The Last of Us Part II Co-Writer Discusses the Game’s Story and Themes

In a new interview, The Last of Us Part II co-writer Halley Gross discusses the game’s story and putting Ellie in tougher situations than ever before.

In a new interview with Gamesradar, The Last of Us Part II co-writer Halley Gross talks about the game’s story and themes.

“Ultimately, this is a story about the cycle of violence, right? But beyond that, it’s a conversation about the effects systematic trauma can have on your souls,” says Gross. “And so to do that, obviously Ellie experiences this deep trauma, it has an impact on her that’s going to affect how she engages with the world. That’s going to affect her tone as we sort of descend through that. That being said, Ellie is driven by love. It’s love that sends her on this mission for justice. It’s that love she feels for Joel, for Dina – these moments that buoy for her.”

Among the other things Gross talks about in the interview is the guard dogs players will encounter. She says players will have to make a hard choice between avoiding the dogs before they attack you or you take them out. Gross says she hopes players will empathize with what Ellie feels in the moment as they see these decisions knaw at her.

Gross also discusses the Western Liberation Front, a new group that doesn’t take kindly to outsiders like Ellie. Additionally, she describes them as smarter and they know what they’re doing which makes them scarier.

“I think what we’re really trying to do is challenge Ellie to see who she can become when she grows up in such a hostile environment,” Gross continues. “And part of writing is, very unfortunately, torturing your characters, is putting them in hard situations, and testing their values and testing their drive. So while we love Ellie, and we’re really excited to see her grow up, we’re certainly not going to coddle her.”

The Last of Us Part II launches on February 21, 2020, exclusively on PlayStation 4. The game is available for preorder on Amazon now.

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