The Last of Us 2 director: "Joel plays a major part of this game"

(Image credit: Sony)

Much of what we've seen of The Last of Us 2 puts a spotlight on now grown-up Ellie and her young relationship with Dina, casting into question the importance of Joel's role in the story. In fact, we hadn't even seen anything from Joel in The Last of Us 2 until earlier this week when the latest trailer dramatically revealed the grizzled zombie hunter. Now, thanks to an interview with creative director Neil Druckmann by IGN, we can confirm that Joel's story will remain a main focus point in The Last of Us 2.

Druckmann suggests the relationship between Ellie and Joel at the center of The Last of Us will continue to be a prominent aspect of the sequel's story, albeit with a few scars. "Their relationship is strained. Some of it is because teenagers will be teenagers, and some of it is because of their history, which is why you haven’t seen them together a lot," Druckmann says. "So much of The Last of Us is about this duo and their dynamic and how they are together, how they play together. I will say Joel plays a major part of this game."

Druckmann goes on to stress the importance of Ellie's blossoming romance with Dina, and particularly its "complexity." The recent release date trailer has many worried about the fate of Dina in The Last of Us 2, and speculating that her death could be the catalyst that sets up Ellie's trajectory. The footage shows Dina on the wrong side of an encounter with a Clicker and afterward, Ellie watches in horror as an unseen person is presumably shot dead.

Celebrate Outbreak Day fashionably late with all the Last of Us 2 content we could get our grubby hands on.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.