Ellie framed by red light in The Last of Us Part II
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Credit: Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Gaming: The Last of Us Part II trailer; Amazon's Crucible shoots for sci-fi success; Cyberpunk 2077

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May 6, 2020, 10:29 AM EDT

Ellie’s a little older and a lot tougher — and it shows. Naughty Dog and Sony just dropped a new story trailer for The Last of Us Part II, taking fans on an unflinchingly dark tour of what to expect from the sequel to 2013’s breakout PS3 original.

“I know you wish things were different,” intones a grizzled Joel right at the outset. “I wish things were different … But they ain’t.” It’s an ominous setup for the action that follows, which takes Ellie out from Jackson on her own “to bring justice,” according to Sony, to those responsible for shattering a fragile peace that — let’s face it — was never built to last. It’s grim, it’s desperate, it’s brooding, and it forces Ellie into situations where she’ll have to come to terms with those demons within:

PlayStation Europe on YouTube

Yep, it looks like Naughty Dog isn’t shying away from the bleakness that made the first game’s momentary glimpses of triumph and optimism (and heck, even mere survival) stand out. As Ellie tracks down the perpetrators “one by one, she is confronted with the devastating physical and emotional repercussions of her actions,” the studio teases.

For that, we’ll dodge the internet and all those alleged leaked spoilers for the next month straight if we have to. Get ready to strike out among the infected on June 19, when The Last of Us Part II arrives for PlayStation 4.

The fuzzy picture surrounding Amazon’s gaming plans is growing sharper, thanks to the first full-fledged trailer for Crucible, the upcoming space shooter that marks the retail giant’s first independent step into the world of video games.

Amazon is showing off its first up-close look at Crucible, a long-developing sci-fi game whose overall look and feel had largely remained a mystery until recently. Set in a universe where the aliens are hostile and new fights await your “hunter” character on each planet, Crucible appears to take its visual cues from run-and-gun games like Apex Legends, Overwatch, and perhaps even a few tongue-in-cheek, cartoonish sight gags from Fortnite.

Check it out:

PlayCrucible on YouTube

Crucible is also taking a page from the battle royale playbook by releasing as a free-to-play PvP game, featuring three play modes that put players in the shoes of a 10-member team. “Each of Crucible's 10 hunters comes with their own unique set of abilities — how you use them is up to you,” teases Amazon, previewing playable characters with signature skills like “evil genius Tosca with her acid scattergun” and “the robot Bugg and his seed pod turrets.”

Crucible releases on May 20, with early sign-ups already available through Steam. As Amazon’s first proper foray into gaming, it'll be followed by Amazon’s long-developing MMOPRG New World in August, as we wait for more news on Project Tempo — the company’s planned cloud-based gaming platform.

With E3 and other in-person events canceled through summer, game companies are stepping up to make sure players don’t miss the hype train that’s steaming toward the release of new consoles and blockbuster titles.

Microsoft has just unveiled its plans for a digital-only gaming update series it’s calling Xbox 20/20, and it sounds a lot like what Nintendo is doing with its periodic Nintendo Direct video updates.

Via IGN, Xbox 20/20 will kick off this summer with monthly installments that dial in on the upcoming, next-gen Xbox Series X console platform. It’ll also be the place where Microsoft debuts news about its recently ramped-up slate of planned first-party titles, as well as fresh news on hugely anticipated games like Halo Infinite.

With no E3 this year to stage a followup to last year’s scene-stealing walk-on from Keanu Reeves, CD Projekt RED is also taking its show online for Cyberpunk 2077. Via Gamesradar+, the studio is teasing “Night City Wire,” a June 11 digital-only expo that will take the place of the game’s otherwise-inevitable appearance at E3, which also would’ve taken place in June.

In keeping with the carefully orchestrated mystique that surrounds whatever news awaits, the studio hasn’t revealed any details on what to expect (though we’re hoping it’s as breathtaking as last year.) Pushed back from its original April 16 release date, Cyberpunk 2077 is now on track to light up PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia on Sept. 17.