Shortly after its surprising reveal at PGW 2017, Neil Druckmann took to the PlayStation Blog to confirm that it wasn’t Ellie in the new The Last of Us 2 trailer and to also drum up sufficient hype (not like the game needed it) by suggesting that we wouldn’t have to long to wait until the next reveal.
As well as posting on the blog, Druckmann shared a recent interview he was involved in where he talked about Naughty Dog’s next big adventure and how it’s the natural progression in scale and fidelity to follow on from The Lost Legacy. Druckmann said that Naughty Dog evolve and grow from each production and The Last of Us 2 will be no different.
Druckmann mentions that the lighting, muscle deformation and rain effects seen in the new trailer are the next steps for the studio’s engine. As dark as the trailer is (not tonally, literally dark), you can still that the facial animations are some next level stuff.
He then continues to say how The Last of Us at its heart is about Joel and Ellie while also mentioning that it’s an ensemble piece, evidenced by characters like Henry in the original – as we can already tell from the new trailer, The Last of Us 2 will be no different. Druckmann makes special emphasis on how “really” important the other characters are.
As revealed at PSX 2016, the main theme of The Last of Us 2 is hate, which Druckmann believes is evident in the new trailer; kinda hard to disagree with that when someone gets an axe through the head while receiving the Xenia Onatopp treatment.
One of the most interesting little nods Druckmann gives in the interview is that he is leaving it up to the fans to decide who these characters are, where it takes place, and when. The latter could give a lot of weight to the rumours about this primary character introduced in the new trailer being Ellie’s mom. They certainly look alike, so if it’s revealed that this is a flashback sequence of sorts or some kind of prologue, the theories could prove true.