"The Last of Us" was one of the biggest breakout games of 2013, becoming a topseller and bringing something unique to the well-worn action-adventure survival genre. Now, producer Naughty Dog has announced The Last of Us Part 2 in PlayStation Experience 2016, with an official reveal trailer to boot, and its three minutes of gorgeous, haunting footage has fans in wild speculation over one plot point in particular.
"The Last of Us Part 2" trailer centers on Ellie, who seems to have matured significantly since the last game, playing the guitar and singing an emotional tune as she sits alone in the bedroom of an abandoned home. Shots of her are interspersed with footage of other rooms around the house, revealing scenes of carnage. Blood also runs down Ellie's face.
At the end of "The Last of Us Part 2" trailer, Joel walks into the home and up to the bedroom, where he asks Ellie how she is. In a final chilling moment, Ellie vows under her breath that she will find and kill "every last one of them," without revealing who "they" are. Except that fans have a clue: Joel is actually appearing as a figment of Ellie's imagination (the trailer never depicts him from the front), and the game will center on her tracking down his killers.
Joel was the protagonist in "The Last of Us" first installment, where he acted as a younger Ellie's guide in a post-apocalyptic world. The new Last of Us trailer seems to suggest that not only is Ellie the new hero in the sequel, but that Joel may actually have died at some point in between the narrative of the two games.
According to iTech Post, Neil Druckmann of Naughty Dog has said that "The Last of Us 2" will be game centered on hatred, which seems to feed into the fan theory of Joel's death. The producers have mentioned that both characters will return to the game, but whether Joel will return in human form or as simply a hallucination of Ellie's is yet to be seen, according to Polygon. The Last of Us 2 has no release date yet.