It is known what a masterpiece The Last of Us is. Hailed by both fans and critics for its fantastic storytelling, story arcs and compelling well-developed characters, The Last of Us got itself a sequel announced by Naughty Dog at PlayStation Experience back in 2016. We bring you what to know so far about one of the most anticipated PS4 exclusives.
Naughty Dog revealed the game is set 5 years after the original and 20 years after the outbreak and for the most part takes place in Seattle. We were pretty much in the dark about the plot, only seeing a very angry Ellie about to depart on a vengeful journey, until September’s PlayStation State of Play gave us a solid clue at how the story is going to unfold, Ellie as the lead character.
It appears that Ellie’s romantic partner, Dina, has been murdered (although the trailer cuts to black before the actual act takes place) by The Seraphites, a cult group previously seen in other trailers hunting Ellie and killing people in brutal manner. According to Narrative Lead and Co-Writer, Halley Gross, this trauma “has an impact on her (Ellie) that’s going to affect how she engages with the world”, and that her violent actions are driven “by love” (the survivors’ moral ambiguity).
As we’ve stated, Ellie will be the one taking the lead and while it has been confirmed Joel is a playable character and will be accompanying Ellie, we have yet to see his gameplay. Playing as Ellie, we see how well adapted and skilful she has become in the post-apocalyptical environment. Like its predecessor, the gameplay relies on searching and crafting tools, and according to Director Neil Druckmann, this has been expanded “with a wider variety of weapon customization, abilities, and mobility”.
The fighting scenes are gruesome, maybe more so than those in the first game, which didn’t hold back in the violence, but still technically similar in both entries so far: stealth, melee fights and of course gunfire and/or bow and arrow. This time Ellie will have opportunities to avoid bloodshed entirely, but it’s up to the players.
There is a new infection stage: The Shamblers, “a grotesque mutation bursting with hazardous vapour” as described by the PlayStation blog. According to Druckmann, time has passed and the environment changed so they will justify how these stages came to happen. The Shamblers can attack alone or with Runners bursting through its vapour cloud (how invigorating).
Naughty Dog declared they want to escalate the violence making it as realistically as possible, so the player can feel that the human enemies are not just some random NPC’s, featuring unique names and communication strategies, endeavour which required new tech and recording investment. And as previous gameplay trailers have shown, guard dogs will be present in enemy territory; the devs really want us to feel horrible when is due (yay realism!).
It may be a first for him, as he doesn’t do sequels, but we couldn’t be happier, Gustavo Santaolalla is coming back as the music composer for The Last of Us Part II soundtrack.
Now, the release date has suffered a couple of delays. Neil Druckmann apologized in a heartfelt letter published on the PlayStation blog, stating that even though it has been just a month since revealing the date, the team felt that they needed a little more time to polish the game. With that said, the definitive release date is: May the 29th 2020 (as of now).
It’s all good, Neil, anything for the sake of an amazing game.