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Game Dev A Naughty Dog designer breaks down the level design of the Mall Infiltration in TLOU2

kyliethicc

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Found this really cool, long, and detailed breakdown by Arnaldo Licea, a level designer from Naughty Dog, on how they designed one of the levels in The Last of Us Part II. It takes place in a flooded mall in Seattle. Sharing this since I found it interesting to read and learn more about this game's excellent level design.





The Setup​

One of my favorite combat encounters to work on from The Last of Us Part II was the mall infiltration. Ellie has come to a point in her journey towards finding Abby in the aquarium where she can no longer travel on foot because of massive flooding. There is a sense of urgency in the narrative where it’s imperative to find a solution. She follows an enemy boat into the mall where she must infiltrate and commandeer it to be able to accomplish her goal.

The Location​

The original high-level direction I got was to build a combat encounter that serves as a showcase from swim combat, a first for The Last of Us, the introduction of a playable motorized vehicle, also a first, and progressive complications for Ellie, especially in light of her and her companion splitting ways in this point of the story.

So, with that high-level direction in mind, how to start? In building the structure for how the whole chapter would play out, I began where pretty much every level designer on the project begins: looking at Google Maps. We knew for certain that we wanted to start the level from the theater, which we knew which one we wanted to reference, and wanted to end in the aquarium, also inspired by a real world location. So I started doing some location scouting on what areas could be good beats to hit. We always talked about going through the convention center but I also found some other areas that drew my attention, including the GameWorks arcade, the monorail area between the Westin hotel towers, and the mall.

I loved the idea of taking the boat inside buildings that felt like caves so I was fully onboard to recreate the feeling from this concept art for a flooded Seattle mall but I wanted it to be a combat space instead of a mellow traversal layout. The grandness of the high ceilings and multi-level structure made it a perfect place for a seemingly insurmountable task.

The mall was particularly inspiring because of a piece of blue sky concept art we had:








Swim Combat In The Last of Us​

So now that I have a location and goals in the level, it was time to start figuring out what swim combat was like for The Last of Us. We’ve done swim combat before in Uncharted 4 and Liz Fiacco had done some test layouts in pre-production but it was now time to put all of those learnings into a production level.

Player Mechanics

One of the biggest things to think about was how it would feel to swim as Ellie and how do we tune swim to work with combat that did not make it feel like Uncharted? Ellie is not Drake. In Uncharted 4, swimming was a good way to reset combat and get back into stealth. You could just jump in the water, swim to the other side of the level, and kind of wait for enemies to lose you. This felt fine in a fast-paced action game like Uncharted but The Last of Us is about improvisation and tension. Swimming is something that only the player can do but we wanted it to feel risky to use.


Throughout production we tweaked various things like how long can Ellie hold her breath, how fast she can swim, how much of the environment can you see underwater, if you drop from a high ledge that you remain underwater, etc. In Uncharted 4, Drake could shoot from the water but we definitely didn’t want to do that for Ellie. While we got a lot of push back from focus testers sometimes, we thought that this was a good way to communicate that Ellie is not an action hero like Drake. The balance was tough but, in the end, I feel we hit our goals of not making Ellie feel like a fish, having the tension that you can escape in water but still run a risk — you may run out of breath or emerge around enemies, but above all, a mechanic that is fun to play.

Layout Metrics

It was very important to establish good metrics for swimming. In combat, especially, you don’t want to run into ambiguous metrics that can cause frustration and potentially get you killed. You want things to be clear and readable so that you can spend your time planning out your next move or escaping from enemies. It was also really important to be consistent about the metrics. For example, all ledges you can climb from water are 0.25m above the surface and the platform wall always extends below the surface to indicate a potential climbing platform. Anything between 0.25m and 0.75m would be too ambigous for climbing.

For anything underwater, the metrics are more loose. They kept changing as we tweaked the breath meter. We wanted Ellie to start running out of breath before getting to the exits to encourage improvisation. Believe me, we tweaked this till basically the end. It required so much to come together, like underwater readability and more, in order to properly assess it.




Enemy AI

The other big question was how do enemies react to you in water? Can they hear your splashes? How do they path around a space that sometimes requires swimming to get across? This was a combined effort from the AI team, the combat designer, and layout. We knew for sure we didn’t want enemies to swim. We wanted them to react to the water because players expected them to but when we added a audio event that enemies could hear, the combat became exponentially more difficult. For this one, we had to just keep it simple and have them not hear the splashes but have them follow you to the water and try to shoot you, if you get spotted.

