Last of Us 2: Story, Rumors & Release Date | What We Know (So Far!)

Only on PS4: See what’s up with The Last of Us Part 2 with the full-breakdown — who’s coming back, what’s the story, and all the best rumors.

Building off the critical momentum from the masterful Uncharted 4, the developers at Naughty Dog are returning to their most highly-lauded work yet — yes, The Last of Us Part 2 is real, and it is coming to a Playstation 4 near you.

If you’ve been living under a giant, cordyceps-infected rock for the better part of the generation, then allow us to explain The Last of Us. Set during an apocalyptic outbreak of flesh-hungry infected, the survivors have formed inner-city enclaves to ride out the end of the world.

Using a combination of stealth, scavenging, and brutal combat, you fight through the crumbling remnants of the world. It’s all about the story, and it hits some heavy themes — responsibility, love, and the human condition — all to massive success. The first The Last of Us is one of the best-selling games on Playstation 3.

The sequel looks like a straight continuation of the story in the first entry. Because of the delicate nature of the tale told in The Last Of Us, there will be ending spoilers in the rumors / story sections below. Go back and play the original if you haven’t already, it’s worth the trip.

All The Basics
  • The Last Of Us Part 2
  • Release Date: 2018 (TBA)
  • Platform: Playstation 4 / Pro Exclusive
  • Price: $59.99 Standard Edition

The Last of Us Part 2 switches characters, putting the player in the shoes of an older Ellie. The gameplay will remain largely the same — with a 3rd-person perspective, you will navigate a realistic post-apocalyptic world, sneaking past infected zombie-like creatures or encountering enemy scavengers with more complex behaviors.

When stealth fails, you’ll have to use melee combat or a selection of low-tech firearms with a limited supply of ammunition. The Last of Us is not a straight-up shooter like the Uncharted series, and stealth is more important for survival. In the original The Last of Us, the player could also collect scrap to upgrade the backpack inventory or improve weapons in a variety of ways. We can assume all of these features will return in The Last of Us Part 2.

What’s the Story?

Joel and Elle are back, and roughly 5 years have passed since The Last of Us ended. Ellie is noticeably older, with a broad tattoo along her arm, and a hatred for some as-of-yet unknown group. Joel, the fatherly type, asks if Ellie is personally willing to go through with her (as of yet unknown) plans, and Ellie confirms her wishes — she wants to kill every last one of them.

Who are these people that Ellie hates so much? We don’t know yet, but we do know that this is Ellie’s story. She’s the main protagonist and playable character of The Last of Us Part 2, much like the Winter chapters and the Left Behind standalone add-on. While the developers at Naughty Dog describe the original as a “story about love” — Part 2 is a “story about hate.” That could mean a lot of things, especially considering the way The Last of Us flipped the concept of “love” around on us, and turned that intimate emotion into a poisonous force by the ending credits.

Where are the Fireflies?

As shown in the PSX 2016 Last of Us 2 reveal trailer, the Firefly symbol still lingers on, even after Joel’s massacre through their medical campus in the closing chapter of The Last of Us. The organization that once worked to find a cure and topple the de facto military leadership is a lingering presence in The Last of Us 2. We might not know what the state of the world is, but we do know that Naughty Dog purposefully showed off their symbol early in the trailer.

The Actors (And Creators) Are Back

Joel and Ellie return with their iconic performances intact. Joel (played by Troy Baker) and Ellie (played by Ashley Johnson) are back, and we can’t imagine these characters without them.

Troy Baker is a prolific video game voice actor, with more roles than we can count — and yet Joel stands out as a particularly strong performance. We  can’t get enough of Troy Baker, whether he’s taking on the role of Revolver Ocelot, Batman (AND the Joker), or Sam Drake and Pagan Min. Ashley Johnson, on the other end of the spectrum, is a successful actress that doesn’t dip into the video game sea often.

