One of the best aspects of The Last of Us was the dynamic of Ellie and Joel. Two strangers that couldn’t be more different from each other started fostering a relationship akin to family in the direst of circumstances. It was this very dynamic that catapulted this game’s narrative to something deeper and special. It’s all good to want to survive by yourself, but to sacrifice for another is a true test of humanity. So with The Last of Us Part II, will there be something similar? The answer is a slightly hesitant yes.
During an interview with Buzzfeed, director Neil Druckman enlightened us that Ellie isn’t going to do this alone in the new adventure:
Well, so, Ellie used to be an NPC, but she’s the protagonist in this story, so the player is controlling Ellie. Umm, it’s safe to say with the game that we made in the past that there will be some NPC with you in this story, even though we’re not showing [the NPC] in this demo. And our general approach is to say, again, “How do we treat them like people? How do we get them to behave honestly as those people? How do we give them interesting characteristics so that they can navigate the world, make meaningful actions, and surprise you in the way people do?”
So, someone will be tagging along. Or multiple people, even. We’ve seen precious little from the trailers they’ve shown so far, but we do know there are other characters in the game that associate with Ellie, perhaps even romantically if the E3 trailer is to be believed. Since this is such a new story featuring a much more mature Ellie, the possibilities are endless. Joel might even be the companion that is being talked about since he did appear in the first trailer. We’re still very unsure about The Last of Us Part II, but if Naughty Dog’s reputation is to be believed, this will be one rollercoaster journey.