Matthew Gallant, the combat designer for the mall, made this bespoke system where enemies could try to predict which hole you were bound to come up from. For a time, it was extremely difficult to get anywhere! We tuned it down and found a balance because we also wanted to be able to see enemies from below the surface. Having them be near the edge allowed for this.

We also tweaked how deep in the water they can see you. So if you’re below 2 or 3m underwater, enemies will start losing you. We kind of cheated this by using an invisible plane with stealth grass properties on it. Our stealth grass already had features that decreased how much enemies could see you so we just used it for the water and it worked great! The deeper you swim, the harder it is for enemies to spot you.

In the end, we were able to make enemies feel unique because of the combat encounters unique mechanic while still leveraging our combat sandbox mechanics. It was a tricky balance to strike, for sure.


The Layout​

Structure

The Seattle mall is mostly a semi-circle structure. I kind of liked that because it already gave me an asymmetrical space to work with. I also liked that the center was big and open because it created a big no man’s land that I wanted players to be able to swim across when traversing from one end to the other. Originally, I used the sides as lanes, with some open stores, but it was more of a bowl. The boat was at the end but you could basically just swim up to it. You didn’t really feel like you were earning it and it didn’t accomplish the feeling we were looking with Ellie having to overcome huge odds against her. I always kid around that for The Last of Us level design: “When in doubt, break it down”. Meaning that we can use destruction as a way to get the shapes we need in gameplay. We strive to make our spaces feel authentic but not every space is ideal for the gameplay you want so I collapsed the ceiling of the mall to create this big physical barrier to the boat.

This afforded me several things. It partitioned the space in two, which presented a fork for the player to choose a lane to progress through, it created a path for enemies to cut you off above, so if you swim to the other lane and they can’t follow they can still be in front of you, and finally, it allowed me to position the player for a good view of the boat before entering the second half of the combat.

The first space also became a sandbox to get you used to swim combat and then the second half put the goal in focus and expands on that gameplay. It became an encounter of stages, which felt right for an infiltration.





 
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kyliethicc

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Readability

How can you tell when there’s a water escape route above water and underwater? How readable is the underwater portion going to be, when we’re inside a building and it’s bound to be dark? There are the obvious areas, like the center that is full of water but there are holes inside the store that need to stand out. A big component of all of this is lighting and FX.

A lot of the solution for readability was clever use of lighting and fx that allowed us to make the water stand out with carefully placed lighting and caustic effects. We used this in several areas to subtly highlight the water exits. This all took several iterations to get right and not make it feel forced.



Shape Language

Another big aspect that needed solving was the shape language. Players have a hard time looking up and every exit from underwater is above you. We thought about creating pockets of air in the underwater bits but we would run into the same issue as before, where it would become a space to reset combat. That means that the underwater routes had to be risky but also allow different paths in case enemies we posted in the exit and you could see them from above.

One element that helped out a lot where vertical shaped that went from the ground to above the surface.




This signaled to players that they could exit the water through there. The other cool thing about them is that the can serve as cover for both underwater and above the surface. If the player saw them, they knew they could safely emerge behind them with less of a risk of getting spotted by enemies.

Another thing to always keep in mind was to have cover nearby for the exits. Getting out of water is a slow action and you want to make sure that you decrease the chances of getting spotted by clambering next to cover.





The Boat and the Escape​

The Goal

The boat, the first playable motorized vehicle in The Last of Us, is a whole blog post in itself but suffice to say was another challenge altogether with this layout. The goal of the whole encounter is to retrieve this boat to proceed to the aquarium through a flooded downtown Seattle. We knew we wanted this whole setup to be a sort of infiltration on this sort of rendezvous point for the WLF en route to Scar island for their invasion so we knew it would be a big fight.

One of the things we definitely wanted in the game, in terms of combat encounters, was the ability to stealth through them. It was your choice whether to engage with enemies or try to get through them without being spotted. That was definitely something I wanted to do in this space as well. I could imagine sneaking up to the boat and escaping with it — It feels so satisfying to accomplish. But not everything goes according to plan…

The Gap

For the entire level, and partially to highlight the struggle of getting through the flooded city, I wanted the boat to be like the Millennium Falcon. It’s old and is always breaking down. We give a big hint in the cinematic before the fight where we frame one of the WLF soldiers trying to fix it in the middle of a breakdown and even before that, we hear the soldiers talking about how unreliable the boat is.


