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The Last of Us 2 release date, news and rumours: Will Joel and Ellie continue their tale in 2019?

The Last of Us was an epic cinematic masterpiece, a game full of tearful and hilarious pleasures, lauded by fans and critics alike. If anything exemplifies that more, it’s the frisson-inducing crowd reaction to the announcement of The Last of Us Part II back at PSX 2016.

Two long years have passed since those emotional scenes and we’re still without a release date or any further substantial plot details. Still, we haven’t been left empty-handed while we wait for Naughty Dog to wrap up development on its highly anticipated game. 

So what do we know so far? And when is The Last of Us 2 coming out? Read on to find out everything we know about the sequel to Naughty Dog’s hit post-apocalyptic game.

The Last of Us 2 release date: When is Part II coming out?

Two years later and there’s still no word from Naughty Dog on a release date, so we’re forced to go on brief comments from people attached to the project and our own speculation.

In an interview with an Argentinian radio station, Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer for The Last of Us’ chilling score, hinted that The Last of Us would be released in 2019. He went on to clarify that his statement was a ‘bit of a joke’ – but, to be fair, he’s probably on the right track. 2019 is our best guess too. 

The game’s director, Neil Druckmann, confirmed at PlayStation Experience 2017 that the game is 50 to 60% of the way through development and that new footage of the game will be revealed at E3 2018. That’s probably as close as we’re going to get to a release date for now.

However, we can still speculate. From going on the release times of The Last of Us and The Last of Us Remastered, Naughty Dog has always favoured a summer release date. We expect to see The Last of Us 2 arrive in June or July 2019.

The Last of Us 2 story and trailers: What will Part II be about?

We already know that The Last of Us 2 will take place five years after the events of The Last of Us and that a nineteen-year-old Ellie will be taking the lead. We also know, thanks to Druckmann, that it will apparently be a story about anger. 

“If the first game was really about the love between these two characters, this story is the counter of that,” Druckmann said at the game’s reveal at PSX 2016. “This story is about hate, through Ellie this time. The first game you play as Joel, this game you play as Ellie.”

The initial trailer didn’t give us much to go on, showing us a bloody, guitar-playing Ellie surrounded by dead bodies, something we assume she is responsible for. 

You’ll also note that there’s no sign of Joel. Fans have been speculating that he might be dead, although Naughty Dog has already confirmed that Joel will definitely be in the sequel.

The second teaser trailer shown off at Paris Games Week 2017 didn’t include anything to do with Ellie or Joel’s story at all. Instead, we were introduced to several new characters in an extremely graphic, and frankly terrifying, trailer.

While we don’t have any clue what’s going on, it hasn’t stopped fans from speculating. Many are suggesting that the woman being hanged at the start of the trailer is Ellie’s mum, Anna.

We never actually saw Ellie’s mum in the first The Last of  Us game, but she was arguably ever-present as Ellie’s motivator. Naughty Dog even added fuel to the fire as it tweeted out pictures of the new characters, along with their names. While Yara, Lev and Emily are all named in the series of tweets, the woman being hanged is just indicated with a series of four black blocks. 

Curious…

Other than that, we know that The Last of Us 2 is going to have some Westworld vibes. Being co-written by Westworld writer, Halley Gross, and starring Shannon Woodward from the same show, we can guarantee that, if anything, it will be dark and gritty.

It will also seemingly be inspired by the Netflix/Channel 4 show, The End of the F***ing World: “There’s a show on Netflix called The End of the F***ing World – which is so well-written, acted and quirky – and has been totally inspiring the stuff we’ve been doing in [The Last of Us 2]. Again, more on the dialogue stuff,” Druckmann said at DICE Summit 2018.

The Last of Us 2 gameplay: How will Part II play?

There’s currently no gameplay details regarding The Last of Us 2, but we don’t think that the game will play all that differently from its predecessor. Naughty Dog is pretty reliable in that we can expect beautifully written games with cinematic narratives and gameplay elements that don’t shift from game to game.

Take the Uncharted series, for example. The gameplay hasn’t changed all that much as the games have progressed.

With Ellie being older, expect her to go on more solo adventures without Joel – something that could definitely change how the player plays the game. 

Still, if there are any substantial gameplay details announced, we’ll let you know.

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