With the release of the one and only story-related DLC for The Last of Us, there have been a handful of stories posted in recent days and I thought I would share a few of them here for what is certainly my game of the year for last year.
First, at Make Me a Sandwich:
I actually hate stealth-based action adventure games, and I particularly hate such games made for consoles, and I am convinced that games with guns should always and forever be played with a keyboard and mouse amen. So the fact that I actually finished The Last of Us and hugely enjoyed it is a testament to how incredibly awesome this game is. It is a masterpiece of level design, but more importantly it is the most tightly crafted, well written narrative that I have had the privilege to play in a long, long time.
Refreshingly, unlike most other post-apocalyptic dystopias, the world of The Last of Us is a world populated by women who do an equal share of the dirty work of surviving after the fungus-zombie-apocalypse. No creepy, womanless patriarchy in the post-apocalypse. The women are also refreshingly not sexualized – they actually look beat up, worn down, and (gasp!) dirty. And there’s no weirdly perfect supermodel hair, which is great because seriously, I don’t have time to make my hair look that good now. You think I have time to do my hair when I’m trying to keep fungus zombies from eating me? Bitch please.
The post there has some major, major spoilers, so if you have finished the game, I suggest you read it. If the preceding two paragraphs have you interested, then by all means you should go beg, borrow, or buy a copy and play that game right now because you have missed something special.
(It’s so wonderful to see that blog coming back, too. I missed it.)
Neil Druckmann, the creative director, left the door open for another game in The Last of Us‘s continuity as far back as June. And, of course, the game just released the DLC Left Behind. Yesterday, a redditor asked “how good are the chances of us entering the world of The Last of Us again?” to which Druckmann replied, “If you’re asking about a sequel … right now I’d say it’s 50/50.”
A couple of things here:
- If ever there was a game that needs no sequel, The Last of Us is it. It’s the perfect example of a work that showed up, rolled in a grenade, came in firing, and then left. Mission accomplished.
- That said, if you do not want a game with Ellie as the main character, you are an idiot. It would be both a cool way to return to a well-crafted world and a challenge to the “games with women as main characters don’t sell” common “wisdom” because you would buy that game.
And third, Druckmann and Bruce Straley tell Engadget (of all places) in an interview of the team’s stance towards the violence in the game and how that was handled as part of the game’s narrative:
The Last of Us — though bold in many ways — still featured combat as the primary interaction. Rather than focusing on combat as a means to achieve objectives, it was more a necessary evil to lead the game’s fragile protagonist duo to safety. “A lot of developers, not just triple-A, but a lot of developers do use combat as a crutch,” Straley told us. He defended its use in TLOU, however, as a vehicle for contrast against the game’s emotionally resonant moments. “The contrast for us is more about trying to balance the two so that you have both ends of the spectrum, because you have to have the dark to have the light.”
I didn’t do a dedicated write-up on the game last year, but it is a great game and you should definitely play it if you haven’t had a chance. I tried not to spoil anything above, and if you have questions regarding the game, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer them spoiler-free.