So what happens when you get to the boat and try to turn it on? Yep! Progressive complications! The engine doesn’t start and you have to do a version of the generator mini game, which Bryan Collinsworth and I worked on, to get it going. The noise will alert any nearby enemies. In this case, if you can get it started fast enough, you can have a daring escape where you’re speeding out of the mall while being shot at. Matthew Gallant, our Lead Systems Designer, scripted their accuracy to decrease when you where near the exit so that you could experience this moment without the frustration of dying at the exit.

Yet another challenge was that the player had never driven the boat before so they, potentially, would be learning how to drive it under duress. In development, we had the alternate control scheme, that is more similar to the Uncharted 4 jeep controls, as the default scheme but found that a lot of people had trouble adjusting. Their first instinct was that it controlled like the horse, which was the TLOU paradigm of a playable vehicle. We opted to default to those controls and make the experience a bit more frictionless, in case you’re under duress. You can still change to the other controls in the options menu.


Conclusion

This was a super fun layout to work on. It was a big and ambitious layout that supported more than one unique mechanic that hadn’t been done in previous levels on top of leveraging the combat sandbox we had already established in previous levels. Every level in the game is touched by every department and it’s too many to list them all, but I want to give special shout outs to those people I worked most closely with on this one:

Kurt Margenau — Co-Game Director
Richard Cambier — Lead Designer
Matthew Gallant — Lead Systems Designer
Bryan Collinsworth — Designer
John Sweeney — Art Director
Andres Rodriguez — Lead Environment Artist
Andrew Watkins — Environment Artist
Joakim Stigsson — Environment Artist
Adam Littledale — Environment Artist
Elaine Kubik — FX Artist
Mark Shoaf — Lead Lighting Artist
Scott Greenway — Lighting Artist
Brittany Renz-Lopez — QA
Manolo Rosenberg — QA
Sandeep Shekar — Lead Programmer
Kan Xu — Programmer
Halley Gross — Narrative Lead

And everyone else at the studio that playtested and gave feedback or ideas for the space!


 
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elliot5

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the game is a masterpiece, and looking at those clips/screenshots of the levels from Arnaldo it makes me want to revisit the game.... but the sheer length and the story of it makes me not want to play it again. I'm not like an Abby hater or anything, it just wasn't well paced imo and I can't be fucked to play a 25-30 hour game. At least with TLOU it could be finished in like... less than half that.
 

Yselacrey00

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the game is a masterpiece, and looking at those clips/screenshots of the levels from Arnaldo it makes me want to revisit the game.... but the sheer length and the story of it makes me not want to play it again. I'm not like an Abby hater or anything, it just wasn't well paced imo and I can't be fucked to play a 25-30 hour game. At least with TLOU it could be finished in like... less than half that.
I can’t play again because of the length and the story but for a different reason. The Abby part wouldn’t affect me now because I know exactly what is going to happen. What makes me not wanting to play it is the actual story. It is so taxing, the story is so stressful, sad and it gives you anxiety. It’s definitely not a fun story to play through so I don’t know why would anyone want to play that thing again regardless of how great it was.
 

kyliethicc

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the game is a masterpiece, and looking at those clips/screenshots of the levels from Arnaldo it makes me want to revisit the game.... but the sheer length and the story of it makes me not want to play it again. I'm not like an Abby hater or anything, it just wasn't well paced imo and I can't be fucked to play a 25-30 hour game. At least with TLOU it could be finished in like... less than half that.

I'd recommend replaying it but in 3 distinct shorter chunks.

The story has the 3 big acts that can actually be replayed and enjoyed on their own, sorta like a trilogy of films.

1 - opening to end of Ellie day 3 (about 10 hours)
2 - Abby's day 1-3 (about 10 hours)
3 - the farm to the end (about 5 hours)
 

kiphalfton

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Honestly I'm not impressed by most the interior levels, as they don't replicate real life locations at all. For instance the grocery store, the home improvement store, small store fronts, office buildings, etc. They're modeled very poorly, mainly due to how wide open they are and the lack of flow like normal real life buildings.

Yeah I get it's a game, but I don't get the praise for level design when it's not that great.
 
