The Last of Us 2:
This is a game I am waiting for but, unfortunately, despite speculations, The Last of Us Part 2 did not make an appearance on Sony’s E3 2017 presentation. Looks like we’ve got a little longer to wait before we get another look at the new game. Despite its name, it turns out that “The Last of Us” wasn’t the last game in The Last of Us Series. Considering the first game has been continually hailed as a masterpiece thanks to its excellent, emotional story and engaging life-like characters, the decision to develop a sequel isn’t actually all that surprising.

Naughty Dog first announced The Last of Us 2 at PlayStation Experience in 2016 alongside a teaser trailer but noted that it was still in early development, no doubt to stop fan expectations running too wild, now that we’re approaching this game, we imagine we’ll get slightly more of an insight into on how the development is coming along.

Trailer: 

for the only glimpse of the game we’ve had is the teaser trailer that was shown alongside the game’s announcement at PlayStation Experience in 2016. Despite the fact that the game is early in development, the trailer showed a full (non-gameplay) scene that features both Ellie and Joel. You can watch it on (YouTube) As Naughty dog has said the game is still in the early stages of development, we imagine it’ll be a while before we get to play The Last of Us 2.

We don’t even have a rough release window yet, though considering Naughty Dog has seen the bad side of promising a solid release date and missing it before it’s hard to blame them for not committing at this stage. 

Although it was no slouch in the gameplay department, it was the story told by The Last of Us that stuck with us for months afterwards. Naturally, Naughty Dog had to give us some kind of hint about where the sequel would go.

At the moment we know The Last of Us 2 will take place five years after the end of the original game, with a 19-year-old Ellie taking the starring playable role. Joel will still appear in the game but if the teaser trailer is anything to go by, he could be a much more passive presence.

This time around, Ellie is extremely angry about…something. From what we saw from the teaser trailer she wants revenge, which to her appearance to be a dish best served deadly.

She does, after all, promise to “kill every last one of them.” It’s not clear who “them” is but it could signal that the Fireflies, the first game’s character well-meaning morally grey antagonists, will make a return. Anger, hate and revenge are going to be key themes this time around so expect to be in for an emotionally heavy ride.

Not much is being said about gameplay at the moment. Neil Druckmann said at a PSX Panel that there would, however, be some differences as a result of Ellie being the playable character rather than Joel.

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“Ellie plays differently than Joel […] Some things are evolution, some things are reinvention, but there will be a gameplay reveal down the road.”

It’s hard to glean much from this, but if Naughty Dog takes the approach that’s frequently taken with playable female characters, Ellie will probably be more swift on her feet than Joel was but perhaps less able to take damage. This won’t be the first time we’ve had the chance to play as Ellie after the first game put us in her shoes for a short mission, but here the purpose of the mission was to make her feel weak in comparison to Joel. We can only hope her abilities will be expanded for the sequel.

As Joel is such a passive presence in the trailer there’s been speculation that he’s actually dead, appearing in Ellie’s mind’s eye, and Ellie’s anger and vengeance will be directed at those who caused his death. This isn’t entirely unlikely but it’s purely speculation at this point.

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Ellie is one of the most real and refreshing characters we’ve seen in gaming so it’s exciting that Naughty Dog is going to take her story further and put her in centre stage.

The creative director of the game, Neil Druckmann has said that the story will be about Ellie and Joel’s relationship and that though the story would be complementary to the story of the first game, it would be much larger.

Conclusion

Hopes are particularly high for this larger story as it’s been revealed that one of the writers of Westworld, Halley Gross, will be co-writing the game’s story. Having someone who’s written scripts for such an incredibly popular and successful show should be a boon for the game’s story. I can’t wait to play.

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