It wasn’t all that surprising, but it was great to know Naughty Dog is continuing The Last of Us franchise. We see an older Ellie and an older Joel. The five years between the games has hardened Ellie. Her calloused hands tell of a rough five years. And from our first look at the game, Ellie is continuing down a road fueled by hate.

Man, Naughty Dog knows how to get us pumped for a game. And I love the ‘Part II.’ It’s easy enough to slap a ‘2’ on the end and call it a day. ‘Part II’ is a tiny tweak, but it works great.

Ellie is the focus

“Joel was the star in the first, Ellie is the star in this one,” said creative director Neil Druckmann in a panel discussion over the weekend. “Ellie plays differently from Joel.” Based on the body count in the announcement trailer, it doesn’t look like Ellie will play all that differently.

Druckmann also touched on the theme in Part II. “If the first game was really about the love between these two characters, this story is the counter of that,” says Druckmann. “This story is about hate, through Ellie this time.”

The Last of Us part 2 artwork

As for how the sequel plays off the original’s ambiguous ending? Druckmann wants their fans to “put some faith in us.”

“You have to understand that no one loves these characters more than we do, wand we would not do this if we didn’t feel like we didn’t have the right idea,” says Druckmann.

Gustavo Santaolalla will score The Last of Us Part II

Nice. Gustavo killed it with the main theme in the first game. And I can’t wait to see where Gustavo takes it from here. How the game’s shift in theme plays into the music.

Westworld writer will help pen story

After watching last night’s season finale, all I can say is hell yes!

Halley Gross wrote The Adversary (episode 6) and Trompe L’Oeil (episode 7). The latter was the Bernard reveal and one of Westworld’s strongest episodes. And now I really can’t wait for The Last of Us Part II. Also, if you’re not watching Westworld – change that. You’re missing out on one of the best shows out there right now.

The game is in the early development stages

While it was great to get confirmation of a new game in the franchise, we won’t be playing it anytime soon. I’m guessing holiday 2017 at the earliest. Maybe even later.

When we do play it, though, it will surely be a technical masterpiece. The Last of Us Part II will be Naughty Dog’s first game since the PS4 Pro hit stores. The devs hit a few bumps bringing their older titles to PS4 Pro. But, I can’t wait to see what they can do when they know the hardware they’re dealing with.

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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