If there’s any sequel that has a hell of a lot to live up to, it’s The Last of Us: Part 2. After all, how do you improve on what many consider to be one of the greatest games of all time?
Developer Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann is all too aware of the pressure to deliver on the post (post?) apocalyptic sequel however – but he’s asked fans to have faith.
Speaking during a panel held at PlayStation Experience (where the game was finally unveiled), Druckmann confirmed that the game takes place several years after the first game, as the 14 year old Ellie is now aged 19.
It was also confirmed that we’ll be playing as Ellie this time around, not Joel, and that if the theme of the first game was ‘love’, then the theme of Part 2 is ‘hate’.
Given the fact the trailer shows Ellie plans to ‘kill every last of one of them’, it’s clear something pretty bad has happened since the last game – perhaps the Fireflies killed Joel (who appears at the end of the trailer, but maybe in Ellie’s head?)
Just take a look at the concept art below. It certainly looks like Ellie is out for blood.
Druckmann went on to address concerns that creating a sequel would detract from the ending of the first game – an ending which gamers everywhere still debate and interpret in their own way to this day.
So much thought went into this and I know there’s a lot of people that feel this trepidation about coming back to these characters and revisiting what that ending means and worrying whether that’s going to spoil the first game. You have to understand we feel all those things as well. No one loves these characters more than we do and we would not do this if we didn’t feel like we had the right idea. The ‘Part II’ is really doubling down on that to say we believe in this so much. We’re not trying to avoid it.
Druckmann continued, revealing that Naughty Dog is treating The Last of Us: Part 2 as a companion piece to the original – a new chapter that serves an overarching narrative, but that the games should always follow Joel and Ellie.
I played with so many ideas that had different characters and it never felt right. The Last of Us is about these two characters specifically. So yes, the Part II is saying this is a complementary story to the first game, but the two together are going to tell this larger tale.
The Last of Us: Part 2 is still a ‘ways off’ according to Druckmann, but I’ve no doubt it’ll be worth the wait.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.