Look for the Light: The Last of Us: Part II is a Truly Special Game

The Last of Us: Part II – Naughty Dog – Sony – PS4 Screenshot

The following article features story spoilers for the entirety of both The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Part II. Do not read the article before you finish both games.

In 2013, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us — my favorite video game ever made —  was released exclusively on PlayStation 3 (it was later remastered on PlayStation 4) to near-universal praise and numerous accolades. On the surface-level, this was a survival horror game in the zombie sub-genre. But it was also so much more than that. It was a story about love and rediscovering something to fight for. Gamers primarily played as Joel Miller (Troy Baker), a smuggler without scruples, who was tasked with transporting a young girl, Ellie (Ashley Johnson), across the United States for the purpose of crafting a vaccine to the fungal virus that had turned infected humans into ruthless barely-human creatures without rational thought. Continue reading “Look for the Light: The Last of Us: Part II is a Truly Special Game”

Casting the HBO adaptation of THE LAST OF US – Special Features #65

HBO and PlayStation recently announced that Chernobyl-creator Craig Mazin will develop a series adaptation of the hit PlayStation game THE LAST OF US with Neil Druckmann, who was the writer and co-creative director on the original game. Druckmann is also one of the chief creatives working on the game’s highly anticipated sequel, THE LAST OF US: PART II. As I’ve definitely written before, THE LAST OF US is my favorite game ever made. It is a masterpiece. So, today, I want to give my updated opinions about who should play the game’s main characters in the upcoming HBO adaptation. Continue reading “Casting the HBO adaptation of THE LAST OF US – Special Features #65”

REVIEW: Pet Sematary (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of Pet Sematary — Directed by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmeyer.

A couple of months ago, I decided to rewatch Mary Lambert’s 1989 adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. My father is a big fan of that film, but, I hadn’t seen it in years, and I barely remembered if I even liked it. Much to my father’s disappointment, I really didn’t enjoy rewatching Lambert’s film. This experience, I’ll be honest, actually made me more excited for this year’s remake. Perhaps I would now get the Pet Sematary film to ‘call my own.’ While I ultimately do, based on my first viewing, believe Kölsch and Widmeyer’s 2019-version is better and more effective than Lambert’s film, I was still very disappointed by what they gave us here. Continue reading “REVIEW: Pet Sematary (2019)”

Recap: The Last of Us Part II – PSX 2016 Reveal Trailer

I don’t often write about games here, but some times I make an exception. I’ve reviewed a few games back in the day, including the story DLC for The Last of Us, which was called Left Behind. Now, some of you may know this, but if you don’t then let me level with you: 2013’s The Last of Us is my favorite game of all-time.

Now, it didn’t necessarily need a sequel, but I’ve been hoping for one for a long time now. Today, at the end of the PlayStation Experience, PlayStation reveled that we are, in fact, getting a sequel: The Last of Us Part II. You can watch the reveal trailer above, and when you’re done, I’ve got a trailer recap for you right here.  Continue reading “Recap: The Last of Us Part II – PSX 2016 Reveal Trailer”

REVIEW: The Last of Us: Left Behind (DLC)

Left Behind

Naughty Dog recently released downloadable content for its new potential super-franchise The Last Of Us. Now, I’m not a huge DLC-gamer, I tend to stick to the originally released story. Going into this story DLC I was very much afraid of it becoming too similar to the Tomb Raider feel, and I was really worried that they potentially would ruin parts of the game campaign I absolutely loved.

As you know, The Last of Us was a 10 out of 10 for me, and I was worried about how I would really react if they released something below average. I was really, really worried. It did not help when I was told one would play as Ellie throughout the game. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ellie – but Joel’s feel was special to me, and I would have loved something like a story DLC focusing on the twenty years prior to him meeting Ellie. Hell, maybe they’ll get to that in a later game . Now, as we move on – please be aware – this coming post is SPOILER filled. Also, know that the original game campaign will also be SPOILED somewhat.

If you played through the original campaign, you might remember Ellie talking about an old friend – mentioning how she got bit. That is one half of the DLC, the other focuses on the immediate period following Joel’s big injury. If you’ve played the original campaign, you should know what I mean – his injury right before winter. The DLC does a nice job of switching at important moments in both stories – and makes the total story theme work perfectly – fighting for life, for love, for friendship – being all poetic […]. Hint. Hint.

Don’t expect a lot with Joel, though you do see the ‘hero’ of the original campaign. Ashley Johnson returns to the game, and yet again is amazing as Ellie. Newcomer Yaani King is perfect as Riley, Ellie’s good friend. Their relationship is the heart of this tale, wherein we see the transformation that Ellie has gone through. Perfect moments include the two girls imagining a Tekken-like game, that hints to the original campaign somewhat. My favourite moment, though, was when they tried out masks. It was just a nice experience to have.

I’ve read other reviews of this DLC, and I do feel like most were right. I totally agreed with IGN’s Colin Moriarty, when he expressed that the combat felt forced – especially near the end of the game. Though there was a great use of the ‘distraction’ technique in this game, wherein you can eliminate danger perfectly by leading the infected to the humans chasing you and Joel.

Overall I felt that the DLC was amazing in story, but lacked a great deal when it came to active combat. The story added feel to the original campaign, and I think it left us at the right point. Some might argue that it wasn’t long enough, that you had to overpay for a short DLC – but I believe that the experience of Left Behind could leave no one wanting in story. Naughty Dog continues to shine.

Final Grade: 9.0 out of 10.0. An amazing stoy shines in a great DLC that forced some combat to appease a small part of its audience.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex