The Last of Us Part II is coming out next week, at last, after six years of development and a couple of noteworthy delays. We'll have our review of the game up on Friday at 12:01 AM Pacific Time, but in the meantime, here are some additional tidbits shared by Naughty Dog ahead of the launch.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Game Director Neil Druckmann more than hinted that fans might be in for quite a few shocks coming from the ending of the first game.
The first game is so sacred. The ending is so sacred. People are always like, ‘Do another one but focus on all-new characters.’ Or like, ‘Do it in, like, Europe. Or do it in Japan. Do something really different. That felt like a coward’s way out. To me, at that point, you might as well just do a new IP versus saying: no, we’re gonna double down and we’re gonna expose what this ending means in The Last of Us Part II. To take some of the things that people hold sacred and just... dismantle it.
What exactly that means is anyone's guess at this point. Later in the same interview, Druckmann shared a personal episode that might have sparked him in the idea of exploring the violent revenge fantasy in The Last of Us Part II.
I don’t want to go into specifics about it, but I saw a video of a lynching when I was much younger. It was like an actual... like a news thing. And then, feeling intense hatred for the people that committed the lynching and thinking, like, ‘Oh, man if I could hurt these people in some horrible ways then I could.’
I was like, ‘Oh, we can make the player feel that.’ We can make you experience this thirst for revenge. This thirst for retribution and having you actually, like, commit the acts of finding it and then showing you the other side to make you regret it. To make you feel dirty for everything you’ve done in the game, making you realise ‘I’m actually the villain of the story.’
The Last of Us Part II is out on June 19th, exclusively for PlayStation 4.