Ahead of Sony's recent State of Play address, the entire community knew we could expect some news on the next installment of The Last of Us. Outside of the game's beautiful cinematic and gameplay trailer from E3 2018, news on the title has been scarce as developer Naughty Dog has been working hard on bringing it to completion. Sony was finally ready to give us some info on it though, and the State of Play brought that and more. The Last of Us Part II now has a solid release date, an extensive new trailer with some exciting reveals, a press-exclusive demo, and information on its slew of special editions. Strap in, TLOU fans: There's a lot here for you. Some of the additional info also comes from the way of the PlayStation Blog, naturally, which gives us some snippets about new gameplay features we can expect this time around.

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The first Last of Us was a groundbreaking survival/action-adventure game to star-stud the PS3's library towards the end of its life. Set in a post-apocalyptic world taken over by a deadly parasitic fungus, it took us through the gripping story of Joel and Ellie: Two complete strangers who end up journeying together through this dangerous world. Part II sees Ellie five years older than she was in the first game, now contending with a deadly cult in order to get revenge for someone she holds dear. The trailer took us through how she got to this point, now older, wiser, and a lot more dangerous. Perhaps the most surprising reveal in the trailer, however, was the return of Joel. From the first reveal of the sequel, we knew he would be a returning character, but there's only been off-screen appearances and mentions till now. The new trailer shows him front and center, at least, at the end of it. He's looking quite a bit older, but as he makes clear, his protectiveness for Ellie hasn't decreased one bit.

The Last of Us Part II adds in a whole helping of new gameplay options when it comes to combat. Ellie is extremely mobile, and can dodge, jump, and crawl around the environment to gain the upper hand over her foes, human and clicker alike. New strategic and stealthy options come in the form of ability trees and silencers for your weaponry, which will be especially helpful against the deadly new forms of the infected. One of the more surprising reveals was that Part II will be foregoing the multiplayer component the first game had. While a well-received feature of the original, the second game lacking it might mean a more tightly focused story. Speaking of the story, if you haven't played the first TLOU yet, PlayStation Plus subscribers will get to enjoy The Last of Us: Remastered as one of the free games for October. It's the perfect excuse to jump in and get caught up before the sequel finally arrives.

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And that brings us to our final news: The release date! Fans will get to enjoy The Last of Us: Part II when it releases on February 21st, 2020. It will be available exclusively on PlayStation 4. But hold your excitement just one more second; it's time to decide which version you should get! Naughty Dog came prepared, and Part II has a total of FIVE different editions to choose from: Standard, Special, Digital Deluxe, Collector's, and Ellie. Standard is exactly what you expect, plus some pre-order goodies and an avatar for the digital. Special Edition features a special steelbook case, art book, and theme/avatars for the digital. Digital Deluxe features the above avatars/theme, plus a digital artbook and soundtrack. But now for the crazier ones. The Collector's Edition comes with all of the above goodies, PLUS a 12" statue of Ellie playing her guitar, a replica of her bracelet, an art print/thank you letter, five stickers, and five pins. And last, but certainly not least, the Ellie Edition: Everything in the Collector's Edition, plus a replica backpack based on Ellie's, and a 7" vinyl record of the OST. Phew. That's everything! You can check the various pricing for these editions on the PlayStation Blog, or check out the game's new trailer below here. 2020 is stacked, and Part II's release will be a great early start to the new year.

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