Naughty Dog on Saturday made a surprise announcement at the PlayStation Experience, unveiling the first footage from The Last of Us Part II. While the trailer didn’t reveal much, Neil Druckmann, famed director at Naughty Dog, shared more details during a panel at the event.
According to Druckmann, players will take control of Ellie in the sequel, who is now 19 years old. Joel will still play a part but it doesn’t sound like he will be playable—or at least for any significant stretch of the game.
Even though Ellie is still a young girl, she appears much more mature, as the trailer showed. And what’s with the shaking? Is it a condition she’s developed? Or is it the adrenaline still coursing through her body after a confrontation? After all, the house she’s in was littered with dead bodies, so that could be why.
Druckmann was very careful not to reveal too much, but he did say that Naughty Dog has been working on the game in some capacity for at least two years. In fact, the scene audiences saw unfold in the trailer was filmed months ago. Druckmann added that gameplay footage will be unveiled in the near future.
If you couldn’t tell by the trailer, Ellie is very peeved about something, an emotion Druckmann said will be central to the story. Whereas the first game was about the love and companionship between Ellie and Joel, the second one will be about hate. Ellie is clearly in a bad place and has no qualms with going after the people who have wronged her. Whether Joel is there to encourage that behavior or put a stop to her remains to be seen.
During the panel, both Druckmann and actor Troy Baker, who plays Joel, asked for fans to be patient and to trust in Naughty Dog regarding the second game. Fans have been divided about it being a continuation of the first, but Druckmann said he couldn’t see it happening any other way. He said he considered the idea of focusing on new characters but it didn’t seem right.
That’s why the game is simply titled The Last of Us Part II, because the story of Joel and Ellie is not finished. Unfortunately, we don’t know when the game is going to come out. Druckmann said Naughty Dog has been working on it for a while but didn’t even give an estimated timeline.
For now, we’ll have that haunting trailer (above) to pour through, which will no doubt be followed by plenty of fan speculation. The good news is that Joel and Ellie are back. But can they survive another adventure?
We’ll have to wait and see.