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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).


I'm gonna find and I'm gonna kill every last one of them.
Ellie, launch trailer.

The Last of Us Part II is a third-person action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released on June 19th, 2020.

The game is the sequel to The Last of Us and picks up the story of Ellie and Joel five years after the events of the original game.

Plot

The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the events of the first game and about 25 years after the outbreak of the Cordyceps Brain Infection began. Ellie, who is now 19 years old, returns as the main protagonist whom players assume control of, as well as Joel in his mid-fifties.[5] The story will be split into four seasonal chapters, starting with Jackson County, Wyoming, during the winter months. The pair, having settled down in Tommy's settlement, live in relative peace within the thriving community. While there, Ellie has even managed to form friendships with Dina and Jesse. However, the survivors face constant threats from the Infected and other hostile survivors.

When a tragic event disrupts the tranquility of her life, Ellie embarks on a journey in a search for vengeance to carry out justice. As she hunts down those responsible one by one, she is confronted with the traumatizing physical and emotional consequences of her actions.[6].

Ellie is fueled by hate, which is a major theme within the story.[7] The game will also primarily be set in Seattle, Washington.[8]

Characters

Main article: Part II characters
  • Ellie (Ashley Johnson) – The protagonist of the game, and the main antagonist in Abby's perspective. Ellie is a 19-year-old survivor of the Cordyceps Brain Infection outbreak and the only person known to be immune to the infection. Ellie lives in a large community in Jackson. She sports a tattoo over the bite scar on her right arm to hide her immunity. After witnessing a horrific attack, Ellie embarks on a personal quest for vengeance.
  • Abby (Laura Bailey)[9] – The false protagonist of the game. Abby is a member of the Washington Liberation Front, a former member of the Fireflies, and begins the game of attempting to locate a resident of the community in Jackson. Abby is forced to deal with the fallout of her own quest for revenge.
  • Joel (Troy Baker) – Joel is Ellie's father figure and a former smuggler, who bonded with her years ago while transporting her across the country to the Fireflies in the hopes of creating a vaccine for the CBI outbreak. Unbeknownst to Ellie, Joel killed the Fireflies who were going to kill Ellie to create a cure.
  • Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) - Tommy is Joel's younger brother and is one of the leaders of the community in Jackson, alongside his wife Maria. Tommy is the only person aware of Joel's killing of the Fireflies and deception of Ellie. Tommy, like Ellie, spends the game on his own quest for vengeance.[10]
  • Dina (Shannon Woodward)[11] - Dina is a close friend and love interest of Ellie and a resident of the community in Jackson. She is Jesse's ex-girlfriend, and kisses Ellie which causes a stir in the community. Dina accompanies Ellie throughout the game as their relationship develops.
  • Jesse (Stephen Chang)[11] - Jesse is a friend of Ellie, and Dina's ex-boyfriend. He is a resident of the community in Jackson, and accompanies Ellie on her quest.
  • Maria (Ashley Scott) – Maria is Tommy's wife, and a member of the Jackson community.
  • Owen (Patrick Fugit) - Owen is a member of the WLF and Abby's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend. He is in a relationship with Mel and is having a child with her. 
  • Mel (Ashly Burch) - Mel is a medic and a member of the WLF. She is pregnant with Owen's child, which causes tension between her and Abby. 
  • Manny (Alejandro Edda) - Manny is a member of the WLF and a friend and roommate of Abby's. He accompanies her to Jackson and was later seen in the Seattle flashbacks.
  • Nora (Chelsea Tavares) - Nora is a member of the WLF and a friend of Abby's. She accompanies Abby to Jackson and is later sought out by Ellie.
  • Lev (Ian Alexander)[9] – Lev is a former member of a religious cult called the Seraphites set to wipe out all 'sin' in the world after the outbreak. Lev is branded an apostate by the Serephites for shaving his hair and is hunted by them alongside his older sister, Yara. Lev becomes Abby's companion and assists her.
  • Yara (Victoria Grace)[9] – Yara is Lev's older sister who left the Seraphites with him, and is severely injured by them during their escape. She later accompanies Abby during the flashbacks of the latter's perspective.
  • Isaac (Jeffrey Wright) – Isaac is the leader of the Washington Liberation Front, and an antagonist in Abby's Seattle flashback scenes.

