Having previously stated that Ellie might the only playable character in the hotly anticipated sequel The Last of Us Part II, Neil Druckmann confirmed in a recent interview that her adventure won’t necessarily be a solo one.
“Ellie used to be an NPC, but she’s the protagonist in this story, so the player is controlling Ellie. It’s safe to say with the game that we made in the past that there will be some NPC with you in this story, even though we’re not showing (the NPC) in this demo,” Druckmann stated to Buzzfeed.
He went on, “our general approach is to say, again, ‘How do we treat them like people? How do we get them to behave honestly as those people? How do we give them interesting characteristics so that they can navigate the world, make meaningful actions, and surprise you in the way people do?'”
The dynamic between Ellie and Joel in the previous game was, of course, a central pillar of the experience, and one that unfolded both during cinematic cut-scenes and in a fairly substantial gameplay sequence in which the player was able to take direct control of Ellie. Druckmann isn’t yet confirming or denying that we’ll have a similar agency in The Last of Us Part II quite yet, but fans will doubtless be wondering whether this might be a tease that we’ll take control of Joel in some capacity during the game or whether it might be Ellie’s partner, introduced in the E3 trailer.