The Last of Us Part II is one of next year's most highly anticipated games, and developer Naughty Dog knows how important it is to get character details right. When The Last of Us was first released on the PlayStation 3 in June 2013, players immediately became attached to the game's two main characters, Joel and Ellie, and while the player-controlled protagonist of the story may have changed in this upcoming sequel, Naughty Dog's determination to create powerful, complex character-driven stories has not.
Much has been revealed about The Last of Us Part II since it's initial announcement in 2016, but only recently has Naughty Dog offered at behind the scenes look at the game's development. While the game may be missing The Last of Us' multiplayer, at least in the same fashion, the game is planned to feature a number of useful new companions for Ellie and a naming system for NPCs which Naughty Dog hopes will make killing them even more mentally troubling.
In an interview which originally appeared in the PlayStation Official Magazine and was reported on by WCCFTech, The Last of Us Part II's Narrative Lead and Co-Writer Halley Gross stated everyone at the company is working towards the same vision of making "the most complex, nuanced character in a video game" ever. She praised the intelligence of the game's designers, animators, and artists, saying "They're wizards."
Gross goes on to talk about how Ellie's trauma will impact the way she engages with the world around her, and how the different challenges she will face help to grow and evolve the character. "It's love that sends her on this mission for justice," Gross said, adding "Part of writing is, unfortunately, torturing your characters." While the development team seems just as eager to see Ellie grow up as fans are, Gross assured players Naughty Dog is "Certainly not going to coddle her."
While a vague story synopsis of The Last of Us Part II has been revealed by the developers, players will have to wait until the game's February 21st, 2020 release date before they find out just what torturous situations Ellie will find herself in. The Last Of Us was praised by critics and gamers alike for its well-written, thoughtful story, beautiful environments, and tense, realistic-feeling combat encounters. and its long-awaited sequel looks to be doubling down on every single one of those aspects. With the upcoming title reportedly coming on two discs because it's so massive, The Last of Us Part II will have lots of chances to prove Naughty Dog can create some of the most complex characters in gaming.