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The Last Of Us 2 Release Date Revealed

Following years of waiting and speculation, Sony finally revealed the release date for The Last of Us 2 during the September 24, 2019 State of Play. The sequel to the 2013 smash hit comes to PlayStation 4 on February 21, 2020.

In addition to the release date, Sony shared a new The Last of Us 2 trailer, resolving some unanswered questions and theories about the game. The biggest revelation centers on The Last of Us protagonist Joel, whose role in the new installment has remained shrouded in mystery. Though his voice and shadow featured in the reveal trailer, Joel remained absent from the gameplay footage shared by Naughty Dog during most of the development journey. This led some fans to suggest that Joel died between the events of the two games and that he would serve as a manifestation of Ellie's guilty conscience in the sequel.

The trailer unveiled during the State of Play gave fans their first look at Joel in The Last of Us 2. His grizzled appearance fits with the five-year gap between titles and the fact that he physically grabs Ellie from behind in the final moments of the video suggests that Joel is, in fact, very much alive. The scene further implies that he will join Ellie in her quest for revenge, which means he might become a playable character for parts of the story. 

Don't get your hopes up too much though. Creative director Neil Druckmann told IGN back in 2018 that "Ellie is the only playable character in the game." A month later, he revealed in a BuzzFeed interview that Ellie would have some sort of NPC companion. Based on the trailer footage, both Dina, Ellie's love interest, and Joel seem to fill that role in The Last of Us 2. Images of dogs in motion capture suits shared on Druckmann's social media accounts also suggest that a canine buddy could accompany Ellie at certain points during her travels.

While the 2020 launch date puts to bed rumors that The Last of Us 2 would release in 2019, the latest trailer seems to confirm that Dina's death motivates Ellie's murder-rampage. This will likely disappoint some fans, who felt that using Dina's murder in this way would be too obvious for the master storytellers at Naughty Dog. As a Jewish and LGBTQ+ character, both groups that are woefully underrepresented in the video games industry, Dina's death serves as an even greater let-down. Despite sacrificing Dina to the plot device gods, The Last of Us 2 is shaping up to be quite the impressive title. It looks like you may even get to take part in the rumored horseback combat.

Beyond the fresh look at The Last of Us 2, Sony packed several other snippets and announcements into their 20-minute State of Play. The first trailer for the upcoming physics platformer Humanity headlined the show alongside a new story trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. A trippy gameplay trailer for Wattam, the "ultimate goof-around simulation" from developer Funomena, debuted. Spanish-based studio Piccolo also announced Arise: A Simple Story, a gorgeous new adventure-platformer.

VR gamers have a lot to look forward to. L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files is now available for PlayStation VR. You can also expect to see the following VR titles in the coming months: Gorn (Winter 2019), Espire1: VR Operative (September 2019), Stardust Odyssey (Winter 2019), After the Fall (2020), and Space Channel 5 VR Kinda Funky News Flash! (Autumn 2019).

Sony announced the the MediEvil Short-Lived demo, which is slated to go live on the PlayStation Store at some point today. PlayStation users who play the demo before October 6 can claim Dan's Helmet for use in the full game. Fans of the Civilization series also received some goods new: Civilization 6 will launch for PlayStation 4 on November 22, 2019, bringing the PS4-exclusive Nubia Civilization & Scenario Pack and Khmer and Indonesia Civilization & Scenario Pack for anyone who purchases the game. The launch trailer for Afterparty, the tongue-in-cheek romp through hell from Oxenfree developer Night Studio, also dropped as a follow-up to the reveal of the game's October 29 release date last week.

Finally, the State of Play shared the October lineup for PS Plus subscribers: The Last of Us Remastered and MLB The Show 19.