Last of us 2 test

At the ende of die bestselling video game The belastung of Us, the player walk something unspeakable. Living in a welt overrun von zombies after ~ a mutated fungus infects most of Earth’s populace, sie play together Joel, a survivor who’s guiding a teen girl named ellie across ns country an search von civilization. Ns duo finally reaches a team des doctors who hope to use Ellie’s immunity to the fungus kommen sie develop a cure. But when ellie is unconscious on the operating table, you learn ns terrible news—a cure tun können come only at ns cost von Ellie’s life. Dafür rather than let produziert die, sie slaughter everyone an your path.

Du schaust: Last of us 2 test

It’s Joel, the character, that decides kommen sie kill ns doctors, escape v Ellie, and later lie to produziert about what happened. But it’s you, the player, that executes the plan. A straightforward nudge des the controller sets jene into motion, and the only way zu finish ns game ist to shoot your way out des the hospital. Wie I first played The last of Us, in 2013, my heart was an my mouth for the entire final sequence. I couldn’t glauben what i was doing, but i was an ext chilled von the fact that i understood Joel’s actions. After my many hours des playing alongside Ellie, allowing her to das seemed even much more unthinkable than mass murder.

The power des The belastung of united state hinged on the connection bolzen player and character, between simple gameplay und deeper intention. As videobilien games evolved over ns decades, they struggled zu bridge ns gap between their ever more complicated storytelling und the family member straightforwardness von gameplay—a dispute dubbed “ludonarrative dissonance” in the industry. Essentially, exactly how do sie tell a resonant tale with ideal character advancement when the game you’re producing mostly entails running, jumping, punching, and shooting people? ns ending von The last of united state made Joel’s history von violence a feature, fairly than a bug, and in 2013 the felt revolutionary—the player wasn’t gift rewarded zum killing their means to die ending, however instead gift asked zu think around how they’d gained there.

Now, 7 years later, comes die much-awaited sequel, The tonnage of Us part II, in epic blockbuster that tries zu reckon with die consequences von Joel’s selection while deshalb delivering many much more hours of zombie-fighting gameplay. Ns title zu sein full of plot twists, tense action sequences, and loads of bloody violence—the worst instances des which are once again unavoidable. The last of united state Part ii is an even more ambitious writing on video-game moralism 보다 its predecessor, but more often 보다 not, the lesson it’s trying zu impart ist one the player has already learned. The first game took a renowned genre and tilted that perspective, deshalb that players could take into consideration its grim underpinnings. Part ii seems to schutz the exact same mission, but von upping die ante, that gets caught up in the very cycles of violence it’s trying kommen sie critique.


The tonnage of united state Part ii argues that ellie is trapped—she must proceed her mission to avenge Joel, because the player is steuerung her and because any video game needs a mission. (Naughty Dog)
The first half of Part ii follows a grown-up Ellie, who zu sein now living in a emerged settlement of survivors through Joel. At an early stage on, Joel is captured und murdered von a militarized to win force, spurring ellie to reduced a bloody swath through in overgrown seattle as she hunts weil das Joel’s assassin, a soldier named Abby. Halfway through die story, they come face-to-face—only for the game’s point von view kommen sie switch zu Abby, who’s revealed to be ns daughter of one of the medical professionals Joel killed. She was exacting herstellung own revenge and continuing a cycle von killing that wollen seemingly never ende for the tonnage of united state franchise—at the very least not dafür long as these acclaimed gamings keep setting record-breaking sales numbers.

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The game’s meta argumente seems kommen sie be that these cycles of vengeance room fated, or programmed, if sie will. As a character, ellie is trapped—she must continue her mission to avenge Joel, because the player is controlling her and because any video game needs a mission. Punkt first, her pflicht is tolerable due to the fact that it mostly involves killing the undead, yet once ellie finds the humans she chasing, pure brutality is demanded of the player. In one key scene, ellie has to beat someone to death zu get beneficial information, and the game makes ns player niederdrücken a taste to land every einzel blow. Horrified, i set my controller down und watched ns screen zum minutes to see whether ich could avoid this task entirely; eventually, it was clear i couldn’t.

I hated this moment with the same fervor that i had loved die conclusion von The tonnage of Us. There, Joel’s awful decision was perfectly in character, and I was disturbed von how I, ns player, had kommen sie to totally inhabit his scripted mindset. Die final succession felt prefer a crucial, universe-expanding momente for gaming, much like the ending des BioShock a couple of years former (when it was revealed that all des the taste character’s actions had actually been programmed into his subconscious, a clever piece von commentary on ns inevitability des game design). Playing v Joel’s predetermined ending somehow made me feeling culpable, which was a genuinely unnerving but profound experience. However Ellie’s turn to total darkness an the sequel feeling flatter—it felt much less like a natural move zum her character and more favor a way zum the game to make some bigger philosophical points.

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When interviewing die game’s creators, david Ehrlich von IndieWire do a fascinating observation on this shift betwee the first and second games. “In The belastung of Us, our alignment with Joel compels us to justify his actions together he murders innocent people kommen sie protect Ellie,” that wrote. “In teil II, the feels as if ns characters are trying to wrest control back from us.” as a player of Part II, I’m ausblüten stuck through Joel’s view from the zuerst game; ich understand exactly what he did and why the did it. Even though I’m playing as Ellie an the sequel, it’s hard zum me kommen sie fully grasp herstellung confusion and survivor’s guilt, und the directions in which produziert extreme trauma leader her.

That exploration von the disconnect betwee player and character zu sein a drastic shift from the erste game, und certainly part II’s most ambitious concept. Ns player has zu deal v shambling zombies, but also explore Abby’s militarized life and confront a faction of bow-wielding religious cultists. All these different characters und communities room consumed über the kind of postapocalyptic stress that usually leads to conflict. The game ist trying zu answer the question des why ns genre is dafür infused v violence von making die player shoot, stab, and strangle their method through area after ~ area, every filled with adversaries who are suspicious von trespassers. Yet it i do not care monotonous: there were countless times an The last of us Part ii when ich had to turn that off and take a rest from ns unrelenting bleakness.

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The game possesses plenty von thematic power and features quieter sequences of grace und tranquility. However it makes the overarching point about violence begetting violence over and over again, culminating an a final fight that feels as though it could go ~ above forever. Die gaming industry möchte likely grapple with many of these ideas zum the next few years, asking to what degree it can tell compelling geschichte when die strictures von big-budget gaming regularly demand consistent bloodshed. But by making deswegen much of its action punishing rather than rewarding, The tonnage of united state Part ii makes a convincing situation that it might be time to search zum something new.