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Chris_Rivera

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By far the best part about Lou2, level design and combat encounters. So much other crap that breaks the flow. Factions is going to rule.
 
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Majormaxxx

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With how these guys pay attention to the smallest details in a game world I can't comprehend the level of realism in their next gen game on PS5.
Cautiously looking forward to the next game - for the technical mastery they show.

Really hoping that their next game is ESCAPISM. Fun. And not a bummer like this one. They have to stop taking things so seriously.
 

Daneel Elijah

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Yeah in pretty much every level you can sneak through without killing many or any.
I knew that but I found it a waste not to fully "end" each level before going to another area.
But that level specifically i got to the boat, tried to go and found it to be too slow so I got back a the beginning and killed everybody .

When I played Abby I coulf not bring myself to kill anybody from the seraphites when I have one with me nor any ex friend from the wlf. It was really hard do to it but it has made the game even more fun and engaging to me. Those I made them with stealth and the occasionnal bout of running.
 

Yoboman

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Honestly I'm not impressed by most the interior levels, as they don't replicate real life locations at all. For instance the grocery store, the home improvement store, small store fronts, office buildings, etc. They're modeled very poorly, mainly due to how wide open they are and the lack of flow like normal real life buildings.

Yeah I get it's a game, but I don't get the praise for level design when it's not that great.
Luckily its a game and not an interior design diagram
 

kyliethicc

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My interest in playing this game (which i own already) just increased dramatically
Yeah don't get the wrong impression, its usually easier to just start blasting, but in a few sections I just ran away or snuck past the enemies to get to the next area. Depends on the difficulty you play on and what the scenario is, too.

Adds a nice layer of replayability and player choice to the levels.
 

Tschumi

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Yeah don't get the wrong impression, its usually easier to just start blasting, but in a few sections I just ran away or snuck past the enemies to get to the next area. Depends on the difficulty you play on and what the scenario is, too.

Adds a nice layer of replayability and player choice to the levels.
i generally play any game that offers a pacifist playthrough on max difficulty... if it's not an actual pacifist playthrough then nvm but i still plan to try it one day

i don't play tlou because i hear u need to grind certain drops and stuff or u can't complete the game, and i don't wanna play tlou2 until i finish the first... so yeah, a bit stuck
 
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kyliethicc

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i generally play any game that offers a pacifist playthrough on max difficulty... if it's not an actual pacifist playthrough then nvm but i still plan to try it one day
There is no pacifist option lol.

i don't play tlou because i hear u need to grind certain drops and stuff or u can't complete the game, and i don't wanna play tlou2 until i finish the first... so yeah, a bit stuck
That is completely false. There are no "drops" in The Last of Us. Its a linear action game.
 
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martino

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I preferred the hospital to the mall (to play not visually)
the mall is too open with less path for infiltration imo.
 
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RJMacready73

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Honestly I'm not impressed by most the interior levels, as they don't replicate real life locations at all. For instance the grocery store, the home improvement store, small store fronts, office buildings, etc. They're modeled very poorly, mainly due to how wide open they are and the lack of flow like normal real life buildings.

Yeah I get it's a game, but I don't get the praise for level design when it's not that great.
really? baring in mind this is a game so its not going to be 1:1 real life but i found the levels and environmental design not to mention the set dressing to be on a whole other level to similar games, so much so that once i had cleared an area i would spend a bit of time exploring all the nooks and crannies seeking out hidden details and just being in fucking awe at the artistry on display, hell some of the short walk through levels where you're simply listening to someone monologuing are filled to the brim with incredible detail that could be easily missed.. what this team is going to be able to achieve on PS5 doesn't bare thinking about, cannot fucking wait for a PS5 exclusive ND game
 

Hobbygaming

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The noise will alert any nearby enemies. In this case, if you can get it started fast enough, you can have a daring escape where you’re speeding out of the mall while being shot at.
I never knew this was an option for that area

This is an interesting read. TLOU II is doing so many brilliant things under the hood
 

elcapitano

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Cautiously looking forward to the next game - for the technical mastery they show.

Really hoping that their next game is ESCAPISM. Fun. And not a bummer like this one. They have to stop taking things so seriously.

They really don't. There is a market for these games.

They make 1 every like 7 years. That's plenty of time in between.
 

Roufianos

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I wish we could get some actual stealth games instead of games with tacked on stealth segments.
 

