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The Last of Us Part II State of Play Was Full of Some Good Ole’-Fashioned Brutality

Naughty Dog's sequel is not for the squeamish.


In today’s State of Play Naughty Dog Vice President Neil Druckmann showed off more of The Last of Us Part II. The State of Play started off with the latest story trailer, before Druckmann went into more details concerning how the game starts. Ellie is now 19, and has been able to forge lasting relationships within her and Joel’s new community. The peace is short-lived however, and Ellie leaves to seek retribution. The game will take place in new areas not seen in the last game, such as Seattle in the Pacific Northwest, across many seasons. The goal was to make each city as authentic as possible, apocalypse aside.

The Last of Us Part II will introduce new traversal mechanics to assist with navigation, and they will help Ellie find additional areas, bypass enemies, and even find side stories. It appears like each major location will be a miniature open world, with many segments to explore. In Seattle there will be two different factions Ellie will need to work around, such as the aggressive Seraphites (or Scars). The religious zealots are deeply tribalistic, and use stealth to overcome their enemies.

The Clickers return, and there will be more of the rapid Runners in this entry than in the last one. New are the Shamblers, who will expel a corrosive spore cloud, as well as other more deadly foes Druckmann teased players will have to encounter for themselves when The Last of Us Pat II launches June 19th . The humans have been upgraded as well, and now have guard dogs who can sniff Ellie out.

Since the world is overgrown Ellie can use tall grass to avoid detection, but if enemies get close they will spot her. She can flee with more ease this time around, and re-establish stealth. Or, she can use her more nimble moveset to dodge attacks, and even take people hostage to use as human shields.


There will be allies who assist her along the way that will assist with navigation and taking out enemies. This will come in handy when multiple threats appear on the field, but enemies can be lured into attacking one another to provide Ellie and company a greater chance at survival. The goal was to provide “unparalleled tension” with all these new systems, Druckmann said. Upgrade manuals can be found to improve weapons and equipment, and the workbench system has been overhauled. Ellie can scavenge weapon mods to add to her own arsenal, and to expand the different playstyles on offer. Materials in the environment can still be found to craft items, such as mines, much like in the first game.

Each system was designed to make the journey more immersive, and The Last of Us Part II will be Naughty Dog’s largest game once it drops. After Druckmann wrapped up his segment detailing The Last of Us Part II the State of Play segued into an eight-minute uncut gameplay sequence.

In it we got to see Ellie stealthily swim up to an enemy, whom she interrogated before having to brutally stab her in the neck. We saw her looting materials, slinking through tall grass, and narrowly avoid enemy detection. Ellie was even able to quietly take a human shield, whom she dragged behind cover before cutting his throat. Crafting was done on the fly as well, and every animation was what you could call “indulgent”.  Hell, she even crawled through some vents Solid Snake-style, showing off the far more robust stealth options.

The game was as unflinchingly violent and uncomfortable in action as it has been in the previewed cinematics, which is the tone and mood Naughty Dog have been striving to nail. The Last of Us Part II is shaping up to be a deeply unsettling experience, one about the harrowing toll that comes from unrestrained hatred and a single-minded quest for vengeance. We only have to wait a couple more weeks to see how well the game has shaped up when the review embargo drops June 12th. Story spoilers aside, The Last of Us Part II will be an exhilarating ride.

- This article was updated on:May 27th, 2020

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