Neil Druckmann on How Elden Ring could Influence His Next Game


Bayani Miguel Acebedo

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Neil Druckmann had won Game of the Year with The Last of Us Part II, and last year saw Elden Ring earn that title at TGA. With fans wondering what’s next for Druckmann on the gaming front, he comments that he could be getting some inspiration from the minimalist storytelling of Elden Ring.

Neil Druckmann on How Elden Ring could Influence His Next Game

Talking to The Washington Post (via IGN), Druckmann explains:

“I’m more recently intrigued by stuff like Elden Ring and Inside that doesn’t rely as much on traditional narrative to tell its story… Some of the best storytelling in The Last of Us is in the cinematics, but a lot of it is in gameplay, and moving around the space, and understanding the history of a space by just looking at it and examining it. To me, right now, that’s some of the best joy I get out of games that trust their audience to figure things out. [Games] that don’t hold your hand, that’s the stuff I’m really intrigued by going forward.”

For players who haven’t checked out Elden Ring, the game had been praised for letting the players just explore for themselves, even allowing them to access more difficult areas with bosses that are too high for their current level. It’s pretty different for The Last of Us, which meticulously directs players to specific areas to help further the narrative.

Though Druckmann does mention Elden Ring’s model, he does say that he won’t be completely forgoing the narrative formula that has been the bread and butter of recent Naughty Dog games. He continues:

“That doesn’t mean we will never have dialogue, or cutscenes, I think those are tools in your toolbox… And I think there’s a way to push that stuff forward, at least for the kind of games we make at Naughty Dog. I’m really intrigued, again, never resting on our laurels and trying something a little bit new, a little bit different, that not everybody’s going to like, but that’s okay. And the stuff that we’re working on now, I can tell you the teams are very excited by the different projects we have at Naughty Dog.”

We don’t know what Druckmann’s next game is yet, but you can watch out for The Last of Us series which debuts on HBO Max on Jan. 16.

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