People were excited when US video game company Naughty Dog said more information about The Last of Us Part II would be coming at Sony’s State of Play, a mini-event showcasing the latest from Sony’s first party studios.
Well, much to the joy of fans Naughty Dog finally revealed the release date for its eagerly anticipated zombie post-apocalyptic adventure. The Last of Us Part II will be hitting shelves on February 21, 2020, and like its 2013 predecessor will be a PlayStation exclusive, which will initially be released only for Sony’s PS4 console. It make sense, though, that at some point Naughty Dog will put out a PS5 edition of The Last of Us Part II, taking into account the very likely release of PlayStation 5 sometime next year.
The US game developer had previously said this sequel to The Last of Us will be quite a bit different to their classy 2013 zombie game. Specifically, the tone of Part II will be darker, with lead writer and creative director Neil Druckmann admitting that fans of the first game might not like what’s coming in the sequel. This is because while the first game’s theme was love, Part II will be about hate – and viewing the trailer which Naughty Dog put out during the Paris Games Week back in 2017, it’s clear that protagonist Ellie will be going through a rough ride in this Last of Us sequel.
But while Naughty Dog’s approach to the sequel might put off some players, the fact that this will still be a mostly linear, story-focused game is something that will likely be welcomed by the legion of Last of Us fans out there. And it’s a good thing that Naughty Dog has resisted the temptation to turn The Last of Us into an open world game like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series – the fact this won’t be bothering players will a million side distractions like the typical open world game does will help keep people on the edge of their seats throughout the game, as Neil Druckmann told IGN.
“Unlike an open world game that is usually open all the time, that [type of] game doesn’t work for us for The Last of Us because that loses tension. If I need to go rescue someone, and [the game] says ‘OK go rescue them right now…or do these 10 other things on the side,’ you lose tension”, said Druckmann.
But although this will be more focused than the typical open world game released these days, don’t expect this to be smaller than other Naughty Dog games like the first Last of Us or the more recent Uncharted 4. Actually, according to Druckmann The Last of Us Part II is “the biggest game” Naughty Dog has made to date.
“The story we laid out four years ago is really complex, has a large cast of characters. The core of it is simple, but where it goes and the twist and turns are complex”, said Naughty Dog’s creative director. “We needed more time for cinematics, we needed more locations, we needed more types of enemies. So the scope of it kept growing”, added Druckmann.
Naughty Dog’s upcoming game, then, has the potential to be one of next year’s top sellers, and a game that could convince anyone who hasn’t yet got hold of a PS4 to do so before this hits shelves, as The Last of Us Part II surely is looking like it could be game of the year material when it ships early next year.
Note: The Last of Us Part II will be released on February 21, 2020. Available on PS4.