Recently, Naughty Dog revealed in no vague terms that Joel would be coming back in The Last of Us Part 2. Thanks to a fleeting appearance in the game’s debut trailer, followed by complete absence in all footage that followed, there were many who were wondering what had become of the first game’s leading man, but now we know for certain that Joel will indeed be back.
And while Naughty Dog have confirmed that he’s going to play a integral role in The Last of Us Part 2’s story – to no one’s surprise – what we do not know yet is how exactly he’s going to come in. Given the events and the ending of the first game, there are plenty of questions about what happened to Joel in the years between the first two games, and how his relationship with Ellie was affected in light of the events of The Last of Us.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, director Neil Druckmann, said that the exact nature of their relationship and what direction Joel’s arc is headed in is something we’ll obviously have to discover ourselves when we play the sequel- though he did say that the choices Joel made in the first game our going to rear their heads in the sequel, implying that because of those choices, the relationship between Ellie and Joel has become strained.
“The weight of the events, the choices made in the first game are coming into the second game,” said Druckmann. “Obviously, Joel is still very capable. This guy has survived for many, many years in this brutal world. How that plays out, you’ll have to wait and see.”
We won’t have to wait too long, thankfully. The Last of Us Part 2 is out on the PS4 on February 21, 2020. You can check out a hefty dose of new gameplay footage through here. Also, here’s every new detail we’ve learned about the game over the past couple of weeks.