3 Ideas For The Last of Us Part 3

Life After Seattle

A few weeks ago, we made recommendations about what we’d like to see in The Last of Us Part II multiplayer. This week, having finished the campaign mode, we’re excited to share how the story could continue in The Last of Us Part 3!

For the first time in TAG history, we’ve got a guest writer in this post. You may recognize Charles Xavier from our Apex Legends videos, and he was the first person from the Average Gamer community to finish The Last of Us Part 2.

We’ll give you our takes on where Naughty Dog can take the sequel. This post will contain significant spoilers, especially from the end of TLOU2, so continue at your own risk.

CharlesXavier’s Theory

So, you’ve finished The Last of Us 2. You’ve witnessed a near-fatally wounded Ellie and an emaciated Abby engage in Mortal Kombat, and after one of the most intense, vicious fights in recent gaming history, Ellie wins.

However, instead of the “fatality by drowning” that most expected of her, Ellie relents, and the cycle of revenge between our two “beloved” protagonists is finally broken.

Two boats left the pier that night, drifting in different directions. Ellie returned to an empty home, two fingers short of a music career in a post-apocalyptic world, and all her personal belongings sitting in one room.

Revenge caused her to lose everything – her family, her friends, and a couple of fingers. Standing in the physical manifestation of what she had lost, she departs for worlds unknown.

But what about Abby and Lev?

the last of us part 2 abby and lev - the last of us part 3

Abby and Lev’s Go East

The Last of Us 3 could answer that question by thrusting us into a new adventure with Abby and an older Lev as our gracious hosts through Naughty Dog’s dark, visceral sequel. So, where do we start?

After the credits roll and our TLOU2 adventure comes to its conclusion, the title screen changes to a boat outside of a lavish, Santa Barbara-esque compound. Given that TLOU2 doesn’t give us an epilogue for Abby and Lev, the sequel could pick up at the Santa Barbara compound – the Firefly compound that Owen heard about.

The Last of Us Part 3 could start us in Abby and Lev’s shoes after a time skip, even cluing us into what happened during the time skip in its prologue section. Eventually, the narrative will shift into why the Fireflies began to reorganize, and that’s when we’ll find out… there are other people that are immune to the virus.

The game’s main storyline can start with the premise that the Fireflies have assembled teams based on this rumor, and Abby and Lev go off to East to find one of the people that is rumored to be immune. I think we’ve seen a fair amount of the West Coast and some places in the mid-west, but I think it’s time to visit a place that will flex the hardware architecture of a next-gen machine.

Their search would lead them to New York City, where the densely lavish skyscrapers of the city have transformed into dilapidated husks of what they once were. Not only would the PS5 be able to able to render such a dense environment, but it would also give the developers the variance in landscapes to flex their inventive muscles and show us a version of New York that we haven’t seen before.

And Ellie?

As Abby strives to continue the work her father started, Ellie returns during the story to seek redemption after losing everything that she loved due to her rage. I imagine that the emotional weight of Joel’s decision at the end of TLOU1 to save Ellie instead of humanity and the decision to abandon the family that she created in TLOU2 would drive Ellie to find some sort of purpose in her life.

Maybe she wants to sacrifice herself – believing that the cure still requires an immune person to die during the process – or perhaps she wants to protect them as Joel did for her. Either way, Ellie and Abby’s stories could intersect again, and maybe even turn these two bitter rivals into unlikely allies as they figure out how to save humanity… or otherwise.

I don’t know about you, but sign me up for Abby, Lev, and Ellie’s search for a way to save humanity in a dilapidated NYC!

Yoshyaes’s Theory

While the Last of Us Part 2 was a story of redemption, my version of the sequel will be a story of rebuilding. 

The game opens with Abby and Lev on the shore of Catalina. Both are terribly frail, with the latter having suffered from seizures due to severe dehydration. Abby was able to patch her wounds using materials from her clothes but the area on her shoulder where Ellie stabbed her has become infected.

Lev is unconscious when they reach land so Abby does her best to carry him onto the beach. She’s overestimated her remaining strength and the two crash to the ground. 

Abby is visually battered, but not beaten. Her years of training elicit instinctive survival strategies and she starts planning for the basics: food, water and shelter. She finds a shaded area to stash Lev and sets off to gather supplies.

New Game Mechanic

This first mini-quests introduces the game’s newest mechanic: energy. In addition to worrying about health, players will now need to keep track of energy levels which have a serious impact on in-game interactions. Here are the key things to know:

  • Energy decreases gradually over time
  • It can be restored by using consumables or by resting in safe areas
  • There’s a new ‘energy; skill tree (more on this later)
  • When energy is at 0 for a sustained period, your health will begin to gradually decline
  • Extraneous activities like brawling or sprinting for long periods will decrease energy faster

Unexpectedly, Abby’s health is low and her energy is close to 0. Her movement speed is significantly slowed and her vision is occasionally blurred on-screen. She’s able to find some nuts and berries to restore part of her energy then pockets the rest to bring back to Lev.

