(This is an opinion piece, I am not associated with Naughty Dog or The Last of Us or anything else mentioned in this article I am just a HUGE fan, and this article may contain spoilers, )
First let's take a trip back in time to the ancient times of, 2012. Many things happened that year, including the hole end of the world scare. But the one thing I will be focusing on, is the release of the game Prototype 2, and how it relates to the possibility of a sequel to my favorite game The last of us.
Prototype 2 is the sequel to the game Prototype.
Prototype Follows a man named Alex Mercer, who wakes up in a morgue and soon realizes he has shape shifting super powers. now this was a really good game, one of my favorites for a long time. so naturally I was really excited when they announced a sequel. but one catch, Alex is the bad guy now! and they bring in a totally new main character, who obviously no had heard of. so this alienated some fans of the first game (Including me) and activision, the company that makes prototype, lost a lot of money, and the franchise is now dead. And Alex Mercer is not the kind of character you develop an emotional bond with. He's more like the kind of guy you watch turn his arm into a sward, and cut his enemies in half.
this is in contrast to the game The Last Of Us, a zombie apocalypse themed game, all about connecting to the characters, and seeing them grow as individuals. AND NOT ABOUT THE WORLD IT'S IN!
The last of us is a game developed by Naughty Dog studios that fallows a man named Joel, who loses his daughter during an outbreak of a parasitic fungus. 20 years later, Joel has become a smuggler, and is hired to smuggle a young girl named Ellie across a post apocalyptic united states, because Ellie is immune to the fungus that decimated humanity, and a group called the fire flies hopes to use her to create a cure . and along the way, Joel and Ellie create a bond similar to the bond Joel had with his daughter before she died.
I recently saw an article by a guy who wants to see The Last Of Us 2, make Joel the bad guy, and bring in a totally new main character, sound familiar. One problem I have with this theory, is that it makes Ellie into just another side character, or escort mission, when the entire first game was devoted to doing the exact opposite. Also, again, The Last Of Us is not about the world, or zombies, it's about a man who looses someone close to him, and after 20 years of living with that loss, meets someone who breaks through the emotional wall he's built over the years, and becomes family. Another idea that's circling around is a prequel focusing on the fire flies, and the rest of the last of us world. Now this is not a bad idea, and would make for a good DLC side story/spin-off to the last of us, or an online mode. But I don't think the entire focus of the next game should be on this, let me explain why by comparing the last of us to Star Wars
When the first star wars movies came out, fans instantly got attached to the characters and their adventures. Sure Star wars has a cool universe, and interesting lore, but what fans really wanted to see, was the characters, they wanted to see if Han Solo and princess Leia would get together, and if Darth Vader was really Luke's father. and after Lucas Films made the star wars trilogy, they made a series of prequels, focusing more on the Universe and lore of Star Wars, and they were boring, especially episode 2.
But at least the star wars prequels were about Darth f@#!ing Vader, one of the most memorable threatening and awesome villains ever, and Star Wars has a rich and vast universe, that's worth exploring.
But the last of us, as amazing as it is, does not have that. If you take Joel and Ellie out of the last of us, it may as well be Dead Rising, and Marlene (the leader of the fire flies, that the supposed last of us prequel would focus on) is not that interesting or memorable, and really doesn't require a full game telling her story.
However their's still a lot more to Joel and Ellie's story that would make a great sequel, or a prequel.
What do you think? Could history repeat itself? or will Naughty Dog do the right thing and give the last of us the sequel it deserves.