The Last of Us
Developer: Naughty Dog
Platforms: PS3, PS4
Creative director Neil Druckmann says finding new and interesting stories to tell in the series gets exponentially harder with each new entry.
The Last of Us Part 2 only just came out, but with a series as massive as this, there’s always going to be questions and discussions about what the future holds. Given the game’s strong critical reception and the excellent start it seems to have gotten off to in terms of sales, it’s likely that Sony will want Naughty Dog to make a sequel some time in the future. But as far as Neil Druckmann – series co-creator and creative director of both games – is concerned, it’s not a question of potential sales, but of finding interesting stories to tell that warrant a sequel.
In a recent interview with Indie Wire, when asked about a potential The Last of Us Part 3, Druckmann explained that another sequel would have to go through the same test Part 2 went through- whether or not Naughty Dog can find more new and interesting ways to tell a story rather than treading old ground. According to Druckmann, that was already hard enough with Part 2, and will become exponentially harder with Part 3. He says that “currently”, he does not have ideas for how to do that.
“I’ll be a little vague and cagey as you can expect, but I think the test for whether or not to make a Part III would have to be a similar test to what we did with Part II,” Druckmann said. “With the first game there were no expectations and it was like we could do anything. But now that we’ve established certain characters and themes and processes, it felt like to justify making a Part II we had to do something not that fans would just be comfortable with, but do something that would match the emotional core we found in the first game. And without that, there’d be no reason to do a Part III.”
“Finding it with the sequel was much harder than it was with the first game, and going forward it would be exponentially harder to justify going back to that world and finding a way to vary things up,” he continued. “There’s already so many things you’ve seen about the backstory, about how the outbreak happens, so we’d really have to figure out how to create a new experience that matches the emotional impact of these stories and I don’t know what that is. Currently.”
Without heading into spoiler territory here, The Last of Us Part 2 does have some narrative threads that seem to be opening doors for another story to be told- but the game by no means screams for a sequel, just as the first game didn’t. That said, recently, Druckmann said that his next game could possibly be The Last of Us Part 3, so at least it’s something he’s given some thought to.
In the meantime, The Last of Us Part 2 is available now on PS4. Read our review of the game through here.