Gameplay

Ellie was originally intended to be the sole playable character in the game's singleplayer campaign[12] However, this changed at some point before release, with Joel, Ellie, and Abby all being playable for portions of the game. While multiplayer was originally planned to launch with the game,[13]it was revealed by Lead Game Designer Emilia Schatz that the game will not feature multiplayer, a statement later confirmed by a representative for Sony. [14]

The game features expanded traversal and stealth mechanics, including a jump button, ability to go prone and a dodge mechanic. Enemy AI has been improved, notably how human enemies will often communicate with each other, relaying information about Ellie's position through whistling. Crafting has also been expanded, along with new ammo types (such as explosive arrows). Two noteworthy additions are an "identification meter", which, in addition to the audio cue from the first game, alerts the player to how close an enemy is to seeing them (while it's white, the player still has the opportunity to hide, but once it turns red, they have been spotted), and an "injury gauge", which indicates when the player receives a serious wound (such as an arrow to the shoulder) and must press and hold the R1 button in order to treat it. Another new addition is the ability to pick up glass bottles and/or bricks, and throw them, while running.[15]

Development

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".[16] In July 2014, community strategist Arne Meyer said that not considering a sequel "would be a disservice" to the studio and the fans.[17]

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.[18]

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".[19] 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.[20]

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 pregnant woman resembling Ellie with the title The Last of Us: American Daughters next to it.[21]

Rumors 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.[22] An image was also revealed on September 26, depicting a tattooed arm holding a switchblade, evidently teasing the reveal of Ellie's tattoo.[23] 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.[24] A third poster was released by Naughty Dog to celebrate outbreak day in 2018, the image displaying a man playing an acoustic guitar in the woods with a wolf next to him.[25]

Marketing

Official announcement at PSX 2016

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.[26] 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.[27] Druckmann also remarked it was Naughty Dog's "most ambitious game yet".[28]

Reveal trailer

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 among 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.[29]

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 June 2020, the trailer has been viewed over 8.8 million times on PlayStation's official YouTube channel.[30]

PSX Q&A

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."[31][32]

Druckmann also confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla will return as the composer for the game's soundtrack,[33] having already created a new rendition of The Last of Us theme for the sequel that was also unveiled at PSX.[34] It has also been confirmed that Bruce Straley, who helped Druckmann make early prototypes for the new game,[35] 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[36], subsequently leaving Naughty Dog.[37]In his place, Halley Gross will be co-writing the story with Druckmann.[38] On April 7, it was revealed that actress Shannon Woodward would play a role in the game.[39]

The game will utilize new motion capture technology for its characters as well as an entire new engine for the PlayStation 4.[40] Early reports from Druckmann indicate that Ellie is expected to play "different to Joel", particularly in regards to movement and speed.[41]

PGW 2017 trailer

At Paris Games Week on October 30, 2017, Naughty Dog released another trailer depicting new survivors, namely: Lev, Yara, Emily, and Abby, whose name was not revealed at the time. As of January, 2018, the trailer has been viewed over 4.4 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.[42] To create the unnamed woman's physique required the use of a body-builder double.[43]

Teaser trailer

The trailer uses the opening cutscene from the level "The Forrest". It 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.

Two men appear, dragging Abby across the ground to Emily, where they subsequently hang her by a rope next to several other corpses. As Abby struggles to breathe, Emily draws a knife, poking the Abby'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, Abby uses her legs to trap Emily in her grip, allowing Yara to kill her with the hammer as well. Thunder briefly erupts as Abby 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. He checks on Yara, who orders him to free Abby, which he hesitantly does. Abby 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.[44]

PSX 2017

In December, 2017, Neil Druckmann alongside the principal 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 Gross provided an idea to "get a character pregnant". For the event, Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker performed Wayfaring Stranger by Johnny Cash, 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.[45]

E3 2018

On June 11th, 2018, Naughty Dog showcased more content from the game to an audience. Gustavo Santaolalla played live music (a segment from the game's score) for the audience and Shawn Layden introduced a gameplay demonstration for Part II. The demonstration showcased new melee combat, stealth mechanics, in-game graphics and also provided a look into the locations the player will encounter while playing as the 19-year-old Ellie. Spliced alongside the gameplay was the cinematic reveal of the characters Dina and Jesse, the former is Ellie's intimate partner while the latter is a member of Tommy's community, depicting them at a dance .[11]

State of Play 2019

On September 20, 2019, Naughty Dog posted a video on Twitter teasing The Last of Us Part II details to be revealed during PlayStation's State of Play broadcast a few days later on September 24. For each day up until the event, they tweeted a new teaser video showcasing an artifact for several key characters.[46]

