On December 3, 2016 at Sony’s annual PlayStation Experience event, Naughty Dog closed the event by officially announcing a sequel to The Last of Us via a reveal trailer, titled The Last of Us Part II.
The trailer shows Ellie, now 19-years-old, playing a guitar while singing “Through the Valley” by Shawn James in an abandoned house. Joel approaches the house and enters the room, asking “What are you doing, kiddo? You really gonna go through with this?” Slowly putting the guitar down, she replies “I’m gonna find and I’m gonna kill every last one of them.” Ellie has been confirmed to be the main playable character who will “play differently” than Joel from the original. No release date has been announced and the game was noted to be in very early development by Shawn Layden.
At a panel after the reveal, Neil Druckmann was asked why Naughty Dog ultimately decided to make a sequel. He explained, “While a sequel may have seemed like a foregone conclusion, that wasn’t the case. We knew that it needed to be a story worth telling… After spending years trying ideas, we have finally created a story worthy of Joel and Ellie.”
Druckmann also confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla will return as the composer for the game’s soundtrack. It has also been confirmed that Bruce Straley, who helped Druckmann make early prototypes for the new game, will not return to assist Druckmann with directing the sequel, reportedly “taking a year out” after the pair finished working on the DLC for Uncharted. The game will utilize new motion capture technology for its characters as well as an entire new engine for the PlayStation 4.
The Last of Us Part II is set to release worldwide sometime in 2017.