The latest morsel of information came in a panel session with journalist’s at MCM ComicCon Birmingham. While the entirety of the session is generally an interesting watch as Nolan North and Troy Baker discuss life as actors in the game’s industry, one particular point will stand out to The Last of Us fans. Baker, who voices protagonist Joel in The Last of Us is asked about the pressures of performing as well in the sequel as he did for the first game. After telling us that, yes, that kind of pressure is absolutely real he goes off on a small tangent about feeling very confident on one particular aspects of The Last of Us: Part II -- its story. He goes on to mention how the first playtest is complete and that the game so far “is looking awesome”.
Of course, we need to be objective here. A voice actor closely tied to the franchise and to other franchises under Naughty Dog is, of course, only ever going to say good things on the matter. Still, it’s great to hear something positive from someone on the team. The last topic of discussion on The Last of Us: Part II came shortly after its reveal in an interview with Neil Druckmann late last year. On the Game Maker’s Notebook podcast, Druckmann mirrored Baker’s view on consumer expectation and resultant pressure that comes with it. He elected to be very realistic, stating that the flashy trailer was not indicative of work completed so far. He even went so far as to explain (at the time) the game was still a “broken mess”.
There’s still no release date for The Last of Us: Part II. The game is still in very early stages of development but it widely expected to arrive sometime in 2019 and at the very latest 2020. Pushing that far, we have to wonder if the Sony exclusive sequel to one of the best, most polished games ever made will arrive on the PlayStation 4 or the next generation.