“Here there was this opportunity not only to tell what we thought was a very important message that we believe in, but to flesh out a complex character in even more interesting and nuanced ways.”
A lot of people have questioned the existence of The Last of Us Part 2. The original game told a perfect story with an ambiguous ending that needed no follow-up whatsoever; it was successful enough that a sequel existing isn’t too surprising, but a direct sequel that follows the story of Ellie and Joel further? When their stories are apparently done? Why?
Speaking to people who have concerns such as those ones (which, I admit, includes me as well), Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann Game Informer that the game would not have been made if Naughty Dog didn’t feel like it had an important story to tell, and something important to say, to begin with.
“We wouldn’t make a sequel unless we felt like there was something equally important to tell. Even when we did Left Behind, there was that fear of, ‘Are we hurting this?’ Left Behind was a huge success, and fleshed out the characters further,” Druckmann said. “Here there was this opportunity not only to tell what we thought was a very important message that we believe in, but to flesh out a complex character in even more interesting and nuanced ways. And if we’re going to do that, you can’t ignore that ending. You can’t just shy away from it.”
I think I have my reservations, but on the other hand, I think Druckmann has earned the benefit of the doubt at this point- I have faith in him and his ability as a storyteller enough that I am willing to put aside my fears for now, and see where he wants to take us all in his next game.