E3 2012: The Last of Us Impresses With Adaptive AI


When we first got a look at The Last of Us it immediately grabbed everyone’s attention. The first trailer left you wanting to know more about a number of different aspects of the game. Who are the main characters? What happened to the world? But most importantly, what would the gameplay be like? At Sony E3 2012 Press Conference we got the answer to a few of these questions and one that managed to really impress.

The Last of Us is a story about Joel, a hardened survivor, and Ellie, a teenage girl who has a wisdom beyond her years. The pair are trying to escape a city while avoiding ‘Hunters’, a more violent and aggressive sect of survivors. We’ve seen the post-apocalyptic world before, we’ve seen survival based worlds and gameplay before, so what impressed us so much about The Last of Us?

It’s what Naughty Dog are calling the Balance of Power AI system. Enemies will realistically to any situation they are placed in during combat, and in ways that games have only been promising you for years. For example, when Joel runs out of pistol rounds, he mistakenly hits the trigger one more time giving off that telltale click of an empty gun. The enemy that had been initially cautious, recognized right away that Joel was out of ammo and, in light of this information, decides to advance aggressively.

Hand to hand attacks are contextual and unarmed enemies will beg you not to shoot when you point a gun at them. This is some of the smartest AI we’ve ever seen and we can’t wait to get our paws (Naughty Dog pun!) on The Last of Us. Watch the E3 2012 gameplay demo below: