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The Last of Us Part 2 trailer begins in happier times

Gameplay demo goes from stealth to brutal combat

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Naughty Dog’s latest trailer for The Last of Us Part 2, which the studio debuted tonight during Sony’s E3 2018 press briefing, takes a somewhat different tack than the hard-to-watch trailer from Paris Games Week 2017. This, the third trailer for the upcoming action game, features the same brutal and violent combat we’ve come to expect from the franchise — but bookended by cutscenes of Ellie at a dance.

Sony held its Last of Us Part 2 presentation in a makeshift church it had constructed in a tent, and kicked off the show with a musical performance on banjo by Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer for both games. Then the segment shifted to footage from the game, which began with a cutscene of Ellie and a male friend named Jesse being wallflowers at a dance.

It sounds like Joel is around at this point: Jesse refers to Ellie’s “dad,” saying that he laid into Jesse. Then another friend — or perhaps more — named Dina comes by and pulls Ellie onto the floor for a slow dance. Dina takes Ellie in her arms and kisses her ... and then the camera cuts to Ellie stabbing a man in the throat in a rainy forest.

From there, Ellie tries to make her way past some enemies while remaining in stealth. She comes across the bad guys literally disemboweling a man who is already hanging from a noose. Ellie later eliminates some enemies using her bow and arrow, but eventually she gets spotted, and that’s when she has to take down a couple of people with some melee combat. It looks like enemies drop weapons when they die, like knives, and it appears that Ellie can’t use them forever.

That was the case in the previous game, but a new element is the ability for Ellie to hide underneath a car. From down there, she shoots a woman in the face and then has to run into a beauty shop, and a number of enemies follow her. Ellie quickly crafts an explosive arrow on the spot, and eventually, when she gets to the last guy, she uses a machete she has picked up and takes a big swing at his neck.

Sony announced The Last of Us Part 2 in December 2016 at PlayStation Experience. The original Last of Us was released in June 2013 on PlayStation 3. The company did not give a release window today.

Correction (June 12): Ellie’s romantic interest is named Dina, not Nina. We’ve edited the article to reflect this. Dina is voiced by Shannon Woodward, who is best known for playing Elsie on Westworld.

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