The most recent trailer for the game highlighted the fact that The Last of Us Part 2 is going to be a grim and grisly experience that won't shy away from violence. Developer Naughty Dog has also confirmed that the game is about "hate," compared to the first game's theme of "love."
The Last of Us: Part 2's dark tone extends to the story and fans could be in for some tragic moments. Speaking during a panel at PlayStation Experience 2017, game director Neil Druckmann teased that "everybody dies at some point" and that "no one is safe, not even [Joel and Ellie]." Druckmann also revealed that while the game does have some lighter moments, there are "real stakes" and at the game's core there is a "sense of pursuing justice."
Fans continue to speculate about whether Joel is alive or dead, which makes Druckmann's comments all the more interesting. Ellie is the main protagonist of The Last of Us: Part 2 and so some fans have wondered whether that's because Joel is long gone. The game's announcement trailer also led many to believe that Joel is dead - his character seems to move just like a ghost.
It's possible that Ellie is getting "justice" for Joel after he is killed. The game's central theme of hate could be about Ellie's hate for Joel's killers, rather than hate for the world, or the situation that she's in. Naughty Dog aims to highlight just how unsafe things are for the protagonist then that could mean that Ellie's quest for justice puts her in dangers, even more so than the first game.
Naughty Dog loves to keep people guessing, which is why it hides secrets in posters and Easter eggs in its games. The developer won't want to completely spoil its story ahead of release either, which means that fans are unlikely to see the full extent of that danger until The Last of Us: Part 2 is released.
However, now that fans know that the stakes are much higher for Joel and Ellie, it allows them to look at other information in a new light. Could Ellie end up being attacked like the characters in that Paris Games Week trailer? And what dangers await her in the new game's setting - could the game include life-threatening set-pieces at famous monuments? There's a lot of potential for where this could go and fans can't wait to see how it all plays out.
The Last of Us: Part 2 is in development exclusively for PlayStation 4.