The end of us
I finished the Last of Us 2 last night. *deep exhale*
I must say, mentally, after playing this game after the kids have gone to bed, every night for a week, I feel quite fatigued. Is it the darkest game I’ve ever played? *tries to think of something comparable* I think it might be…
I really enjoyed it though. Despite having zero feel good moments… in thirty hours of gameplay.
I distinctly remember watching the E3 trailer for this and thinking… yeah…
… there is NO WAY combat is going to be this frenetic and visceral.
I was definitely wrong.
There are some subtle differences from the gameplay trailer and my experiences of this game. But those… I don’t want to call them combat set pieces… but Naughty Dog games have a certain… rhythm to them. But over all… running, hiding, NEVER having enough ammo and often the sheer terror of being massively out-numbered by reasonably clever AI was certainly quite an experience.
Those guys with the big hammers were always the absolute scariest. Scariest of the human adversaries…. not as terrible as falling through the floorboards into a Shamblers den when you’re down to your last molotov and have no healing left. Although, to be honest, I always found the infected to be less challenging than the humans… and often found myself thinking, ‘okay, this is fine, it’s only clickers, I can relax a bit’.
It’s a little weird playing a game with absolutely no heroes, everyone is deeply flawed and morally compromised. It was psychologically masterful the way you start the game off hating Abby. And then… once you start playing as her (initially I was all, ‘oh-no… wtf…. I don’t want to play Abby, we hates her!!’. But the game does a amazing job of turning your emotions in in themselves and shaking them around. Soon I found myself thinking, ‘Omg Ellie is the real villain in all of this… but I love Ellie… or do I?’.
Ellie starts off virtuous and descends into real obsessive madness. And Abby… who you start off really despising… well she never crossed the rubicon into a likeable character (for me anyway)… but there is a little bit of a redemption story in there… kinda… if you discount all the murdering and torture.
The ending is… well… its bleak. But its also… I don’t know, I didn’t think it would end the way it did. Apparently the developers changed the ending to make it less… terrible. *shrug* I appreciate the difficulty in finding a ‘satisfactory’ ending to it all. Actually the last… third of the game felt a little weird for me… if you view the game in three distinctive sections I mean… it felt… odd. Disjointed maybe. Bringing in another faction into the mix (whose motivations I didn’t really understand and didn’t really care about) so late in the game… I mean I appreciate I’m nitpicking a little bit. Maybe if i view it more in a world building sense. *shrug* I don’t know.
Killing Alice (the GSD) was the worst for me. Initially it seemed like such a throw away scene. But it really haunted me throughout the rest of the game. Actually it still haunts me.
This is a definitely a ‘once-off’ play-through for me. I have zero desire to play through it again and find all the collectables or maybe finish it on ‘Very Hard’. Both me and my friend (who hasn’t quite finished it yet) have been discussing how we both have this deep desire to play something spreadsheet-y and simcity-ish after all of this. Build something up instead of tearing everything down, ‘defrag’ our brains for a while.
Ghost of Tsushima releases in three weeks. I should be ready to murder stuff again by then. Probably.