The Last of Us Part II on PS4 isn't an open-world game, and there's a good reason why: it'd be a worse game. As you will know, while battle royale is the trend in multiplayer, making games open-world and squeezing RPG-lite elements into them is the trend for AAA single-player games. That said, The Last of Us Part II won't be succumbing to this temptation. However, the game will have larger areas, but they won't be completely open-world, and they will also be complimented with more contained, linear, and scripted segments when the game needs to ramp up the tension, something most open-world games lack.
"Unlike an open world game that is usually open all the time, that [type of] game doesn't work for us for The Last of Us because that loses tension," said creative director Neil Druckmann while speaking to IGN. "If I need to go rescue someone, and [the game] says 'OK go rescue them right now...or do these 10 other things on the side,' you lose tension."
While the game isn't open-world, it does have some elements you tend to find in open-world games, like optional side content and the ability to decide what to do next. However, it sounds like this isn't the majority of the game.
"Depending where you are with the story, we might open things up significantly and say, 'Here are some optional things you can go explore, some side stories, or you can go directly next to where you're meant to go,'" said Druckmann. "But the tension is not high, and as the tension ratchets up, we might tighten things up, you might play a very scripted, authored Naughty Dog setpiece. And we know we can go in both directions according to the need of the story."
The Last of Us Part II is in development for PS4. At the moment of publishing, there's been no word of a PS5 re-release. However, we do have word of a release date. Barring any delay, the game will release worldwide on February 21, 2020, priced at $60. For more news, media, and information on the highly-anticipated sequel, be sure to peruse all of past and recent coverage of the title by clicking here.