December 2, 2022

Naughty Dog’s latest release — The Last of Us Part Two — was one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year. The sequel to the ground-breaking 2013 video game — The Last of Us — was set in a post-apocalyptic world. The game centers on two individuals who develop a father/daughter relationship in a world overridden by zombie-like monsters that were infected from the spores of a fungus. The narrative focuses on an emotional story driven plot, making it an unforgettable journey that will be remembered for generations to come.

 The Last of Us is considered one the greatest video games of all time. It set the bar so high that fans were unsure if Naughty Dog would be able to pull it off again. The game got off to a rocky start a couple months before release when an angry employee at Naughty Dog leaked the entire plot and clips of important story details from the game online. Many fans of the first game were dissatisfied and disappointed with the second game’s plot causing an uproar on the internet. Some angry fans even went as far as sending death threats to the developers and actors that were involved in the project. Naughty Dog’ publisher, Sony, worked as fast as they could to take down the leaked details from the web, but the damage had been done. In a single day, Naughty Dog’s reputation was tarnished and The Last of Us Part Two officially went from being a highly anticipated release to one of the most hated games in history and it wasn’t even released yet.

 I was one of the many fans who watched and read the leaks prior to release. I wasn’t too thrilled in the direction the developers were taking the story. However upon its release I still purchased the game to see how the actual story would play out and if the leaks were true. A couple weeks later, I completed the game. All the leaks were present in the game and I can see why a lot of fans would be disappointed after finishing the story. However, I didn’t feel that way. 

The developers still applied the same heart and care in this game that made The Last of Us Part One special. Rather than focusing on the theme of finding love and beauty in a harsh world like in the first game, Naughty Dog did the opposite in telling a much darker tale focusing on violence and revenge while still keeping the charm of its predecessor.

I respect stories that take a risky approach in crafting the plot that will potentially divide a fanbase, and that’s exactly what this game did. Some people loved it and others hated it, however the game broke records in sales and ended up being one of the best-selling playstation games of all time. 

I loved this game because it took an ambitious risk in pulling this story off, even though all the odds were against it. Everything from the soundtrack, acting, and gameplay flowed seamlessly throughout the course of the game. I enjoy sequels that take an ambitious approach to prevent it from feeling the same as it’s previous installments, like what Star Wars: The Last Jedi did. I couldn’t have been more wrong in prematurely judging this game before experiencing it for myself and I never thought I would enjoy this game as much as I did. Thank you Naughty Dog, for taking this risk to tell different kinds of stories.

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