PlayStation 4 users all over the world are currently getting to grips with an Uncharted 4 title that has been almost universally regarded to be stunning. But the attention of the developer, Naughty Dog, is already turning to the next cab off the rank, expected to be the sequel to the exalted dystopian thriller The Last of Us.
The Last Of Us 2 – Huge anticipation
The first title in The Last of Us series was so beloved of PlayStation gamers that the anticipation for the sequel is likely to reach frenzied proportions. Naughty Dog has declined to confirm the existence of The Last of Us 2 publicly, even suggesting that the first title may ultimately be a standalone game. But there are numerous reasons to suppose that The Last of Us 2 will indeed emerge eventually, not least the fact that it is almost certain to be a huge commercial success.
While Naughty Dog has always been committed to artistic quality over commercial considerations, there also seems to be a huge amount to explore in The Last of Us universe, as well as completely unresolved plotlines from the first game. And once one has the sort of impactful characters that Ellie and Joel turned out to be in the first game, it would seem to make little sense to jettison them after only one title.
This all points to the release of The Last of Us 2 at some point in the future…but when exactly will this game appear? Eager fans of the dark video games series have been encouraged by the inclusion of an easter egg in the Uncharted 4 game, which comes in the form of a poster which seems to advertise the sequel to the original title.
The poster shows a woman wearing a gas mask who appears to be pregnant. “The Last of Us: American Daughters” is seemingly revealed as the title of this supposed game, and naturally the Internet has been ablaze with gossip related to this item. Of course, it is pretty unlikely that Naughty Dog will strongly follow this particular poster, and the whole thing could simply be a massive red herring. But its inclusion in Uncharted 4 does indicate that a forthcoming The Last of Us 2 title could be on the cards, particularly as the original game was teased in a previous Uncharted release.
When Naughty Dog does begin work on The Last of Us 2, there will be absolutely huge pressure on the studio. Not only will Naughty Dog be following Uncharted 4, Which has been vastly critically acclaimed since its release, but fans of the series will also demand something outstanding from The Last of Us 2, and something that really continues the legacy of the original game, without sullying the narrative.
Meanwhile, the developers must deliver a viable video game, something that fans of the niche often overlook. Producing a viable narrative which can also be combined with credible and engaging gameplay is far from easy, which is why there are so few titles on the market of the quality of the existing The Last of Us game, not to mention the Uncharted series.
Naughty Dog have delivered unbelievable quality time and time again over the last several games produced by the software house, and this puts The Last of Us 2 in extremely capable hands. While the law of averages might suggest that Naughty Dog is due a stinker at some point, such is the skill and experience of the incredible team that has been assembled at the Sony-owned developer that this prospect seems incredibly unlikely.
What can be said with some confidence is that The Last of Us 2 would require at least an 18-month development period. Possibly it is more realistic for the game to emerge in 2018 rather than 2017, as Naughty Dog would be on an extremely tight schedule in order to get the game out for the Christmas 2017 marketplace. While this would be an obvious target for the software house, it seems more likely that Naughty Dog will take its time with The Last of Us 2, and possibly ultimately release the game in the second half of 2018.
Ellie and Joel
While Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann has stated publicly that those working at the developer have considered producing a sequel to the original title based on the new central protagonists, this reality seems extremely unlikely. The Ellie and Joel story has a lot of mileage still to run, and fans of the game would surely feel a little cheated by having to become acquainted with new characters, even though there is no doubt that Naughty Dog has the ability to deliver such a new character set with immense skill and immersion.
Expecting Joel and Ellie to be at the center of The Last of Us 2, expect the game to arrive at some point in 2018, and expect The Last of Us 2 to be one of the most important and jaw-dropping video games ever released.