— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) April 18, 2019
The project milestone was announced on Twitter by the studio’s vice president and creative director, Neil Druckmann.
“And that’s a wrap on Ellie, Joel, and the most ambitious cinematic shoot we’ve ever done,” he said. “Tears were shed.”
The Last of Us Part II was announced at the PlayStation Experience event in December 2016.
The first trailer revealed the return of Ellie and Joel, the protagonists from The Last of Us, which launched on PS3 in 2013 and was later remastered for PS4.
Set five years after the events of the original game, it sees players take control of Ellie, who was a secondary playable character in The Last of Us.
Following a period of relative stability in the 19-year-old’s life, during which she’s forged meaningful new relationships, her world is shaken by a violent act that sparks a brutal revenge mission.
Coinciding with a The Last of Us Part II gameplay reveal at E3 2018, Druckmann shared further details about the title in a PlayStation Blog post.
“From the way Ellie plays to the way she navigates through this hostile world, you’re going to feel her physical, emotional, and mental state expressed through every facet of gameplay,” he said.
“We’ve completely overhauled our engine, developed new combat mechanics, created new analogue stealth systems, and revamped our animation system to fully express Ellie’s desperation, resourcefulness, and unique agility.
“We’re also upping the stakes and tension of the world,” Druckmann added. “Our environments are broader, more complex, and more detailed – bringing unprecedented realism, verticality and player choice to the world of The Last of Us.
“The human enemies you’ll encounter are now more threatening and capable, using sophisticated communication and environmental awareness to create intense, more dynamic stealth and head-on combat encounters.”
The Last of Us Part II release date is currently listed as to be confirmed on the official PlayStation website.
Naughty Dog claimed in June 2018 that The Last of Us sales had reached 17 million units across PS3 and PS4.
While the sequel has only been announced for PS4, given the original game’s multi-platform release, its critical and commercial success, plus Naughty Dog’s status as a first-party studio, it’s possible The Last of Us Part II will also appear on Sony’s next-generation console, PlayStation 5, as a cross-gen game, rather than simply being a backwards compatible title.