Right on schedule, Sony unveiled a fresh world premier gameplay trailer for The Last of Us Part 2 during their E3 showcase. The demo presents Ellie embroiled in a teenage love triangle at a party culminating in a kiss with the impish Dina. Without skipping a beat, we see a radically different facet of Ellie as she navigates the vestiges of a long forgotten city or town reclaimed by nature, and brutally deals with a clique of humans very much into hanging and disemboweling people. The trailer then jumps back to the party and the embrace between the two women.
Other than confirming Ellie as a playable character, the trailer also gives a taste of the combat and stealth mechanics of The Last of Us Part 2. Armed with a knife, a gun, bow. and arrows, Ellie uses the environment around her in innovative ways to remain concealed, including hiding under an abandoned car, creeping through dense foliage, and scuttling between the dark recesses of an abandoned shopping space to evade her pursuers. The enemies seem smarter and better organized, conscious of Ellie’s movement and eager to capitalize on their numerical advantage. Naughty Dog confirmed this, saying ‘human enemies you’ll encounter are now more threatening and capable, using sophisticated communication and environmental awareness to create intense, more dynamic stealth and head-on combat encounters.’
As expected, stealth is a central pillar of the sequel and the demo is essentially a demonstration of the myriad ways Ellie can take down enemies as efficiently, and quietly, as possible. Though if discovered, she is more than capable of fending for herself in all out scuffles by using environmental objects as momentary distractions, looting enemies for better weapons, and dodging attacks. Throughout the trailer, Ellie sustains a few injuries, which manifest themselves in her movements thereafter. Coupled with some fluid acrobatics and vaulting animations, it’s hard not to feel part of the action and sense the fear coursing through Ellie’s body as she fights to survive. The new UI looks responsive and well structured from what we can see.
The demo was propped up by a post on PlayStation.Blog by Naughty Dog director Neil Druckmann, who provides more details on the narrative arc underpinning The Last of Us Part 2. He says ‘Ellie is now 19 and has found a semblance of peace and normality living in Jackson. She’s had a chance to be a teenager and forge lasting relationships. When that peace is disrupted by a violent act, Ellie is thrust into a brutal journey of retribution, fueled by a need to bring those that have wronged her to justice, pushing her to her very limits.’
The trailer makes no mention of a release date nor was it mentioned during the showcase, the game is, however, set to feature again during E3 so keep your ears pricked for a few more details as the week unwinds.