Behind the scenes, Naughty Dog is developing with returning Director / Writer Neil Druckmann at the helm. The original’s composer Gustavo Santaolalla is back, so we’re looking forward to even more of the evocative, tragic guitar strings that made the original such a memorable soundtrack.

What Are the Graphics like?

The Last of Us was a ground-breaking achievement when it was released on the Playstation 3 in 2013. The Last of Us Part 2 promises to push the limitations of the current generation of hardware.

Most of the focus, currently, is on the performance-capture technology — the ability to take an actor’s performance and translate that nuance into the game’s cutscenes. The ability to empathize with these realistic characters without stumbling into the Uncanny Valley is a big part of why these games work — why they can tug at our heart-strings instead of distract us.

Will It Take Advantage of the PS4 Pro?

The developers of The Last of Us Part 2, Naughty Dog, are a first-party Sony studio that publishes games exclusively to the Playstation platform. While we don’t have exact details, The Last of Us Part 2 will be playable on all version of the Playstation 4, and the includes the Playstation 4 Pro.

Expect to find 4K and HDR support available. We’ll update this section as more information is revealed.

Rumors — Theories & Speculation

The section below is all unsubstantiated rumors, hearsay, and (maybe) complete fabrications from fans seeking to find the truth behind the slow trickle of reveals released so far. 

#1: Is Joel Dead?

Joel makes for a ghostly presence in The Last of Us Part 2 reveal trailer. He appears through the entrance as a shadow, and we never get a clear look at his face — instead, the camera lingers over his shoulder as he addresses Ellie. Although five years have passed, Joel still calls Ellie “kiddo” — a sign of their close relationship, or a fragment of the past drawn-up in Ellie’s imagination?

The big question is; if Joel is dead, who killed him? The Fireflies’ symbol is the first reveal in trailer, and there’s no doubt the remnants of that group would want to hunt and kill Joel. Drawing the Fireflies back into the story might be also lead to a depressing change in their relationship — a means to reveal Joel’s biggest lie to Ellie.

Fans believe only Joel’s death would lead to this kind of reaction from Ellie, and while this is plausible, there’s still plenty we don’t know about the story — what happened in the intervening five years?

#2: Is Ellie Pregnant?

Another interesting theory is related to Ellie’s present-or-past pregnancy. This presents a confusing problem — Ellie is gay. But, there are still lingering questions to ask; if Ellie had a child, would that child also be immune to the virus that’s infecting all of mankind? And if so, what groups would want it? The Fireflies, the military, or something else?

That Ellie might become a mother, and that her life-saving child might be abducted — that sounds like the start of a story that’s all “about hate” to us. Although the specific mechanics don’t line-up with the reality of Ellie’s situation.

#3: Is This All About The Story of Theseus?

Here’s a far-fetched theory that derives from a poster in the background of the PSX reveal trailer — at the 1:28 minute mark, there’s a band poster that reads “Theseus”. Just another random band name, or is it referencing something more?

The story of Theseus is a complex one, but the possibilities are fascinating — as are the parallels. Theseus is one of the volunteers, chosen to be sent as sacrifice to sate the Minotaur. In The Last of Us, Ellie must sacrifice her life to the Fireflies to cure the apocalyptic cordyceps outbreak. The question posed by Youtuber Strange Rebel’s Gaming is this; is Ellie on a quest to save more ‘sacrifices’ like her from the Fireflies or the military?

Following this theory, their may be a new LGBTQ romantic partner for Ellie, as Theseus falls in love with Ariadne on his adventures, calling upon her aid.

At the story’s conclusion, Theseus’ father kills himself. Will Joel kill himself by the end of The Last of Us Part 2? We can only imagine that Joel and Ellie’s bond will end with tragedy, and a father’s suicide sounds in-keeping with the dour tone of The Last of Us.

All of these rumors are completely unsubstantiated and probably false. Check back soon and we’ll update this article with all the latest info for The Last of Us Part 2.