Like millions of gamers, I woke up to an unexpected and wonderful surprise on Sunday morning.
On WhatsApp, a message from my gaming buddy in Canada appeared.
“Thank you ND. Just…thank you”, it read, with a YouTube link.
I didn’t have to click on the link to know what it was. You see, Canadian Gamer and I have been playing The Last Of Us since its first release on PS3, back in 2013.
If you’re not familiar with it, The Last Of Us was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony. It’s a post-apocalyptic survival horror set in the U.S, after an outbreak of a mutant virus.
Players take control of Joel, a guy who reluctantly takes on the responsibility of leading a young girl named Ellie to a group called The Firelies.
Ellie is immune to infection, and The Fireflies hope to use her to find a cure. The only problem is, in doing so it is revealed to Joel that Ellie would die. Joel has to make a choice: Ellie or what’s left of humanity. Joel chooses Ellie, and we get one of the most beautiful endings to any video game, ever.
When people dismiss video games as “kids’ stuff” or “a waste of time”, I show them The Last Of Us. And anyone who has played it to the end knows what an incredible experience it is.
The Last of Us received universal critical acclaim, with an average score on Metacritic of 95/100, based on 98 reviews. A PlayStation exclusive, it not only sold a lot of games, it also helped Sony sell its console.
In July 2014, Sony released The Last of Us Remastered on PS4, with improved graphics and additional features. In a month, it sold one million copies, and it is one of the best-selling PS4 games.
With all that critical acclaim, and all those sales, a sequel seemed inevitable.
However, until Sunday, Naughty Dog had played its cards pretty close to its chest. In September of last year, the writer of the game accidentally revealed that a sequel was in the works, and there were also murmurings on Twitter.
The prayers of fans have been answered – we have a trailer!
It was revealed at the PlayStation Experience event that took place over the weekend. I prefer to watch the trailer from the live event, complete with the crowd screaming:
As a grown man, I am not ashamed to say that I get chills from that.
And I’m not the only one – following the release of the trailer, Reddit’s r/ Gaming went into meltdown, with the link getting over 5000 comments and upvotes in less than a day.
Not much happens in the trailer but it’s perfect. An older Ellie, now around 19, plays a song as Joel walks in. Ellie stops playing and vows to “kill every last one of them”.
There is already massive speculation going on about the storyline for The Last of Us Part II.
Neil Druckmann, the creative director of Naughty Dog, has said that while the first game was about love, this one would be about hate. In addition, while the first game was primarily focused on Joel, this one will be about Ellie.
Fans who have obsessed over the trailer think that Joel may already be dead. Ellie is just imagining his presence, and promising to kill the ones that presumably killed Joel.
Of course no one really knows the story yet. As for a release date, people are guessing either late 2018 or early 2019.
Until then, we can pass the time by replaying The Last Of Us.
Get hype, people, get HYPE.