The Last of Us: Part II will be playable on Sony’s upcoming console, the PlayStation 5. The Last of Us: Part II is the long-awaited sequel to Naughty Dog’s acclaimed post-apocalyptic adventure, The Last of Us, which released at the tail end of the PlayStation 3’s life cycle. The game won plaudits (and a rare 5-star review from our own Rob Keyes) for its heart-wrenching story, exciting gameplay, and benchmark visuals, and hype for its sequel has been brewing since it was announced in 2016. After two delays, the first for more development time and the second for logistics pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, the game has been made available for pre-order, but not after huge leaks and spoilers were posted on the internet.
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Along with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, Sony plans to release a new console during this year’s holiday period. Little is known about the PlayStation 5, but Sony has announced a reveal next week that should provide answers to questions about the console’s release date, hardware design, features, and price point. One thing that has been confirmed is backwards compatibility with most PlayStation 4 games – or, as Sony describes it, PlayStation 4 games are made to be “forward-compatible”, which will be a requirement for any PS4 game starting this July.
In an interview with CNET, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan confirmed that June’s release of TLOU 2 will run on the PS5 “without issue.” Ryan did not specify whether a visually enhanced edition would be made for the PS5, similar to how the original received a remaster on the PS4. While Ryan did say that Sony hopes The Last of Us: Part II will be “a defining game for this generation”, he clarified that the upcoming June 4th reveal will focus on “games you’ll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday”.
While the game is sure to be a commercial success, The Last of Us: Part II has had its share of controversies and drama in the build-up to its delayed release. Before the game went gold and the leaks broke out, reports emerged of a toxic work environment at Naughty Dog, where their extremely high standards led to a brutal crunch culture, similar to Rockstar during the development of Red Dead Redemption 2. After the studio was criticized for their harmful practices, the game was banned in the Middle East, likely for its violence and sexual content, including an LGBT relationship.
As the release date finally draws close, fans that might have been on the fence of buying a PS4 game only months out from the PS5 hitting shelves can now consider the prospect of starting a game on one console and finishing it on the other (although it hasn’t been confirmed that save files will transfer). One of the most tedious aspects of the PS3 was its rigidity in both forward and backwards compatibility, and it’s refreshing to see that Sony has worked out this kink–at least for such a major release as The Last of Us: Part II.
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About The Author
Toby Arguello is a writer based in New York City. He specializes in animation, having worked on Nick Jr. and PBS. He likes watching cartoons, reading pirate books, and playing the harmonica.