Joel Will Return in The Last of Us 2, Release Date Now Official

The Last of Us 2 Joel

The Last of Us 2's release date is finally official after months of speculations and rumors, thanks to a reveal from Naughty Dog during Sony's PlayStation 4 State of Play September stream earlier today. The Last of Us 2 has been in development for some time and is expected to form the backbone of the early 2020 release schedule for Sony alongside Final Fantasy 7 Remake in a final push for the PS4's exclusive dominance ahead of the next console generation.

The Last of Us 2 has been teased endlessly in the last week by Naughty Dog, as the developer continued to release cryptic Twitter reveals that featured ominous images and unattributed quotes that hint at what the story direction for the new game might look like. It certainly appears to be a narrative fueled by revenge to some extent, as many of the reveals have centered around clearly used weapons and statements that indicate a desire to kill or avenge. The Last of Us 2 will be one of the biggest releases of 2020 and will finally continue Ellie and Joel's journey, although in the interim between the first game and this one, many have come around to the idea that Ellie is a protagonist while even Joel's own voice actor believes he's more of a villain, or at least a misguided individual.

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Related: The Last Of Us 2: 6 Characters Confirmed (And 4 We'd Like To See)

Fans will get to make up their own minds with more evidence when The Last of Us 2 releases on February 21, 2020, as revealed during the PlayStation 4 State of Play presentation earlier. Naughty Dog's game will immediately become one of the most important releases that month, and will slot nicely into an early 2020 release schedule that looks completely stacked. With a release date finally attributed to the game, fans can expect more information to come out at a quicker pace, especially in the months closest to the release date on either side of 2020. The trailer also made the shocking revelation that Joel is, in fact, alive - or, at the very least, Ellie thinks he is, though it seems pretty clear he can physically interact with her in the trailer.

Naughty Dog also revealed a new trailer that showed Ellie's new adult life, including a love interest and a civilized area that looks a lot like a western movie. Civilization has appeared to grow stronger since the events of The Last of Us, although the trailer isn't that optimistic, either, as it appears Ellie suffers a big loss early in the story and must now take down a group responsible for it.

The Last of Us 2 is going to be huge - it's predecessor is widely regarded as one of the best PS3 releases of all-time, and the PS4 version performed strongly in sales too, indicating fans were eager for a follow-up in the current generation of consoles. That follow up has taken a lot longer than many expected, as The Last of Us released in 2013, which means it will be close to seven years after the first game when The Last of Us 2 finally releases. That won't matter to series veterans or new fans interested in the game, though - as long as The Last of Us 2 is of a similar quality to its predecessor, few would suggest it wasn't worth the wait.

Next: The Last Of Us 2 Inspired By Netflix's End Of The F***ing World

Source: PlayStation 4 State of Play September

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