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The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II

E3 2018 – The Last of Us Part II Interview

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E3 2018 – The Last of Us Part II Interview

PlayStation showed off a bit more of the dark, gruesome world of The Last of Us Part II in a new trailer on Monday.

The game, first announced during the PlayStation Experience in December 2016 as a sequel to the 2013 Naughty Dog game. The game was unveiled with a trailer that showed the return of the game’s Ellie and Joel, five years after the first game. This time around, players will be controlling Ellie, not Joel.

The trailer, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann notes in a PlayStation Blog post, is using on the latest iteration of the Naughty Dog engine, running on a Playstation 4 Pro.

Yes, the game is still very much about Ellie and Joel, but in this video, Druckmann writes, they wanted to showcase several new characters that are integral to their next journey.

“We’re sure you have many questions after watching this scene,” he wrotes. “We’re also pretty sure that we’re going to see all sorts of theories about whom these characters are, where and when this scene takes place, and how all of this fits into Ellie and Joel’s next story. For now we’re keeping mum, but we’re excited to see what y’all make of this piece of the puzzle.”

Druckmann, of course, has made plenty of games where violent action is not intended to be meditated on. The happy-go-lucky Nathan Drake has murdered thousands of mercenaries throughout his journeys, and not one of those executions was treated with any sort of profundity. It is clear, though, from the moment Ellie first takes a life that this is different. It is gristly, gross and slow, with all the messy intangibles of real violence right in place. It is hard to watch in the way that human suffering and cruelty should be hard to watch. I ask Druckmann if, internally, Naughty Dog has designed “The Last of Us Part II’s” combat to be “fun,” or if he doesn’t have much use for that term anymore.

“If we’re going to tell this story, we have to go there. We have to make you feel uncomfortable,” he explains. “We don’t use the word ‘fun’ but it needs to be engaging. If you care about this character, and there are stakes, you are engaged. I don’t want you to willy-nilly commit these acts. I want you to feel these moments.”

Building a video game where violence is elevated from a rote mechanic into something that gnaws at the corners of your soul is a difficult tightrope to walk, but it’s also something that Naughty Dog seems uniquely capable of tackling.

Check out the interview:

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