The Last of Us
Console exclusives can be a mixed bag. Some of them make you envy those who own the console to which the exclusive relates (if you don’t own that console, of course). Others make you glad that you don't have the console, lest your reputation as a gamer be attached to a game which isn't worth the disc it’s coded on. The Last of Us, Part 1 (as it would now be called) is a video game which, if only for a moment, made me wish I wasn’t a PC gamer at heart. It almost made me want to splurge on a shiny new PlayStation 4... but not quite. (Console peasantry is not for me.) Its developer, Naughty Dog, knocked the proverbial ball out of the park (for its competitors to fetch) with The Last of Us.
The first game of what is presently a two – part series illustrates the story of ‘Joel,’ a smuggler, who needed to escort a teenager named ‘Ellie,’ who is pictured above, across a postapocalyptic version of the United States of America. (Apocalypses are quickly becoming a video game trope, I think.) What’s caused the apocalypse this time around? Why, a mutated strain of a real – life fungus, the Cordyceps fungus, of course. Joey and Ellie must traverse a derelict wilderness, littered with infected humans whose infection has made them overly aggressive (called, the ‘Infected’) using stealth and improvised weaponry, to reach their destination safely and to stave off being infected themselves.
Time to clutch your pearls, people! (Source: Medium.)
The Last of Us, Part II, will take five years after the events of The Last of Us, Part I. Ellie is older, wiser and smarter; she's 19 years of age, and the protagonist this time around. Time hasn’t been so kind to Joel, though; while I’m certain he too is older, wiser and smarter, he’s aging as well, and not necessarily in a positive way. He’s taken a backseat to Ellie to act as a counsellor, companion and friend. Ellie will need that counselling, companionship and friendship, because, as some trailers have made clear, she is angry. We’re not told at what or who, but I am confident that her anger and its direction will play a pivotal role in a game which may very well surpass its predecessor critically.
The gameplay trailer of the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018 was as entertaining as it was controversial. Just so you know, the trailer does include the scene from which the screenshot above was taken, so, you know… prepare yourself for that, if you’re the kind of person who’s offended or otherwise off – put by homosexuality or acts thereof in 2018. (Shame on you if you are, by the way.) That scene transitions into a less pleasant one where Ellie is taking a knife to some guy’s jugular. The trailer continues with stealth and action elements; The Last of Us, Part II will clearly intersperse both. There are some legitimately disturbing scenes in the trailer, though. Consider yourself warned.