The Last of Us Part II is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated titles of the upcoming year. Keeping in mind that Naughty Dog’s past projects have run into time issues, it’s no wonder that the sequel’s previously set release date of February 21st was pushed again for May 29th, 2020.
Naughty Dog’s work has always been praised by fans, and critics alike; whether it’s their thoroughly written storylines, realistic combat experiences, or their exceptionally complex characters – their titles are always worth the wait!
Naughty Dog assures that their new installment is roughly 50% bigger than their previous. A lot of the gaming mechanics have been revamped as a result; for example, the upgrading menus are incredibly well-lit as Ellie actually directs a lamp towards her workbench before tweaking her weapons.
The dismantled gun lays flat across the bench as the camera zooms in, and all modifications are physically done by her: the realism is just unmatched. What’s even intriguing is that there are several skill upgrade paths this time, which can be redeemed by collecting magazines that are dotted across the world.
Last of Us Part 2’s Narrative Lead and Co-Writer, Halley Gross delves into the details of Ellie’s character during an interview PlayStation Magazine and how the different challenges she faces helps develop and evolve her character throughout the game.
What’s even staggering is how The Last of Us Part II brilliantly illustrates this in the cycle of events during its’ gameplay. An excellent example being the way each encounter with an NPC leaves a mark of its own on Ellie’s subconscious. Gross explains it by:
On the one hand we want to develop empathy, but we also want to raise the stakes for Ellie. So, every time you’re experiencing these setups, you have to engage with what would have been a typical NPC. But now, you’ve shot him, and his friend keeps screaming his name, and you have to carry the impact of your violence with you.
While the main protagonist has shifted to another character in the story of this sequel, Naughty Dog’s sheer brilliance to create in-depth, complex character-driven storylines have not. It couldn’t be summed up any better than Gross herself;
Ultimately, this is a story about the cycle of violence, right? But beyond that, it’s a conversation about the effects systemic trauma can have on your soul.
Sounds pretty chilling, no? Clear your calendars for May 2020, because Naughty Dog sure has plans to make the Last of Us Part 2 an emotional rollercoaster to remember!