Brace Yourself, for this will be a very very long article, that may contain spoilers and or adult content!
I've heard many great Ideas of what the next The Last of Us could be, Mainly who would be the star. these Ideas range from continuing Ellie's story, to going back in time and be a prequel about, Joel and Tess and how they met, and what Joel went through in the time between the start of the infection and 20 years later.
I would also like to see who Tess was before the outbreak. Maybe a prequel from Tess's point of view could make for a pretty good game.
Another Idea for The Last of Us 2 circling around is, Sam and Henry.
A pair of brothers, Henry being the older brother, and Sam the younger brother, that you meet in your travels.
While I don't really care much for Sam, he always seemed a little to angsty to me, but I didn't mind him. However I really liked Henry, and would really enjoy playing as him.
Another person I'd like to see a prequel on is, Joel's brother Tommy.
Tommy was always one of my favorite Characters in the last of us, and certainly has a lot to be told about him. Tommy was once a firefly, but he eventually quit. Why did Tommy quit the fire flies? did he learn something about them he didn't like? do the fire flies have a hidden agenda of some sort. Yes Tommy sure has an interesting past that would make a great prequel, and I would love to play as him.
Plus the guy looks like Brad Pitt in World War Z
another interesting Idea is the mysterious Ish. A man whom we only hear about through what he's left behind, much like the dinosaurs.
Ish is a very mysterious individual, who many fans would want to learn more about. But I have a few problems with this idea, one is that Ish is one thing that, much like Darth Plagueis in star wars, gives The Last Of Us a bit of it's own lore. Showing Ish's story might take away from the mystery and Intrigue. my second problem with this idea is that we know how Ish's story ends, and we know that the society he builds gets destroyed, I don't think his story would be long enough for a full game, but it would make a decent DLC prequel, much like Left Behind. I'd especially like it if they had Ish voiced by someone like Steven Ogg (the voice of Trevor Philips from GTA 5) that would be awesome.
I can also see Bill being an entertaining Protagonist, but he wouldn't nearly have the emotional depth that Joel and Ellie had, so that might not be the best idea.
And I think that's all the good ideas I can think of for a Last Of Us 2, there might have been one more, but, hmm could have sworn their was one more great idea for the next last of us game. Oh yeah! That couple you see get gunned down in Pittsburgh, what's their story?
With all these ideas I think the best idea is to continue Ellie's story.
First of all, the whole Last Of Us franchise is built around Ellie. She's in most of the full game, and in the course of the game her character is built up to the point you even play as her toward the end. aside from Joel's daughter in the beginning, you don't see any other character who out shines Joel(the guy you play as in most of the game) so much that the point of view switches to them. and in the prequel DLC Left Behind, you spend the entire time playing as Ellie and learning more about her. Then we get to the comic American Dreams, The comic also focus's on Ellie and telling more of her back story, showing how she met her best friend Riley (who is dead by the time the full game starts) and revealing how she required her switch blade that she uses in the full game.
If The Last Of Us was really about the world like some people claim, it would have used something like DLC and comics, to tell someone else's story and expand on the world, but they don't do that. Instead the comic and DLC are entirely devoted to further developing the character of one, Ellie Williams (apparently Naughty Dog had originally meant for Ellie's last mane to be Williams. I wonder if she's related to Robin Williams).
We could also compare The Last Of Us to a similar game, tell tale's The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead the video game, has a very similar story to The Last Of Us.
It fallows a man named Lee, and a little girl named Clementine. Much like The Last Of Us, Lee is not Clementine's father, he just comes across her during a zombie apocalypse, and decides to take care of her.
If you haven't played the Walking Dead video game I would definitely recommend it.
In the end of the Walking Dead game, the main character Lee dies.
So the next Walking dead game has Clementine as the protagonist.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the sequel, but I felt that the first one was pretty wrapped up, and didn't need a sequel. But when they did make that sequel, it was great.
Taking this back to Ellie and The Last Of Us. I never felt that Clementine had quite the same amount of character development or depth, that Ellie did. The Walking Dead never had that moment were I felt it was now Clementine's story rather than Lee's.
