Five years ago, game developer Naughty Dog unleashed an unparalleled post-apocalyptic survival experience that delivered on both scares and feels: The Last of Us. The fungal zombies were no match for the love felt between Ellie (Ashley Johnson) and Joel (Troy Baker) as they tried to stay alive in a version of America neither of them recognized anymore.
Five years later, Naughty Dog is ready to return to this hellish nightmare of our planet with The Last of Us Part II. To capitalize on E3, the developer released an 11-minute trailer of a cut scene and some gameplay, which starts off with Ellie, now older and tattooed, at some kind of square dance in a barn, where she now has a female love interest. As they slow dance and share a passionate kiss, Ellie's girlfriend notes that others should be terrified of Ellie.
The trailer then cuts to her in a drab forest setting, taking out a band of murdering and marauding human survivors like she was born to do it, smashing glass bottles on their heads and, in one case, using a person as a human shield against arrows.
Take a gander at her skills in the video below:
There's no definite release date for The Last of Us Part II, but the cut scene and gameplay in the trailer above look stunning and beautifully rendered. While Joel was the main focus of the first game, Ellie will take the spotlight for the sequel. She'll also be following a different set of motivations, compared to Joel's need to protect and bond with her.
"If the first game, the theme was the love between these two characters... This story's the counter of that. It's about hate," said director Neil Druckmann in 2016.
"So much thought went into this — I know there's trepidation about going back to these characters," he added. "We feel that as well. No one loves these characters more than we do, and we wouldn't do it if we didn't have the right idea... The Last of Us is about these two characters. All I ask is that fans of the first one put some faith in us — we're going to do right by you."