You should never get your hopes up when a new and anticipated game is announced, because it takes years for it to actually be available to play. The Last of Us Part II was announced in 2016, but we’re still no closer to experiencing its story and gameplay.
Since we’re here waiting for that release date, it’s worth listing the things that would make this game better than the previous one. Although the original had a winning formula, there have to be additions or variations so that The Last of Us Part II can be a quality game on its own. Here are 10 things that will help it accomplish this goal.
10 Less Focus On Love, More On Hate
Naughty Dog shared with fans that, unlike The Last of Us which focused on Love as its theme, The Last of Us Part II would use Hate at its central idea. We haven’t seen this, though, as the trailers have focused on the idea of Ellie being in love.
While that’s all good in its place, it’s still a game, and gamers are famously known to not indulge much in love stories and want the action to take center stage. As Hate is meant to be the main focus, it would be way better to potentially see Ellie’s love interest die or be captured and for the game to have Ellie go on a rampage of revenge.
9 New Combat
The first game’s combat system did well enough since it was the first game we had in the series, but having more of the same would hurt the gameplay aspect of The Last of Us Part II. There was a lot of room for improvement in this regard, as the fighting came across as clunky in most places.
With Ellie as the main character, the game can have variations in combat, and the best way to do this would be by making use of her speed rather than strength. There can be combo options where every weapon has a specific way of using it, employing Ellie’s skills as a fighter toward that particular weapon.
8 Realistic Fighting
The main reason we want to see the combat system changed is because it just won’t be realistic if we see Ellie mow down huge men like Joel did in the previous game. Ellie is clearly not a brawler by size, and the game needs to reflect this.
Chances of this happening are low, but we want to see fewer fighting scenes where Ellie is surrounded by enemies attacking her with melee weapons. Even Joel would be too old to keep up by this point, which leaves out the opportunity for the game to make fight scenes realistic by having Ellie playing dirty and using sharp weapons like the shiv on a regular basis.
7 Changing Seasons
This is something we want to remain the same from the previous game, because it gives the player the lens through which the characters view the world. With the timeline comprising of different seasons, the raw aspect of surviving out in the zombielands becomes real.
Plus, there’s way more room for character development, as being around one another in changing seasons brought Joel and Ellie close in the first place. More than anything, there is more creativity in the game when seasons change; The Last of Us’s “Winter” chapter is the easiest example for this.
6 Time Jumps
No, we’re not saying we want a time jump between seasons - we want the game to jump beyond years. Rather than heading into the future (which would be a pretty cool thing too), the game should flashback to immediately after Joel made his false promise to Ellie at the ending of The Last of Us.
It would be a great way of storytelling if the game had two arcs to follow; there could be one where the adult Ellie is on her own, and the other would be where the young Ellie and Joel continue their time together before arriving to where adult Ellie was at the start of the game.
5 New Zombies
It was a surprise The Last of Us brought something new to the table where zombies were concerned, as the genre was seemingly milked out of these beings. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see zombies like the Clickers and Bloaters, both species who would invoke fear in the hearts of the players.
Since we’re well aware of how to fight these kinds of zombies now, The Last of Us Part II should roll out a new species that players won’t know how to fight. This opens up the opportunity for adrenaline-filled sequences where the player would need to fight by the skin of their teeth. And those are the kind of memorable sequences that separate a great game from a good one.
4 Longer Lasting Supporting Characters
In the teaser trailers for the game, we saw a bunch of people Ellie was hanging out with. While she didn’t seem to feel at home with these guys, they were clearly part of her friend group. Now that this part of her support group is established, the game shouldn’t break it up.
Instead, we should have supporting characters that stay by for the duration of the game. We’re not saying we want them to be around all the time, but these characters shouldn’t be killed off or written away like the ones we saw in The Last of Us. In its place, the supporting characters should weave in and out of Ellie’s journey at particular points before rallying together by the end.
3 Platforming Sequences
It’s time The Last of Us takes a page out of Uncharted’s book and focuses on platforming as a solid gameplay feature. The first game only had sequences where Joel had to get Ellie on a raft, or perhaps swim somewhere nearby.
The latest game should have climbing sequences around the lines we’ve seen in Uncharted, now that the player character is a youngster like Ellie. It will be believable to see Ellie climbing or jumping around the vegetated world, and gives us the chance to explore the maps rather than just survive them.
2 Driving Sequences
Simply driving around won’t be acceptable here; there needs to be at least one all-out chasing sequence featuring cars. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End finally did give us the option to drive, but there weren’t any thrilling scenes that fulfilled its potential.
The Last of Us Part II has more variety to offer in this regard too, as we can have Ellie fleeing hordes of zombies chasing after her, or maybe avoiding humans out to kill her while shooting at her car. There’s a lot of areas to explore here, and this feature can bring the best out of the game.
From what we’ve seen so far, Joel doesn’t seem to have much of a role to play in The Last of Us Part II. Most theories agree he must have died years ago and Ellie’s simply remembering him, or perhaps even hallucinating him.
Whatever might be the case, the game won’t feel at all complete if Joel isn’t there. If he really is dead, then he can appear in flashback scenes at various points of the story to add context. If he’s there just as a supporting character, then he has to have the same type of role Ellie had in the first game and be playable when Ellie is out of commission.