"The Last of Us is about these two characters specifically."
The Last of Us Part II looks to be the final epic game for the PlayStation 4 before it’s successor arrives at the end of 2020.
Ever since the announcement in 2016, gamers have been excited about the release especially since the massive success of the first game, arguably one of the finest to have ever been released.
There were rumours it would release in 2020 but the likelihood was that it would arrive in 2021 given the scale of the game.
However, at the State of Play event in September 2019, a new trailer for The Last of Us Part II which revealed huge details.
It also revealed that it would release on February 21, 2020. This meant that the PS4 would have at least one more masterpiece before the PS5 comes out.
The upcoming release reintroduces protagonists Joel and Ellie amidst sustained violence.
It looks to be an emotionally heavy story as anger, hate and revenge are the main themes throughout.
With gamers eagerly awaiting its release, we look at the game in more detail as well as the features of the upcoming PS5.
Turning to the PS5
The PlayStation 4 was released in 2013. Since then it has gone on to become the most sold console worldwide.
Gamers have also had the chance to experience some of the most mindblowing exclusive games.
But the console is now reaching the end of its lifespan and the attention has turned to the new console, the PlayStation 5.
It was revealed that the console will release around Christmas 2020. A leaked image indicated that the new console may have a V-shape though there is no confirmation of it.
The console will have a custom SSD storage to cater to the need for faster loading times and larger bandwidth to make games more immersive. It will also support 8K resolution.
One thing is that games will have to be installed but users will have control of how much they want to have installed, such as only installing the multiplayer components of a game.
The new controller was one of the most talked-about aspects as it will now have adaptive triggers instead of the R2 and L2 buttons gamers have been familiar with.
They change resistance as necessary, such as changing the resistance during the action of pulling an arrow back in-game.
The PS5 will support PS4 and PlayStation VR games as it will be fully backwards-compatible.
This means that PS5 users will still be able to enjoy The Last of US Part II but in far more detail.
The Plot of The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the events of the first game and players take control of a 19-year-old Ellie.
The world is overrun with the infected and hostile humans looking to survive.
While gamers got to play as Ellie in some parts of the previous title, she is now the protagonist. But don’t be surprised if we get to play the likes of Joel.
Even though Ellie is now a young woman, that does not stop her from making rash decisions.
It is something which leads her on a deadly revenge mission in what is a major part of the post-apocalyptic adventure.
While the plot has not been fully revealed, it indicates that Ellie goes on a journey of vengeance after her love interest Dina was abducted or killed by a strange cult known as The Seraphites.
We see the events in an extended trailer though we do not know what happens to Dina, all will be revealed when the game comes out.
What we do know is that Ellie goes on a violent path, slaughtering anyone and anything in her way.
Returning characters warn Ellie of the dangers that await. One of those is the hero of The Last of Us, Joel.
In almost all of the released gameplay footage, we did not see Joel which led to many people speculating that he may have died.
However, an aged Joel makes his return in the hope of making Ellie see sense in her actions.
The climax of the previous game saw Joel lie to Ellie about the fate of humanity. We do not know if Ellie found out but her perspective on society is one of hate.
Watch the Release Date Reveal for The Last of Us Part II
Naughty Dog Vice-President and the game’s director Neil Druckmann spoke about the story:
“The Last of Us is about these two characters specifically.”
“‘Part 2’ is saying this is going to be a larger story; it’s going to be a complementary story to the first game, but together, the two combined are going to tell this much larger tale.”
It was likely that The Last of Us Part II would follow what its predecessor did great but the upcoming release takes it up a level.
Many of the core ideas are familiar. Enemies can be tackled with a combination of stealth, gunplay and melee combat.
Players can also avoid the violence and sneak around them with timely distractions.
Ellie can throw bricks, bottles and other items to distract enemies before silently dispatching of them.
However, gameplay appears more nimble as her transitions between cover and combat is more seamless than Joel’s.
But when it comes to violence, the developers have pulled out all the stops when showcasing the brutal reality of it.
The violence is between gritty realism and graphic bloodshed. Its graphic depictions are bound to make some gamers feel uncomfortable but it showcases a harsh world where killing is required to survive.
In terms of using the violence on enemies, they have been developed.
Neil Druckmann said that new infected additions include the Shamblers. They emit clouds of burning acid which will force players to think about how they approach contact.
Human enemies are also more dynamic. Every enemy will have a unique name that their comrades may scream out should they die.
For a more realistic experience, human enemies can become unpredictable and emotional.
They are not alone as some will be accompanied by dogs that will attack. They are quick and tough to takedown. Dogs also pick up on Ellie’s scent, meaning that it won’t be too long before they find out where she is.
The previous game had a huge focus on crafting and it will have a major role once again.
Ellie is now capable of creating ammunition types for use with what she finds in the environment.
This will provide experimental opportunities during enemy encounters, throwing them into a panic before they are systematically picked off.
The gameplay elements are a different approach to stealth but arguably more effective when it comes to creating an immersive experience.
The Game’s Setting
The original game started off in Boston which transformed into a journey across the United States. The end saw them stay at a settlement in Wyoming led by Joel’s brother Tommy.
In The Last of Us Part II, a large part will take place in Seattle but it is unlikely that the story will remain there.
Even though we do not know where the game will take us, the environment is in immense detail.
Settlements, abandoned buildings and dense forests come to life with the stunning graphics and the characters that populate them.
Environments seem far larger, allowing for Ellie to map out strategic plans should enemies be close by.
Enemies have specific routines, like speaking to each other about their lives. They might even mention Ellie, aware that she may be nearby but scared that she might strike at any moment.
Even though a lot has been revealed about The Last of Us Part II, a lot remains a secret, giving an indication about how big the game is.
Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla returns for the sequel, his first which shows how passionate he is about the game.
The music in the first game was epic so it is likely that the music for the upcoming release will be just as powerful.
With the game being a PS4 exclusive, it seems like the console will go out on a high before the PS5 releases at the end of 2020.