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This article is about the sequel to The Last of Us. For the other pages that may have a similar name, see The Last of Us (disambiguation).
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The Last of Us Part II is an upcoming third-person action-adventure survival horror video game being developed by Naughty Dog and will be published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4.

The game acts as a sequel to The Last of Us, released in 2013, and picks up the story of Ellie and Joel approximately five years after the events of the original game.

Plot Edit

The Last of Us Part II takes place approximately five years after the original, about 25 years after the outbreak of the Cordyceps Brain Infection began, and will feature the return of a 19-year-old Ellie, whom players will assume control of, as well as Joel in his mid-fifties. Ellie is fueled by hate, which will be a major theme within the story.[2] The story will be centered in Seattle, Washington.[3]

Characters Edit

Main article: Characters
  • Ellie (Ashley Johnson) – The playable protagonist of the game. Ellie was formerly a denizen from the Boston Quarantine Zone and is immune to the Cordyceps Brain Infection. She returns from the original game and is now nineteen-years-old and sports a tattoo on her right arm. She is fueled by hate and wants to "kill them all."
  • Joel (Troy Baker) – The deuteragonist of the game. Joel is a survivor of the CBI outbreak who returns from the original game, alongside Ellie. He is now in his early to mid-fifties.
  • Emily (Emily Swallow)[4] – A member of a religious cult, set to wipe out all 'sin' in the world after the outbreak. She and two men from her group were killed by Yara, Lev and the Unnamed woman.
  • Yara (Victoria Grace)[5] – Yara and her brother Lev were former members of Emily's religious cult.
  • Lev (Ian Alexander)[6] – Lev is Yara's younger brother. The pair left Emily's religious cult for unknown reasons.
  • Unnamed woman (Laura Bailey)[7] – A well-built woman, Emily hunted her for unknown reasons. She was revealed in the PGW Trailer but her name was kept a secret.
  • Unnamed character (Shannon Woodward)[8]
  • Unnamed character (Robin Atkin Downes)

DevelopmentEdit

In February 2014, creative director Neil Druckmann said the possibility of a sequel to the The Last of Us was "about 50/50", and the team needed to develop a story "really worth telling, and that's not repeating itself".[9] In July 2014, community strategist Arne Meyer said that not considering a sequel "would be a disservice" to the studio and the fans.[10]

In December 2014, character artist Michael Knowland who previously worked with Naughty Dog on The Last of Us updated his LinkedIn page to include The Last of Us 2 with him as the lead character artist who was designing head sculpts. Shortly afterwards his page was updated to remove all mention of the sequel.[11]

At MetroCon 2015 in June, Nolan North, who portrays David in The Last of Us and Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, was asked if he was involved in any future Naughty Dog projects. He replied "For now, Uncharted 4 is the last one. I know they're doing The Last of Us 2, but my character in The Last of Us kind of met an untimely demise".[12] Druckmann later responded to North's comments, saying that a small team at Naughty Dog had explored ideas and begun building prototypes for a sequel, but were interrupted when the team shifted their focus to development of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.[13]

Rumors briefly rose again after an Easter egg referring to The Last of Us appeared in Uncharted 4's denouement specifically a picture of a woman resembling Ellie with the title The Last of Us: American Daughters next to it.[14]

Richard-lyons-the-last-of-us-postertemplate-160601

The Easter egg present in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

Rumours peaked once more when GameInformer accidentally leaked images and information regarding a sequel to The Last of Us at E3 2016, specifically that Ellie would be 19 years old and that the story would transition between the present and the past.[15] An image was also revealed on September 26, depicting a tattooed arm holding a switchblade, evidently teasing the reveal of Ellie's tattoo.[16] Another poster was also released on the same day in 2017, this time depicting an arm holding a hammer amidst flames that resemble the face of a wolf.[17]

Official announcement at PSX 2016Edit

On December 3, 2016 at Sony's annual PlayStation Experience event (PSX), Naughty Dog closed the event by officially announcing a sequel to The Last of Us via a reveal trailer, titled The Last of Us Part II.[18] Ellie has been confirmed to be the main playable character who will "play differently" than Joel from the original. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson were also confirmed to reprise their roles as Joel and Ellie respectively while Neil Druckmann will write the script. No release date has been announced and the game was noted to be in very early development by Shawn Layden.[19] Druckmann also remarked it was Naughty Dog's "most ambitious game yet".[20]

Reveal trailerEdit

The trailer opens with a sequence of five shots of a forested area. The rusty remains of an abandoned vehicle and a tree with claw marks in its trunk are shown as the camera pans outwards. Some run-down houses then appear in the foreground, before an old 'Stop' road sign with the Firefly logo graffitied on it comes into view.

