Naughty Dog have already announced their plans for less linearity in the picturesque post-apocalyptic masterpiece The Last of Us, but it now seems that this will be realised through much more than mere exploration. Player choice will apparently permeate much of the game, bringing a sense of consequence to almost every action you take.
Whilst talking to GamesIndustry, the game’s director Bruce Straley revealed this emphasis and the intriguing way that they hope to realise it:
“If you go in willy nilly and just expect to come out unscathed, then you’re wrong. 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?”
Planning will be more than a passing consideration as, much like Dead Space, accessing your inventory will not pause the game:
“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.”
Showing consequence through narrative choice often leads to moments of poignant reflection, but persistently demonstrating the results of almost every decision will create an incredibly tense and immersive atmosphere. If the execution is anywhere near as good as the intention, then The Last of Us will truly be something to behold far beyond its beauty.