Sony took a unique approach to this year’s big PlayStation E3 showcase, opting to corral its audience into an ominous church tent before letting them into the usual big theater show. It turns out the set was an echo of the first demo of the night: The Last Of Us Part II. The publisher had shared two cinematic scenes from the highly anticipated sequel, but this was the first time we’ve gotten to see the game in action. The demo begins in that church tent, where Ellie, the spunky teenage heroine of the original game, is getting a rare, precious moment to live a normal life, dancing and even being on the receiving end of a passionate and shockingly normal-looking kiss. Leave it to the technological wizards at Naughty Dog to finally take video game kisses beyond the embarrassing mannequin-on-mannequin face-mashing that we’ve been seeing forever.
Naturally, that moment is shattered as Ellie flashes to another, much more violent scene. She sneaks, she stabs, she fights off attackers and shoots them full of lead. It’s all intensely brutal and bloody and very much on-brand for The Last Of Us. After a final, especially nasty execution, we’re shunted back to that calm, romantic scene, and the demo ends without even a hint of a release date.