Everything we know about The Last of Us Part II’s gameplay

The past week has been great for fans of The Last of Us. After more than a year of radio silence, Naughty Dog finally revealed new content for Part II, and the long-awaited release date (February 21st)! A few lucky members of the press also had the opportunity to participate in a hands-on session of the game, and on Outbreak Day they got to share their impressions of the gameplay demo. Naughty Dog showed off some new gameplay footage as well, and published a video that takes players inside the demo.

We summarized all important gameplay elements that were either expanded upon or completely new to The Last of Us.

Playing as Ellie

  • Melee combat is mostly with an axe or a machete as opposed to Joel who mainly used his fists
  • Ellie is more athletic than Joel
    • She moves more quickly
    • She can dodge attacks
    • She can squeeze through certain passages
  • Ellie can jump
    • This verticality adds a whole new layer to combat and environments
  • Ellie can go prone
    • Using your weapons is still possible when lying down


  • There are new craftable items such as tripwire bombs and explosive mines


  • The workbench has been updated as well, with different animations depending on which weapon Ellie is modifying
  • Physical interaction on the workbench
    • Modifications and upgrades are happening on-screen

Upgrade system

  • Ellie is now able to learn new crafting recipes just through the upgrade system
  •  The upgrade system is now divided into the following categories: Melee, Crafting, Precision, and Stealth
  • Each category consists of multiple upgrades
  • The player can choose whatever upgrade they prefer, making Ellie more personalized

Enemy AI

  • Enemy AI is much more sophisticated than in the first game
  • Enemies have names and there is a whole system of relationship dynamics
    • If an enemy dies, others will call out their name and react differently to Ellie
    • Killing a human is more personal, as they are not nameless nobodies anymore
  • Enemies communicate with each other
    • Even more so than in the first game, enemies will alert others of Ellie’s location and work together to find and fight her


  • Attack dogs
    • In the gameplay demo, Ellie is fighting a faction called the Washington Liberation Front (WLF). Some of these WLF enemies carry around attack dogs.
    • The dogs can pick up Ellie’s scent
    • The dogs can attack Ellie as well
    • Killing them is fortunately optional – Ellie can run away as well (this part of the game has already proved to be quite controversial)
  • Listen mode has been updated as well
    • Listen mode displays Ellie’s scent trail, which nearby dogs will follow
    • Depending on how far away enemies are, Ellie can make out shapes or see them more clearly


  • Stalker
    • The stage between a runner and clicker
    • More dangerous than in the first game
    • Fighting a stalker has now become some sort of boss fight
    • You can exchange combos and evade each other (Ellie’s dodge) as well as slam each other on desks
  • Shambler
    • A new Infected class
    • Physically very similar to a Bloater
    • One of the harder enemies to kill, due to being covered in a fungus armor
    • Instead of throwing these deadly clouds like Bloaters do, a Shambler tries to get close to the player and then burst themselves



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