The Last of Us 2‘s debut trailer didn’t feature in-game footage and was created exclusively as a concept for the finished release, Naughty Dog’s creative director has said.
Neil Druckmann appeared on the AIAS Game Maker’s podcast in order to discuss The Last of Us 2, with him revealing some information regarding its debut trailer and the impact its second Paris Games Week trailer had on production. The Last of Us 2‘s reveal trailer, which debuted at PlayStation Experience 2016, was our reintroduction to an older Ellie and a silhouetted Joel. Describing the lead-up to the game’s reveal, Druckmann stated that this trailer was a concept used to announce the game and that Naughty Dog actually had to push back The Last of Us 2‘s planned E3 2017 reveal to buy them more time.
“Initially — I might be revealing too much here — we were going to show something at E3 that just passed, and then we realized that … instead of putting the team through a grind this early in production, we decided [to] hold off on showing something this E3,” Druckmann said. “Then we knew we had Paris [Games Week] coming up, and we were like okay, what would be something kinda cool to get our most hardcore fans [interested]? We were like okay, we could show a finished cinematic.”
According to Druckmann, the scene featured in the Paris Games Week trailer was created in the run-up to Sony’s presentation, though will be appearing as a finished cinematic in the game.
“The first trailer is something that exists purely as an announcement, it isn’t a scene that takes place in the game, so we were like let’s pluck a scene from the game and then we looked through all the candidates,” he continued. “Then we were looking at [the Paris Games Week] one and we were like, well it doesn’t have Joel and Ellie, it shows this new character, we were trying to debate what would fans make of this? We started to become really intrigued by the questions this raises.”
Druckmann then revealed a snippet of new information regarding the anonymous band of survivors featured in the trailer, saying that they will be “main characters” in the finished game.
“Every time we put something out to the public we’re going to polish it to such an insane degree, so this allowed us to now design and polish three main characters that were at different stages of concept, design and polish some of the tech for our engine as far as rain and direct light,” he said. “It really pushed us to put more pins in things as far as tech and creative.”
Druckmann stated that the vertical slice of The Last of Us 2 showcased at Paris Games Week is now the standard Naughty Dog is aspiring to, with him saying that “the rest of the game now needs to feel like this.”
Listen to the podcast below: