With the recent State of Play, focusing on The Last of Us Part 2, we got several new shots of the game. The Last of Us Part 2 takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, taken over by things that want you dead. It's your job to navigate through the city ruins, overtaken by nature, decrepid and overgrown. Killing off anything in your path, while exploring the ruins. This setting sounds awfully familiar to NieR:Automata. In fact, here is a comparison of two official shots of the games:
The shot from The Last of Us Part 2 is from the May 27, 2020 State of Play. The art from NieR:Automata is from The NieR:Automata World Guide Vol. 1. Both of these games are look incredibly similar in the environments they created. They both have the central protagonist with their back facing the camera and looking towards a ruined city.
This was done for a very clear reason. The Last of Us is a zombie game, but the focus is on the environment and the world that Naughty Dog built. It is trying to distance itsself from more action-oriented and generic zombie games like Dead Island, Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, Dying Light, Days Gone, World War Z, and ZombieU. With the focus being on the world and it's environments in The Last of Us and especially in The Last of Us Part 2.
With the similarities between the environments it is likely to think that the development staff at Naughty Dog took inspiration from different sources of media. With 2017's NieR:Automata being a commercial and critical success it is likely that several members of Naughty Dog's staff have played and enjoyed the game, so it is likely that locations in 2020's upcoming The Last of Us Part 2 are at the very least, partially influenced by NieR:Automata's environments. For confirmation, we reached out to Naughty Dog. Though we never heard a response.