The Last of Us 3 - News and what we'd love to see

Ellie on a horse and looking at a derelict city in The Last of Us Part 2.
Credit: Playstation Store

Ellie on a horse and looking at a derelict city in The Last of Us Part 2.
Credit: Playstation Store

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If you’re looking for the latest new about The Last of Us 3, then you’re in the right place. When The Last of Us was released in 2013, many fans felt that the ending was perfect for Joel and Ellie and that no further sequel was needed. When The Last of Us 2 was announced, people were excited but sceptical about what more could be said for their story. It was a controversial game, to say the least, with the community divided about how they felt about it. This has given Naughty Dog the unique opportunity to release a third and final game in the series. It could reunite fans and give the game series a truly beloved send-off.

The Last of Us games have followed father-figure Joel and his young companion Ellie as they deal with a zombie-like apocalypse. Rather than the zombies being the generic rotting corpse trope, they’re a horrifying creation called Clickers. These are creatures that have been infected with the cordyceps fungus. However, these aren’t the only enemies in the game. There are different factions of humans that are dangerous and are hunting Joel and Ellie through the games.

Naughty Dog has recently released some information about an upcoming The Last of Us multiplayer game, the details of which can be found here. There's also the latest news about The Last of Us TV show, and a review of The Last of Us remake that was released late in 2022.

The Last of Us 3 news

There's been a lot of speculation surrounding the development of The Last of Us 3 recently. A prominent leaker suggested in early December 2022 that the game was already in production at Naughty Dog. However, Naughty Dog Co-President seems to hit back at this with a tweet only a few days later. It says that they have lots of exciting things to share with us this year, but to 'be wary of "insider" info [as] much of it is false'.

This leaves the future of The Last of Us 3 quite uncertain. However, it's likely that we'll hear something later this year either way from the studio.

What we'd love to see in The Last of Us 3

Ellie and Joel sitting in a car together, in The Last of Us.
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Credit: Steam
We never knew what we had with them until we lost them.

Closure for Ellie and Joel

The story of Joel and Ellie's relationship is both wholesome and heartbreaking. After the death of his own daughter at the start of the outbreak, Joel is reluctant and almost bitter at having to deal with another young girl. You see his walls slowly start to crumble as they adventure through the world together. Eventually, Joel risks his own life and the future of the cure just to save Ellie's life.

This, of course, all falls apart in the second game. Without giving any spoilers, their relationship becomes quite strained, and fans weren’t happy with what happened. They didn’t agree with a number of things that happened, nor decisions that certain characters made.

Naughty Dog has a chance to remedy this with The Last of Us 3. It would be great to see a proper sense of closure between Ellie and Joel. Of course, it would be impossible to have the full story revolve around this idea, for obvious reasons. This shouldn’t stop the writers from including it somewhere though.

Ellie is holding somebody hostage in The Last of Us.
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Credit: TechRadar
Imagine if Naughty Dog had let us play Ellie as a villain.

Player choices with consequences

One of the biggest complaints about The Last of Us 2, was that players didn’t agree with Ellie's decision at the end of the game. They didn’t want to make peace with Abby and let her go. They wanted to take revenge and it's understandable why they would feel this way.

This then begs the question as to whether it would’ve had more impact if it was the player who made the final decision. This way, they would’ve felt the instant gratification of revenge, but over time would have understood the reasoning behind letting her go. Perhaps they would’ve done a second playthrough just to redo the ending. This would’ve been a natural way for both Ellie and the player to grow as people.

This is an idea that The Last of Us 3 can learn from, and even implement themselves. No-one wants constant decisions throughout a Last of Us game like in Until Dawn, but perhaps just one or two at the end could be fitting. A choice between two decisions is a way to guarantee discussions about your game for a long time afterwards too, as the community will try to explain why one is always better than the other.

Joel and Ellie are riding towards Jackson, a self-contained community in The Last of Us.
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Credit: The Last of Us Wiki
Jackson could be the first of many self-contained communities we visit.

Rebuilding after the apocalypse

The Last of Us games so far have shown how far society can fall after an apocalypse. Whether it’s the brutal nature that people have to adapt to survive or the strict regimes that communities often have to live under for there to be order. However, Tommy and Maria managed to build a friendly community in Jackson, where Joel and Ellie fled after escaping the Fireflies.

The developers at Naughty Dog have the decision as to what kind of atmosphere they want to leave the series on. They could show the fleeting amount of small groups of survivors, or they could show humanity actually beginning to thrive. It would be inspiring to see communities actually flourishing after all that they’ve been through. The story could be about ensuring their long-term survival in the harsh environment of the post-cordyceps world.

Ellie and her girlfriend, Dina, in The Last of Us.
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Credit: Playstation Store
They make such a great couple.

Not shying away from controversial topics

When The Last of Us 2 was released, there was a huge movement to discredit the game's achievements and surround it with as much hate as possible. A lot of people tried to hide their true motives by complaining about other things, such as the crunch that the studio went through, or the tiny plot holes in the story. While some of these things should be addressed, it was clear that the representation of certain groups in the story caused the more sensitive fans to react quite negatively.

Joel from The Last of Us
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Credit: Steam
Naughty Dog need to revaluate their crunch culture

During the development of The Last of Us 3, they should not shy away from continuing this kind of representation. If they regressed back to what the minority of fans want, then it will be a huge loss and will even limit the kind of stories they can tell. Naughty Dog is one of the biggest names in the games industry, which makes it all the more important that they pave the way for these kinds of themes to be included in games.

The things that we want to see the most in The Last of Us 3 is a better workplace for the people behind the game. The studio has been very open about its crunch culture in the past, but they should also use this opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

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