Four years after its official announcement, and six years after it entered development, The Last of Us: Part II is almost here!
Set five years after the events of The Last of Us, the sequel has you take control over Ashley Johnson’s Ellie for the main game although Joel (Troy Baker) will make an appearance. Jeffrey Pierce also returns as Joel’s brother Tommy, and Westworld’s Shannon Woodward voices Ellie’s girlfriend Dana. Several of Johnson’s Critical Role castmembers will also be making an appearance in the game, with Laura Bailey slated to voice a character called “Abby” although what the role entails is still unclear.
And it’s by design. Barely any of the details about the content of the game’s plot have been revealed, and with most of the plot completely hushed, fans can only speculate as to what the motivation behind Ellie’s rampage of revenge: has something happened to Joel, or to her girlfriend Dana, and caused Ellie to go after the new Cult arising in Post-Apocalyptic America.
The new main setting for this game is Seattle, with gameplay elements of the title expanded for the nineteen-year-old protagonist. Players will be able to climb to higher vantage points than with Joel in the original 2013 game, as well as prone positions beneath vehicles and under obstacles. But Ellie’s mechanics aren’t the only ones that have had an upgrade: the enemies’ artificial intelligence (AI) is smarter too, alerting one another if they find bodies or hear gunshots.
The Last of Us II isn’t the last piece of content we’re getting either; earlier in 2020 HBO announced that they would be producing a show based on the events of the first game, and even before its release The Last of Us: Part II has received awards as far back as 2017 being named The Game Awards’ most anticipated title in the same year. What’s more, when the first look trailer was released showing an older Ellie and Joel, fans flocked to get similar ink to that of Ellie’s new tattoo as debuted there.
None of this success comes without negatives, however. Delayed twice with an original release date of February 21st 2020, and later May 29th, The Last of Us: Part II has also seen critiques from workers for ‘crunch’ periods in order to get the game finished on time. Details about the game were also leaked in late April this year with major spoilers circulating the internet despite attempts to avoid such a situation.
From The Last of Us in 2013, the biggest part to stick with me was the soundtrack; and composer Gustavo Santaolalla is once again scoring the sequel. Whatever comes our way with the release of the game in June, I’m excited to see where Naughty Dog is taking arguably one of their most successful franchises. Following on from one of the greatest games of all time is a tough act to beat but I am certain Part II will do its predecessor justice.
The Last Of Us II will be released on PS4 on June 19th 2020.