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The level of detail in The Last of Us 2 is *chef's kiss* - here's 11 things you might have missed

the last of us 2 details
(Image credit: Sony)

There's no denying that Ellie's revenge road trip is an incredible looking game. However, it means there are many The Last of Us 2 details you can easily miss in the heat of the moment. The fidelity of the work here is unsurpassed on PS4 and we've picked out some of the most amazing moments of 'Wait? They actually did that!?' we can find. Some of these things might seem obvious because they basically mirror real life but remember, this is a video game and everything here likely took teams of people months of work to perfect - a level of perfection that makes it easy to miss because it looks so real and natural. 

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1. Blood will soak through bandages over time

Given that bandages are usually hastily applied in the face of near death, it's easy to forget about them as you vault a wall to escape gunfire. If you get a moment though, stop to watch one and see how blood slowly soaks through over time. If Ellie is hurt enough to need more than one bandage she'll also apply them to different areas and they'll all show blood separately. Any blood that hits Ellie when she takes or inflicts damage will also appear in line with the direction and type of damage involved. Plus, blood will react differently depending on the surfaces it interacts with, soaking into snow and fabric in a different way to hard floors. 

2. Your torch casts the color it's pointed at around you

Next time you're in a dark area, take the time to wave your torch around and point it at different things. The light that reflects around you will take on the color of whatever you shine it at. It's especially noticeable on these red files you often find in draws but any strongly colored walls or doors will have the same effect. 

3. There are amazing snow physics

Everyone loves a good footprint, which has often been the measure of video game snow quality. The Last of Us 2 also adds in extra physics or shader magic to make the snow scatter and react to itself whenever you scuff it about. It's not a completely new tech but it's beautifully implemented here, and something the game only really draws to your attention in a handful of places, most of which you can miss. 

4. Clicker breath shows in the cold, and characters have 'heartbeats' to govern breath sounds

Seeing a Clicker's clicks unfurl into the cold air around it is the kind of detail you can easily miss because, A) you're probably more worried about getting your throat chewed out, and, B) of course warm breath shows when it cold enough. Although the fact that it syncs so perfectly with each rattle and guttural cluck is an extra level of perfection. As for Ellie's breathing, it doesn't just show up in the cold, there's even a sort of digital heartbeat in the game that tracks Ellie's level of effort and changes the breathing sounds accordingly. 

5. Ellie squints when you zoom in

Being able to magically zoom in a little while looking at stuff is one of those videogame things we take for granted while knowing it makes no sense (unless the character has techno-eyes). If you do it in The Last of Us 2, though, Ellie will squint and peer, indicating that she's looking really hard, and totally explaining the 1.5x jump in zoom [cough].  

6. Safes make a different click when you hit the right number

(Image credit: Sony)

This is more a nice touch than anything else but the correct safe combination will click differently when you hit the right number. You could, in theory, crack any of The Last of Us 2 safe codes and combinations in the game simply by listening, just like an old timey bank robber. It's not exactly the most technologically advanced detail in The Last of Us 2 but it is a neat one.

7. Ellie actually puts the things she finds in her bag 

If you ever catch the right angle you'll notice that Ellie will slide the various supplies and resources she finds into an open part of her bag's zipper. Arrows and other larger items like gas canisters will poke out the hole at the top. It's a minor touch that probably took a huge amount to perfect and animate given that Ellie can pocket things during just about any movement. 

8. Trap mine explosions plaster people chunks to the ceiling and the bits fall down 

I dread to think about the team conversation that lead to this, but if you blow someone up with a trap mine indoors, bits of them will spatter the walls and ceiling. Give it a few seconds and chunks will rain down around you with little wet splats of blood and viscera. Technically, it is a very realistic representation of what happens to an exploded person in a confined space but also: oh God no.  

9. Notes are wet if you read them in water

File under 'well, obviously' but also cross reference with 'abnormally high level of detail'. In the areas where you have to swim, or deal with a lot of water, anything you pull out of your rucksack to check will be wet, and dry over time. It's a good job the apocalypse is full of sturdy paper and everyone writes in pencil.     

10. The Rope physics!

You might have seen the tweet about the ridiculous rope physics doing the rounds but it's worth pointing it out again here. On the one hand it's possible that people won't even register it's a thing because it's just a rope behaving like a rope. But, on the other, there's an incredible collision of systems and knowledge required to pull this off. 

As explained by Naughty Dog Maksym Zhuravlov it took three people to achieve this magic: "I am player animator/technical animator. I've made the animations\setup of character handling the rope. Rope physics itself is programmed by awesome Jaroslav Sinecky. ND lead gameplay coder Sandeep made rope system and animation systems to communicate well," He explained on Twitter, adding credit for the QA team who "tested the hell out of it".  

11. When you strip a gun at a workbench you have to reload the chambered bullet

Ellie is nothing if not safety conscious, and before she improves her guns with whatever handfuls of scrap she finds lying around she'll completely strip the weapon and remove the chambered round. That means once you're done, your loaded ammo will be one bullet down and you'll have to reload. As you can see here, Ellie enters the bench with all four pistol rounds loaded but leaves with three and one in reserve she needs to put back.  

For more, watch our full video review of The Last of Us Part 2 below, or check out our guide to The Last of Us 2 New Game Plus Mode to enjoy the story all over again

In former lives Leon's been a scientist, a musician and teacher, stints that included a shoe full of liquid nitrogen, a small tour of Germany and oh GOD so much marking.