Naughty Dog is bringing an hour-long Last of Us Part 2 demo to Boston-based games convention PAX East later this month, but anyone hoping for a look at something new might be disappointed.
This will be the first public gameplay session of the long-awaited sequel ever hosted. PAX East 2020 kicks off February 27 and will last until March 1, but this glimpse at TLOU 2 won’t come as a surprise to diehard fans that have been tracking every morsel of information about the upcoming game until now.
Naughty Dog announced Tuesday that it would bring a Last of Us Part 2 demo to PAX East 2020, Director of Communications Arne Meyer described what attendees can expect, and it sounds identical to part of the exclusive demo given to some games publications in September 2019.
“Attendees will have an opportunity to play ‘Patrol,’ featuring an early area of the game where Ellie and Dina must venture out of Jackson into the surrounding areas to clear out infected,” Meyer said.
In short, whatever will be playable at PAX East, it won't be new in any way — and the spoilers are already out there.
Spoilers follow for this early section of The Last of Us Part 2.
Kotaku and IGN were not allowed to show footage of their three-hour hands-on time with TLOU 2 back in September, but each outlet described the first segment of the demo as a supply run with Ellie and Dina.
"The Last of Us Part 2 demo was split into two portions: The first, “Patrol,” offered an early chapter of the game, as Ellie and Dina (Shannon Woodward) go out for a typical daily patrol of the area surrounding their Jackson, Wyoming encampment," IGN’s Jonathon Dornbush wrote at the time, referring to this section as “the calm before the storm.” The section mostly serves as a refresher on the game’s controls, but it also highlights Ellie and Dina's romance while also hinting at the recent dynamic at play with Joel and Ellie's adoptive father-daughter relationship.
Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson reported that in one scene, Ellie says she’s thinking about watching a movie with Joel, which causes Dina to respond, “Oh, are you two cool?” This suggests Ellie might know the big plot twist at the end of the first game: that Joel forfeited humanity’s hope for a cure to save her life.
We can only assume that PAX attendees will play the same demo that select members of the media experimented with last year, albeit a version that is more polished.
Dornbush also explained that Patrol is “light on the combat,” so PAX-goers won’t get the full experience of Naughty Dog’s improved combat system until it drops another demo, or it's even more likely that most fans will have to wait for the release of the game.
The "Patrol" demo ends with Ellie and Dina stumbling upon a secret stash of weed, hidden away by their now-dead friend Eugene. They spark a joint and make out (again) while they wait for a storm to pass. This is clear set up for the heart-wrenching violence Ellie will be put through for the rest of TLOU 2, which might leave those who get a chance to play it yearning for more or disappointed if they were expecting new information about the story.
Naughty Dog has delayed the game to May 29 three months after its original February 21 release date. PAX starts after TLOU 2 was initially supposed to be out so a recycled demo might be cause for worry for some fans. But it might also mean that gamers who won’t attend PAX will get to finally see uncut gameplay of the sequel if Naughty Dog allows attendees to record.
Ellie and Joel's next adventure is inching closer, but a lot still remains unanswered.