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‘The Last Of Us Part 1’ Dev Explains Why They Didn’t Include Dodge Or Prone

‘The Last Of Us Part 1’ Dev Explains Why They Didn’t Include Dodge Or Prone

We sat down with Matthew Gallant who explained one of The Last of Us Part I's most controversial exclusions.

The release of The Last of Us Part I is mere days away and ever since the project was announced, fans have been debating everything from the overhauled graphics to the updated combat. Well, they're in for a treat because the game has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. In my own review, I gave Part I a nine, writing that “fans will find no better way to experience this story, and first-time players are guaranteed to find a new all-time favourite.”

Like many, I was surprised to hear that The Last of Us Part II’s dodge and prone mechanics weren’t included in the remake. In fact, it’s an exclusion that’s caused a fair bit of controversy but I had the chance to sit down with game director Matthew Gallant who explained exactly why this combat mechanic was left out.

Check out the launch trailer for The Last of Us Part I below.

The controversy kicked off when a dev previously tweeted that adding prone “would have simply broken the gameplay.” Seeing as the game is “built from the ground up,” many found this to be a dissatisfactory excuse but it turns out that this wasn’t the reasoning at all. Gallant explained that prone and dodge were introduced as part of Ellie's fighting style which is a lot more agile than Joel’s. Introducing the functions to Part I could’ve taken “away some of the tension” created by the limitations of Joel’s skill set.

“When we were thinking about dodge and prone in The Last of Us Part I, the most important thing that we wanted to preserve when making this game was the feeling of playing as Joel and actually, the addition of dodging and prone was in pursuit of a different goal. In The Last of Us Part II, we wanted you to feel like you were playing as Ellie,” Gallant explained. “She’s a young woman who has a very different set of abilities and techniques that you can use to get ahead of enemies [...] We wanted that side of the spectrum to feel like Ellie, and we wanted Joel to feel like Joel.”

Gallant added, “Part I is designed very holistically. The toolset that Joel has to deal with Clickers has a lot of interesting strategy and trade offs, and some of that would be subverted if Joel could just, you know, dance and dodge away. It would take away some of the tension of having a Clicker bearing down on you, and knowing you've got to line up that headshot or stun it. [...] We really felt that the more we moved away from that, we were at risk of losing that really amazing experience of playing as Joel and playing with those mechanics.”

Using dodge during Ellie’s ‘Lakeside Resort’ chapter could’ve been both fun and useful - plus in Left Behind, but there you have it. It makes sense.

Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Topics: The Last Of Us, Naughty Dog, PlayStation, Interview