During the State of Play broadcast that went live on September 24, Naughty Dog unveiled a three minute trailer for The Last of Us Part II revealing the game's release date as February 21, 2020. The trailer also included more details regarding the game's plot and gameplay itself of different environments and locations, including combat with new Infected types and dogs. It also confirmed Joel will join Ellie on her journey and that Jeffrey Pierce would also reprise his role as Tommy.[47][10]

The game was originally set to be released on May 29, 2020.[48] However, Naughty Dog announced on April 4, 2020 that, while The Last of Us Part II was finished, they could not ship physical copies due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.[49] As such, the release date was changed to June 19, 2020.[4]

State of Play, May 2020

On May 27, ahead of the game's June 19 release on PS4, Neil Druckmann provided a further release of Part II content. Included was further gameplay, notably Ellie's ability to swim and the use of a boat and rope to traverse terrain, a backstory expansion for the Washington Liberation Front and Seraphites (who are at war with one another) as well as showcasing a new extended gameplay sequence.

Druckmann expressed that Naughty Dog staff aimed to make the areas players explore in the game as beautiful, big, and authentic as possible. He also elaborated that much of the story will occur in the Seattle area. Also, the open environments apparently will lead to several story moments that act as extra parts to the main story, meaning the player does not have to engage or find these moments to progress the story.[50].


Release and reception

The Last of Us Part II released to universal acclaim among critics worldwide. Many praised the game for its visuals, gameplay, and story. GameSpot's Kallie Plagge remarked the game's combat was "intense and exhilarating", liking how the game maintained the freedom from the first game for players to choose between stealth or gunplay during combat, though did criticize that the level's sizes were too expansive, especially since collectibles available in such areas did not match the size of the level design. They concluded the game's duration of more than twenty hours could have been considerably shorter.[55]

Chris Carter from Destructoid wrote praise regarding the actors, especially Ashley Johnson's performance as Ellie, and the game's environments, believing the Naughty Dog developers brought the game's setting to life in a way that surpasses the previous installment. In fact, they declare it the best looking game on the PlayStation 4 console. However, they would have liked if the game did differ more from the first one, remarking "Part II is essentially the same wheel from the first game", simply polished over. Still, Carter concludes "Part II improves on what it's predecessor did in 2013."[56] Euro Gamer's Oli Walsh agreed Johnson was the stand out performance but especially praised Gustavo Santaolalla's score for the game, believing the music was "excellent" in conjunction with its "minimalism".[51]

However, some were critical that the game failed to evolve much from its predecessor. Maddy Myers from Polygon remarked that Part II failed to live up to the first game, citing the character's lack of growth and the dull story that felt overly bloated and long, citing the game's critical problem was its poor pacing and failure to justify its own existence as a sequel.[58] Koji Fukuyama from IGN agrees, saying they also found the amount of combat encounters "excessive", believing the developers failed to strike the balance between combat, story and exploration that the first game excelled at.[54] In fact, Myers believed the game's combat additions with dog enemies, new infected types and ability to go prone was a "half-hearted" effort to hide that the game was little more than the first game with new coat of paint. They expanded that, while it was still a strong game, the industry had evolved in the seven years since the first game's release so were expecting more from this sequel, rather than simply more of the same. Regardless, they still thought the game was aesthetically "gorgeous" and would have received higher praise if it wasn't so similar to The Last of Us, which Myers believed the superior game.[58]

IGN's Jonathan Dornbush contested such claims, believing the gameplay was a "satisfying evolution" from the first game with a "profound story" that justified it's creation. They go as far to say "The Last of Us Part 2 is a masterpiece that evolves the gameplay, cinematic storytelling, and rich world design of the original in nearly every way."[53] Andy McNamara from Game Informer agreed, writing that Part II was "the best narrative game [they] ever played", highlighting the complex story and compelling characters.[52]

The game sold 4 million copies in its first three days, setting a new franchise record.[62]

External links

Gallery

Teaser posters

Concept art

Official stills

E3 2018 official stills

Videos

Trivia

  • In a patch released for The Last of Us in 2014, Naughty Dog actually leaked prototypes for Part II in the game files under the heading "thing 2 prototype"; The Last of Us, when in development, was called "thing 1" in the game files.[63]

