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Ellie’s the main character of The Last of Us Part 2

Joel’s taking a back seat in the sequel

The Last of Us Part 2 Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The Last of Us Part 2 will feature Ellie in the lead playable role, creative director Neil Druckmann revealed at PlayStation Experience 2016 today. She’ll take over for Joel, the playable protagonist for the majority of the original game, in Naughty Dog’s sequel.

The second chapter in the franchise will take place a few years after the events of the original game. Ellie is now 19 years old and fueled by hate, a major theme of The Last of Us Part 2, Druckmann said.

Ellie will play differently from Joel, Druckmann said, but said that revealing any more about her “evolution” was risky territory.

Druckmann said that the reason the sequel is specifically named “Part 2” is that it’s a “complementary story to the first game” and that the two games will tell “a much larger story.”

Ellie was playable for a portion of the original The Last of Us and starred in a prequel expansion, The Last of Us: Left Behind.

Sony and Naughty Dog confirmed The Last of Us Part 2 at the end of this morning’s PlayStation Experience keynote showcase. While the game is a long ways off, Druckmann said, more details are promised in the coming months.