A title too mature for the times?
The Last of Us Part 2 landed about a month ago on PlayStation 4, and allowed us to discover some juicy news regarding the story we lived 7 years ago with the first chapter.
After long silences and postponements, I had the opportunity to finally get my hands on the expected title, unfortunately from Day One, contrary to what happened to other colleagues. As soon as I get off work (unfortunately talking about video games is not my main job), I rush home to start downloading the code provided by Sony's PR.
I avoid the image of myself while waiting, I summarize it all by saying only that after eliminating my digital presence in the world, I curled up on the armchair and started the long countdown, until the download is complete.
Below I analyze the most important aspects that have influenced my personal gaming experience and why some dynamics have sparked so many protests.
The article you will read hides numerous spoilers inside, if you do not want to spoil the surprise, we invite you not to continue reading.
The figure of Joel Miller, an unblemished hero or a simple selfish?
After trying the title for a few hours I find myself helplessly witnessing Joel's death, all in a whirlwind of emotions that lead me to save and turn off the console. This game, as widely said in the review phase, will hit your feelings when you least expect it, in fact, the powerful narration designed by Druckmann and the other guys on the development team will lead you to confront yourself several times on the issues treated, forcing you to place the pad and somatize the events.
Having said that, I continue my mental journey around the figure of the surly Joel, a man who in the light of an epidemic that has destroyed humanity loses his daughter and finds, many years later, in Ellie, the little immune girl entrusted to him by Marlene. (leader of the subversive group known as Luci) a second chance to be a father. In fact, I have always seen in him the figure of the tough guy with a heart of gold, a bit like the protagonist of the film "An extraterrestrial sheriff ... little extra and very terrestrial" played by the legendary and never forgotten Bud Spencer.
When I still hadn't crossed over to the other side of the fence and just played, I always admired his character, masterfully voiced by Lorenzo Scattorin (known for voicing One Piece's Sanji, Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh, La Volpe in Assassin's Creed and many others). In fact, I saw in Joel the so-called romantic hero, who is willing to do anything to save an innocent life, but the violence with which the unknown character hit the man's unrecognizable face has triggered a series of existential doubts and only one question in mind " Why ?".
The answer came to me once I finished the third day in Ellie's company, when I discovered Abby, the muscled girl who inspired Ellie's revenge and mine. But everything began to falter when the game made me relive the past of the young ex Luce, in fact, her father is the doctor who should have given Ellie the vaccine and who fell victim to Joel's violence.
At this point I went back to reflect on the latter, he is always the unblemished and fearless knight I had thought of or a man who selfishly deprived the world of a cure and condemned humanity to live with the Cordyceps because of a excessive feeling of fatherhood? The answer still haunts me today, and to be honest even after finishing the title I can give a verdict. I can only say, that as a good selfish person, I too would have repeated everything he did.
Abigail “Abby” Anderson, not just muscles
Why am I going to talk about Abby right away? Simple, he is the character who amazed me the most and with whom I have the greatest empathy. In fact, the muscular (perhaps too much) girl represents the opposite side of Ellie, a strong and determined person, always focused on the goal and aware of having to do whatever is necessary to survive.
Proceeding with his story you will discover that behind that strong feeling of revenge, we find a person able to feel compassion and pity, leaving aside hatred and fear. In fact, we discover these feelings in Abigail when we fall victim to a trap of some Seraphites, a religious sect that enriches the world created by the boys of Naughty Dog in The Last of Us Part 2. This event introduces us to two young outcasts: Yara and Lev . The two work to rescue Abby and help us escape the madness of the sect.
It is impossible not to become attached to the two little ones, on the other hand, they were born in a hostile world and they cannot be blamed for the "grown-ups". barbarism of the human race manages to materialize. On the other hand we are talking about two important figures for Abby to make her put her life at risk several times, first looking for care for Yara and then rebelling against the Wolves to save Lev from an inglorious fate.
Among his dearest affections we find Owen, the two love each other quite clearly, but the indecision of the two leads them to take different paths, even if the flame of passion is vivid in both, so much so that they live a short, but intense moment of intimacy.
The death of the latter (and of his future wife) at the hands of Ellie, revive in her the feelings of revenge that Joel's death had definitively quelled, leading her to restart the hunt. And it is precisely once I find it in the theater that my preferences are manifested, in fact, for the first time in the whole game I saw Ellie as an enemy. For this whirlwind of emotions I have to thank the guys from Naughty Dog, and the unpredictable genius of Neil Druckmann.
I pass immediately to the protagonist of the series, on the other hand she has always been the keystone in The Last of Us, it is "her fault" that the events narrated in this iteration are revealed on the screen. But let's take a step back, Ellie presents herself to the player as a particular teenager, shy but at the same time contemptuous, as if two distinct people coexisted in her, the human one who loves Dina and lives in Jackson and the "infected" one who is at the perennial pursuit of his revenge. She too, like Abby, is fully aware that the world around her wants her dead and at certain moments she seems to manifest that will too, no one knows what it depends on, perhaps from the fact that such a life does not deserve to be lived or because his death could save humanity.
