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‘The Last of Us’ Makes Players Feel Really Bad—And That’s Great

An enemy combatant pokes their head over the barrier they’re hiding behind. In one hit, they fall to the floor dead. As their companions scramble to attack or flee, they’re quickly dispatched as well. A dozen of the formerly human beings are scattered across a single room in a matter of minutes. The same situation can be seen in many, if perhaps hundreds of videogames. And in almost all of them, it’s fun.

Of course, art doesn’t have to be fun to have merit. There are many movies that you can watch (Requiem for a DreamTV showsThe LeftoversBooks (American PsychoWhile they are very unpleasant, these works can still be considered brilliant. This principle is also applicable to video games. However, the medium’s nature can create complications. A movie has to hold the audience’s attention for only a few hours, but video games must keep the player engaged for much longer, potentially across dozens of hours. Games require active participation, whereas shows and other art can be enjoyed passively.

For years, video games were criticized for making it difficult to have fun. The Line: Special Ops Ask players to reflect on the price of war when retelling it. Heart of DarknessIts gameplay, however, is not unlike the violent shooters. Horror games like Resident Evil Outlast The trappings and horrors used to startle players are superficial. They only serve to guide them towards the next thrilling experience. Rare games make it difficult for players to feel truly bad. It’s fully possible though, and no game series has done it as well as Last of UsParticularly Part 2 of The Last of Us

Unassailable content is essential for any media that uses narrative to engage an audience and not make them uncomfortable. It’s no secret Last of Us That is what makes Naughty Dog stand out. Naughty Dog’s story has been praised for nearly a decade. The story of Joel (Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson) is exemplary. Both games begin with a character—one a child, one beloved—murdered in a defenseless state. Both scenes show the horror of violence and set the mood for the rest of the game. This is evident throughout the story with many named characters being tortured and maimed. Although there are some moments of humor and humor, the story is largely serious. Last of Us It is perilously dark.

It’s what happens between the cutscenes where Last of Us It is a standout in its ability to make people squirm. It was a remarkable game, especially considering it was released on 2013’s PlayStation 3. This is a notoriously challenging system to create a game. Anyone who has played the game can remember the first time a Clicker, one of the nastier strains of the Not Zombies infested with the fungal infection behind the pandemic, ripped Joel’s throat out with their teeth. And the mini-boss Bloater tearing Joel’s face open by the jaws remains one of the most gruesome deaths in gaming. But like in all great zombie media, it’s what we do to other people that matters the most.

Last of Us used the graphical fidelity granted by the PlayStation 3 (and later the PlayStation 4’s upscaling upon the game’s 2014 release on that console) to show the brutality Joel inflicts on the human body. Headshots leave exit wounds that gape at enemies, leaving their eyes still staring blankly. The game’s shotgun, granted early in the story, carries enough power to rip limbs off at close range. Inflicting such severe carnage upon the human body can be both devastating and beautiful.

Part 2 of “The Last of Us”The PlayStation 4’s exclusive game, Designed for PlayStation 4, makes it even more difficult to feel bad about your actions. You can see the same gory mentality in Ellie’s hands-to-hand murders. They are displayed in vivid, nauseating detail. Part 2’s story, a meditation on revenge at any cost, is considerably darker than Part 1 It is enough on its own. The level of violence shown matches it. However, it is not only the amount of violence displayed or their depiction. Part 2 uses to confront the player; it’s the immediate consequence of it.

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