Believe it or not, the first The Last of Us game was released way back in June 2013 - over five years ago. However, fans might be able to get their hands on The Last of Us Part 2 much sooner than many people expected - according to a possible leak.
The Last of Us captured the attention, and hearts, of millions of players around the world, with many saying that they have never felt so invested in a story before or since.
The developers at Naughty Dog have kept fans guessing about what’s coming next ever since the first chapter of Ellie and Joel’s story came to an end, but it seems the restless wait for the next instalment isn't too far from coming to an end - if potentially leaked information is to be believed.
There is no official release date for The Last of Us Part 2 yet, and while most guesses have been between the end of 2019 or the start of 2020 - a leak from a major retailer suggests fans won't have to wait until the next generation of consoles to get their hands on it.
A game retailer based in Peru, LAWGAMERS, has posted an advert for the upcoming title that seems to feature 'October 2019' as the launch date - according to The Loot Gaming.
Whether or not that leaked information is accurate or not remains to be seen, but the developer did claim that the game was over 50% finished back in December of 2017. So, after seeing a number of trailers and gameplay videos since, it might not be too far away.
One other conspiracy theory goes as far as saying that the release will be delayed in order to coincide with the release of the PlayStation 5. If that proves to be true, fans would probably have to wait until at least 2020.
Until an official announcement is made by Naughty Dog, though, this is all - unfortunately - speculation.
Players of The Last of Us Part 1 got the chance to play the game through the eyes of both Joel and Ellie at times throughout the campaign.
While the developers have confirmed that Joel will still be a major character in Part 2, they have also hinted that Ellie will be the only character that we can play as.
Of course, we should take news like this with a pinch of salt. The developers have been keeping their cards close to their chest when it comes to the story of The Last of Us Part 2, so they might be keeping a few surprises under wraps until the finished article finally emerges - where new characters are concerned.
Much like Part 1, Part 2 of The Last of Us will feature an AI companion that is by Ellie’s side throughout the story. Unfortunately, we have no idea who that will be yet.
"Well, so, Ellie used to be an NPC, but she’s the protagonist in this story, so the player is controlling Ellie. 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," Neil Druckmann, the director of The Last of Us franchise, told BuzzFeed.
“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?'”
Other reports suggest that Naughty Dog has actually been using motion capture equipment on a number of real dogs, which would presumably be brought to life in the game.
Given the lonely nature of the post-apocalyptic world in which Ellie finds herself, there's also chance that the next major AI companion could be a canine. We've seen it work well before with Bethesda's Fallout 4, but nothing has been confirmed on that front as of yet.
This could just be for dogs that generally appear in the wild, for all we know. However, it's still an interesting route the new game could take.
Other than the obvious fact that various zombies, including Clickers, will still be scattered around the world, the various enemies in The Last of Us Part 2 still largely remain a mystery.
The fine folk at Naughty Dog have given us a sneak preview of one enemy group, though. The E3 gameplay demo showed that the Seraphites, a group of religious fanatics, will have a major role.
"They're super deadly, and the way that they communicate with each other with the whistles, they're able to coordinate with each other without revealing to the player exactly what they're doing,” Anthony Newman told Gamesrader. “So you can pay attention, but you're only kind of getting partial information about their plans. It makes them a lot creepier to deal with."
While little is known about the Seraphites, Naughty Dog have released an incredible look at the in-game model for one of the main villians, Yara, who will be played by actress Victoria Grace. The image was taken from Lead Character Artist Soa Lee's portfolio, and shows what The Last of Us Part 2 will look like when it's finally released.
Everything that we’ve seen so far suggests that The Last of Us Part 2 will play very similarly to Part 1 with a few tweaks and quality of life improvements.
There are more options for sneaking around, like crawling under cars or through long grass, and there’s a visibility indicator that can be used to work out how easy you are to spot.
Combat has also received some upgrades, like a dedicated button for dodging and even more gruesome scenes of violence than the first chapter had. If you’re squeamish, this might not be the game for you.
If you want to play The Last of Us Part 2, you’ll need a PlayStation console. History tells us that, at least.
It seems incredibly unlikely that Sony will allow it to be released on any other platform, especially considering the fact that Part 1 is many people’s go-to game when they explain how PlayStation has been winning the exclusive titles war in recent years.
We expect that The Last of Us Part 2 will be released for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, but nothing is confirmed yet.