Naughty Dog has established itself as a premier game development studio and fans are eagerly awaiting the team’s next project: The Last of Us Part 2. The game continues the story of Ellie and Joel as they fight to survive five years after the original game and the actors for both characters have wrapped up their motion capture performances.
Vice President of Naughty Dog and Creative Director Neil Druckmann shared a few updates on The Last of Us Part 2’s production over the last few days, including the one below with Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson. The two are the actors for Joel and Ellie, respectively, and, with Druckmann’s tweet, it looks like their performances for the game are complete.
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) April 18, 2019
Johnson put together an endearing performance as Ellie in the first The Last of Us, but it seems like she’s about to establish the character as a complete force of nature if the released trailers for Part 2 are any indication.
The reveal trailer for the game features Ellie singing while playing the guitar and, after Joel enters the home she’s in and passes by bodies it seems she’s responsible for, she declares that she’s “gonna find” and “gonna kill every last one of them.” The trailer begins with a shot of the Firefly group’s logo, so it seems like that’s where her anger is directed. In the gameplay demo shown at E3 2018, we also get to see the more dangerous Ellie in action.
Baker established Joel as a heart-broken and cold survivor who evolved into a father figure for Ellie over the course of the first game and it is possible that his decision at the end of that game has lead to this major conflict with the Fireflies in The Last of Us Part 2. There’s a mysterious cult in the sequel as well, but their motivations and origins are unknown.
The timing of this crucial milestone in production should bode well for any gamers that hoped The Last of Us Part 2 would see the light of day before 2019 closed out. Nothing is for certain until the game goes gold, but knocking out all the cinematics in April is a good sign.