After Naughty Dog made Sony a very, very happy video game company with their action packed Uncharted games, the studio began working on a gritty reboot of Jak and Daxter. That mutated into a far drearier, and far more satisfying post-apocalyptic epic called The Last of Us. Released in 2013, the game follows Joel and Ellie, survivors in a world overrun by a horrific fungal parasite that zombifies its victims, as the two make it across a desolated United States in hopes of developing a cure. While new franchises feel few and far between, The Last of Us was an instant critical and commercial hit, so of course it gets a sequel, announced today as ‘The Last of Us Part II’ instead of the far more logical ‘The Second Last of Us.’
When we last saw Joel and Ellie, at the end of their exhausting journey, their relationship was in uncertain terms and that still seems to be the case. In a small town overgrown with woodland, and tagged with the underground Fireflies’ energy-drink looking insignia, Ellie strums a soft guitar song over what appears to be a fresh corpse. Slightly older, Ellie swears revenge to Joel, against who is hard to say.
Shawn Layden, chairman of Sony International Entertainment and host of 2016’s PlayStation Experience, slipped the surprise reveal at the end of the keynote. He expressed that the game is still very early in development, a sentiment echoed by the game’s creator Neil Druckmann, who wrote a short blog post online. “It’s still early days for the project,” wrote Druckmann, “but we couldn’t wait any longer to give you a glimpse of what’s to come. We’re going to let the trailer speak for itself.”
So when The Last of Us Part II is due is hard to say. But what I can promise you are some very confusing ‘let’s play’ video posts. “The Last of Us Part II Part 8.” “The Last of Us Part II Chapter 12 Part Six.”
The mushroom apocalypse can’t come soon enough.
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