Now I don't hate Clementine, she's a good enough character, I still root for her, and enjoy playing as her. But she really doesn't stand out to me that much. Clementine, at times seems a little monotone and emotionless. Honestly I have a lot of the same problems with Clementine, that a lot of people seem to have with Aiden Pearce in the game Watch Dogs
I know what your thinking, "Clementine's not as bad as Aiden Pearce, how dare you compare Clementine to Aiden Pearce."
Hear me out. When I say Clementine is like Aiden, I mean that in a good way, because I actually like Aiden Pearce. Sure Aiden doesn't stand out much, but I still root for him, and enjoy playing as him, and I feel the same way about Clementine.
Aiden and Clementine also share the same taste in headgear.(the more you know)
You may be asking "what does this have to do with Ellie and The Last Of Us?"
Well my point is that, if someone as dull and monotone as Clementine gets her own game, then surly someone as fun, deep, well written, well acted, and just over all likable, as Ellie definately deserves to have her own full game
And while Clementine can be compared to the, for some odd reason loathed, Aiden Pearce (who again, I don't believe deserves the hate he gets)
Ellie on the other hand, I often compare to a much more beloved character, Nathan Drake, from Uncharted.
Other than the fact that they are both made by naughty dog (so you'd think they would treat Ellie similar to Nate) Ellie and Nate do have a few similarities.
I think the obvious one is that they both have a whimsical, yet sarcastic sense of humor.
They both have a sense of wonder, and are obsessed with learning about a lost civilization (it just so happens that the lost civilization Ellie's obsessed with is ours, kind of mind blowing when you look at it like that). But the biggest similarities come in there back stories.
Both Ellie and Nate grew up in a boarding school,
Both Ellie and Nate were taken under the wing of an older man, who raised them as their own. Ellie was raised by Joel, and Nate was raised by Sully.
Both Joel and Sully taught their new adopted kids, how to survive in their respective worlds.
I always viewed Ellie as a young female version of Nathan Drake.
Ellie also has a lot about her past that we don't know about.
What happened in between the events of the comic and the DLC? Apparently Ellie and her best friend Riley get into a fight at some point in that time frame, but we never get to see it. Also the DLC cuts out after both girls are infected. We know that Riley dies and Ellie lives, but what I would like to see, is the moment they both realize that Riley would turn but Ellie wouldn't.
This brings up a huge, unanswered, and almost uncomfortable, but in a good way, question.
Was Ellie the one who had to put down Riley?
This would be an incredibly emotional scene, that could even rival the beginning of the original, when Joel's daughter dies. As Ellie would need to kill her own best friend, because she was about to turn and was suffering though the process. When just moments ago they were going to die together.
If you want a scene that could top the tense and shocking moments of the first one, well that would be it.
Some say that The Last Of US 2 should star a totally new protagonist so we can see more of The Last Of Us world.
But I see no reason why you can't explore more of the world, and still keep Ellie as the protagonist
In the first game you travel from Boston to Salt Lake City.
That's almost the entire country! so while Ellie likely wont end up over seas, she could still find her way to many locations that would make great settings for a zombie game like The Last Of Us. Ellie could easily find her way to places like the Rocky Mountains, The Nevada desert, or even Mexico, or Canada, all would be a great setting for The Last Of Us 2.
Personally, I would like to see The Last Of Us 2 explore the western part of the country, and maybe even go into Mexico. This would give the game sort of an old west feel to it, that would be kind cool, and the desert would be a nice change in scenery from the endless, while still beautiful, jungles and ruins of the first game.
Ellie is very different from most characters in these games. Usually the protagonist in these games would be some sort of, big bad ass man (or occasionally woman) who can punch his or her way through the game, and take out waves of enemies without even trying. But Ellie is just a little girl, and while brave, she is more vulnerable than say, Joel or Tess.
This is one of the many things that gives you reason to root for her, it gives her an underdog quality. Ellie can be hurt, and she can die. So when Ellie is in danger, she really feels like she's in danger, and you want to see her make it to the end. Part of this is due to Ashley Johnson's brilliant performance as Ellie, who has expressed her love for the character, and that she'd be eager to come back.
some people think that The Last Of Us 2 should get rid of Joel and Ellie, because they don't want to end up comparing it to the original. they actually want The Last Of Us 2 to make them forget the first one ever happened!