Then the scene changes to Ellie sat on a bed, tuning and subsequently playing an acoustic guitar as she sings Through the Valley by Shawn James. The next shot reveals a tattoo on her arm as the camera cuts around the room, showing amongst many other things an open window to Ellie's left. Some have noted the resemblance between this window and the window depicted on the main menu screen of the original game.[21]

While the music continues, a male figure enters through the front door. Initially nothing more than a silhouette, the man walks through the house with a revolver in his right hand, taking stock of the several dead bodies littered in the building, implied to have been killed by Ellie. None of the bodies show obvious signs of infection by the CBI from the original game.

The man eventually enters Ellie's room, and the camera angle then reveals his identity: Joel. The pair exchange the following dialogue:

Joel: "What are you doing, kiddo? You really gonna go through with this?"
Ellie: "I'm gonna find... and I'm gonna kill... every last one of them."

The trailer ends on a closeup of Ellie's face before fading-in the title The Last of Us Part II.

As of November 2017, the trailer has been viewed over 6.9 million times on PlayStation's official YouTube channel.[22]

PSX Q&AEdit

At a panel after the reveal, Neil Druckmann was asked why Naughty Dog ultimately decided to make a sequel. He explained, "While a sequel may have seemed like a foregone conclusion, that wasn't the case. We knew that it needed to be a story worth telling... After spending years trying ideas, we have finally created a story worthy of Joel and Ellie." He also stated that the game was ultimately about human relationships, as was The Last of Us, and that it wouldn't work without Joel and Ellie as "it is their journey."[23][24]

Druckmann also confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla will return as the composer for the game's soundtrack,[25] having already created a new rendition of The Last of Us theme for the sequel that was also unveiled at PSX.[26] It has also been confirmed that Bruce Straley, who helped Druckmann make early prototypes for the new game,[27] will not return to assist Druckmann with directing the sequel, who went on a sabbatical after the pair finished working on the DLC for Uncharted[28], subsequently leaving Naughty Dog.[29]In his place, Halley Gross will be co-writing the story with Druckmann.[30] On April 7, it was revealed that actress Shannon Woodward would play a role in the game.[31]

The game will utilize new motion capture technology for its characters as well as an entire new engine for the PlayStation 4.[32] Early reports from Druckmann indicate that Ellie is expected to play "different to Joel", particularly in regards to movement and speed.[33]

ReactionsEdit

Fan response was overwhelmingly positive, though various interpretations of the trailer emerged, particularly speculation regarding Joel's fate and whether the Fireflies are whom Ellie desires to kill.

Significant observations made in the trailer relate to Ellie's injuries and attire. Some at game reviewer IGN and US Gamer have noted that Ellie has several minor injuries as well as some more serious damage to the right-hand-side of her neck, the latter of which some have speculated may be the result of very gradual spreading of the Cordyceps fungus up her right arm, where she was initially infected through a bite in Left Behind. [34]

Some members of IGN have surmised that this neck wound has been inflicted by another, new strain, of an Infected though Ellie remains immune to this new Cordyceps fungus. Those at IGN have also drawn attention to the resemblance between Ellie's unbuttoned denim shirt and a similar garment worn by Ellie's deceased friend Riley[35], also from Left Behind.

Others have also claimed that Joel may in fact be dead due to how he appears from a white light, some even speculating the Fireflies caused such in their pursuit of Ellie. They also surmise that Ellie is suffering from hallucinations as her hand shakes, suggesting the Cordyceps Brain Infection has grown further on her brain. [36] Those at US Gamer have argued for the possibility of the game being set in Seattle based on a striking resemblance between some areas and initial artwork of the game. [37]

PGW 2017 trailerEdit

At Paris Games Week on October 30, 2017, Naughty Dog released another trailer depicting new survivors, namely: Lev, Yara, Emily, and an unnamed woman. As of November, 2017, the trailer has been viewed over 2.7 million times on PlayStation's official YouTube channel. Neil Druckmann has also remarked that these new characters will be integral to Joel and Ellie's journey in the game.[38] To create the unnamed woman's physique required the use of a body-builder double.[39]

Teaser trailerEdit

The trailer opens to a clearing at night, in the middle of a forest, with burning cars littering the scene as it rains heavily. The camera follows the entire scene in one take.

Outbreak posters

The two teaser posters released for Outbreak Day in 2016 and 2017.

Two men appear, dragging the unnamed woman across the ground to Emily, where they subsequently hang her by a rope next to several other corpses. As the woman struggles to breathe, Emily draws a knife, poking the woman's stomach, taunting her. The two men appear again, this time dragging Yara. Emily taunts Yara as well, the latter retaliating by spitting in her face. Irritated, Emily has the two men pin Yara down to "clip her wings" with a hammer.

