Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.As any singular story should do, The Last of Us: Part II It ended in a way that feels contained and conclusive, with the Naughty Dog developers changing the characters (and the perception players have of them) through the course of their actions. If there is no next entry, then it is an appropriate bittersweet ending positing that the characters simply continued to live, trying to find some kind of peace. But of course, fans like me can only beg to know what else awaits characters like Ellie, Abby, Dina, Tommy, and the rest of the characters we’ve grown to love. In my time pondering the possibilities (i.e. looking at a blank space on the wall), and with a full year from Part ii to reflect on everything, I will share where possible Last of Us Part III – a likely trilogy finale – could go.

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Stopping myself from getting too far into the undergrowth that is my theorizing brain, I’m not that interested in discussing location settings and the types of gameplay we might see for the third time. We all know that Naughty Dog will do away with the park’s visuals and gameplay using this next-gen hardware, and as far as location (s), who knows? Perhaps they will go from post-apocalyptic New York to Delaware, which is now more interesting.

My thoughts tend to circle more around the story and the character than anything else, largely due to where we last left the main cast of characters at the end of the second game. From EllieAshley johnson) The last time in the game he finds her leaving behind her peaceful life with Dina (Shannon woodward) and her son, all in the name of going to California to locate Abby (Laura Bailey) once again, even if it means losing Dina entirely in the process. Having found Abby, and after nearly killing her in the final fight, Ellie lets Abby go with Lev (Ian Alexander). Facing the consequences of her actions, which include two severed fingers, Ellie returns to Jackson to find that Dina and the baby are gone, with nothing but her own possessions crammed into a single room. Trying to play the guitar but not being able to play the correct notes, this seems like a real tragedy for Ellie. But what makes the ending bittersweet, and one of the best moments in the game overall, comes shortly after in a final flashback with Joel (Troy baker). The two have a conversation in which Ellie again criticizes Joel for the lies he told her, telling him that his life “would have mattered” before he took a chance on her. He then says that he would like to try and begin to forgive Joel for what he did, setting them on a path to mend their bond, which they never got to do fully together before his death tragically shortened their time.

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A screenshot from The Last of Us Part II

Image via Sony Interactive Entertainment

As her time with Joel ends, it is in the rest of that conversation that themes from Ellie’s story could shape her journey into a Part iii. His arc in the first game was about losing his innocence and accepting what he had to do with his immunity. On Part ii, she is angry and lost, feeling that all the meaning of her life has been stripped from her. I think Part iii It could be a continuation of that path, with Ellie’s journey revolving around her search for meaning, realizing that meaning doesn’t come in what you are capable of, but simply in living your life with the people you love. He can’t fulfill the sense of purpose he thought he had before Joel did what he did, but now he can find purpose elsewhere, maybe in life with Dina. A third game could continue right after the end of Part ii, with Ellie returning to the world, possibly back to find Dina and make amends. Again, I don’t know where this physically and literally leads Ellie in the game. But in terms of exploring themes and characters, much of Ellie’s story could probably focus on the search for inner peace and love, a 180 from the spiral of anger and revenge she was in. Part ii.

While switching to her perspective took some getting used to, I ended up loving Abby’s bow in the end, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she came back for a bit. Part iii also. The last time he was seen fighting Ellie, he ends up escaping the beach with Lev, and the new title screen once completed is his boat docked ashore with the supposed Firefly headquarters across the water, hinting that the two of them did. they got. Like Joel in the first game, Abby’s story in Part ii he finds her assuming a kind of guardianship role, leading her toward redemption and leaving her old life behind. Her arc feels more concluded than Ellie’s, but there’s still room for a story with her, one that might find her face-to-face with Ellie once again, both in less angry places in the end compared to where they started in. Part ii. The two of you have more in common than you think, and perhaps a story could bring you together as you work toward the ultimate goal of forgiveness; perhaps their respective partners, Dina and Lev, could make them cross paths and force them to learn to work together. But maybe that’s just my “MCU brain” exploding.

A screenshot from The Last of Us Part II

Image via Sony Interactive Entertainment

Game director Neil Druckmann has talked about how both games are about loveand the many cycles, some violent, that love can go through a person. I keep coming back to the theme of a third game that could continue this examination of love by emphasizing forgiveness. Ellie was never able to fully forgive Joel while he was still alive, but maybe she can achieve that kind of closure with her killer and in turn seek forgiveness from Dina (who may not be ready to give it to him). In turn, perhaps Ellie is a final piece of Abby’s past that she needs to reconcile to move on. The second game’s heavy focus on revenge and general gravity wasn’t always easy to handle, and while it’s safe to assume that a third game will take place in this established world of violence, there’s plenty of room for one. Part iii to, more than ever, emphasize the love, peace and strength of humanity overcoming the darkest times.

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