In The Last Of Us 2 "No One Is Safe," Director Says

Will Joel or Ellie die in the PlayStation 4 sequel? It could happen, Neil Druckmann says.

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Now Playing: The Last Of Us Part II - PGW 2017 Trailer

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Speaking this weekend during PlayStation Experience, Naughty Dog teased the story of The Last of Us: Part II and more. Asked by the interviewer if Joel is dead or alive, writer/director Neil Druckmann teased, "Everybody dies at some point."

More seriously, he said no character is safe in The Last Of Us: Part II. "There are stakes--there are real stakes," he explained. "With The Last of Us, no one is safe. We want people to go into The Last of Us: Part II, especially with this theme [of hate] and what we're trying to say with this game, is knowing that no one is safe--not even these two [Joel and Ellie]."

Whereas the main theme of The Last Of Us 1 was love, the theme of the sequel is "hate," and that was pretty clearly demonstrated in the brutal new trailer from Paris Games Week.

Also during the panel, writer Halley Gross (Westworld) talked about how she enjoyed the collaborative writing process that she's been involved with to make "the best game ever" in The Last Of Us: Part II. Intriguingly, Druckmann said he was happy with the story beats he had in place for the start and end of the game, but he was struggling to come up with story elements to fill out the middle. Gross hit the ground running, Druckmann said, contributing great ideas for how the story should play out.

Druckmann wanted to give the PSX audience an example of what he meant by this, and, after fidgeting in his seat he relented and gave a very interesting tease. He said of writer Halley Gross, "After her first day, Halley goes home and says to her husband, 'I think I got someone pregnant.' And you'll see what that means [in The Last Of Us: Part II]."

Also during the panel, Druckmann said that while the game has an overarching theme of hate, there are elements of hope, as well as some lighthearted scenes. Overall, the game tells a story about "pursuing justice; the positive and the negative and the really messy grey area that can occupy that," Druckmann said.

Below are some other things Druckmann said about The Last Of Us: Part II during the PSX panel. You can watch the full panel above; it starts with a moving musical performance by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson.

  • A "large part" of the game takes place in Seattle.
  • Naughty Dog is about 50-60 percent finished with The Last Of Us: Part II
  • Actress Laura Bailey, who plays an unnamed character, says she feels like she wants to throw up every day on set because she wants to live up to the expectations.
  • Fans of the first game might not like the sequel, Druckmann said.
  • "We will forever continue to make single-player, linear, narrative-based games," Neil Druckmann said.
  • More details on The Last Of Us: Part II are coming at E3 2018.

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