Naughty Dog, who is the developer of both the Uncharted series and The Last of Us, hinted at a sequel to the 2013 game of the year in Uncharted 4's epilogue by showing a poster of a pregnant woman that was titled "The Last of Us: American Daughters." The poster got a lot of people talking, and it was definitely put there for a reason.
Following the release of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Naughty Dog's concept artist Richard Lyons, who designed the "American Daughters" image, commented on the picture and then made a statement that led many to believe that Naughty Dog is in the process of developing the sequel to The Last of Us.
"The Last of Us - American Daughters. The 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."
Lyons saying that he can't elaborate on the narrative of the "American Daughters" image pretty much suggests that Naughty Dog is at least prototyping The Last of Us 2.
In Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Naughty Dog dropped a hint at their upcoming project, which tuned out to be The Last of Us. So, they do like to drop hints at what they're doing next in their games.
One thing that Naughty Dog should consider doing, which hasn't even been talked about yet, is to make Joel and Ellie, who were the protagonists in The Last of Us, playable characters in Uncharted 4's multiplayer mode. Why? Because if would further build anticipation for The Last of Us 2, which we all know is coming at some point. Plus, Joel and Ellie would be a welcomed addition to the hero's side of Uncharted 4's multiplayer.
At last month's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), it was announced that Crash Bandicoot would be appearing inSkylanders Imaginators in an effort to hype the upcoming release of the Crash Bandicoot HD Collection. Even though The Last of Us 2 hasn't been announced yet, Naughty Dog should follow what Activision is doing and combine the worlds of their two most popular titles.
Do Joel and Ellie fit in the world of Uncharted 4? No, but does it really matter? Multiplayer isn't about if certain characters fit into the game's narrative. Plus, it'd be fun to see Joel and Ellie fighting side-by-side with Nathan Drake and Elena.
Naughty Dog is going planning on releasing downloadable content for Uncharted 4's multiplayer modes every couple of months until the spring of 2017. Every character who's ever been in Uncharted is part of the game's multiplayer roster, but it wouldn't hurt to add a couple more from outside of the game, especially popular characters like Joel and Ellie.
Will Joel and Ellie be added to Uncharted 4's multiplayer? Probably not. But they'd be a welcomed addition to the game if they were.
As for when Naughty Dog is planning on announcing The Last of Us 2, there are some reports out there that suggest that it'll be announced this coming December at PSX 2016, while others are suggesting that they'll make the big announcement at next year's E3.
There have been several reports going around that The Last of Us 2 will feature some pretty brutal death scenes, and that Joel and/or Ellie may be killed off in the sequel. There have also been rumors that Naughty Dog will create new main characters in the sequel or that the game will be a prequel featuring Ellie's mother, Anna.
As of right now, we don't know a whole lot about The Last of Us 2 other than Naughty Dog is prototyping the game and that they'll turn their full attention to the project after they've released Uncharted 4's single-player DLC, which will probably be released early next year.
[Image via Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog]