Joel May Be out of the Playable Picture
Unless he’s on a quest to directly mislead us, Naughty Dog Creative Director Niel Druckmann confirmed that Ellie will be the only playable character in The Last of Us Part II.
Thanks to the two trailers, the one from PSX 2016 and this past E3 demo, fans were led to believe that Ellie would be the focus of The Last of Us sequel. As of yet, we haven’t seen Joel or his brother. However, Paris Games Week delivered a brutal cinematic that introduced Laura Bailey’s character, as well as two more character’s we hadn’t seen before. Unfortunately, the developers haven’t clued us in on anyone else’s role or whether or not they’ll be playable. Until today that is.
During a session behind closed doors, the team was asked if there would be other playable characters besides Ellie. The co-lead game designer, Richard Cambier, responded, “We aren’t saying anything about that yet.”
Then, creative director Niel Druckmann paused before he revealed that, “Ellie is the only playable character in the game.”
This is quite the surprise if true, and big reveal to make so candidly and so early. Stranger when you consider that Joel is out of the picture, sort of. Then again, Druckmann could be pulling a clever statement if he just means that, technically and presently, Ellie is the only playable character because development hasn’t progressed far enough for the others. We’ll leave it up to the future.
Something else Druckmann confirmed this week, the demo footage we saw at Sony’s E3 showcase was actual gameplay. It might have been scripted, but the things we saw will be in the game, including the new mechanics.