The Last of Us Part 2 trailer is as dark and disturbing as any fictional scene can be. (Only real torture might outdo the gruesome, threatening menace exhibited in the nearly 5 minutes on screen here.) The fire is matched in sound only by the persistent rain, or hail, and every sound effect is telling and painful. (The incredible sound design is lean, sure, precise and crackling.) From the unsheathing of weapons to the grunts and groans — not to mention the metallic ping of the hammer as “wings” are clipped — the sonic terror alone is enough to scar a viewer. Then there is the uncomfortably visceral sense of the blade against bare belly, which swings from a noose in the dark. Creative Director Neil Druckmann says what anyone watching will understand immediately — in many ways it’s an exploration of hate: “Last year at the Playstation Experience we talked about the theme of hate and how much of this story revolves around that,” Druckmann says in the interview teasing the new release. “This, you can see in a lot of ways, speaks to that.” It’s hard to see any ways it doesn’t.
But as far as “who these characters are, what their conflict is, where this takes place, when this takes place, we’re gonna leave it up to the fans for now,” Druckmann says. The Last of Us survival horror franchise kicked off with the wickedly popular The Last of Us in 2013 which won every award in sight, even winning rare praise in the video game world for its portrayal of strong female characters personified by Ellie — who is portrayed by multi-talented veteran actress Ashley Johnson. There is as yet no release date on the calendar for Last of Us Part 2.