Joel proved to be one of the most popular characters in the original The Last of Us game, but it looks like he might well have chosen a different path in Part 2.
Fans have grown very impatient in the absence of a release date for the franchise’s next installment, as the last real gameplay we were shown dates back to E3 2018, but new details appear to have emerged surrounding the game’s most prominent male figure.
Unlike many other The Last of Us 2 leaks, hints and rumors, this has actually come from a key member of the project, so we can absolutely take this one seriously.
Troy Baker, who is the voice actor for Joel, has been discussing the character’s involvement in the upcoming title during Manchester Comic-Con – according to Gamebyte – and his answers might raise some eyebrows.
“You assume that Joel is the hero and David is the villain, but everyone is the hero of their own story,” he explained during the event. “I firmly believe that David believes he’s doing what is best for his people, and he is the hero in his story.”
He added: “Joel believes he’s a hero. If he was to lean anywhere I think that Joel would consider himself a villain, which is why he can say that he’s been on both sides. Once you get to play the Joker, playing the ‘villain’ to the player’s perspective is way more fun. Way more fun.”
While this doesn’t exactly confirm that Joel will be a villain in The Last of Us 2, it does perhaps hint towards him having to make some tough decisions in the new title.
Fans will remember the epic cliffhanger that the first game left us at, ending on a line whereby Joel lied to Ellie about the information he had given her about the Fireflies.
While there’s a chance that Baker was suggesting that this type of behavior was the work of a villain, he could also be teasing the opportunity of Joel taking a much darker path in the future.
Whether or not this comes to fruition remains to be seen, but all eyes will be on the next PlayStation State of Play stream on November 1 to see if any fresh details about the game are revealed by Naughty Dog – as a previous leak suggests it will.
Until then, fans will have to sit idly by and hope that more details about the sequel to the critically-acclaimed title will surface.