2013’s The Last of Us was a masterpiece, rated highly across thousands of critics globally. It’s one of the highest rated PlayStation games of all time on Metacritic, alongside the likes of God of War, Grand Theft Auto 5, and more. The emotional impact left upon its playerbase was a signature move from Naughty Dog – who are known for their deep narratives bringing you into a world unlike no other. Selling over 17 million copies to date, a sequel is warranted beyond doubt, and it is getting just that. At PSX 2016, Sony officially announced The Last of Us: Part II. Little was known about the project until Paris Games Week 2017 – where in-game footage was shown for the first time, revealing nothing to do with Ellie or Joel.
Flash forward to this week’s E3, where Sony finally presented us with 12 minutes of gameplay featuring our beloved Ellie get chased by a pugnacious cult who are out to kill her alongside the brutal victims they had taken before. One scene featured a man get his intestines and guts ripped out of his sliced stomach – not something those with popcorn would like to see. Of course, media had flocked to ask questions about the game, and we got answers. Speaking to The Verge, the game’s co-director Neil Druckmann revealed that The Last of Us: Part II is a tale of revenge, but what could that mean exactly?
Usually, we’d almost immediately snap to the conclusion that Joel has died and Ellie is out for revenge to those who put an end to his life. For all we know, this is the case, but Druckmann wouldn’t straight up say this knowing that it confirms Joel’s demise. Naughty Dog are very specific with what they say prior to game launches – only recently they confirmed that Ellie would be the only playable character just after saying they had no comment, so it’s obvious Druckmann is up to something. This leads me to believe that the hints given out through the trailers and gameplay demo could point to the tale of revenge being about Ellie’s girlfriend, who was presented at the beginning of the E3 demo.
I’m almost certain that the tale of revenge is over her girlfriend dying, not Joel. It would be too obvious for Joel, and the fact that Joel was in the reveal trailer asking her what she’s going to do – she responds “I’m going to kill everyone”. Not just that, but at the beginning of the demo at E3 one of the characters mentions Ellie’s “old man”, so I am almost certain that The Last of Us: Part II will be about getting revenge for the death of Ellie’s love interest. It just makes sense.