The Last of Us Ending
I'm going to assume that everyone has played The Last of Us who is reading this so talking about plot points from the game is alright yeah? Okay then.
All over the internet you can find an inordinate amount of speculations and self-written stories that could feature in The Last of Us 2. At the moment Naughty Dog has not released any official statements regarding a second instalment for the series, but with a game that received universal acclaim, was heralded as 'The Citizen Kane of video games" and sold so incredibly well, how can a company that is also aiming for profit not make [The Last of Us](movie:1190382) 2?
The speculation now centres around whether they would be interested in continuing the storyline of Joel and Ellie or whether they will venture off into a different part of the infected world. It is purely down to your own personal desires with regards to whether you'd like to see these two again or leave The Last of Us ending alone. Personally, I'd love to hear all of your thoughts on the matter but I'm going to through my two cents out there anyway.
The Last of Us concluded with Joel lying to Ellie as they walk through the wilderness regarding what happened back at the base while she was unconscious. The ending was and still is unforgettable. The image of her face is firmly engrained in my mind as she mutter "Okay." and the screen cuts to black. It was a shocking ending and in many ways the perfect one.
This moment demonstrated the power of loss. That Joel couldn't cope with the loss of his daughter again, Ellie being the surrogate daughter in this case. In fact he placed his desire to keep her alive above the idea of saving the whole human race. Incredible. This is not the kind of 'hero' that games or even films offer up to us.
They are always willing to sacrifice their own desires to better the progression of human existence; but Joel is flawed and Joel is human. Loss encompasses his life, and the idea of suffering further was too much for him to bear. Therefore, he compromised mankind's survival for not only his own, but the singular life of someone he loves.
In many ways, how he saved Ellie makes him the hero due to the fact that Ellie was someone we cared for too. Someone we came to know so well throughout the campaign of one of the best games ever made, of course we didn't want to see her die. But to remove the only hope for mankind to save the life of someone you love, is that just? That's up to you. That's why the game cuts to black, so we can think about it and for me The Last of Us needs to stay in that blackness.
The Last of Us 2
In my opinion Naughty Dog concluded the The Last of Us in the greatest way possible. It was bold, creative and a moment that will be remembered and revered within the history of gaming. I think they'd be doing it a disservice if they simply carried the story on from that point on. I also feel like their chapter is either over or needs to be moved several years into the future, even to the point where Joel is no longer alive.
Then the story can progress with maybe Ellie now having the decision as to whether she wants to die to save mankind, therefore she can become the hero that so many other games feature. But is that what The Last of Us is really about? For me, the game is far more true to human nature as opposed to an idealised version of ourselves. It's closer to our being than many would care to admit. We are selfish.
That's why the challenge of The Last of Us 2 is to replicate, not only the same great characters, but the same exploration of our interaction with the world and our own selfish desires to keep living, even if it pushes others aside. I may be getting to into this a bit too far, but it's art! Great art needs and deserves to be analysed, appreciated and discussed.
That's why I'd love it if you guys could through up your suggestions in the comments for The Last of Us 2 concerning story and characters!