One of the most shocking things at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo was the announcement of the Crash Bandicoot HD Collection, where the first three Crash games for the PS1 — 1, 2, and Warped — will be remastered for the PS4. The Crash franchise was formerly owned by Naughty Dog, who didn’t have a presence at all at E3.
Most were expecting that Naughty Dog, who featured the first Crash Bandicoot game in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, to make a huge impact at E3 by announcing the sequel to 2013’s critically acclaimed title The Last of Us. Sadly, they did not.
— Game Rant (@GameRant) June 14, 2016
It’s been revealed by gaming industry insider Shinobi602 that Naughty Dog is prototyping The Last of Us 2, but he didn’t specifically say when the Sony-owned gaming studio will officially reveal that they’ve been working on TLOU 2.
“I think [Naughty Dog] is definitely dabbling in [The Last of Us 2], but I don’t think we’ll see it at E3. I think they’ll probably have some prototypes going of that, I’ll say that much.”
Naughty Dog did hint at a Last of Us sequel in Uncharted 4 via a poster that was in the game’s epilogue. The poster showed a pregnant woman with a gas mask on, and it had text that read “The Last of Us – American Daughters.” This has caused a ton of speculation about the plot of the second game, as most believe that we’ll be seeing a pregnant Ellie in TLOU’s sequel.
The Last of Us: American Daughters High-Res Cover Out, "Not Allowed To Talk About The Narrative Of The Cover" https://t.co/9cU5Rps4V3
— The Last of Us (@TheLastofUsGame) June 3, 2016
The “American Daughters” poster in Uncharted 4 was designed by Naughty Dog concept artist Richard Lyons, and he’s added a description of the image that is quite interesting, as it suggests that an announcement regarding TLOU 2 could be coming at some point in the near-future.
“The Last of Us – American Daughters. This poster was created as an in-game asset for Uncharted 4. Such a treat to work on. Also I can’t elaborate on the narrative of this image.”
The fact that Lyons says that he can’t elaborate on the narrative of the “American Daughters” image suggests that it has something to do with the plot of The Last of Us 2 and that Naughty Dog will officially announce the production of TLOU 2 at some point this year.
According to RobinGaming, The Last of Us 2 could very well be announced at PSX 2016 this coming December. Of course, the PSX convention isn’t as big of a deal as E3, but an announcement there will certainly be big news. If it isn’t announced at PSX 2016, then it’ll almost certainly be announced at E3 next year.
Naughty Dog’s creative director, Neil Druckmann, said that the studio has been considering creating a sequel that won’t include Joel and Ellie. If that’s the case, then the pregnant woman in the “American Daughters” photo may be Ellie’s mom, Anna, who was briefly mentioned in TLOU’s downloadable content, titled Left Behind.
Druckmann also admitted that he and his team had been creating prototypes for TLOU 2 prior to working on Uncharted 4. So they’ve clearly been working on The Last of Us 2 for quite some time now.
Naughty Dog will be releasing some single-player DLC for Uncharted 4 this summer, so The Last of Us 2 could be hinted at again in that.
We do know that a Last of Us sequel is coming and that Naughty Dog didn’t put the “American Daughters” poster in Uncharted 4’s epilogue for no reason. Also, it’s not the first time they’ve hinted at their next project in one of their games, as they hinted at the first Last of Us game in the opening scene of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
[Image via Naughty Dog Inc./Sony Computer Entertainment]