Dodkrake

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Tacked on? I found the stealth brilliant tbh, from sneaking, distracting to quietly taking down enemies and then having them found all bloody stressful in some levels, stealth was an integral part of the game
Let's not forget that in grounded mode reloading your weapon alerts enemies that are close enough to hear the weapon click.
 

EverydayBeast

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A good game has trouble, Abby is smart and lets you get into trouble but manage that trouble like the zombies in that mall area. Peoples issues with last of us part 2 isn’t the locations. You need a memorable map, character creation, I like to open the map with a click of a button.
 
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CrimsonSquall

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This area gave me the most trouble on grounded.



TLoU2 and MGSV are the best stealth games I've ever played.
I loved TLOU2 but please dont compare them. You cant even freaking drag bodies in this game. I had to kill and move bodies by crawl prone pushing them
 
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kiphalfton

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I loved TLOU2 but please dont compare them. You cant even freaking drag bodies in this game. I had to kill and move bodies by crawl prone pushing them

TLOU2 is a barely serviceable "stealth game". Comparing it to MGSV is indeed an awful comparison, as MGSV gameplay had been masterfully refined to a fine edge since earlier games. Don't get me wrong, the improvements to TLOU2 are much appreciated and needed over the first game, but it is a far cry from MGSV on the gameplay front.
 
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kyliethicc

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I loved TLOU2 but please dont compare them. You cant even freaking drag bodies in this game. I had to kill and move bodies by crawl prone pushing them
Eh I'd compare them and say both are great in different ways.

Stealth games don't require a "drag body" mechanic anymore than a FPS requires a "realistic reload" mechanic where ammo left in mags is lost.

TLOU2 is just a different type or style of stealth game. No need to hide bodies, that's not how its meant to be played.
 
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CrimsonSquall

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Eh I'd compare them and say both are great in different ways.

Stealth games don't require a "drag body" mechanic anymore than a FPS requires a "realistic reload" mechanic where ammo left in mags is lost.

TLOU2 is just a different type or style of stealth game. No need to hide bodies, that's not how its meant to be played.
What makes a game the type to need to hide the bodies?
 

kyliethicc

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What makes a game the type to need to hide the bodies?
I just mean each game has its own design. Its own mechanics the designers created. A game like MGS with the ability to hide a body is designed that way. It allows for that strat, which offers the ability to take one's time.

While in a game like TLOU, the designers want you to be under pressure after killing someone, its like a ticking time bomb that adds to the tension of stealth / discovery. Hiding every body would remove pressure, making it easier to remain hidden longer.

Both can be very fun types of game design. Just different.
 

EDMIX

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I loved TLOU2 but please dont compare them. You cant even freaking drag bodies in this game. I had to kill and move bodies by crawl prone pushing them

Not yet.

The Last Of Us 2 is 100% on the level of Metal Gear Solid now, as in its the closest thing to that concept that we've had to a massive degree. Even in Metal Gear Solid, dragging bodies didn't start till 2 and 3 and even Peace Walker you can't drag bodies actually. So I'd say that 1 element doesn't automatically make it uncomaprable, using this logic Metal Gear Solid 1 and Peace Walker are not Metal Gear Solid games...... that seems a bit too extreme and silly and I'm a massive fucking MGS fan.

So I put this in the "not yet" area as I believe in part 3, the will have moving bodies, hiding them etc.

The ability to go prone
The ability to throw objects to distract enemies
Dogs able to smell to track and find you
The NPCs looking for their missing friends
The NPCs walking backwards before forward as to keep a look out behind them, making it more difficulty to sneak up, as in they don't just look 100% 1 direction at all times. This is VERY MGS mind you.

A lot of this puts it deep in the MGS area more then most games that came out last gen, I can't even think of 1 AAA title that came out that was near MGS compared to The Last Of Us 2. Its deep in the ball park and its already doing MGS things, like a lot of em. Go back and play MGS1 and you'll see even MGS1 doesn't have features that The Last Of Us 2 has, so I'll say its very much there, as using your logic sir, MGS1, MG Peace Walker etc are not real Metal Gear games or something lol

kiphalfton kiphalfton Most games will not be like MGSV 100% 1.1, but this game is easily the closest in terms of its amazing stealth. To say "barely serviceable" sounds very forced, like you want someone to believe you, but you offer no evidence to support the post, but from what I've seen, most of your fucking post are like this, like you need someone to believe you, but have nothing to back it up so....... good luck lol
 
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Neff

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I just mean each game has its own design. Its own mechanics the designers created. A game like MGS with the ability to hide a body is designed that way. It allows for that strat, which offers the ability to take one's time.

While in a game like TLOU, the designers want you to be under pressure after killing someone, its like a ticking time bomb that adds to the tension of stealth / discovery. Hiding every body would remove pressure, making it easier to remain hidden longer.

Both can be very fun types of game design. Just different.

You nailed it. Both games share similar mechanics, and offer equal risk/reward for the player, but the way they do things is slightly different.

In TLoU2 you do at least have the opportunity to move an enemy after you grab them (which can be improved with upgrades), and I was using it often to drag the enemy behind a handy piece of scenery so I could kill them without being seen, and reducing the chances of the body being seen. I was also killing enemies where I knew they'd be seen, so I could lure their allies.

Being able to move bodies in TLoU2 might have added a new dimension to it, but the game is at least balanced around its omission. Similarly, MGSV is balanced around hiding bodies, and you'd be at a disadvantage if you couldn't.

TLOU2 is a barely serviceable "stealth game".

I will say that the way the two are very different is that while MGSV has a well-balanced static difficulty, TLoU2's gameplay style varies wildly depending on the difficulty you choose, with stealth practically mandatory on higher levels of play, and that's where the game's stealth really shines. For the most part, you simply cannot play it as an action game on Grounded. You'll die to one or two gunshots, and you won't have enough resources. Learning the levels and exploiting the safest areas/biggest enemy blind spots becomes essential. It becomes very tense and very strategic, and one wrong move can have the entire thing blow up in your face. That's the essense of a great stealth game to me.
 
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kyliethicc

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You nailed it. Both games share similar mechanics, and offer equal risk/reward for the player, but the way they do things is slightly different.

In TLoU2 you do at least have the opportunity to move an enemy after you grab them (which can be improved with upgrades), and I was using it often to drag the enemy behind a handy piece of scenery so I could kill them without being seen, and reducing the chances of the body being seen. I was also killing enemies where I knew they'd be seen, so I could lure their allies.

Being able to move bodies in TLoU2 might have added a new dimension to it, but the game is at least balanced around its omission. Similarly, MGSV is balanced around hiding bodies, and you'd be at a disadvantage if you couldn't.

Yup. I can tell the TLOU2 designers have the AI set up to patrol areas in order to find bodies and ramp up the pressure on the player. Same with how they used the dogs to push the player out of safe spots, its all adding pressure.

It all works though, because that pressure incentives moving on to the next area. They don't want you sitting around knocking em down 1 by 1 easy. And that fits the game, since its a linear action game with plenty of set pieces, not an open world sandbox game. And it makes sense in the context of the story that Ellie or Abby would probably rather just get by this group than hang around and kill all of them slowly. Cause the objective is always to reach a destination, not just fight to the death.

While of course, MGS5 is literally an open world sandbox game with totally different objective, so it has different game design.
 
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Neff

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They don't want you sitting around knocking em down 1 by 1 easy.

In fairness you can do this if you know what you're doing and find an optimum kill spot, but you're right. The game does feature a lot of elements to keep you on your toes, and it's rarely a good idea to set up camp.
 
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kyliethicc

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Mar 14, 2020
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In fairness you can do this if you know what you're doing and find an optimum kill spot, but you're right. The game does feature a lot of elements to keep you on your toes, and it's rarely a good idea to set up camp.
Well true, players always find the exploits in any game. It would need literally perfect design to prevent some players from figuring it out. Its what we do lol. Especially depending on the difficulty level selected, player skill, how much ammo they have, which encounter it is, etc.
 
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Cautiously looking forward to the next game - for the technical mastery they show.

Really hoping that their next game is ESCAPISM. Fun. And not a bummer like this one. They have to stop taking things so seriously.
But this is what they're good at.

It's one of the reason why I buy Playstation gen after gen. Naughty Dog goes to crazy lengths with detail in the game world. They're one of the best at squeezing performance out of the PS hardware and their games are often technical showpieces for what a PS console is capable of.

They're a AAAA linear single player story driven force in the industry and one of the best at that. Play to your strengths. Let them stick to these experiences.

Question is with game development becoming increasingly expensive, how sustainable is this practice of blockbuster AAAA titles moving forward.