Traveling across an America in ruin with the headstrong Joel, surviving zombie "Clickers" and human raiders, Ellie had to grow up quickly in Naughty Dog's haunting 2013 hit The Last of Us. In The Last of Us Part ll, an older Ellie takes the lead, but that doesn't mean players won't have someone to keep them company.
This week, The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann told Buzzfeed in an interview that someone will accompany Ellie like Ellie accompanied Joel. She will have her own, non-playable companion that will join her as she makes her way through the gritty and violent world of the upcoming sequel.
"Ellie used to be an NPC, but she's the protagonist in this story, so the player is controlling Ellie," Druckmann said. "It’s safe to say with the game that we made in the past that there will be some NPC with you in this story, even though we’re not showing [the NPC] in this demo."
Druckmann told Buzzfeed that what's important for the team is to focusing on treating characters, NPC or not, like "people," and how to get them to behave as "honestly" as people. With their own unique characteristics and personalities that allow them to surprise players and perform "meaningful actions," Druckmann went on to clarify.
We'll likely have to wait quite a while longer to hear more about who will be adventuring with Ellie, as the game still doesn't have a firm release date. In the meantime, just keep your fingers crossed for Joel, who hopefully won't end up as empathy cannon fodder in the new game.