The Last of Us Part 2 writer Halley Gross gave fans a taste of what’s going on in the studio today, introducing her Twitter followers to a pig later confirmed to be doing motion capture. For months now Naughty Dog has maintained radio silence regarding the ongoing development of The Last of Us sequel, going out of its way to give Uncharted: The Lost Legacy marketing focus leading up to its August release. Obviously a pig going in for motion capture shouldn’t distract too much, but at the same time it’s difficult not to speculate.
Neil Druckman, who is directing The Last of Us 2, was the one who confirmed the pig’s visit to the studio was for motion capture and not just someone’s pet coming to visit. He posted a close-up of the unnamed swine, along with the text, “Today’s mocap session is off to a great start.”
Meanwhile, Halley posted a short video of her encounter with the animal, which did feature treats and pets. Her message, “Guys guys guys guys guys!” mirrors our own feelings, both on a cute, cuddly piggy level and an unintended revelation level.
The question that pops into mind is just why a pig is doing mocap for Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2? While any conclusions we might draw can’t be certain, the most obvious answer is that Joel and Ellie will be doing some more hunting in the sequel. Perhaps The Last of Us 2 is a story of Joel and Ellie getting separated and Ellie replacing Joel in her life with a piglet companion instead. Okay, they’re probably just going to find a wild board and eat it, but let’s at least stay optimistic about the pig’s chances, after all he is very cute.
Today's mocap session is off to a great start. pic.twitter.com/R9xg7XZN7H
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) June 27, 2017
There’s a sequence in the original The Last of Us, the first time where the player controls Ellie, where she hunts a deer through a snowy forest. It’s one of the most striking levels in the game, largely due to its contrast and similarities to the action sequences involving both human and clicker enemies. It’s a scene shown through a lens of survival, where the hunt is of paramount concern to both Ellie and Joel.
Reflecting on the deer hunting sequence in The Last of Us and seeing new animals apparently being introduced in The Last of Us 2 has us wondering if the sequel will lean into wilderness survival. Could hunting for food, potable water, and shelter perhaps play a key role in the game? It’s difficult not being curious when there’s so little known about the game. Luckily, Naughty Dog should start sharing more info as soon as later this year.
The Last of Us Part 2 will be available exclusively on PS4.