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One of the several gameplay additions coming to The Last Of Us Part II is a new upgrade system. We recently got our hands on the game at a preview event, and it seems upgrades are more than just a way to make Ellie stronger; they’ll drastically change the way you play. GameSpot editor Phil Hornshaw spent time with the game and also spoke to co-director Anthony Newman about the feature.
When Phil inquired about the upgrade system, Newman said, “There was so much we really wanted to explore in terms of player strategy. We really wanted to try and double-down on allowing players to express themselves strategically and find their own way to play the game. And so something I’m really thrilled about is the new player upgrade system where rather than having upgrades that are just minor stat booths to different things, we really wanted to have upgrades that potentially unlocked entirely new abilities or just had drastic effects on the way that you played a game.”
It seems that several gameplay mechanics will stack as you improve Ellie’s capabilities, Newman gave an example saying, “One totally new ability you can get is holding your breath while aiming to steady your aim. It doesn’t come by default but you can learn it over time.” These can overlap with other systems, and Newman continued, “There are entire crafting recipes, like the silencer for the pistol, that you can only learn via the player upgrade system. Or some really extreme upgrades where you can craft two of an item for the same resources. You can craft two trap mines or two smoke bombs for the same resources.”
By the sound of it, different players may end up with different gameplay experiences gameplay in The Last Of Us Part II, but aren’t beholden to a specific ‘build’ per se. As Newman concluded, “You can find these synergies between playstyle, a set of weapon upgrades that you get at the workbench, a set of player upgrades that all create this confluence of a unique version of the game for yourself.”
Plenty of news has come out for The Last Of Us Part II and we have you covered from every angle. The ways in which you’ll be able to change your play style may also feed into some of the new challenges you’ll face, such as attack dogs that’ll sniff you out and make stealth tougher. For a deeper dive into the game, be sure to read our in-depth preview of The Last Of Us Part II or watch our impressions from the preview event. And if you haven’t seen the latest State of Play livestream from Sony, you can catch a glimpse of gameplay and story from the game.