Wow. What a day in the gaming world for me. Today, on Dec. 3, 2016, The Last Of Us Part II was revealed at PSX.
As I lie here in my bed writing this up, eight hours after the reveal, a panel, and writing two news stories, the announcement still doesn’t seem quite real. Naughty Dog is my favorite developer in the business. This year they released my new favorite game of all time Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which bumped my previous favorite (you guessed it), The Last Of Us down to number two. Which is such an unfair and dumb thing to even do or say. Both are utterly incredible experiences. I even reviewed The Last Of Us here on the blog.
If you want to read what the game is about, check out my two news stories: This one is about the reveal itself, while this one is about the panel the director and cast later in the day. You can watch the trailer for the game above.
This post is more to acknowledge my feelings about the game and its announcement. I’m a mess.
I have always hoped that Naughty Dog would revisit the world of The Last Of Us. Hopefully with Ellie taking center stage (she is this time), or at the least put us all back in that game world. Thankfully, they are not disappointing this time around.
As Shawn Layden closed out the conference with a “one more thing” moment, I knew it was Naughty Dog. The feeling of excitement consumed me from head-to-toe. As the trees floated by and the spaced out tribal drums came in, I knew this was a sequel to my beloved game. When the Firefly logo appeared, I let out an extremely loud cry of joy that echoed through the house. I’m sure if anyone was home, they would have thought I won the lottery (or that I was insane).
When Ellie appeared, her right arm was shaking. My body was too. Quite uncontrollably actually. It took me aback that I lost such control over my body like that. No announcement, not even Kingdom Hearts III, consumed my faculties in that extreme of a way. I couldn’t stop shaking for quite some time.
As soon as Ellie had tuned the guitar and had begun to sing, my stream went dead. Of course. My luck would have it that my live feed goes down the moment I care most. Because of my shaking hands, I had difficulty getting my phone to beam the live video back to my TV.
With the feed back, I was on the edge of my seat watching as Ellie sang a song about being in the wrong and wandering the valley of death. Toward the end of the trailer, Joel makes his appearance, signature revolver in hand.
A massacre of bodies laid strewn throughout this house Joel walked through. Ellie had a few cuts. She clearly was responsible.
On Ellie’s face, I saw a changed woman from the one I love from The Last Of Us and Left Behind. Five years after the events of the first game, my precious Ellie is fueled by hate and anger. She has gone from the Force to the Dark Side, so to speak.
Neil Druckmann describes the change of heart slightly during the panel.
“The first game, the core of it was about the love between these two characters. This story is the counter of that, this is story is about hate.”
This game, narratively, is day and night to the original; the yin to its yang.
The game may be three years (I personally suspect four) away, but wow, I am amped. My anticipation—and expectation—for The Last Of Us Part II is through the roof. Even with this much time past the announcement, I am going back and forth on whether or not to go on total media black out for this game. I did with the first game, but chose total media exposure for Uncharted 4. Maybe I need to go back into darkness for this one.
I’m sure as I have another day to digest before recording the 70th episode of Millennial Gaming Speak, my decision will become clear and I’ll have formed more coherent and objective thoughts. But right now, nothing can bring me down. Bring it on Naughty Dog. Let’s do this.