This month, The Last of Us 2, one of the most anticipated sequels in video gaming history is being released. Its predecessor, The Last of Us, was released in 2013 for the Sony’s Playstation 3 console by Santa Monica game company Naughty Dog. Naughty Dog’s previous outing, the treasure-hunting, globetrotting Uncharted series was one of the first games in the industry that felt more like an interactive movie, rather than a “game”. Released on the heels of the Uncharted 2, The Last of Us was a darker story, featuring one of the most emotionally-impactful opening sequences in gaming history.
The story begins in suburban Texas, where a nationwide fungal outbreak has started to turn people into mindless, violent savages. Joel is a young father who attempts to escape his town with his daughter and brother amid the outbreak, with tragic results. The story then jumps forward 20 years, where Joel lives in an America under martial law. The outbreak is still ongoing, mutating the infected into zombie-like killers. Joel is tasked with helping a young girl named Ellie, who is apparently immune to the fungus, travel across post-apocalyptic America to a lab in Colorado that is trying to create a cure. Much like AMC’s “The Walking Dead”, the real story isn’t about fighting the zombie-like infected, it’s about the people.
The game was an instant success, receiving accolades from the industry and audience for it’s narrative and well-developed characters. It never waned in popularity, spurring Naughty Dog to release a remastered version for the Playstation 4. As of April 2018, the game had sold 17 million copies.
The Last of Us 2 continues the story of Ellie, now a young woman living in the surviving community of Jackson, Wyoming. The first trailer for the game premiered at the Sony Playstation Experience event in December 2016, and anticipation has been building to a fever-pitch since then. The Last of Us 2 will be released for the Playstation 4 on June 19, available at GameStop, Target, Best Buy and wherever video games are sold.