Despite the pandemic, the video game industry is still solid, with many games receiving an unprecedented reception within the gaming community. For instance, “Animal Crossing” became the official pandemic game that vows to keep the gamers entertained. However, not all games would interest extremely picky gaming communities. The newly released “The Last of Us 2” is an epitome of that.
Arguably, the most ambitious project of the American video game developer, Naughty Dog, “The Last of Us 2” is a sequel to the critically acclaimed 2013 game, “The Last of Us”. The game was published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for its PlayStation 4. Despite the first announcement in 2016, the game was delayed twice. Initially scheduled for an April 2020 release, the game was delayed due to logistical problems as a result of the pandemic. However, it didn’t persist, as the game was released on June 19, 2020.
Two months prior to its official release, the details of this project were leaked on the internet. Even though it is unclear as to who did it, there have been rumors of a disgruntled Naughty Dog employee deliberately leaking the info. Unfortunately, the leak had everything from the gameplay footage, storyline, and even the ending. Needless to say, this had a huge impact on the game and to all those who were eager to play it.
“The Last of Us 2” is set 5 years after the original title, “The Last of Us”. In the game, you will control Ellie to complete objectives in a post-apocalyptic world. As the story progresses, you will also gain control of another lead character, Abby. While Ellie is on a mission to seek revenge, Abby is a member of the militia that gets involved in a conflict with a cult. The militia, however, is in the process of developing a cure against a mutant. Ellie’s father Joel takes her to the hospital run by this rebel militia “Fireflies”. That’s where things become a bit…grotesque? Leaving the hospital, you(as Ellie) will find Abby brutally killing your father. Hence, you will swear revenge against Abby.
Why is it the “worst video game”?
Now, you might be thinking why this game was called “the worst” one of the year, despite being the most anticipated title of this year. Simply put, it is because of the game not living up to the gamer’s expectations. In the sense, the developers promised, perhaps their best release, but what the gamers received was exactly the opposite. Of course, the game does have breathtaking graphics and a diverse cast. But, there is more to a game than its graphics. That being said, here are a few reasons as to why the gaming community is calling this survival title the “worst video game”.
Needless to say, there is no game without a good storyline. As a matter of fact, it would be the first thing that you would judge in a game. Above all, a good storyline coupled with great storytelling is what you would require to finish the game. But, sorry to burst your bubble, “The Last of Us 2” doesn’t serve a good plot. In addition to that, the storytelling is not brilliant. You will see excessively long cutscenes and the story’s slow pacing. In fact, at one point you would want the cutscenes to hurry so that you can get back to the game. To sum up, if only the developers had increased the game’s pacing a tad bit, you would’ve got a better experience “playing the game”.
The death of Joel
While discussing the plot, we had gone through the story of Joel and how he is related to the protagonist, Ellie. If you are active in the gaming community, you will notice that both Joel and Ellie are the most liked characters. Hence, killing Joel early in the plot is expected to divide the fans. However, it was quite inevitable. If you’ve played the game for at least 10 hours, you will know the reason behind his death. But, if you don’t have the game, wait for a few seconds, we will go through the plot again to justify his murder.
Now that you know that Joel is being killed, here’s why he was killed. Being a revenge story, “The Last of Us 2” lacked the essence of vengeance. Even though Abby somewhat sought revenge by killing Joel, it is still confusing as to why she would stop there. In the story, Abby vows to kill Joel after seeing him kill her father. On the other hand, Joel killed Abby’s father to save his daughter Ellie. Furthermore, to make it even worse for Ellie, Abby kills Jessie, one of Ellie’s friends. So it perfectly sums up. Abby kills both Joel and Jessie. But, wait. We are not through with this “revenge” plot.
Now that we have seen Abby’s revenge plot, it is important to see what our protagonist would do to seek her revenge. Ellie’s revenge is perhaps the most illogical part of this game. While she literally saw her father being killed by the hands of Abby, she spares her life. Ironically, Ellie kills everyone but Abby. If you manage to make it till the end of the game, you will notice how Ellie spared Abby’s life despite a brutal duel. As a matter of fact, you will be baffled to see both of them make it alive after that fight. To sum up, the game failed in serving the very gist of its plot, revenge!
If you’ve played “The Last of Us”, you will know how cautious Joel is. In fact, in one of the game’s most popular parts, Joel averts a choreographed ambush. But, the game developers for some reason were ignorant about his awareness. In this game, however, Joel was portrayed as a careless character. He is no longer the person who could sense something brewing miles away. That’s not all, Abby, the very character that killed Joel, is playable.
The Internet shill
Despite the game’s shortcomings, it was lauded as one of the best games of this year. Metacritic gave the game a “Metascore” of 95/100. Moreover, the game received 0 negative reviews! If you don’t know, this is the same score that they gave for “Half-Life: 2”. Disappointed with the critics’ review, gamers started giving a lot of zeroes. As of now, the game has received 32,168 negative reviews from gamers. If you browse through their site you will notice a huge difference between the critic’s and gamer’s review. On the other hand, many believe that it is this internet shill that is popularizing the game. In the end, Naughty Dog, in a way, might enjoy the negative reviews as it would only increase the number of people playing the game.
Will there be a third installment?
Recently, Naughty Dog hinted at a potential follow-up. In an interview with a leading magazine, Neil Druckmann, the director of Naughty Dog, revealed that the series won’t end with Part 2. If at all there’s the third installment, Naughty Dog should first justify the ending of this game. That doesn’t mean that the company deliberately put a shabby ending for the sake of a sequel.