the first game as we could, and then kind of dialling it back. The open world thing didn’t work with the story we were trying to tell.”
“I don’t have a story, but I do have that concept. That, to me, is as exciting as 1, as exciting as 2, is its own thing, yet has this through line for all 3. So it does feel like there’s probably one more chapter to this story.”