We’ve seen a decent amount from The Last of Us Part II now, but one character that still looms large over the Naughty Dog sequel has yet to make an appearance.
Everybody’s favourite gruff survivor Joel was a a huge part of the original game. As the main playable character, he was our point of entry into the bleak world of desperate humans and mutated monsters.
We saw him lose his daughter at the very start of the first game, and over the course of The Last of Us, watched him develop a new, endearing bond with the young Ellie – the star of The Last of Us Part II.
Obviously, anyone who played The Last of Us has been desperate to know if Joel will make an appearance in The Last of Us Part II – something Naughty Dog is clearly aware of, as they’ve been deviously selective in what they’ve shown so far.
In the game’s reveal trailer, for example, we saw an older Ellie and a brief look at a shadowy figure who certainly sounded like Joel.
This – coupled with the fact that Ellie is clearly on a blood soaked quest for revenge (for some reason) led to fervent speculation that he dies at some point in the new game – or even before the new game’s events – and Ellie is simply imagining him.
The following two trailers certainly did nothing to confirm that Joel was okay. The most recent E3 trailer did seem to reference him however, as a character asks Ellie about “her dad” – but we still just wanted to see him with our own eyes, to make sure he was well and in one piece. Because we love him.
Thankfully then, Naughty Dog has finally given us a look at Joel in The Last of Us Part II, via a fancy new poster, which you can see below. It’s by no means confirmation that he’s alive and well, but it’s a nice first look all the same.
As you can see, our boy Joel is rocking a slightly new haircut and is – I can only assume – about to play Wonderwall to that wolf. While it’s good to finally see him, it is worth noting that a poster doesn’t mean much, and Joel could still very easily be nothing more a figment of Ellie’s rage-fuelled imagination.
Basically, we have absolutely no idea what to expect when The Last Of Us Part II finally launches – and that should make the game all the more special.