The Last Of Us is a game that has been gaining more and more praise over the last few weeks. Being from Naughty Dog, the company that created Uncharted and Jak & Daxter, the thought of a sequel is not too much of a stretch. In addition, level of critical and commercial success of the game, many are wondering where the potential series may head. This would be an interesting concept seeing as Naughty Dog’s writers are truly top class, but would they be able to give us the same shocks and breathless moments that the first game gave the world?
Going by the example that Uncharted followed, the first game was good, the second game better and the third one… not so much. This will not necessarily be the same for The Last of Us. Being a game that was so largely hyped before the release due to its interesting concept and stellar gameplay showings, it must have been difficult to live up to that pressure. A second game will be subject to even more hype. Questions raised about the story and gameplay will be bigger and more prominent. The developers may not be able to replicate the magic that TLOU was steeped in. It was a unique and truly brilliant game. How could the second game be made better? Change? Or could they keep the same themes going?
There are ways that the game could be changed that would bring back the uncertainty and banish the familiarity of playing with Ellie and Joel. New characters would pose a great challenge for Naughty Dog. While the first game was based around the two central characters and their developing relationship in the most difficult circumstances, a new game in the series could provide more. The online section of the game was something that was subtly brilliant. You have to get certain items to feed your “group”, although you never actually see that group. Could a real group dynamic akin to the Walking Dead work for a new game? Working your way to the goal of safety as a group of stranded survivors in one of the cities would be an interesting angle for the developers to work from. Balancing that would be especially difficult though as too many people in your group will make you look after them too much and too little might be too difficult. Making an open world game would not solve this as ND are especially good at unraveling narratives across a linear set game. Or how about setting the main character as Ellie after Joel is no longer able to take on missions in their entirety? This would be exciting to see how the experiences Ellie faced in the first game shaped her as she grew older.
Keeping the game the same would be slightly more difficult but would likely sit better with the diehard fans. The relationship between Joel and Ellie is something that will be hard to continue as they have reached a natural conclusion. Except for the ending (which we won’t talk about for obvious reasons), there is not much that can be explored anymore between the two. What will happen when something comes up that will break them apart, like Fireflies kidnapping or some story along those lines which could force Joel to stretch himself to save this girl who is now the equivalent his child.
There is another option of just leaving the game alone. Making it one of those great games or films that were never forced into a sequel. As much of a shame as that would be, maybe it would be best as we wouldn’t want to taint our memory of our first playthrough with a game that ultimately disappoints.
What are your views on a Last of Us sequel? Should there be one or not? If so, what could they do?