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Everything we know about a potential Last of Us Part 3

Could a third Last of Us game really happen?

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Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II broke sales records, selling over 4 million copies in a single week and winning plenty of Game of the Year awards. Is it still too early to consider a follow-up game? For Game Director and Writer Neil Druckmann, apparently not.

Still, a sequel has not been officially confirmed by Sony. The first sequel was released about seven years after the original, so even if developer Naughty Dog makes another entry in the series, we might have to wait for a while. A third Last of Us seems like a no-brainer, eventually. So here’s everything we do know about a potential The Last of Us Part III.

Is The Last of Us 3 in development?

Hold your infected horses: The Last of Us Part III has yet to be announced. Nothing official has been said, but Game Director Neil Druckmann has commented on it a couple of times. In April 2021, he confirmed to the Script Apart podcast that an outline for a potential first game in the series does exist.

He hedges this statement by clarifying that Naughty Dog is not making it right now. Currently, the studio is reportedly making a remake of the first The Last of Us and multiplayer game. PlayStation has yet to publicly commit to The Last of Us 3, but Druckmann’s April 2021 statements are more promising than what he told IndieWire in June 2020.

“It felt like to justify making a Part II we had to do something not that fans would just be comfortable with, but do something that would match the emotional core we found in the first game,” Druckmann said. “And without that, there’d be no reason to do a Part III. We’d really have to figure out how to create a new experience that matches the emotional impact of these stories and I don’t know what that is — currently.”

Naughty Dog

These are similar to the comments Druckmann made in 2014 following the release of Last of Us: Left Behind. He stated in February 2014 that the chance a sequel would happen was “50/50.” Back then, he claimed he needed to develop a story that would justify a sequel.

In July 2014, Druckmann hosted One Night Live, a staged Last of Us performance that featured a secret epilogue. Druckmann referred to this epilogue as a “Goodbye to Joel and Ellie.” We also know that Last of Us 2 began production that same year.

Either Druckmann hadn’t fleshed out Joel and Ellie’s inclusion in the Last of Us 2, or he was sworn to secrecy. Assuming the second could be true, a sequel could currently be planned, but the company is holding off on an announcement until they pin down a more concrete story.

What would the story be in The Last of Us 3?

As the game hasn’t been announced, we have no idea what the story will be. Druckmann teased that an outline exists on the aforementioned Script Apart podcast. “[Co-writer Halley Gross] and I did write an outline for a story, that we’re not making – but I hope one day can see the light of day – that explores a little bit what happens after this game,” he said according to IGN. “We’ll see.”

Naughty Dog

If Naughty Dog decides to make The Last of Us Part 3, they could follow this outline. Still, depending on when they actually make it, Druckmann may decide to write a new story and do something completely different with the franchise.

According to Druckmann, Last of Us stories need to be based around love. It’s possible we could follow love using some new lenses, perhaps Yara and Lev, the two Seraphites from Last of Us 2. They would focus on sibling love, which has yet to be fully explored in either game. Still, that’s all pure speculation at this point.

Is there going to be Last of Us 2 story DLC?

Left Behind tied up some narrative ends for the first Last of Us. Could a DLC do the same for the sequel? According to Druckmann, on the Kinda Funny Gamescast, there are currently no plans for a story DLC for Last of Us 2. This can be taken as confirmation that a DLC is unlikely for the sequel. Left Behind began production immediately after the original game was released.

However, you can look forward to some spin on the popular factions multiplayer mode from the first game down the line. While multiplayer was originally intended to be included within Last of Us 2, that idea was nixed in September 2019, when the multiplayer team’s ambition grew greater than what the game could allow. Last of Us 2 is a 100GB game, so that was likely the right call. Naughty Dog has promised that we’ll see the fruits of the multiplayer team’s labor down the line, likely as an add-on or standalone title.

Is there a trailer for Last of Us 3?

No, the game has yet to be officially announced, so there’s no such thing available.

What else is down the line for The Last of Us?

There’s a The Last of Us HBO series set to premiere in 2023 from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and Druckmann himself. A multiplayer The Last of Us game is also still in development, and it was separated from Part 2 during development.

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