In any case, after Joel's death, the girl begins her revenge, with the help of the tireless Dina. During their adventure, between infected and hostile humans, the two find temporary peace in an old theater, a very useful base camp, which in the end will prove to be full of security holes. As Ellie advances like a steamroller, Dina reveals to her that she is pregnant with Jesse, the cute ex-boyfriend of the girl who will come to our aid on several occasions, ending her existence in a rather inglorious way.
Her quest for revenge will lead her to eliminate in a bloody and brutal way almost all the "participants" in Joel's death, and return to Dina, Tommy and Jesse. All before Abby finds them and takes revenge.
The final part of the plot continues to show us Ellie as a troubled girl, even on a psychic level, in fact, while trying to retrieve a little lamb, we see her victim of delusional visions. The latter recall the post-traumatic psychopathologies of American soldiers, who after the wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan were no longer able to return to normal.
Unfortunately, the girl does not realize how lucky she is, especially after the events of the theater, in fact she can still tell her story and grow together with Dina a beautiful child (Jesse's son), but just like for those soldiers in Ellie just a track, the unmistakable smell of blood, to give up everything and start again one last time in search of that revenge that has been denied to her.
The events narrated in The Last of Us Part 2, want to show us the power of women and the fact that they are able to fight, love and survive without the need to be constantly saved by Prince Charming.
Personally, I appreciated Naughty Dog's choice to highlight this fact without impositions, in fact, I am against those petitions that want gender equality in video games.
Just think of Mirror's Edge, Horizon, Tomb Raider, Beyond Good & Evil, they are all female-starred titles, and personally I've never felt the need to yell at publishers to request an alternate sex version.
Personally, I consider the gender of the character of little importance, it is the gameplay, the narration and the technical sector that make me decide whether to buy a title or not.
Ellie, Dina and the LGBT dynamics
Now let's move on to Ellie's homosexuality, to be honest the sex scandal created by some further confirms that we are still extremely childish.
Every human being has the right to love whoever he wants, who are we to say the opposite. The fact that these are issues that do not compete with us in the real world (the one where you have only one life, so to speak) does not give us the right to criticize a director's choice of a film or a video game.
In case you don't like this type of choices (more than legitimate factor) I recommend buying another title, simple, right?
Subjectively, I found it intelligent to introduce these dynamics in a non-coarse way, focusing more on the purity of feeling and on the dynamics of the couple.
Why doesn't anyone think about children?
In addition to the ridiculous sexist recriminations, The Last of Us Part 2 has also had to do with the usual ignorant plethora of right-thinking people, who without a reason to live their lives in peace, devote themselves with derision to heavily disturb the tranquility. of the other gonads.
Indeed, these subjects have argued that the title is too strong and violent.
The undeniable violence with which the game presents itself, annoys because it is totally inevitable, before now no other title had told so well the reason for the actions of these subjects. The videogame medium has so far "justified" the violence, relegating everything to a simplistic clash between good and bad.
In The Last of Us Part 2 there are no good or bad, only people trying to survive a collapsing world, so any action taken by the characters is not right or wrong is the direct consequence of the need to survive and hope for a better future.
So the moment you feel a lump in your throat that closes your stomach don't panic, it's the excellent storytelling work of the guys at Naughty Dog that is doing its duty. I would like to recommend works of this kind as a cure, against the politically correct thought that increasingly afflicts our society and various works (cinematographic and otherwise).
The Last of Us Part 2 - A guitar, an empty house and a girl with no fingers
Each of us experienced the ending in our own way, many of my friends openly stated that they cried, someone struck by the nostalgia inspired by the final fight, much like the clash between Snake and Liquid in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (or in Death Stranding between Higgs and Sam Porter Bridges), others instead of the fact that Dina, after being abandoned by Ellie, returned to Jackson.
So why is this clash so impactful and important? Those of you who have tried the legendary title of Master Kojima will remember the atmosphere with which that clash was reached, between an old and wounded Solid Snake and a handsome Ocelot owned by Liquid Snake, through the arm implanted during the events narrated in Metal Gear Solid 2.
The clash, with bare hands, like the one we see in The Last of Us Part 2 is particularly violent and no holds barred, as if to highlight the conclusion of the eternal feud between brothers that has always haunted the so-called Enfants Terribles. Experience not very different from the fight between Ellie and Abby, the first definitely ready to fight, while the second is totally resigned and dying.
Unlike my friends, I can't admit to crying, even though a few moments from the last moments of the game gave me the chills, especially when Ellie unsuccessfully attempted to play Future Days, the first song Joel had taught her.
What I can say about the game ending is that it has left me with a deep emptiness and a growing desire to find out what will happen in the next chapter.
I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts without filters, NDA and other beats. Let me know in the comments or on our Telegram whether or not you share what was said in this special article.