The Last of Us Part II is one of the most anticipated titles for Sony’s PlayStation 4 console, and it’s nearly here!
The 2013 original was one of the best selling games for the PlayStation 3, and one of the best selling video games of all time.
The 2013 action-adventure game slash zombie-horror nightmare saw you playing as Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting a teenage girl, Ellie, across a post-apocalyptic United States.
It’s one of the most awarded games in history, winning multiple Game of the Year awards, and has sold close to 20 million units worldwide. The sequel will likely see the same success.
Here’s everything you need to know about it:
What is The Last of Us?
The Last of Us, which received near universal acclaim upon its release, remains one of the highest rated games ever on review aggregation sites like Metacritic, and is considered one of the best video games ever made by fans and critics alike.
Praise was directed at its narrative – which mixed tense, action-packed sequences with slower, more tender emotional moments – its gameplay, and its characterisation and depiction of female characters.
Joel had lost his own daughter during a viral outbreak in the game’s prologue, a disease that turned the vast majority of humans into cannibalistic creatures, infected by a mutated fungus.
That set up an interesting relationship between the two characters, and Joel – initially reticent to take on the task – soon develops a strong bond with his precious cargo as they work together to cross the US.
Ellie had been infected with the contagion, which would usually spell certain death for the carrier. However, the girl was seemingly immune to the fungus, something which could help in the production of a cure.
Yet more praise was thrown at its visual and audio design, and The Last of Us was ground-breaking both in terms of graphical and aural fidelity, and its ability to flesh out an atmosphere-drenched virtual world.
The sequel is likely to be just as impressive on all fronts.
What happens in The Last of Us Part II?
Don’t worry, there’ll be no spoilers here; large sections of the sequel’s story recently leaked online, but this writer hasn’t even seen those, so there’s no chance of the game’s narrative being ruined here.
You likely won’t be playing as Joel quite as much as in the first game though.
The grizzled guy has been almost entirely absent from the few trailers we’ve seen from the game up to this point, which have focused nearly exclusively on Ellie.
“This is going to be a larger story,” said Neil Druckmann, the game’s director, at last year’s PlayStation Experience, “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 won’t be pretty, whatever happens. The first game was violent in its nature, but within the context of desperation to survive, and the impact that committing those violent deeds had on the game’s lead characters was fully explored.
Early trailers for the sequel have seen Ellie dishing out violence so bloody, it’s even made fans of the first game uncomfortable.
When can I play it?
The Last of Us Part II will be released for PS4 on 19 June.
There’s been some speculation that the game may also appear on Sony’s next console, and with the PS4 so far into its life-cycle and developers Naughty Dog no doubt eager to impress with the latest graphics, many are predicting the game to release on both current, and next-generation machines.