The Last of Us Part 2
Developer: Naughty Dog
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: June 19, 2020
The Last of Us Part 2 is an action adventure video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony.
Development on The Last of Us Part 2 began in 2014, shortly after the launch of The Last of Us Remastered on the PS4. Key members involved in the first game return for the second one, including creative director Neil Druckmann, composer Gustavo Santaolalla, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson (who portrayed Joel and Ellie in the first game), and Jeffrey Pierce (who played Joel’s brother Tommy in the first game).
Bruce Straley, who was co-director on the first game, left Naughty Dog in 2017 and was no longer involved in the sequel. Instead, Anthony Newman and Kurt Margenau – melee combat designer on the first game and game director on Uncharted: The Lost Legacy respectively – were promoted to co-game director. Westworld writer Halley Gross joined as co-writer alongside Druckmann. Actor Shannon Woodward – also known for her work on Westworld – also joined the game’s cast in the role of Dinah.
The Last of Us Part 2 was officially unveiled by Sony at the PlayStation Experience event in December 2016, where it was confirmed that the game would feature the first game’s secondary protagonist Ellie as the primary playable protagonist instead of Joel. Creative director Neil Druckmann said that while the first game focused on a central theme of love, the sequel would have a central theme of hate.
Naughty Dog have said that The Last of Us Part 2 is the longest and most ambitious gam they have ever made, and about 50 per cent longer than its predecessor. During development, as he scope of the project grew, the studio decided that it would be a single player-only experience, and that it would, as such, not feature the Factions multiplayer mode, allowing the team to focus fully on the game’s single player component. However, Naughty Dog also assured that they had ideas for what to do with Factions, and though it would not be included in The Last of Us Part 2, the mode would eventually return.
During the game’s development, reports also arose of crunch at the studio resulting in long hours of work by the studio’s employees, thanks to a long culture of crunch at the studio. Reportedly, due to this culture of crunch, the studio had faced a massive turnover of employees after Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End had wrapped up development, leading to many veterans and experienced developers leaving the time, and this had resulted in The Last of Us Part 2’s development being prolonged.
In September 29, 2019, Sony announced that The Last of Us Part 2 would release on February 21, 2020. However, just less than a month afterward, following reports of the same, it was confirmed that the game had been delayed to allow for more time for development and polishing, and would instead release on May 29, 2020. The game received its ESRB age rating in February, which revealed that it would be the first Naughty Dog game ever with nudity and sexual content.
The game was delayed once again, with Sony postponing its release indefinitely in April 2020. This was done to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Naughty Dog and Sony citing “logistical” reasons for the shipping and distribution of physical copies of the game around the world. April also saw significant portions of the game’s ending and story being leaked online. Promptly afterward, Sony announced a new release date for the game (though did not confirm if this was in response to the leaks) as June 19, 2020.
The Last of Us Part 2 takes place five years after the first game, and begins in Tommy’s settlement at Jackson County, Wyoming, where Ellie and Joel have been living and have become part of the community. The relationship between the two is strained due to the events of the previous game, while Ellie has formed friendships with other residents of the settlement, including a young woman named Dinah. Things are set in motion when Ellie and Dinah leave for a routine supply run but are ambushed by a mysterious and violent new group of people, which sets Ellie off on a quest for vengeance that takes her across the country.
Similar to the first game, The Last of Us Part 2 is a third person action adventure game that also features prominent stealth and survival horror mechanics. Ellie is required to sneak past enemies or stealthily take them down, and can also be involved in direct combat, which also includes melee fights. She also scavenges items from the environment, including ammunition and health, as well as items that she uses for crafting, progression, or customization and upgrades of her weapons.
Unlike Joel in The Last of Us, in the sequel, Ellie has much more mobility. This allows her to jump across gaps, climb up ledges in more vertical levels, go prone and crawl underneath vehicles or through tall grass, and also aim her weapon while she is lying prone. These abilities are used for combat, stealth, and traversal. The Last of Us Part 2 also has a dedicated dodge button, which comes into play during melee combat.
Similar to previous Naughty Dog games Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, The Last of Us Part 2 features several larger, non-linear, open-ended areas that allow greater room for exploration and allow players to take on optional activities. The developers have said that these sections feature various combat encounters, scripted sequences, story moments, and more, that can be entirely skipped by players should they wish to do so.
Naughty Dog have introduced various improvements to the first game. Artificial intelligence has received an overhaul across the board, with enemies communicating much better with each other and being more tactical and aggressive during both stealth and combat. Companion AI, a point of criticism for the first game, has also been improved, and companion characters now obey the rules of stealth, while also being more effective during combat encounters.
Progression mechanics are also given greater depth, with players investing in three separate branches of skill trees, with each pertaining to crafting, stealth, and survival, and providing various unique advantages, such as better range in Listen mode, crafting stun bombs, improved health, unlocking pistol silencers, greater movement speed while crawling, and more. Weapons can also be customized and equipped with various parts, including different scopes, magazines, stocks, hammers, grips, muzzles, and more to improve various stats, such as reload speed, rate of fire, stability, ammo capacity, damage, recoil, and more. According to the developers, the improved upgrade and customization mechanics in The Last of Us Part 2 allow players to cater to their preferred play style much more than the first game.
The Last of Us Part 2 also introduces some new enemies, such as dogs used by human enemies that track Ellie through smell during stealth sequences, as well as Shamblers, a new type of Infected that has thick armour-like plating from its fungal overgrowths and can attack players by releasing noxious fumes. Various other gameplay tweaks have also been confirmed, such as the shivs and their durability mechanic being removed and being replaced by Ellie’s switchblade, which is a permanent weapon, or Ellie being hampered in movement and aiming when she is shot by an arrow and having to manually pull the arrow out, and more.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.