The Last of Us Part II is one of the most highly anticipated games appearing at E3 2018. As one of the four major games Sony intends to focus on during its press conference, we're expecting to gain a lot of new insights and hopefully see a bunch of fresh gameplay. To prepare for what's ahead, let's breakdown what we already know about The Last of Us Part II, and what we're hoping to see at this year's E3.
What We Know So Far
After Naughty Dog wowed us with The Last of Us in 2013, many naturally yearned for a sequel. But given how conclusive the game's story felt, the chances of a new entry didn't seem likely. Some discussion had surfaced about the possibility of a follow-up, but Naughty Dog ultimately claimed it was focusing on the development of the Uncharted franchise.
So when Sony announced The Last of Us Part II at PSX 2016, fans went wild. The initial reveal trailer confirmed that both Joel and Ellie would be returning as the game's protagonists. According to co-director Neil Druckmann, the game's story will center around the theme of hate, which stands in stark contrast to the original's focus on love. In addition, you'll be playing as Ellie instead of Joel this time around.
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A second trailer shown at Paris Games Week 2017 revealed four new characters: Yara, Lev, Emily, and an unnamed character played by actress Laura Bailey (Uncharted 4, Gears of War 4). Aside from what was shown in the trailer, we've heard little about the background of these characters. However, Druckmann has mentioned that they'll play key part in Joel and Ellie's next journey.
In terms of production, Druckmann will be co-directing the game alongside Anthony Newman (Uncharted 4 lead game designer) and Kurt Margenau (Uncharted: The Lost Legacy director). Actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson are both set to reprise their roles as Joel and Ellie. In addition, musician Gustavo Santaolalla is returning to compose the game's score.
What's Confirmed For E3?
Sony has confirmed that it'll discuss The Last of Us Part II in detail at its E3 2018 press conference. It's one of the four games the company had stated it'll be showcasing in-depth at this year's show.
What We Hope To See At E3
Though we've seen two trailers showcasing The Last of Us Part II's new visuals and darker story, the developers at Naughty Dog have avoided sharing too much about the game. At E3 2018, we'd love to see gameplay footage showcasing new combat and stealth mechanics, as well as general improvements over the original. Companion AI was a point of contention in the first game, so it would be great to see how that has been addressed.
Naughty Dog is going for a more darker tone with the The Last of Us Part II's narrative. We're hoping to see how this approach manifests itself in moment-to-moment gameplay. The second trailer drew criticism for its depiction of violence. Hopefully, the latest trailer will offer more context about the game's world and its current state of affairs--or at least something to address people's concerns about the grim direction it's taking.
In addition, we'd love more clarification on the general story and what you'll be doing as Ellie and Joel. Why is Ellie on a hate-fueled quest for revenge? Did Joel tell Ellie about what he did to bust her out of the hospital? We're certain that these questions won't be fully answered at the press conference, but we'd love to hear some more information concerning the aftermath of the original.
The Last of Us' story has often been the center of many people's memories of the game. However, people often forget that it also had a rather unique survival-focused multiplayer mode. We're hoping Naughty Dog confirms that the sequel will include this feature, as well as discuss new modes. With the recent boom in popularity over battle royale games, it would admittedly be interesting to see how that mode might work in a Last of Us multiplayer experience. After all, the game's premise and scavenging mechanics does seem to align with the genre's long-established tenets.
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