Sony and Naughty Dog have given us a surprisingly in-depth look at The Last of Us 2 gameplay, ahead of the long-delayed launch on June 19.
The never-before-seen gameplay sequence was part of an unprecedented 20-minute look inside the story, enemies, allies, locations and gameplay mechanics.
The dedicated PlayStation State of Play stream, which comes approximately three weeks before the game finally arrives, was voiced by director Neil Druckmann. You can watch it, including nearly nine minutes of unseen gameplay, in full below:
*WARNING: Plot and gameplay spoilers ahead*
The gameplay shows Ellie, who is now 19 it is revealed, taking on/out an entire base filled with human combatants from a faction called the Washington Liberation Front (among a number of new factions we’ll see in the game), before encountering someone from her past she refers to as “Nora.” That’s the cliffhanger we’re left on.
Prior to that, Druckmann goes into detail on the gameplay mechanics, such as a new version of “listen mode,” which had enabled Ellie and Joel to eavesdrop on conversations. In the sequel, utilising this feature will reveal your scent trail to guard dogs used to track you, so it’s important to keep moving.
We saw many of the new infected enemies Ellie will encounter on her journey of retribution, including one called the Shambler that exudes a corrosive spore cloud that burns you when you blow its head open. There are also Stalkers that wait for the perfect time to strike. However, Druckmann says we’ll have to wait until June 19 to see the scariest of the new enemies.
The stream taught us that the game will take place in real life locations in the Pacific North West, including Seattle. Naughty Dog said plenty of work went into a faithful recreation of the city.
On her journey from the (largely) peaceful survivor settlement of Jackson, Wyoming, Ellie will traverse snow-covered mountains and lush landscapes. She’ll use horses and boats to get where she needs to be. The maps themselves will be more open than before and the overgrown world will make it easier for Ellie to hide from enemies.
We also learned that allies will occasionally join Ellie in combat and that she, herself, will have advantages over bigger and stronger enemies thanks to her speed and ability. We also saw her attacked while trying to unlock doors during the gameplay trailer. Ellie will be able to customise weapons by scavenging for parts, alongside putting together various explosives and tonics as we saw in the first game.
The video comes as the studio continues to reel from a leak earlier this month that outlined much of the plot and the action. Druckman himself said he was “heartbroken” by the leak. Sony said it has identified the perpetrators and is conducting an investigation into the incident.