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The Last of Us Part II Will Explore "Primitive" Feelings

Violence permeates The Last of Us Part II – that much is clear from the trailers so far – something that’s part of an overall theme of exploring “primitive” feelings and actions, Naughty Dog says.

The trailer above that was revealed in June at E3 doesn’t start with violence, but that soon changes as we see a different side of Ellie, a main character from the first Last of Us and the protagonist of the second. Whatever life Ellie once had in the beginning of the clip is gone now as she shoots, stabs, and hacks at her adversaries who stand in her way. “Primitive” is a word that’d certainly come to mind when watching the trailer, a word that Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann used himself when talking about the game’s overall theme.

During an interview with Buzzfeed, Druckmann was asked what the one thing he’d want players to take away from the game would be. The previews of the sequel have already been compared to the first game, and Druckmann used his own comparison to discuss the big takeaway from The Last of Us Part II.


“You’re kind of talking about the ultimate message of what the game is, right? With the first game, it’s that sense of irrational, unconditional love a parent feels for their child and how they’re willing to sacrifice everything for their child, right?” Druckmann clarified. “The whole kind of game was built around that concept. With this game, a lot of our conversations are about hate, but it’s a more complicated, kind of nuanced thing, which is— I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you’ve witnessed an atrocity. You’ve seen someone torture an animal, or they’ve pushed you too far and, for a second, your mind goes somewhere ... primitive, where you want to hurt someone. And with this game, we’re like, 'How do we explore that? How do we make you feel those feelings and lean into them, and then make you reflect on them?' And I can’t say more than that without kind of spoiling the whole story. But everything we’re constructing, the situation we’re putting the characters in, is to explore that basically.”

Druckmann also spoke about Ellie’s evolving character that’s changed so much from the first game to the second while comparing her character to Atreus from the most recent God of War game. The full interview with Druckmann can be seen here.