As 2013’s almost indisputable video game of the year, The Last of Us, remains one of the greatest and most widely beloved games of all time, so it’s only natural that we all anxiously await the release of its direct sequel: The Last of Us: Part II.
The post-apocalyptic third-person action-adventure series from Naughty Dog — the same developer behind the Uncharted games — takes place in a world 20 years after a mutated fungus destroys human civilization by transforming huge swaths of the population into zombies.
The Last of Us: Part II was greenlit shortly after the first game’s release, and it’s been in careful, considered development since 2014. Years have passed, and we’re at long last in the final stretch leading up to the sequel’s release in the middle of 2020.
For now, here’s everything we know about The Last of Us: Part II in terms of plot, new characters, trailers, release date, and more.
When is The Last of Us: Part II’s release date?
At one point, the hope was that The Last of Us: Part II might release in October 2019 or at least by the end of 2019, all based on a February 2019 leak by Peruvian video game retailer LawGamers saying that was the case. The first official word came in September 2019 when Sony released a video announcing a February 21, 2020 release date (video included above). On October 24, however, that date was officially pushed back to May 29, 2020 — confirming a report from Kotaku that very morning.
In a heartfelt letter to fans posted to the Naughty Dog blog, game director Neil Druckmann apologized for the delay:
“While we’re relieved that we won’t have to compromise our vision, we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to avoid this exact situation,” he wrote. “We wish we could’ve foreseen the amount of polish we needed, but the size and scope of this game got the better of us. We hate disappointing our fans and for that we’re sorry.”
While the delay is unfortunate, it does mean we’ll get a better game when it does come out — and it won’t be at the expense of numerous developers enduring the overtime crunch hours it would otherwise take to finish the game in a shorter amount of time.
What’s the Plot of The Last of Us: Part II?
The Last of Us: Part II takes place 5 years after the first game — which mostly takes place 20 years after the initial outbreak. At 19 years old, Ellie is the main character as opposed to Joel, who’s now in his mid-50s. They live in the safe haven community in Jackson County, Wyoming they reached at the end of The Last of Us. Based on all of the footage shown of the game so far, Ellie’s become hardened over the years.
At the PlayStation Experience 2017, game director Neil Druckmann confirmed that “a large part” of The Last of Us: Part II takes place in Seattle, a new setting for the series. The first game featured Boston, Pittsburgh, and Austin, Texas, among others. Similar to how the player trekked across the country in part 1, Part II will involve a road trip of sorts from Wyoming to Seattle.
New characters include Yara (played by Victoria Grace), Emily (played Emily Swallow), Lev (played by Ian Alexander), among others. Voice actress Laura Bailey is also in the game and provides motion capture, and she finished her part of the production on April 13. On April 11, it was revealed that Logic and voice actor Travis Willingham (of Critical Role) were also in the game.
Despite the wide cast, there’s still no official synopsis for the game.
The Last of Us: Part II game director Neil Druckmann published the above Tweet in April, offering what looks like confirmation that the motion capture recording on the game had been completed. The crunch to finish up the game will likely happen over the next few months.
Is There a Trailer for The Last of Us: Part II?
The Last of Us: Part II was first confirmed during the 2016 PlayStation Experience with a teaser trailer featuring Ellie. The second teaser, featuring mostly new characters, was unveiled during 2017 Paris Games Week. The most extensive look at the game came during E3 2018 with a gameplay reveal trailer (above) that included a cutscene from presumably fairly early in the game.
None of these promotional videos really count as a legitimate trailer of any kind, but they do offer an exciting introductory look at what the game will offer. Sony skipped E3 entirely in 2019, but the official PlayStation YouTube account has a playlist with plenty of footage and interviews to whet your appetite.
The Last of Us: Part II will likely arrive in 2020 exclusively for the Sony PlayStation 4.