Since it’s announcement three years ago, there’s been a lot of hand wringing over whether or not The Last of Us Part II is even needed. Understandably, people worry a continuation of the story might dilute the first one, particularly the layers of complexities in its iconic and devastating ending.
In the game, it’s been four years since we last left Joel and Ellie and his unspeakable betrayal on top of that hill overlooking the Jackson community they now call home. The demo contrasts an early slice-of-life chapter of Ellie’s new life there, to a later combat-heavy chapter following a catastrophic “event” that sets her on a blood-thirsty path for revenge.
Naughty Dog remained vague on exactly what happens, along with most concrete story details. But there are hints of a war between the FEDRA (remnants of the Marshall Law military from the first game) and the new “Washington Liberation Front” (aka WLF or Wolf) described as a xenophobic group that kills non-conforming people on sight. In the second half of the demo, Ellie finds herself in Seattle, fighting through the Wolves to meet back up with Joel’s brother, Tommy.
“Ellie isn’t a kid anymore. She is a young woman, and we want to honor her as an independent adult — outside of dad’s shadow,” said narrative lead Halley Gross, who branched into games for the first time with Last of Us II after writing on Season 1 of Westworld.
Last of Us II isn’t just a serviceable sequel. By switching the narrative reigns to Ellie instead of Joel, it aims to tell the other side of the story that’s absolutely essential to completing this overarching masterpiece. Check out here for some feedback of playing a three hour long demo by Mashable