Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is one of the finest games in recent memory. It set a new benchmark for characters and storytelling with a harrowing post-apocalyptic tale. Joel and Ellie are iconic characters that made us laugh, cry and grimace as they journeyed across a battered and broken North America.
The story of Joel and Ellie is set to continue in The Last of Us Part 2, though with a much older (and angrier) Ellie. Naughty Dog said the game is in "very early development" at the time of its reveal, but that hasn't stopped us from getting excited.
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The Last of Us Part 2 release date – When is it coming out?
The Last of Us Part 2 was revealed with a teaser trailer at PlayStation Experience 2016, but Naughty Dog caveated the reveal with the fact the game is still very early in development, so it'll be a while until we can get our hands on it.
The Last of Us Part 2 Story – What's it about?
Naughty Dog has revealed that The Last of Us Part 2 takes place five years after the original left off, with a 19 year old Ellie acting as the game's main character. Joel also makes a return, watching over Ellie as a slowly aging old man. The main drive of the narrative is unclear, but we know Ellie is very, very angry about something.
In the reveal trailer she is seen playing a guitar, slathered in blood amongst a pile of corpses. After finishing her song she says to Joel: "I'm going to kill every last one of them." We've no idea who Ellie is so pissed at, but it's clear anger will act as a core theme in The Last of Us Part 2.
The Last of Us Part 2 developer – Who will do it?
It will be developed by Naughty Dog, who is also busy working on Uncharted 4: The Lost Legacy, a standalone adventure coming to PS4 next year.
The Last of Us Part 2 – 5 things we’d like to see
A completely new setting
As far as we know the cordyceps infection that ravaged humanity is a worldwide pandemic. If this is the case, there are plenty of hollow bastions across the globe for Naughty Dog to portray. Imagine playing as a new cast characters in London, New York or Moscow two decades after the outbreak put an end to life as we know it.
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The best part about this would be the complete detachment we’d have from the previous game, having nothing but a few names and the shared universe to lean on with each new adventure. If this is the last we’ll see of Joel and Ellie, so be it, pass the torch onto a pair of new characters. It'd be a great chance to include progressive leads in the game, too. Our first gay couple? A pair of siblings finding their way in the dark and broken year of 2036? The possibilities are endless, and Naughty Dog is easily up to the task.
More terrifying enemies
The denizens of infected we faced in The Last of Us were unsettling to say the least, but never truly terrified us. Unless we happened to be playing on Grounded with no way to defend ourselves. By adapting a new setting, Naughty Dog should also introduce a host daunting new enemies. The infected should be bigger and more challenging. Sometimes, the best tactic might be to avoid them altogether.
Now I’m not about to google cordyceps since I’ll likely bump into countless images of disgusting things, but it’d be cool to see The Last of Us 2 introduce some animals affected by the fungus as new enemy types.
Uncharted 4 saw the introduction of brief yet intriguing dialogue choices for us to make, providing a small sense of variety to an otherwise linear narrative. It gave Nathan Drake’s charming, one-liner personality an additional layer of substance, albeit a very superficial one.
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Having the ability to respond to various dialogue choices as you explore The Last of Us 2 would be fantastic, far more so when we consider the mature themes this franchise has been willing to tackle. There could be moments of comedic brilliance and sudden heartbreak, emphasized by our personal involvement in each decision. It’d also be nice to have these impact the plot in someway, either through brief mentions or major narrative crescendos.
We've seen what narrative choice in post-apocalyptic worlds can do in the likes of Telltale's The Walking Dead. Being forced to choose who we save in The Last of Us Part 2 could be equally heart-wrenching.
A real human threat
If you’ve ever seen The Walking Dead, you’ll know the real enemy isn’t the undead, but those still amongst the living. The corruption people face in the clutches of a broken world is horrifying, making far worse monsters than the virus we all contend with. We saw a small glimpse of this in the first game with random thugs, cannibals and the fireflies, all of which posed a veil of moral ambiguity that kept us guessing with each passing minute.
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The Last of Us 2 should go all in on this, painting an antagonist worthy of loathing in a world already filled with disgusting examples of humanity. Joel was capable of some horrendous acts in the closing moments of his journey, doing what he believed was right in a world simply not worth saving.
Greater focus on the multiplayer
To the surprise of many, The Last of Us’ multiplayer was excellent. It translated the crafting and survival mechanics of its single-player into the realm of online skirmishes almost perfectly. You could collect ingredients and craft tools mid-match, getting the drop on your enemy through a range of brutal methods. The repertoire of tools were backed up by a weighty selection of matchmaking options, too.
One of my favourite aspects of the multiplayer was its implementation of social networks into online progression. Victory would net you supplies for your faction, the members of which are named after a myriad of facebook friends. Of course, they weren’t really stuck in an infested hellhole, but the mere inclusion of their presence gave your actions a faint yet powerful context. The Last of Us 2 should double down on this idea, making each battle a personal endeavour driving not only a level, but a will to survive.
What would you like to see from The Last of Us Part 2? Let us know in the comments below!