Neil Druckmann, co-director of Naughty Dog and director of The Last of Us Part II, in a recent interview The Washington Post spoke about his interest in a minimalist depiction of the plot.
Keep in mind that Naughty Dog games like Uncharted and The Last of Us feature a traditional approach to storytelling, with lots of cinematic scenes and strong narrative elements.
According to Druckmann, what he enjoys most lately are games that don’t lead the user by the hand, but rather trust their audience and allow them to figure out what’s happening for themselves.
As an example, the developer cited Elden Ring and Inside, the “Don’t rely so much on traditional narratives to tell your story”. Such games fascinate Druckmann more and more.
Environment storytelling is not a new technique for Naughty Dog (see below). the story of the fisherman Isha from The Last of Us), but the studio will pay more attention to this aspect in future projects. However, this does not mean the rejection of dialogs or screensavers.
Naughty Dog will continue to tell stories about characters, but doesn’t want to rest on its laurels and will try “something new and unusual that not everyone will like”but, as Druckmann adds, “It’s okay”.
At least two games are currently in development at Naughty Dog – The Last of Us Multiplayer and Druckmann’s New Project. The last one is rumored to be the unannounced third part of The Last of Us.