The Last of Us 2 Will Feature NPC Companions for Ellie

The Last of Us 2 remains one of the most highly-anticipated PS4 exclusives despite not having received a definitive release date. The gameplay presentation of the game at E3 2018 was a highlight of PlayStation’s entire press conference. It showcases Ellie dancing with and kissing another woman at a serene party before shifting to more brutal and violent scenes of her killing several enemies. There was no sign of the first game’s protagonist Joel in the trailer. However, it turns out that Ellie will probably have NPC companions in the upcoming game.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Naughty Dog Vice President Neil Druckmann said: “Well, so, Ellie used to be an NPC, but she’s the protagonist in this story, so the player is controlling Ellie. Umm, it’s safe to say with the game that we made in the past that there will be some NPC with you in this story, even though we’re not showing [the NPC] in this demo.”

You heard that right. Ellie will not be fighting and surviving alone, which is what the gameplay trailer depicted. In the original The Last of Us, Ellie was merely an NPC companion to protagonist Joel, before the game surprised gamers when it gave us momentary control of Ellie in several gameplay segments. It makes us wonder if Naughty Dog will be pulling the same thing in The Last of Us 2.

This means that there might be a chance of Joel actually appearing in the game as an NPC companion. It could also be someone new, which is probably more likely. Druckmann continued: “And our general approach is to say, again, How do we treat them like people? How do we get them to behave honestly as those people? How do we give them interesting characteristics so that they can navigate the world, make meaningful actions, and surprise you in the way people do?”

Last month, it was hinted by Naughty Dog co-lead designer Emilia Schatz that The Last of Us 2 will have more than one playable character. That lends even further credibility to the idea of Joel returning to the game, or a completely new character playing the role of companion. With no confirmed release date or even a release window, we might be speculating on this question for quite a while longer yet.