After breaking one arm, an arrow flies out of the nearby woods, killing one of the men, enabling Yara to kill the other with the hammer. Emily draws a revolver, firing into the woods as more arrows fly. Yara gets to her feet, prompting Emily to aim at her. However, the unnamed woman uses her legs to trap Emily in her grip, allowing Yara to kill her with the hammer as well. Thunder briefly erupts as the unnamed woman allows Emily's corpse to fall to the ground.

With Emily dead, Yara collapses against a nearby wall, clutching her broken arm. From the woods, Lev appears with his bow and arrow. He checks on Yara, who orders him to free the unnamed woman, which he hesitantly does. The unnamed woman proceeds to pry the hammer from Emily's corpse before telling the others to prepare themselves. From the woods, a group of Infected charge at the trio before the trailer cuts to black.[40]

ReactionsEdit

Contrasting the positive feedback from the first trailer, the second teaser trailer has recieved more criticism. Notably, those at IGN felt the trailer had little to do with The Last of Us Part II and disliked how the characters introduced were mere "punching bags" with no proper connection provided for the audience, the trailer playing on mere shock value. Regardless, they praised the graphics the trailer presented.[41] The violence displayed generated enough criticism that Sony personally had to defend it.[42]

The reveal of the unnamed woman, who acted as the centre piece to the trailer, has led some viewers, notably those at Polygon, to speculate that she is Ellie's mother, Anna, and that the segment featuring her may in fact occur in a flashback.[43]

PSX 2017Edit

In December, 2017, Neil Druckmann alongside the principle cast for The Last of Us Part II and fellow writer Halley Gross, appeared to answer questions regarding the upcoming release of the game. Druckmann and Gross revealed the game was "about 50 to 60%" complete and Druckmann himself teased that Halley provided an idea to "get a character pregnant". For the event, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker performed a song as a duet to open their segment, performing in role. Druckmann left it up to opinion as to whether the lyrics in the song, which focused on a journey for the two to a "mother and savior", were literal or metaphorical. Druckmann also revealed the story they "wrote is big" with "hopeful" moments, to contrast the overall theme of hate. Gross also stated the story will provide the characters an authentic arc that will grow and change them.[44]

GalleryEdit

Concept art Edit

Official stills Edit

Videos Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. GameSpot - The Last of Us 2 Brings on Westworld Writer; Story Described as "Intense"
  2. Polygon: The Last of Us Part 2
  3. The Last of Us Part II: PSX 2017
  4. Naughty Dog Tweet (Accessed October 30, 2017)
  5. Naughty Dog Tweet (Accessed October 30, 2017)
  6. Naughty Dog Tweet (Accessed October 30, 2017)
  7. Naughty Dog Tweet (Accessed October 30, 2017)
  8. New actor for The Last of Us
  9. Eurogamer - Will there be a new "The Last of Us"?
  10. Videogamer - Exploring ideas for The Last of Us 2
  11. Leak by Character Artist
  12. IGN - Nolan North on the possibility of a sequel
  13. GameSpot - The Last of Us or Uncharted?
  14. See picture to the right
  15. GameInformer leak
  16. EuroGamer - Teased artwork
  17. IGN - Outbreak Day 2017
  18. The Verge - Trailer for the new Last of Us
  19. Forbes - Last of Us 2 revealed
  20. PlayStation Blog - Neil Druckmann (Accessed November 5, 2017)
  21. IGN - TLOU2 Reveal Trailer Analysis
  22. The Last of Us Part II - PlayStation Experience 2016: Reveal Trailer (Accessed 2 November, 2017)
  23. Kotaku - New Last of Us Announced
  24. TLOU2 Revealed at PSX
  25. GameSpot - Play as Ellie in new "Last of Us"
  26. PSX 2016 - Last of US 2
  27. IGN - Straley not taking part
  28. GameSport - Straley is not coming back
  29. Game Industry - Straley is out
  30. GameSpot - New writer
  31. Woodward in Sequel
  32. Kotaku - The Last Of Us 2 Will Be A Game 'About Hate'
  33. TechRadar - The Last of Us 2: What you need to know
  34. US Gamer theories
  35. IGN - TLOU2 Reveal Trailer Analysis
  36. TLOU2 - Trailer analysed
  37. US Gamer -Trailer theories
  38. PlayStaion Blog (Accessed 5 November, 2017)
  39. Druckmann - Instagram (Accessed 11 November, 2017)
  40. The Last of us Part II - PGW 2017 Trailer (Accessed; 30 October, 2017)
  41. IGN - Opinions on trailer
  42. GameSpot - Sony and Violence
  43. Polygon - Part II theories
  44. The Last of Us Part II: PSX 2017

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