Rejoining the Fireflies

When Abby returns to Lev, he has been coughing up blood and is in worse shape than before. She knows she needs to get him real help and picks Lev up to go find the Firefly outpost. Abby encounters a couple of infected on the way but eventually finds the Fireflies inland.

Lookouts question Abby at the gates before letting her in. A medic takes Lev to the infirmary and one of the scouts escorts Abby to the leader of the group.

The leader, Samuel, welcomes Abby to Camp Cactus and shares some initial details on how the group has been rebuilding their numbers. They’ve held onto hope that a cure can still be created and have been gathering supplies to support the cause. Samuel tells Abby to get some rest and another Firefly shows her to where she’ll be staying.

the last of us part 2 abby sleeping - the last of us part 3

A Battle to Rebuild

Abby hits the bed and passes out almost immediately. In the middle of the night, she’s woken up by gunfire. Startled, she jumps out of bed and makes her way towards the fight.

This is the first of many encounters where Abby will need to help defend the base against Hunters, militia and an unknown enemy. The story will have her gathering supplies to upgrade the camp, recruiting new members and discovering new infected types to help with the research.

Ultimately, there’s a sense of hope which is overshadowed by repeated loss. Several main characters would be killed off in the attacks, including Samuel, and a new fight for power would begin when the group needs a new leader.

The players would have a chance to control both Abby and Lev throughout the story. Their decisions would impact future developments in the gameplay and the story would have multiple endings based on your actions. 

The Last of Us Part 3 has an opportunity to build off an already-solid base from Abby’s character development and bring more depth with Lev!

Flash’s Theory

The Last of Us Part II had a dark ending. I recently read it was originally going to be darker, with Ellie finishing the job and taking the life of Abby in the final confrontation. In full transparency, by the end of the game, my opinion had shifted.

After seeing the number of times Abby had spared Ellie as well as her true motivation, I no longer saw Abby as a villain and more a victim. Allowing Abby to survive, and likely making it to the Catalina Island Firefly camp alongside Lev, opened the door for a ton of possibilities for a Part III.

“About 200 strong”

Similar to Ellie and Dina’s exploration on horseback, Part III could open with a series of supply runs into the nearby metropolitan Los Angeles and San Diego. Abby and Lev, having regained their strength and joined by a few other Fireflies would be the focal point.

Utilizing a bit more open-world, non-linear gameplay you could visit specific areas to complete missions. In some areas, the infected would be more mature giving the game option to introduce different variations of infected.

As Abby continues her successes her reputation in the camp starts to grow. Eventually, she gets a seat at the table of leadership. When the team of doctors begins talking about a less invasive non-fatal procedure to find a cure, Abby offers that she knew of someone who was immune.

After a lot of pressure from the camp, she and Lev eventually set off to track down her rival, Ellie.

The last of us part 2 abby tracking - the last of us part 3

Attack on Jackson

I don’t want Part III to have a bunch of time jumps like Part II, but perspective switching may be key to tell the story. Ellie, having returned to an empty farmhouse, journeys back to Jackson to find Dina and JJ. The two are not on good terms but living in the same community trying to survive the harsh world. On one of Ellie’s patrols, now partnered with another community member, the camera shifts to a perspective of an unknown stranger watching the two.

One night, as Ellie’s nightmares continue, she is awoken to the sound of the town’s alarm of an attack. A new group, not the Rattlers but heavily armored, attacks Jackson claiming several lives and imprisoning the others.

Tommy is finished for good, sacrificing himself for his ex-wife, Maria. Ellie is able to fight her way to safety but watches from afar with a few others as Dina and a majority of the other townspeople are held captive. 

We meet again

During the planning to devise a rescue mission, Abby and Lev stumble upon Ellie. At this point, the game would continue with Abby assisting Ellie in retaking the town with a major loss – either Lev, Dina and/or JJ.

Ellie, having not much else to live for, would make the decision to return to Catalina Island to offer herself as the subject for the cure, again. Of course, many things can and would go wrong during this journey.

I’d love to see Naughty Dog experiment with multiple endings and decisions which have dire consequences later, without making it too cheesy. I’m not sure if I’d want the game to end with Ellie on the operating table or if some event causing this to never happen, but I’d love for Abby and Ellie to meet once more in this brutal world.

Closing

The Last of Us Part 3 isn’t promised, but we know that there are plenty of ways that this could be a successful sequel! Naughty Dog was able to take Uncharted’s franchise through 4 incredible titles, so it’s only right that TLOU would have at least a third.

This sequel could feature any of the three characters from the last boat scene or even introduce a completely new protagonist. Either way, we’d be quick to pre-order as soon as possible!

Let us know what you would want in The Last Of Us Part 3 in the comments section below! Feel free to join the conversations on our social media platforms too!

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