The saga of Joel and Ellie went down into the history books as one of the most heart-rending, emotional journeys in the gaming world, and many are waiting on tenterhooks to see how The Last of Us II will carry on the duo’s legacy. Sony’s newest State of Play video has given us a brief glimpse of what to expect from the highly-anticipated post-apocalyptic sequel, which will feature a mix of both brand-new and familiar elements, such as Ellie’s swimming ability (something she couldn’t do in the first game), and the continued trend of crawling behind cover to hide from threats.
Here’s everything that was unveiled in the session, ranging from map details and combat mechanics, to 24 glorious minutes of gameplay.
Game locations and map details
- The Last of Us Part II kicks off with Joel and 19-year-old Ellie leading a peaceful life in Jackson, Wyoming, several years after the events of the first game.
- The game is set to span over multiple seasons and climates, including Jackson’s snow-capped mountains, and the lush Pacific Northwest.
- Several real-life locations, such as Seattle, will be carefully detailed and modelled in the game.
- Map exploration is made easier with horse and boat travel.
- In addition to jumping, Ellie can use ropes to reach certain areas or find hidden secrets.
- Expect a massive game world, one that’s touted to be some of the biggest creations from the studio’s developers.
Enemy types and factions : A breakdown
- One of Ellie’s greatest threats is the Washington Liberation Front, an armed group that once freed Seattle from the military, but has now become a tyrannical ruler of the American state.
- Appearing in the very first trailer of The Last of Us Part II, the Seraphites are otherwise known as “Scars”, and comprises of cloaked religious zealots who specialise in stealth combat and camouflage.
- New infected types are poised to make an appearance in the sequel, each with their own abilities. Shamblers, for instance, will expel a spore cloud when hit, resulting in a possible burn status, depending on Ellie’s position.
- The most horrifying infected type made its presence known, but only as a loud, terrifying roar heard over a black screen.
- Enemy NPCs are now smarter, and will possess scent-tracking abilities.
- Ellie’s athletic, lean stature makes her more agile than her enemies, so she will be able to dodge and counter them during fights.
- The large, open map gives players the choice to either sneak around and avoid combat situations, or use the environment to their advantage.
- Ellie will sometimes be joined by various allies while in combat, and in other parts of the game.
- Unique fighting styles can be developed through a skill upgrade and weapon system.
- Weapon customisation now extends to the scavenging of parts.
Gameplay demo highlights
- Ellie is first seen diving into a lake to avoid detection from her surrounding threats, before surfacing behind her enemy.
- A silencer can be added to the pistol for stealth kills, but also to take enemies hostage.
- Explosive and traps continue to be valuable tools in combat.
- When trying to open locked doors, enemies will attack Ellie, which adds a touch of realism (because really, why would the enemy wait when they can kill you off immediately?).
- Gameplay is interspersed with scripted sequences, and transitions into cinematic sequences during select times. In the grander scheme of things, this means a seamless blend of gameplay and cinematics can be expected.
That’s plenty of information to take in, and it seems The Last of Part II will retain much of its predecessor’s DNA. Ellie is clearly the star of the latest State of Play, but Joel’s fate as a player-controlled character is still unknown, although there’s a chance of that happening – he has, after all, appeared in some of the pre-released footage. With the game set to release on 19 June 2020, the answer to that will surface soon.