Everything We Know About The Last Of Us Part 3
If anyone fancies a game of golf (what, too soon?), what about The Last of Us Part 3? While Naughty Dog has become known for everything from Crash Bandicoot to the Uncharted games, it entered a new generation of gaming with The Last of Us.
From the success of the first game in 2013, to the long-awaited sequel of 2020, The Last of Us has continued to deliver award-winning and record-breaking titles that are held as jewels in the Naughty Dog crown.
Only recently, Naughty Dog boss Neil Druckman confirmed an outline for The Last of Us Part 3 has been written, however, that doesn't mean it's just around the corner.
SPOILER WARNING: There are story spoilers for The Last of Us Part II below, so proceed at your own caution.
Where might the story go in The Last of Us Part 3?
In terms of where The Last of Us Part 3 could take the story next, there are plenty of avenues we can go down. The second game might've waved goodbye to Joel Miller in shocking style, however, it went on to split the action between Ellie and Abby.
After deciding to spare Abby in one of Part II's most maligned twists, Ellie returned to her farmhouse to find her partner (Dina) and adopted son (JJ) were gone. We were left to imagine where the pair had run to, as a defeated Ellie tried to play her iconic guitar with two fingers. We're guessing any form of Part 3 would follow an isolated and alone Ellie looking for her former friends or a new group of survivors.
Let's also remember there's the ongoing HBO series of the same name. Just like Game of Thrones overtook its source material, there's a chance Craig Mazin's The Last of Us could do the same.
With Part 3 expected to take a long time to develop, the live-action series could tear through the source material in no time and take the story even further than the games.
Which characters could be in The Last of Us Part 3?
Despite Abby's divisive reception and critiques that the second half of Part II dipped when you took control of her, she's still a logical choice for at least some of Part 3. If not, it could be time to shift the focus off Ellie and make Abby the de facto lead of the series.
Still, what kind of The Last of Us game would it be without Ellie? The time jump between games debuted a more mature version of the hardened heroine, so could Part 3 take us even further into her future and pitch her as the "new" Joel for another outcast kid? Well, it worked for Telltale's The Walking Dead with Clementine.
There's hope that we'll see more of Tommy Miller. Despite playing second fiddle to Joel, his younger brother has become a cornerstone of the franchise and fan-favourite character with his grizzled physique. We could also see more from Lev, who was also spared alongside Abby in the game's blood-soaked finale. The idea of a transgender character becoming the lead would be a major leap for The Last of Us that would amp up Naughty Dog's LGBTQ+ credentials.
Finally, the aforementioned Dina and JJ are sure to pop up again. That's before we get to the various monsters and madmen that would be new to the story. Druckman and Co. are known for tearing through the cast of characters at some pace, meaning Part 3 is sure to have a similarly high body count.
How soon could we expect Part Three?
At the time of writing, The Last of Us Part 3 has not even been confirmed to be in development. Naughty Dog officially started development on Part II in 2013, with the sequel being announced in 2016.
Although it's likely work could've already started on Part 3, we can expect to hone in on a possible launch once it's officially announced. Even then, it was a full four years after Part II was announced until it finally hit shelves. Added to this, Naughty Dog was famously criticised for a gruelling work schedule of 12-hour crunch days.
Similar to Rockstar's perceived failures on Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us Part II was dragged for its "unfair" work environment. A damning interview between a dev and Kotaku claimed there were some serious flaws in the way Part II was run, with an apparent "get the job done at all costs" mentality. Druckman has since admitted there have been failures, so expect a potential Part 3 development schedule to be less intense.
Despite Druckman's vague words about a threequel, it jars against what he told InideWire in 2020. Back then, the Naughty Dog boss explained, "It felt like to justify making a Part II we had to do something not that fans would just be comfortable with, but do something that would match the emotional core we found in the first game.
"And without that, there’d be no reason to do a Part III. We’d really have to figure out how to create a new experience that matches the emotional impact of these stories, and I don’t know what that is — currently". The fact that a story has been outlined suggests Druckman has solved that problem, but who knows?
As much as players would love to pick up a bow and arrow and jump into the mould-infected world of The Last of Us right now, don't get your hopes up. Part 2 fell into that unfortunate gap between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, while a mythical Part 3 would probably launch on the PlayStation 6.
Those at the top of Naughty Dog might be playing coy about The Last of Us Part 3, but just like a Cordyceps, we imagine it's growing out there in the dark...somewhere.