After revealing a new trailer and release date for The Last of Us Part II earlier this week, Naughty Dog provided more story and gameplay details for the game that members of the press got the chance to see and play. Today is also Outbreak Day which is a celebration of The Last of Us community that takes place every year on September 26 so in addition to the all the new information that they are providing for the game, Naughty Dog has created a lot more content for today.
The Last of Us Part II – Inside the Demo provides a lot of story and gameplay details that sets up the journey that Ellie will undertake. The demo that they presented to the press came in two parts. One demo takes place in Jackson, where we see what life is like 25 years after a pandemic wipes away most of mankind. Part II takes place 5 years after the events of the first game. The demo takes place right after the barn scene that was shown off at E3 2018 and follows Ellie and Dinah as they are patrolling the area to keep the settlement they are living at safe. The second demo takes place in Seattle where Ellie comes across the WLF, a militia group that has taken over and will kill any outsider they come across. As it was revealed in the trailer, the demo ends with the reveal of Joel coming to aid Ellie on her journey. The second demo is much more combat-focused and reveals a lot of new gameplay details that are new to the game.
The biggest change to the gameplay for The Last of Us Part II is Ellie herself as she is more mobile than Joel which leads to the addition of being able to jump and a new dodge mechanic. The addition of jumping to the game has allowed Naughty Dog to create new, interesting puzzles, environments, and can affect combat as well. Ellie can also squeeze through certain things which can lead to escaping or flanking enemies. Another new addition to the gameplay is skill trees. Ellie is able to learn new, different abilities that will make her feel really different as players will be able to tailor her to their playstyle.
The demos also revealed new enemy types that Ellie will have to face. The WLF uses guard dogs which can track your scent and which you can see when using listen mode. There are two new infected types. The Shambler is a cross between a Clicker and Bloater and will try and charge at you and disperse a corrosive toxin. The Stalker is in between a Runner and Clicker which makes them very quick and agile. Naughty Dog also overhauled the A.I. of human enemies. The enemies talk to each other more and they each have names and when someone goes down, they will react and be more aggressive in their pursuit of Ellie.
For Outbreak Day, Naughty Dog has released a new free PS4 system theme that features animated effects, new art, and music from The Last of Us Part II. All existing The Last of Us Part II themes and avatars are 50% off until October 1. A new extensive cosplay guide was released that features high-resolution renders and insights about every aspect of Ellie’s character. There are new The Last of Us Part II tees and hats available at the PlayStation Gear Store. In partnership with Dark Horse, Naughty Dog has announced a new limited edition Ellie Statue and official art book for The Last of Us Part II. You can also win Outbreak Day posters signed by the development team by sharing a photo from The Last of Us Remastered. The Last of Us Part II launches February 21, 2020.