‘Last of Us Part II’ gets a release date

Chuck Sipps, Arts and Life Editor

‘Last of Us Part II’ developed by Naughty Dog

February 21, 2020. That will be the day one of the most beloved games in history gets its sequel, “The Last of Us Part II”(LOU2). Developer Naughty Dog has been on a roll with hit after hit and it looks like things won’t be slowing down with LOU2. Naughty Dog has become synonymous with quality and excitement couldn’t be higher surrounding its newest release.

In the world of ‘Last of Us’ and ultra-aggressive fungal infection has overrun the world, wiping out most human beings. The fungus takes over human hosts, turning them into Clickers, ravenously hungry creatures bent on destruction. The humans who have survived are now almost as dangerous as the countless hordes that threaten to consume them. 

At the end of the original ‘Last of Us’, grizzled survivor Joel turned against a resistance group named The Fireflies. The Fireflies hired Joel to transport Ellie, a young survivor who developed an immunity to the infection after being bitten by an infected host,  to a Firefly hospital a few states away. The Fireflies believe that through Ellie they can reverse engineer a vaccine to put an end to the threat once and for all. The only problem is that to do so would ultimately kill Ellie. 

Throughout their journey, Joel and Ellie’s bond deepens, with Joel becoming a father figure and Ellie taking the place of the daughter Joel lost in the outbreak. Not willing to lose another daughter, Joel unleashes hell against the Fireflies completely obliterating the Fireflies’ team of doctors. In one of the most compelling moments in gaming, Ellie awakens outside the hospital and asks Joel what happened. Joel lies and says that the cure failed and couldn’t be mass-produced and so they let Ellie leave. Ellie sighs and, for a moment, appears to know that Joel is lying. Rather than confront him, she simply says “Okay” and the screen cuts to black.

We will finally get context into what comes next for Ellie and answers over whether she truly knew about Joel’s lie. Joel had been noticeably absent in trailers and marketing for the game with some fans speculating that Joel had died in between the two games. This speculation was inaccurate as Joel finally reemerges in the latest trailer, joining Ellie in a quest for revenge.

Ellie once represented the hope that even a man as lost as Joel could find something worth living for. While “The Last of Us” was filed with darker themes it was always Ellie’s presence that both lightened the tone and lessened the pain in Joel’s heart. With Ellie heading down a dark path for revenge can Joel save her just as she once saved him? We’ll find out by February 21, 2020.