It is a foregone conclusion that developer Naughty Dog will soon create The Last of Us 2, a sequel to the highly acclaimed video game Last of Us. At this point, The Last of Us 2 is probably the worst kept secret in video gaming. The Last of Us is a very special game that features both excellent gameplay and a five-star, cinematic storyline. Audiences fell in love and formed a strong bond with the main characters, Ellie and Joel. The Last of Us tells an emotional, heart-wrenching story that takes place in a cruel, unforgiving post-apocalyptic world. So, the question is: where does The Last of Us 2 pick things up? Will it continue the story of Ellie and Joel? Honestly, I hope that The Last of Us is the last story in the franchise that features the two protagonists.
The end of the game plays like a conclusive and final end for the story of Joel and Ellie. In fact, The Last of Us writer and creative director, Neil Druckmann, essentially wrote an epilogue for the characters. There was a live show called The Last of Us: One Night Live. Polygon reports that actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson reprised their characters from the game for a live piece of performance art. The sequence was an epilogue that picked up after the end of the game.
According to Druckmann, this sequence was done as a way for the staff to say goodbye to the characters. It was a fitting conclusion and end for the Joel and Ellie characters. The developers had spent several years working on the game and characters, and Druckmann designed a scene to give Ellie and Joel a sendoff. So, if Druckmann and much of the same team at Naughty Dog are working on a new game, why would they want to renege on their goodbye to the characters? Not to mention the fact that the game left the characters in a place where the actions of Joel were ambiguous; but at least Ellie and Joel were alive. The world has still gone to hell, but players took some solace in the knowledge that their favorite characters made it through.
The Last of Us 2 should conceivably introduce new characters. A sequel could very well explore other parts of The Last of Us world, and it could showcase how the plague affected other countries in the world and other survivors. The story does not really have to be limited to Ellie and Joel, especially since the ending for Ellie and Joel for The Last of Us came off as remarkably final. Ultimately, the decision will come down to the creative team at Naughty Dog.