Ellie will be the protagonist of “The Last of Us Part II,” but she won’t be going it entirely alone, according to director Neil Druckmann.
In an interview with Buzzfeed found via VideoGamer, Druckmann was asked about what makes Ellie such a memorable non-playable character (NPC).
“Well, so, Ellie used to be an NPC, but she’s the protagonist in this story, so the player is controlling Ellie,” Druckmann clarified. “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. And our general approach is to say, again, ‘How do we treat them like people? How do we get them to behave honestly as those people? How do we give them interesting characteristics so that they can navigate the world, make meaningful actions, and surprise you in the way people do?'”
Although Ellie started out as an NPC, she notably was a playable character for a portion of “The Last of Us,” so this won’t be an entirely new experience in the sequel. Though whatever events have transpired between the first and second installments appear to have made Ellie an even more ruthless fighter in order to survive.
What might be an interesting turn of events is whether or not Joel could be the NPC companion whom Druckmann is hinting about. The original protagonist didn’t even make an appearance in the most recent trailer, though he was briefly mentioned as Ellie’s “Old Man.”
In terms of characters who will interact with Ellie in Part II, we have seen a new love interest, Dina, revealed in the E3 2018 trailer. Another character we saw a peek of was Jesse, the apparent ex-partner of Dina. It’s unclear at this point if either could be potential companions, and it could be a long time until we have further clarification, as “The Last of Us Part II” still has no release date.