Now that its existence is all but confirmed – after shipping over 8 million units, it’s practically guaranteed – Naughty Dog has begun to talk slightly more openly in relation to The Last of Us 2. At least in terms of brainstorming ideas for the sequel, that is.
In the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine (via GamesRadar), Creative Director Neil Druckmann spoke briefly about the follow-up, which has largely been kept under wraps ever since the studio pumped out the original, heart-wrenching tale of Joel and Ellie. What’s interesting, though, is that Druckmann notes that both he and Bruce Straley mapped out potential avenues for The Last of Us with and without the two main protagonists, fuelling the convincing rumors that a sequel could center on an entirely new branch of the studio’s apocalypse.
“The answer is – and this is totally honest, and I’ve said this in the past – that when Bruce (Straley) and I moved over to Uncharted 4, we were brainstorming ideas for The Last Of Us 2 with new characters; ideas for TLOU 2 with Joel and Ellie; ideas for a sci-fi game; ideas for a fantasy game, and building prototypes for each one of those ideas. And just as we were getting close to settling or narrowing that list down, we were asked to work on Uncharted 4.”
Truth be told, back in 2013, the ending to The Last of Us left many fans pining for more from Joel and Ellie’s adventure, having their appetites sated somewhat with the release of prequel DLC Left Behind. Even still, Naughty Dog’s bold conclusion is really a fitting ending that moulds with the themes of its Cordyceps-ridden world, and the concept of picking up the stories of brand new characters is surely the more interesting path to take.
With or without Joel and Ellie, The Last of Us 2 remains behind closed doors for now, though Naughty Dog fans will surely be looking to the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, primed to hit PS4 on March 18, 2016.