No Co-Op for The Last of Us

No Co-Op for The Last of Us

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Naughty Dog's new IP relies on strong AI, and that goes for your partner as well as your enemies.

Naughty Dog's The Last of Us will not feature co-op play, its creative director Neil Druckmann and game director Bruce Straley have confirmed. They want to take their new IP in a completely different direction, and that means among other things that Ellie, the main character's constant companion, will be completely AI controlled. There will be multiplayer, but both Druckmann and Straley refused to be drawn on exactly what multiplayer meant for The Last of Us.

"Strong AI is an important focus for The Last of Us," the Naughty Dog team said, and stressed that the enemy AI had been designed to provide dynamic, realistic opposition. Your partner Ellie has also been designed "to be a very capable ally who provides vital mutual aid to Joel in overcoming obstacles. In and out of combat situations," they promised, adding "[she] will be a valuable resource throughout the game." She's not just a combat assist, but also a problem solver vital to Joel's continued survival. Without her helping Joel scavenge and navigate the environment the player is pretty much doomed, so the AI's strength is really going to be key to the game's success.

This lack of co-op is a deliberate strategy, which goes hand-in-hand with their carefully designed character arcs and performances. "We've worked very hard to maintain the depth of character and performance that Naughty Dog is known for," they said. "It's our goal in The Last of Us that you, as the player, become so invested in the characters, the story, and the tension of our gameplay mechanics, that your own emotions mirror those expressed within the game by Joel and Ellie at any given moment."

The Last of Us is scheduled for a 2013 release.

Source: Gaming Examiner

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Well, this might be the first game I pre order in... at least 3+ years. Maybe... at least, I'll be very tempted to pre order.

Let's just say I'm looking forward to it.

But... why? Any emotion can be shown even if the second player is human, just make them do their prerendered action or whatever. Its not impossible, and most people will be playing single player anyway. I don't see how they would lose anything by adding co-op.

I kinda want to say something snarky about that "depth of character and performance that Naughty Dog is known for" bit, but in this case I actually hope they pull it off.

I really hope they pull off the AI sufficiently. It's going to be the thing that makes or breaks this game, and I really like the look of it.

"[she] will be a valuable resource throughout the game." = she will have many scripted events that will make here look like she is actually useful.

FogHornG36:
"[she] will be a valuable resource throughout the game." = she will have many scripted events that will make here look like she is actually useful.

Pretty much.

There will be things only she can do and things only you can do. She'll crawl under things and hit buttons. He'll lift heavy things. Part way through the game the pair will be separated and later reunited.

I don't hate this fact. I really don't

If you're on a headset trying to shout orders at a friend you're disconnected from the story events if what I think is the logic they're employing in removing Co-Op here. I'm not really bothered by it since none of my friends seem interested in this title. (I need new friends).

Hopefully they'll come up with some good companion AI because otherwise it's a full length game equivalent of an escort mission. *shudder*

Ellie just wouldn't be Ellie if another player was controlling her. Besides it would be rather imbalanced co-op.

Zhukov:
I kinda want to say something snarky about that "depth of character and performance that Naughty Dog is known for" bit, but in this case I actually hope they pull it off.

If you were snarking about Uncharted, then yes, but considering Jak and Daxter, Naughty Dog is actually pretty good about creating compelling characters.

DVS BSTrD:
Ellie just wouldn't be Ellie if another player was controlling her. Besides it would be rather imbalanced co-op.

That's what I bothered from it, and it would just be awkward for someone to control her while she's also trying to be herself.

I'm totally ok with Naughty Dog doing this since they do a pretty good job at making great characters.

Well ain't gonna lie, I was hoping this would be a coop game.

Good coop games ain't exactly a dime a dozen ya know? Aw well, still looking forward to this regardless.

In theory coop in games doesn't bother me. Some people want to play through their games with other people and that makes sense. But when the only fun way to play your game is coop, then I no longer want to play your game at all. So I'm gonna call the lack of coop in this game an overall good thing for me and my interest in ever playing it.

This game really does look pretty ace. Stupid Xbox...

I wonder what the multiplayer will be like? Not that I'm that bothered about it. I'm much more interested in the main story line.

Really dont see where this is a problem. Actually I really dont see much of a justification for wanting co op in the first place. Its sort of similar to the same way that sandbox nature of a game can effectively neuter a really strong and heavy narrative.

Multiplayer will probably have something to do with all those roving gangs of postapocalyptic raiders that keep showing up.

 

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