References

  1. GameSpot - The Last of Us Part II will have multiplayer
  2. GameSpot - The Last of Us 2 Brings on Westworld Writer; Story Described as "Intense"
  3. - The Last of Us Part II: how Naughty Dog made a classic amidst catastrophe - GQ UK
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Verge - New TLOU 2 Release Date (Accessed 27th of April, 2020)
  5. The Last of Us Part II: PSX 2017
  6. The Last of Us Part II official website
  7. Polygon: The Last of Us Part 2
  8. E3 2018: The Last of Us Part II is all about honoring Ellie
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Naughty Dog Tweet (Accessed October 30, 2017)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Part II trailer (September, 24th, 2019)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 E3 2018: The Last of Us Part II Gameplay, IGN
  12. Good, Owen (2018-06-14). The Last of Us Part 2’s creators said Ellie is the only playable character. Polygon. Retrieved 2018-06-15
  13. Tach, Dave (2018-06-13). The Last of Us Part 2 will have multiplayer (of some sort). Polygon. Retrieved 2018-06-15
  14. [1] Information regarding the game no longer having multiplayer as originally reported.
  15. Osborn, Alex (2018-06-12). E3 2018: New The Last of Us Part II Gameplay revealed. IGN. Retrieved 2018-06-13
  16. Eurogamer - Will there be a new "The Last of Us"?
  17. Videogamer - Exploring ideas for The Last of Us 2
  18. Leak by Character Artist
  19. IGN - Nolan North on the possibility of a sequel
  20. GameSpot - The Last of Us or Uncharted?
  21. See picture to the right
  22. GameInformer leak
  23. EuroGamer - Teased artwork
  24. IGN - Outbreak Day 2017
  25. PlayStation - Outbreak Day 2018
  26. The Verge - Trailer for the new Last of Us
  27. Forbes - Last of Us 2 revealed
  28. PlayStation Blog - Neil Druckmann (Accessed November 5, 2017)
  29. IGN - TLOU2 Reveal Trailer Analysis
  30. The Last of Us Part II - PlayStation Experience 2016: Reveal Trailer (Accessed 2 November, 2017)
  31. Kotaku - New Last of Us Announced
  32. TLOU2 Revealed at PSX
  33. GameSpot - Play as Ellie in new "Last of Us"
  34. PSX 2016 - Last of US 2
  35. IGN - Straley not taking part
  36. GameSport - Straley is not coming back
  37. Game Industry - Straley is out
  38. GameSpot - New writer
  39. Woodward in Sequel
  40. Kotaku - The Last Of Us 2 Will Be A Game 'About Hate'
  41. TechRadar - The Last of Us 2: What you need to know
  42. PlayStaion Blog (Accessed 5 November, 2017)
  43. Druckmann - Instagram (Accessed 11 November, 2017)
  44. The Last of us Part II - PGW 2017 Trailer (Accessed; 30 October, 2017)
  45. The Last of Us Part II: PSX 2017
  46. Naughty Dog Tweet (Accessed September 20, 2019)
  47. Naughty Dog Tweet (Accessed September 24, 2019)
  48. PlayStation Blog - Neil Druckmann (Accessed October 24, 2019)
  49. PushSquare - Part II delayed (Accessed April 6, 2020)
  50. The Last of Us Part II - State of Play
  51. 51.0 51.1 Euro Gamer - The Last of Us Part II review (Accessed June 13, 2020)
  52. 52.0 52.1 Game Informer - The Last of Us Part II review (Accessed June 13, 2020)
  53. 53.0 53.1 IGN - The Last of Us Part II review (Accessed June 12, 2020)
  54. 54.0 54.1 Japanese IGN review of Part II (Retrieved 13 June, 2020)
  55. 55.0 55.1 GameSpot - The Last of Us Part II review (Accessed June 12, 2020)
  56. 56.0 56.1 Destructoid - The Last of Us Part II review (Accessed June 12, 2020)
  57. Telegraph - The Last of Us Part II review (Accessed June 13, 2020)
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 - The Last of Us Part II review (Accessed June 13, 2020)
  59. Guardian - The Last of Us Part II review (Accessed June 13, 2020)
  60. Toronto Sun - The Last of Us Part II review Retrieved June 16, 2020
  61. Metacritic - The Last of Us Part II score (Accessed June 12, 2020)
  62. GameSpot - Last Of Us 2 Sells 4 Million In First Three Days, Setting New Franchise Record (Accessed June 28, 2020)
  63. - Annie Marie found such


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Start a Discussion Discussions about The Last of Us Part II

  • Question

    7 messages
    • Ah. That's also a bit tricky. I would say that the first game is about redemption, while the second is about revenge and forgiveness....
    • i think the main villain of the franchise is the fungi
  • The Last of Us Part II Spoilers

    5 messages
    • Why are you guys acting like TLOU2 hasn't released yet?
    • @Pimperson: this released weeks ago and for your necro, I'm closing the thread now.
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