Last of Us Part 2 Trailer Breakdown (by SciFi AJ)

Disclaimer : I have made an effort to not include (what I believe to be) any spoilers for The Last of Us in this post. I hope the hype around The Last of Us 2 can encourage players new to the series to play the original and experience it spoiler free!

A quick scroll through The Last of Us’ Wikipedia page will let you know the game won over 240 game of the year awards. IGN gave the game a 10/10, it holds a 95 on Metacritic, and a 9.8 on IMDb (fun fact, IMDb has listings for video games). With such high praise for the original The Last of Us, the upcoming sequel obviously has immense expectations to live up to. 

The latest trailer for the sequel- The Last of Us Part II- was broadcast last night at 9pm EST. It’s a little before 8am EST at the time of me writing these thoughts, and the trailer already has over 2 million views on Playstation’s YouTube channel. The expectations and the hype are real, as they should be. I loved the footage we were given last night and will try to unpack some of it, and my thoughts on it, in the next few paragraphs. 

The scene opens at a possible dance, or perhaps just a social gathering, with Ellie at the forefront. She is approached by a man who seems to be around her age and they discuss their mutual dislike for events of this variety and most notably (to me) mention Ellie’s “old man” who I would assume is Joel. (Considering we don’t see Joel during this footage, I’m thankful he was at least alluded to). 

We also see a potential romantic interest for Ellie- another girl – which I enjoyed for two reasons that came to mind. The first being that a romantic interest could give Ellie more depth as a character- seeing Ellie experience more relationships of any kind can help us relate to her more and care for her more during the course of her journey. The second reason is that it shows the developer's further establishing her position in the LBGT community that was hinted at in the earlier installment’s “Left Behind” DLC. From my personal experience as a gamer, I haven’t seen many LGBT females in games (besides Tracer in Overwatch), so seeing them represented more is a great thing- I felt like Naughty Dog was confirming, “yes, this is who Ellie is,” and I love that statement. 

I really enjoyed this trailer’s gameplay footage. The fact that we’re getting a Last of Us game later in the life of the PS4, considering the first one released on the PS3, is super exciting to me. The game play looks similar enough to the original- the location of the camera behind Ellie, Ellie’s movement through the environment, the heads-up display showing health and an equipped weapon- which I like. Several aspects look advanced though, the most of which to me being the fluidness of the combat. The combat feels beautiful, intense, and almost cinematic. We see Ellie dodge enemy’s melee attacks, grab their melee weapons mid fight and use them against them. Ellie fires her weapon while on her back, smoothly slides between cabinets to evade danger, and crawls underneath a truck to get the drop on adversaries (adding another level to the stealth aspect of the game). We see enemies' facial expressions change after every arrow that strikes them. We see a new and advanced crafting screen with new craft-able weapons- in this trailer an exploding arrow is crafted and shot- the blast radius of which damages nearby enemies allowing Ellie to rush towards them and finish them off. 

Before Ellie begins slicing off the head of  her last adversary, he murmurs something about a “sacrificed lamb." Who is the sacrificed lamb he’s referring to? What’s the end game of him and his comrades? Where have the infected been lurking at in the recent trailers we’ve been given? Where’s Joel and what will his role in this installment be? Maybe the most pressing question to some fans (at least the one I find myself the most interested in), when will the game be released?  

After processing this new footage, I can confidently say my excitement for this game is even higher than before. I’m just thankful to Naughty Dog, Neil Druckmann, and everyone connected with this franchise for giving us more of Ellie’s story, and possibly Joel’s as well. I can see how some people would think a game like The Last of Us doesn’t need a sequel- it stands on its own so, so well- but personally I’m excited to spend more time with these characters and in their world. 

As the last cut scene we received closes out, we see Ellie smile- a smile that struck me as genuine. In the post apocalyptic world Ellie lives in we know moments of joy like that are hard to come by. Considering the experiences we shared with her in the first installment and the brief glimpse we’ve been given at what she’ll deal with in the next one, I hope she can get as many of those moments as possible. 

PS: If you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog!