Fanbase Press’ Scariest 2020: ‘The Last of Us Part II’

As Halloween is fast approaching, the Fanbase Press staff and contributors decided that there was no better way to celebrate this horrifically haunting holiday than by sharing our favorite scary stories! Be they movies, TV shows, video games, novels, or any other form of entertainment, members of the Fanbase Press crew will be sharing their “scariest” stories each day leading up to Halloween. We hope that you will enjoy this sneak peek into the terrors that frighten Fanbase Press!

Oh, Naughty Dog. You’re so excruciatingly cruel.

Like many gamers, I jumped on the pre-order bandwagon as soon as The Last of Us Part II was announced. The first game was a horrifying, gut-wrenching tribute to the dystopian genre, complete with characters that would haunt gamers forever.

I’ll be the first to admit it: I didn’t care for The Last of Us Part II. Not at first. I even told the employee at my local Game Stop that I thought Naughty Dog had lost their way. It didn’t feel the same as the first game, sans one moment that I won’t spoil here. (If you’ve played or do play it in the future, you’ll know exactly what that scene is.) But, I thought the characters and the game had lost that certain spark. I not only didn’t feel it was the best Naughty Dog had to offer, I thought they’d lost their ability to create great games. Had the company fizzled out?

Within an hour of playing after that conversation, I realized they hadn’t failed. Nope. They were at the top of their abilities with this one. It seemed that their many years perfecting the video game through the stellar Uncharted series culminated into one of the best games I’ve ever played – The Last of Us Part II. The psychological horror behind the game… It’s almost too much agony for gamers.

So, how could they turn me from a downtrodden skeptic to an outspoken super fan of the game? Well, this is where things get spoilerish.

SPOILERS BELOW

The sheer genius behind the game is credited directly to the writing team. In the first half of the game, we play as Ellie, who we met as a young girl in The Last of Us. She’s grown up now, a young adult, and she has plenty of battles ahead. She ends up on a mission and kills a lot of people from another group. A lot. We hate those people so much for what they did toward the beginning of the game, and we’re super glad to see them die.

But then, the tables turn. Oh, my goodness, how they turn. Gamers are thrust into the world of the antagonist. The evil, abhorrent Abby. Why would they ever make us play that character?

Because Naughty Dog is oh so cruel. During the second part of the game, gamers get to relive the three days they just played as Ellie – but through Abby’s eyes. We get to meet every single character we so brutally murdered in our quest. Those vile people we hated become real to us, as we learn their stories and connect with them, all while knowing their lives are about to end, sometimes in a horrible manner, and knowing that we are the ones who killed them.

What’s best about the game is that I found on the second playthrough, knowing exactly what would happen, I was even less thrilled to kill off characters in the first part as Ellie. I had grown to care about them, to understand their plight, and even to love some of them, only to have to kill them all over again.

And, that’s where the true horror in The Last of Us Part II lies. Not with the creatures, not with the apocalypse, not with the unknowns out there. It’s with the characters. That true sense of people not being what they seem and being unable to make choices not to kill them all.

Oh, Naughty Dog. You’re so excruciatingly cruel.



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