If you needed proof that the world is indeed a beautiful place, we finally know that The Last of Us Part 2 is real and that Ashley Johnson will be reprising her role as Ellie.
Developer Naughty Dog has been teasing us with several behind the scenes shots of the actor back in the mo-cap studio doing her thing, and it’s great to know that Ellie will be back in our lives, but… just where is Troy Baker’s Joel, exactly?
I mean, here’s Ashley in the studio.
— Ashley Johnson (@TheVulcanSalute) December 5, 2016
And here she is again – alone.
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) December 19, 2016
And again, without Troy Baker. It’s great to see her, but The Last of Us was very much based around the popular double act of Joel and Ellie.
As such, Baker’s absence in these shots is sparking further rumours that something bad happened to Joel between the first game and Part 2.
— Ashley Johnson (@TheVulcanSalute) December 19, 2016
The recent reveal trailer teased us with a glimpse of a husky voiced chap who calls Ellie ‘kiddo’, that we’ve all assumed to be Joel, but fans are speculating there’s something more going on.
In short, many believe Joel kicked the bucket (perhaps murdered by the Fireflies), leading Ellie on the hate fuelled revenge quest she’s on – she certainly seems angry in the trailer, declaring she’ll ‘kill them all’.
Of course, there’s a strong chance Naughty Dog knew we’d all leap to this conclusion, and that there’ll be a much more interesting explanation to be had regarding Joel’s absence when the game finally comes to PlayStation 4.
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.