In a press event in a sound stage converted into a giant church for 3,000 journalists and other onlookers, Sony unveiled more details about Naughty Dog’s next big game, The Last of Us Part II, at the 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) today in Los Angeles.
The trailer of gameplay showed Ellie, older than in the first game but still awkward, as both a shy person and a stone-cold killer. You can see that in the trailer. But the weird story here was that Sony made us feel like we — all 3,000 of us — were inside a video game. The church we were standing in resembled the church where Ellie dances with — and kisses — another girl.
I was paranoid that something was going to cause a stampede. Sony’s announcer asked us all twice to take one step backward from all of the church pews. Shawn Layden, head of Sony’s U.S. game business, came on stage and invited us to take part in a very different kind of experience, where we would go on a journey through the company’s big games.
When the brutal scene was over and Ellie had killed her last enemy, we all got up and exited to the front left. Everyone else was taking selfies and shooting the crowd from the stage. As I exited, I remembered we were in a giant sound stage. Sony is trying to transport us to some other place, inside a game, where we can fully appreciate what it’s like to be immersed.
It was a good way to lead off Sony’s most unusual E3 press event ever. As I write this, we are sitting in a theater looking at flowers blowing in the breeze. The Last of Us Part II is one of the most-anticipated exclusives for Sony’s PlayStation 4, and it could very well keep Sony in the lead of the console wars if it is as successful as the first game, which debuted on the PlayStation 3 in 2013.
The Last of Us has a rabid following, as it depicts the relationship between Joel and Ellie, two tenacious survivors of a zombie apocalypse. It is deep storytelling in games at its finest, with solid shooter gameplay as well. It happens to be my favorite game.
The Last of Us Part II continues the story of Joel and Ellie, though Naughty Dog has shown very little of the game except a horrifying violent scene as survivors fight each other and then deal with an attack from monstrous former humans, known as “clickers.”
Neil Druckmann, co-creator of the game, recently talked about the inspirations for The Last of Us.