A reader defends Naughty Dog’s controversial new game and argues that it is one of the best sequels ever made.
There has been a lot of backlash with regards to the follow-up to the multi-award winning The Last Of Us. I couldn’t disagree more with such opinions.
To start things off, I think that Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us Part 2 was, as they themselves put it, the most ambitious game (they’ve) ever made.
With some mild spoilers ahead, I find that Naughty Dog was able to work off of a game that surpassed almost every gaming milestone there is. And pulling that off alone is no small feat.
So, they made a few decisions that got a few people killed, which raised some eyebrows (mine included).
But in the grand scheme of things, provided you continue onward, you come to realise how justified each death really was. All you have to do is ask yourself, what would I do in his/her shoes? And most of the time, you’d find yourself saying, ‘The exact same thing’. Whether you wish to admit it or not.
And that’s the beauty of Naughty Dog, they’re all about forcing you to put yourself in the shoes of the character, good or bad, liked or disliked. The point is, life isn’t fair sometimes, so they show you just how true that statement is. And they do it by surprising you over and over again, albeit against your wishes at times. But again, when are you able to pick and choose the sour balls life throws at you? You’re not. So why should the game defining that very sentiment be any different? Well, it shouldn’t.
I’m not playing it to be satisfied at every turn and constantly overcome by smiles and happiness. No, I’m playing it to escape, to get into a gritty world that I have no control over and where my decisions are allowed to be wrong, where they’re allowed to be reckless; up to a point where the game sets you straight, not entirely, but enough that it allows you to enjoy your brief journey in this incredibly crafted world, with such a complex narrative driving it.
Which brings me to my next point: the narrative. Although most have complained about how affected they were by the narrative, I feel that once you’ve played it and gotten to the crux of the story, where your world is turned on its head, you’re given a well needed break. And without saying too much, it’s this ‘break’ that defines what Naughty Dog meant when they said that this is the most ambitious game they’ve ever made, because never have I been so compelled to hate somebody one moment, and then practically love them the next.
This is the power a good, nay, great storyteller has. To take what you perceive to be a hero or a villain, and switch their agenda, and that of the player’s, almost seamlessly. The ability to do that within one game, one world, and by taking one shot at it, is I say again, no small feat.
Now whether people agree with these decisions is their prerogative, but don’t say that these decisions were wrong, or that these decisions were bad. That’d be like saying that one’s life’s goals were wrong, or that their life’s work was bad. What you should say is that it wasn’t for you, but I, like millions of others I’m sure, find that it was definitely for me.
By reader Wayfaring Firefly
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