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The Last of Us 2 allies will be a lot more useful this time around

(Image credit: Sony)

Naughty Dog games are famous for pairing up their protagonists with allies of all sorts - Joel has Ellie, Nathan Drake has Elena and Sully, and Jak has Daxter. The Last of Us 2 will certainly be no exception, with Ellie seemingly taking charge this time around. However, unlike before, allies in The Last of Us 2 will apparently be competent, effective fighters instead of wandering feckless imbeciles.

Okay, they aren't that bad in The Last of Us, and they're better than the majority of video game sidekicks - cough, Navi, cough. Still, The Last of Us 2 co-director Anthony Newman tells GameSpot the allies from the first game are the target of frequent criticism and that it's something Naughty Dog hopes to rectify with the sequel.

"In the past in almost all of our games, the allies have done kind of fake damage, where you see them shoot enemies and it's a little bit theatrical--like their bullets are clearly doing way less damage than yours," Newman said. "What I'm really excited about is that with a lot of effort and some clever AI tricks, every time you see an ally shoot an enemy, their bullets do exactly as much damage as yours do, which is just another way that players are able to make predictions and think two or three steps ahead. When they see Dina take a couple of shots, and then they realize, 'I only need one more shot to finish off that enemy because I saw that happen.' And I think it's great that players can now count on that and make those kinds of plans interacting with your allies."

Speaking of allies, it's still unclear what role The Last of Us protagonist Joel will play to Ellie, the overall story, and the player. But one thing's for sure according to creative director Neil Druckmann, which is that Joel will receive more than a passion mention in The Last of Us 2, and that he'll actually "play a major part."

Find out how co-writer Halley Gross's personal connection to Westworld's Shannon Woodward helped give The Last of Us 2 its perfect Dina

I'm GamesRadar's green tea-fueled, late-night news hound. I'm perpetually in search of an MMO to recapture the feeling of playing Ultima Online in the early 2000s, and I'm still sorting out self-esteem issues from being relegated to second player duties growing up with two older brothers. On a related note, I'm irrationally defensive of Luigi and his mansion.