PSX was this weekend and everyone is talking about how Naughty Dog teased of The Last of Us Part II. Almost every single publication is excited about the news. The audience was going crazy for the trailer. And I really think that this isn’t as good of news as everyone makes it seem.
Let Me Clarify…
I think that the The Last of Us Part II will be a very good game. It is hard to argue with Naughty Dog’s resume when it comes to be making story games. Naughty Dog is responsible for some of the best on the market and only Rockstar can match their cinematic qualities in video game story telling. So why am I not excited about the game coming out?
The Lack Of Creativity
I think there is a bit of laziness and cashing in on Naughty Dog’s part here. The Last of Us was a smash hit for Playstation 3. Sony was practically giving away the remastered Playstation 4 version just so people had the opportunity to play the game. So now we have The Last of Us Part II and we haven’t had time for The Last of Us to be a distant memory in our gaming lives. I think the team is strong enough to come up with a new IP that people will love. If they aren’t going to make a new Crash game, why not try to make another colorful light hearted game that is fun and still incredible to play. The Last of Us Part II is another dark gritty game coming out in the current generation. The stories are heavy and way too serious for everything on the market to be like this. I may not like Overwatch but the game is very different from the games that have been coming out. It’s uniqueness in presentation and gameplay is why it won Game of the Year.
My other issue with The Last of Us Part II is that the storyline doesn’t seem too fresh. The theme is “Hate” and judging from the trailer Ellie is pissed and killing Fireflies. It’s so early to know why she hates whoever she hates but we can guess that the gameplay will feature some serious brutality from Ellie. We can’t imagine many story reasons for why Ellie would want to go around killing Fireflies other than Joel dying or the reservation, where we leave them off at the end of the first game, gets attacked and everyone dies. The third option is that Ellie finds out Joel lied to her about what the Fireflies planned for her and she hates Joel for it. She plots a mission to kill him and the shadowy figure you see in the trailer isn’t actually Joel. There’s just a little too much story predictability from Naughty Dog’s camp and it’s solely because they keep revisiting their most recent successes.
So what should Naughty Dog do next?
We are getting The Last of Us Part II. Something we don’t need just yet but we are getting it nonetheless so there isn’t much reason for me to drone on about why they shouldn’t have made this game next. I do hope Naughty Dog will consider their next project very carefully when development rolls around again. If it were up to me I would dust off one of their old games. Something that was originally an 8 bit experience on a console like Dreamcast, or Sega and re-imagine with the power of current gaming technology. Dream Zone jumps out at me right off the bat. The plot of Dream Zone is:
“The player becomes trapped in his own dream, thanks to a scientist’s rotten elixir, and must escape the weird world of his own imagination to reach reality again. The dream is full of nightmarish creatures and contains magic, airships, a floating castle, and a troublesome bureaucracy.”
I think this would be a phenomenal game. The concept is fun and worth revisiting because of how much fun Naughty Dog can have with the visuals. Plus, there’s some levity to the game and I think it would a trippy experience, making it great if VR is something that sticks around. As always these are just some thoughts. Let us know in the comments what you think about The Last of Us Part II and what Naughty Dog’s next move should be