You might want to book a week off in June 2020. That is because The Last of Us Part 2 has a new release date and I think it is going to consume our lives.
After an announcement revealing the existence of The Last of Us Part II in December 2016, the game eventually saw some delays as the development team wanted further development time to get it right for the fans, and it was finally announced the game would be released on May 29, 2020 – which unfortunately was been followed by another delay. However, the most recent delay seemed dire, as it was indefinitely delayed. This was due to the Coronavirus, Naughty Dog staff having to work from home, and the state of society (e.g. self-isolation, economic downturn, etc.).
About two weeks ago leaked details of the game’s story became publically known. These details were said to have come from someone inside Naughty Dog. Regardless of the source, there were a lot of story points released. Since that time though, Sony has announced a new release for The Last of Us Part II, and that date is June 19, 2020. I have a feeling the delay is going to be worth the wait though. What is another month after waiting years for a sequel to the original game from 2013?
The Last of Us Part II is a direct sequel to The Last of Us, a game in which not only was it one of the best-selling video games ever, it also won numerous “Game of the Year” awards. Naughty Dog definitely has a lot of pressure on them to create a sequel to a game with that much praise.
Quick reminder as to where we left off in The Last of Us. Joel saved Ellie from the Fireflies who wanted to use her to find the cure for the virus that doomed the world. With Joel saving Ellie it seemed that all hope was lost for that cause. Immediately afterwards, Joel proceeds to lie to Ellie’s face about the events that took place when she questions him about them. These events include him killing the leader of the Fireflies and the possibility of Ellie herself being the cure. I think it is safe to assume that the truth will come out in part two.
With an ending like that, it is easy to see that this is one of the many reasons The Last of Us Part II is so anticipated. Players are left wondering what happens to Joe and Ellie next as they have become extremely emotionally attached. We saw Joel go through such a tough journey, both emotionally and physically, only to find Ellie who he began to care for. Of course, we as the 'player' also find attachment to these two characters. Therefore, with an ending like that, there is a need to find out what happens next.
But The Last of Us was not only a testament to incredible storytelling in a video game. It was also innovative with its core gameplay as well. The game forces players to adapt and learn different techniques in order to progress through the game's chapters. Players can no longer use the “run and gun” method to progress through a level, in fact, the game punishes you by having you repeatedly being caught by various versions of the infected people or getting overwhelmed by a large group should you just try to blast your way through. The Last of Us taught players to think strategically forcing them to weigh out the various options available. For example, a room could be filled with two types of infected (runners and clickers) and you will have to figure out the best way to distract and take down all of them with limited supplies. The great thing about this is that each player will tackle it differently. While some players will use bottles to distract each infected and take them down, others might use a weapon to take out the more dangerous ones first. Throw in the ability to craft items based on things you scavenge for, and the ability to upgrade health/weapon abilities, it all creates an extremely unique experience for each individual player.
Variety, variety, variety. The Last of Us has it all when it comes to variety. While you spend the majority of your playtime with the core two characters, you meet others along the way and even separate for a short period of time. There are sections of the game where you will be exploring a run-down city and looking for supplies, while other sections require you to sneak pass clicker after clicker as your supplies become dwindled.
The pacing of The Last of Us was phenomenal, players are never doing the same thing over and over again, which feels like you are constantly progressing in the game. The different gameplay styles work to the player’s advantage, allowing the different ways you are going to progress. But the game has so much more to offer including crafting abilities which causes players to item manage, and there are a ton of collectables for you collectable hunters.
So, what do we know so far about The Last of Us Part II? We know the game takes place approximately five years after the events of the first game and continues to follow Ellie and Joel. Based on what we have seen in trailers, Ellie is no longer the helpless kid from the first game. She seems to have grown up, learned to play guitar, and has become even more of a badass than that which we have previously seen. While the first game focused on Joel as the main playable character, it seems like with the sequel this will be Ellie’s story.
With having so much unknown about this sequel it just makes the anticipation build, and it has been building for a very long time. Gamers have been wanting a sequel since finding The Last of Us in 2013 and/or The Last of Us Remastered in 2014. And when we finally had a release date, the game got delayed. The agony was felt by everyone, but I think we can all understand Naughty Dog’s decision given the circumstances.
There are so many questions that run through people’s minds while they wait to hear anything about this game. What happened to these characters that we have grown so attached too? Will the gameplay change? How will the game end? Will there be a Last of Us Part Three?
The real question though is that will Naughty Dog will be able to live up to the high expectations and will it compare favorable to a game they originally released quite some time ago that won so many “Game of Year” awards. Is something like that even possible?
With all these things in mind it easy to see why The Last of Us Part II is one of the most anticipated games of this year. The first game is a game that everyone can find something to appreciate in it, even non-gamers. The cinematic elements alongside brilliant storytelling featuring some of the most compelling characters we have seen. Mix in some of the most beautiful and detailed graphics that the PlayStation 3, and 4, has seen, alongside challenging yet rewarding gameplay. It is no wonder The Last of Us Part II is so highly anticipated. Do yourself a favour, stay away from any leaked footage or spoilers and pick up the game on May 29th.