Fans are extremely excited about the launch of The Last of Us Part 2, but the release is still a little ways off. Game Director Neil Druckmann has recently stated that the game is “50 to 60%” done.
The Last of Us Part 2
The Last of Us struck a chord with gamers when it was released on the PlayStation 3 back in 2013. Following the adventures of a smuggler (Joel) tasked with escorting a teenage girl (Ellie) across a United States ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, the gameplay was exhilarating and the story was poignant and touching. When The Last of Us Part 2 was announced, fans were chomping at the bit to experience the latest adventure from developer Naughtydog.
At a panel during last weekend’s PlayStation Experience, Druckmann was joined by writer Halley Gross and stars Ashley Johnson, Troy Baker, Ian Alexander, Victoria Grace, and Laura Bailey. While there weren’t a lot of specific details revealed over the course of the hour-long event, there were a few new pieces of information that came to light — the biggest of which being an update on the game’s progress, which is a little over halfway complete.
A live musical performance from Johnson and Baker was followed by a statement from Druckmann that seemed to suggest a panel where statements would be cryptic rather than literal.
“The thing about songs is that you can take them literally, or they’re a metaphor for something else. And just like everything else we’re putting out there, we’re not going to say a whole lot about that song.”
It’s clear that Druckmann and team want us to experience the excitement of The Last of Us Part 2 for ourselves rather than flooding us with details ahead of launch, but he did provide some teasers and other new info about the upcoming horror title.
According to Druckmann, much like in the recent Naughtydog release Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the stakes in the Last of Us 2 are much higher than in the first release. The theme of the game is hate, rather than love like the first title, indicating that an already dark game could get even darker. The director did reassure fans, however, saying that there would be some lighthearted moments as well. The story is co-written by Halley Wegryn Gross, who contributed to the first season of Westworld, one of HBO’s most popular new shows. With such a major talent behind the writing team, we can no doubt expect great things from the much-anticipated sequel.
The panel also revealed more information on Yara and Lev (played by Victoria Grace and Ian Alexander), two characters initially revealed during the Paris Games Week 2017 trailer. The two siblings, confirmed to be 16 and 13 years old, respectively, were apparently in a religious cult at some point before getting out.
Perhaps most notable of the teasers was a suggestion that Ellie, the teenage protagonist from the first game, is now pregnant.
“After the first day, Halley goes home and says to her husband, ‘I think I got someone pregnant,’” said Druckmann. Also mentioned was a confirmation that the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic Seattle.
The Last of Us 2 Release Date
Rounding out the panel was a discussion on the progress of the game, with the director confirming that they had “handed off a bunch of levels” and that “there’s a bunch of stuff being worked on.”
While we don’t know much about the game’s release date, we do know that it’s expected sometime in 2018. With a five year gap between the first game’s initial release and the upcoming sequel, it’s clear that a game of this caliber takes a good amount of time to get right. It definitely seems like the game will be worth the wait if the information from the panel and previous trailers is any indication.
Considering the game is currently only about halfway done, it’s likely that the release will be towards the latter half 2018. It’s even possible that the game will be delayed further, but in the end, it will all be worth it.
We’ll likely see more of The Last of Us Part 2 gameplay during E3 2018, according to Druckmann. But until then, details will likely be relatively scarce. If the masterpiece quality of the first game is any indication of what we can expect from its successor, the Last of Us 2 will be one of the best games of the current console generation.
If you’d like to watch the entire The Last of Us 2 panel from the PlayStation Experience event last weekend, take a look at the video below. The clip is definitely worth a watch, even if just for the song at the beginning.