The Last of Us Part II‘s Brutal Reveal

Sony’s new gameplay trailer shows off a lot

As one of the most critically acclaimed games ever released on the PS3, it was no surprise when The Last of Us was remastered for PS4. More surprising however, was the announcement in 2016 that a sequel would be released for the game, The Last of Us Part II. Since then, fans have been waiting impatiently for the sequel’s release, which takes place five years after the original events of The Last of Us.

With a trailer released last year, and a gameplay trailer finally released this year, Sony’s E3 conference gave the first good look of The Last of Us Part II and what it’s all about, despite there still being no release date announced. Details like the return of Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson as Joel and Ellie had already been confirmed for the game, but the trailer showed some of the upcoming sequel’s gameplay. The Last of Us Part II will feature Ellie as the primary controllable character, rather than Joel like in The Last of Us.

The trailer starts off with Ellie watching a party go on in front of her, before a man comes up and start talking to her. They exchange pleasantries before another woman takes Ellie and they start to dance. As they sway in each other’s arms, Ellie says into the distance, “I’m just a girl, not a threat,” before the woman replies, “Ellie, they should be terrified of you.” As the two start to kiss, the image quickly fades away, replaced by Ellie struggling against a man before she finally slits his throat. It’s a powerful and unnerving transition, one that shows Sony wanted the brutal nature of The Last of Us Part II to be featured at E3.

The gameplay continues with Ellie sneaking around in a lush, dark forest, as she avoids a group of men who clearly look like trouble. Later, she comes across the men questioning another man who is being hanged, before they stab him in the stomach. Soon the gameplay transitions into an overgrown city, where Ellie further sneaks around, before fighting several men and women. The gameplay ends with an intense stand off in a rundown convenience store, with Ellie killing the final enemy with an axe blow to the neck.

The trailer then seamlessly fades back to the opening scene at the party, where the woman kissing Ellie says, “see, I told you, they should be terrified.” Without there being a whole lot of gameplay revealed in the trailer, it appears as if the game does carry a lot of the same elements that The Last of Us had, with a third person perspective and cover mechanics.

The environments look both lush and harsh, accentuating the evident opposing themes of love and hate in the trailer. Watching the E3 reveal, there appears to be no reason to be concerned about the PS4, as the grey and sullen colour of the world is brought to life in the gameplay. The further contrast of the bright colours in the party that frames the trailer, with the dark and slate tones of the gameplay create a jarring and noticeable mood. It seems, somehow, that The Last of Us Part II is posed to be darker and more visceral than its predecessor.

It was a powerful and evocative reveal from Sony, as it seems strongly positioned to be another mega-hit for Naughty Dog. Tonally however, The Last of Us Part II looks like it will be more nuanced than its predecessor, with the contrasting nature of love, tenderness and violence strongly featured in the trailer. The brutality featured both in the E3 trailer, and the trailer released last year, make it likely that The Last of Us Part II receives a high ESRB rating. Make no mistake, this is not a game for children.

As violent and emotionally potent as the original The Last of Us was, it seems possible that Naughty Dog’s sequel is even more powerful and brutal. Despite the release date still being unannounced, gamers are anticipating its eventual release either this year or 2019, as it is one of the more important console exclusives that Sony possesses. Only one question remains though. Where are all the zombies?