I think the opposite is true. If you replaced Joel and Ellie with new characters, then people would CONSTANTLY be comparing these new characters, to Joel and Ellie. In every situation these new characters are in, people would wonder how the same situation would play out if they had kept Joel and Ellie instead of these new guys.
let's look back at The Walking Dead game. The walking Dead video game is a very similar story to the Last Of Us, and gives us a pretty good idea of what a last of us game would be like, without Joel or Ellie. That being said, throughout most of the game I kept drawing comparisons to The Last Of Us. For example I constantly compared Clementine to Ellie, and I compared Lee to Joel. The whole time I was thinking things like, "Clementine, stop standing there and help me, If you were Ellie you would taken this guy out by now!" or "you know Clem doesn't seem to have nearly as much character development, or even focus that Ellie did" or "were's Clem isn't she supposed to be like this really important character, she barely gets any screen time, If this were The Last Of Us she would be right by my side the whole time" or "you know if this mysterious stranger had kidnapped Ellie instead of Clem, Ellie would have fought back, and I wouldn't need to rescue her, I mean Ellie's no Rambo, but this guy ain't that tough either and Ellie could take him on." If I am making those comparisons with a game that's not technically a sequel to The Last Of Us, you can bet your ass i'd make those comparisons in a so called Last Of Us sequel that doesn't have Joel an Ellie. If you replace Joel and Ellie, people will be making comparisons between Joel and Ellie, and this new set of characters. If Joel and Ellie are in both games you have nothing to compare.
If they continued the story of Joel and Ellie, you wouldn't be comparing it as much to the first one, because it would be the next chapter in the same story.
What a good sequel should do, is not make you forget the original ever happened, rather a good sequel should sequel should add to the experience of the original, and help you better understand the characters. A sequel shouldn't be "a fresh new experience." if you want a fresh and new experience, just play a different game, like Fall out 3(or 4 when that comes out), or Dead Rising, or Super Mario Brothers(that one's a classic). But a sequel should try to capture the same feelings, emotions, and ideas the first one did. The original and sequel, should feel like two halves of the same story.
The perfect example of a sequel that does this write, is Star Wars episode 5 The Empire Strikes Back!
Empire Strikes Back, may be the best sequel ever made.
Why is Empire Strikes Back, the best sequel I have ever seen? Because it does EXACTLY what a sequel should do!
It further develops it's main characters, while also introducing some new ones, further explores it's own universe and lore WITHOUT CHANGING THE MAIN CHARACTERS (yes it is possible to further explore the world and keep the same characters) and it raises the stakes. Also Empire strikes back doesn't try to make you forget it's predecessor A New Hope ever existed. In fact it does the exact opposite, Empire Strikes Back, is full of references to characters and events in A New Hope, it wants you to know the first one existed, and maybe even go back and watch it a second time, just to get a better appreciation for both movies. Empire not only captures the feel and brilliance of the original, but goes above and beyond the original.
You know what movie does change it's entire cast, characters and everything else, similar to what some think The Last Of Us 2 should do?
American Psycho 2
If Empire Strikes Back is the best sequel ever, than American Psycho 2 is the worst! American Psycho 2 does nothing to further develop it's characters, or even it's own world. American psycho 2 does in fact provide a fresh new experience, but that's the problem. American Psycho 2 does everything in it's power to make you forget the first one, but in doing so, American Psycho 2 is the one most people forget (bet you didn't even know American Psycho had a sequel)
Naughty Dog(the creators of The Last Of Us), if you are reading this, don't let The Last Of Us 2 be the gaming equivalent of American Psycho 2
If you want to make it a good sequel, further develop the characters you already have(I am of course talking about Joel and Ellie), add new characters, further explore the world WITHOUT CHANGING THE MAIN CHARACTERS! and make it more intense.
I would really love to see The Last Of Us 2 become the horror survival equivalent of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back!
I would love to discus this further, but my article is already getting to long so I will go more in depth on this topic in a later issue.
What do you guys think? Should Ellie be the next protagonist? Leave a comment.