Creative director Neil Druckmann outlined what Naughty Dog’s plans were for The Last of Us: Part II, revealing that this time around Ellie would be the main star of the game, instead of playing second-fiddle sidekick to Joel, and he revealed that the second game is a hate tale… focusing on the themes depicted in the cinematic trailer that pointed to Ellie going out on a search for revenge.
IGN compiled the notable tidbits from the developer discussion held on stage during this year’s PlayStation Experience in Anaheim, California over the past weekend. At the end of the original keynote they aired a cinematic teaser trailer featuring a bloodied and battle-hardened Ellie playing a guitar after steadying her trembling hands.
As noted by IGN, Druckmann revealed that not only would Ellie be taking the lead in the sequel but that the tale would focus around the theme of hate. He explains it right off the bat during the discussion session at PSX 2016. The entire 40 minute session can be viewed below.
For the hearing impaired, Druckmann states…
“If the first [Last of Us] was at the core – the theme was about the love between these two characters, and how we built that through story, interaction, music, gameplay mechanics – this story is the counter to that. This story is about hate, and how we use all those same things to make the player feel that.”
In order to really make people feel hatred for a character, there has to be mechanics there that give them a choice to express or exhibit that hatred. I wonder if this means that there will be more choices in how players interact with NPCs? Choosing to let them live or die, or torture them or let them go free? Expressing hatred is usually about consequence – negative consequence. So I’m curious how they’ll implement that level of consequence into The Last of Us: Part II.
Druckmann also reiterates that “this time you’re playing as Ellie”, so that people have no mistake about who the players will be in control of this time around. Druckmann also explains around the 10 minute mark that the elephant in the room – the ending of the last game – was not something they took lightly with addressing the sequel. Hence, the reason the game is called “Part II” is because it involves the continuation of what happened from the first game.
Druckmann states that The Last of Us: Part II will be part of a much larger tale and a much larger story involving both Joel and Ellie, and the world that they inhabit. He mentions that there was trepidation amongst the crew with returning to that particular duo of characters, but he asked the gaming audience to “trust us” when it comes Naughty Dog continuing the journey of Joel and Ellie.
The experience takes place a few years after the events of the original tale so Ellie is 19 years old. I’m calling it already: some ragtag gang killed her lover and she’s gotta go get revenge.
The game is still early on in development but they have plans on releasing more info throughout the long development phase leading up toward release.