The Last of Us: Part III

Spoilers Ahead.

Viva Reimers ‘24 / Emertainment Monthly Marketing Merchandise & Events Coordinator

On February 2, Naughty Dog released Grounded II: Making The Last of Us Part II—a two hour long documentary showing viewers what it took to create the second game. In the documentary,  Neil Druckmann chose to slip in a teaser of what is next for The Last of Us’ story. 

“There probably is one more chapter to the story” says Neil Druckmann amidst the documentary.

The Last of Us was originally released in 2013 and The Last of Us: Part II was released in 2020. How soon could The Last of Us: Part III be released? Since there was a seven year gap between the first two games, it is possible that The Last of Us: Part III could be available in 2031. However, since technology is exponentially advancing, it could be available sooner. 

The Last of Us: Part III will probably be based on Ellie and finishing her story. At the end of Part II, players left Ellie back on her farm with Dina and JJ. They spend most of the game seeking revenge on Abby—as she is the one who killed Joel—and playing as Abby in order to learn her backstory. 

Historically, in most zombie-based media, the people are more dangerous than the zombies. In the next game, Ellie will likely run into some trouble with other groups of people and have to defend her family. Or perhaps the creators will come full circle, with a similar circumstance in which Ellie will have to kill an absurd amount of people to save JJ—just as Joel killed an entire group of people trying to save young Ellie. 

The Last of Us: Part III may also explore the consequences of Ellie’s actions in Part II. Ellie spared Abby’s life after a fight—commonly called the “boat scene”—but lost two of her fingers in the process. She also left behind her guitar, which can be seen as a metaphor for her bond with Joel. Ellie is struggling with the trauma of losing Joel—and being forced to watch it happen—killing hundreds of people, and letting go of her need for revenge. We could possibly see more of how her PTSD is affecting her life and her road to healing. Another possible direction for The Last of Us: Part III is to introduce new characters and perspectives. The game may introduce new factions, similar to ones such as the Seraphites (Scars) or the Washington Liberation Front (WLF). The game could also explore the origins and evolution of the Cordyceps fungus, and whether there is any hope for a cure.

There are limitless possibilities as to where the story can go. Fans will have to wait until a teaser trailer is released to have any supported theories. The Last of Us: Part III is likely to be one of the most anticipated and controversial games of the decade. Naughty Dog has proven its ability to create immersive and emotional stories, but also faced criticism for its depiction of violence, diversity, and narrative choices. Whatever the outcome, The Last of Us: Part III will surely be a game that will instill discussions and debates among fans and critics alike.

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