Everything We Know About The Last of Us Part II So Far
Is Joel really dead?
The Game Focuses on Hate
Sony unexpectedly blew everyone away when a new trailer for the highly anticipated The Last of Us Part II debuted at the publisher’s Paris Games Week media showcase yesterday. Though fans may have thought that the game was set to appear during this year’s annual PlayStation Experience in Anaheim, Naughty Dog once again subverted expectations, introducing would-be buyers to an interesting glimpse into the game that chooses to eschew Joel and Ellie in favor of casting the spotlight on a handful of new characters facing a dire situation.
The predicament keeps very much in line with what Naughty Dog Creative Director Neil Druckmann discussed with fans upon the game’s reveal late last year – that the game’s theme will focus on the concept of hate. This is to serve as a departure from the first game, as that title dealt with accepting love. In The Last of Us Part II, players will take on the role of Ellie and see her hatred manifest itself in a what will no doubt be brutal fashion, if the two trailers released so far serve as any indication.
The fact that Joel is no longer playable has led some to believe that the character is dead in the sequel. After all, the grisly man walks into the blood-soaked house through a brightly lit background and talks at a distance from Ellie when he speaks to her in the bedroom. This theory would explain the girl’s motivation for hunting down what presumably are the Fireflies with intent to “kill them all.” However, according to the YouTube description of the second trailer for the game, PlayStation EU seemingly confirms that Joel is alive, as it reads, “The Last of Us Part II is still very much about Ellie and Joel” and that players will have to wait and see “how all of this fits into Ellie and Joel’s next story.” It could be that there’s another reason for all the hate. There’s not a lot to like about the apocalypse, after all.
There’ll Be More Characters
Yesterday’s trailer introduced to fans a bunch of new characters set to appear in The Last of Us Part II, including Victoria Grace as Yara, Ian Alexander as Lev, Emily Swallow as Emily, and Laura Bailey as an unknown woman. Though she wasn’t in the trailer, Westworld’s Shannon Woodward is also part of the cast, playing an mysterious character. This plays into what Druckmann offered on Sony’s Paris Games Week live stream wrap-up, stating that while this is still very much a direct extension of the first game’s story, the sequel will expand the scope of the series to be more of an ensemble piece. The characters in the most recent trailer are some of the important new characters fans will meet along their journey, each somehow playing a crucial role into how The Last of Us Part II’s story will unwind.
Particularly interesting to point out is how Yara and Lev seem to be aligned with the Fireflies, as Emily orders her goons to clip the girl’s “wings,” thereby triggering a gruesome breaking of Yara’s left arm. Should Ellie encounter the pair along her bloodthirsty journey for revenge, will she show any restraint at all? It remains to be seen how this dynamic will play into the game’s story and how well it will wrestle with players’ emotions by the time the credits roll.
In any case, it should be a remarkable performance, especially given the fact that Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson are reprising their roles as Joel and Ellie, too.
The Game May Be Set in Seattle
Whereas the original The Last of Us took players to Pittsburgh, Colorado, Missouri, Boston, and Salt Lake City, the game’s sequel may include a pit stop to Seattle, Washington or may go so far as to take place entirely in that area. This is according to rumors started on Reddit by one user named camkeys who shared an image comparing the street signs from real-world Seattle to the concept art of the game, that in which features nearly identical signs.
Further proof was provided by user Voldsby who matched shots both from the game’s initial trailer and from concept art to actual edifices in the city. What’s most interesting is that the locations featured are situated not too far apart from one another, adding further credence to the fact that a smaller version of Seattle is being created for The Last of Us Part II’s world that fits well into the linear nature of the series. This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, as Naughty Dog documented details in the infrastructure of the city of Pittsburgh for use in the creation of the original game.
As far as rumors are concerned, another suggests that Ellie may be pregnant, hiding her baby bump with the guitar she plays in the title’s teaser. This stems from a possible hint in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, one in which depicts a poster of what presumably is a pregnant Ellie wearing a gas mask. This isn’t too hard to believe, as The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the events of the original game and features a much more mature version of the girl. We’ll just have wait and see if any of these theories prove to be correct.
It Won’t Release in 2018
If one thing’s absolutely certain, The Last of Us Part II won’t be seeing the light of day until 2019 at the very earliest. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Shawn Layden made absolutely clear that the game was still in “very early development” before its debut at PlayStation Experience last year. Seeing as how Naughty Dog just released DLC for Uncharted 4 this past summer, full production for the title has only just commenced. Neil Druckmann himself confirmed this during that aforementioned wrap-up, meaning fans will have to wait at least another two years before they can finally get a hold of the game.
This isn’t bad news, as 2018 is rife with plenty of other console exclusive games like Detroit: Become Human, God of War, and Spider-Man to look forward to for PlayStation 4 owners. Here’s hoping that we won’t have to wait long after the release of these titles to learn about a launch date for The Last of Us Part II, however.