Naughty Dog has shared an update on The Last of Us Part II, stating that the game is getting fine-tuned in the “final stretch of production.” (via PlayStation Blog)

Announced in 2016, the second story for Ellie and Joel explores “the cycle of violence” and the legacy left behind. Set five years after the end of The Last of Us, nineteen-year-old Ellie finds a kindred spirit in Dina, another scout for the community in Jackson. Their relationship intensifies, and it appears that Dina goes missing when the two are split up by an antagonistic group of survivors. Dina’s fate is unknown, but given the themes of the first game and the interviews from the developer, she might end up executed by these hostiles. 

Ellie’s quest to avenge her loss will encounter deadlier, smarter enemies that use incredibly improved artificial intelligence that leads to naturalistic, “more intense moments to transpire for the player.” Naughty Dog is raising the bar for every aspect of the game, and “the size and scope” of The Last of Us Part II meant that it needed to be delayed from February 2020 to May 2020. “We hope you understand that this additional time ensures that The Last of Us Part II lives up to our collective ambition as well as our commitment to the highest level of quality,” said director Neil Druckmann at the time. The delay was unexpected news, but now we know that the game is ticking along towards its new release date. 

Arne Meyer, director of communications, took to the PlayStation Blog to commence the first of a few “regular communications” about the highly anticipated survival action-adventure game. “We are thrilled to say that we’ve entered the final stretch of production and are putting the finishing touches on The Last of Us Part II as you read this,” said Meyer. “The end of development puts us one very large step closer to launch. We know all of you have been so patient over the last few years, so it’s been thrilling to see our game taking on its final shape and knowing that means it will be in your hands soon.”

Additionally, the Ellie Edition of the game will be back in stock at select retailers across US and Canada only from February 13. This contains everything from the Collector’s Edition, as well as a full-scale, fully-functional replica of Ellie’s backpack, an embroidered patch, and a 7″ vinyl single featuring music from the game. The Last of Us Part II will be playable at PAX East 2020, featuring the “Patrol” chapter that follows Ellie and Dina’s duties to control the perimeter of the settlement. Sony said that it was ditching E3 2020 for “hundreds of consumer events” instead, and this may be one of these opportunities for new audiences to go hands-on with the game.

Finally, Naughty Dog has released a free The Last of Us Part II dynamic system theme that transitions from day to night in real time. It’s on the PlayStation Store, and the region-specific codes will expire on February 11, 2021.

The Last of Us Part II will launch for PlayStation 4 on May 29, 2020. 
 

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