10. Henry And Sam Don't Have The Same Bond Joel And Ellie Have
I will admit that I really liked Henry (the older one). He seems like the kind of guy I would have a beer with. Henry was just an overall cool dude. However, the biggest problems with his story are: 1) Sam (the younger one) is kind of annoying, and 2) we know how Henry's story ends.
Not only do we know how Henry's story ends, but it ends before he and Sam's relationship gets any opportunity to develop in the same way Joel and Ellie's does. Henry and Sam never had the bond Joel and Ellie had. I feel like a prequel about them would just be them bickering the entire time. I feel that would just start to get annoying after a while. And again, Sam is NO replacement for Ellie.
9. The Location Doesn't Matter
I hear some people say they want the next The Last of Us game to take place in Europe or some other country. In particular, a certain writer here on Moviepilot who goes on and on about how The Last of Us should take place in Europe because he's sick of post-Apocalyptic games taking place in America. Now he has the right to his own opinion, and that's fine, and I respect that. However, what you gotta understand, is that America is only the backdrop for The Last of Us. Joel and Ellie's story would have been the same in any other part of the world.
As far as cultures and societies go, any type of culture that would have existed before the outbreak is gone. Aside from a few flags, posters, and throwaway lines, the "culture" of America is not present in The Last of Us. The focus of the game is not culture, or society, it is a journey and a coming of age story. In The Last of Us, any sort of societies or groups that we saw were fictional ones (such as the Hunters, or David's men). So in this world they can create any number of groups for Joel and Ellie to meet and it doesn't matter where they are. Just look at something like The Walking Dead, which is able to show a vast number of different societies that formed after the apocalypse.
The Walking Dead and The Last of Us may be set in different universes but they share so many themes and key elements that they are a fair comparison.
8. Joel And Ellie Are Not Safe
One reason people feel that Joel and Ellie's story is done is that Joel and Ellie are "safe." At the end of The Last of Us, Joel and Ellie find themselves in a village run by Joel's brother Tommy. However, in a world like this, no place is safe. Again we can look at The Walking Dead. In Season 5 Rick and the gang come across a town called Alexandria. At first it seems like they're safe, but soon enough, Alexandria is attacked by a mega herd of walkers (zombies), a group called "the wolves" and another group called "the saviors." In The Last of Us we have seen that Tommy's village is vulnerable to attacks.
I feel confidant that Naughty Dog can tell a story like this and not make it feel forced. The Walking Dead did it and Naughty Dog has far better writers.
7. Bill Is Only Fun In Small Doses
I find it surprising how many people I hear say they would like to see a Last of Us sequel with Bill as the lead. Now I'm going to be honest here, I did not like Bill, but I can see why some people do like him. I mean, if he was a character in something like Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, or something that doesn't take itself as seriously, I would have loved him. However, in context of The Last of Us (which takes itself very seriously) Bill just comes off as cruel and mean-spirited. Again, I can see why some people find him funny, but really that's it. This isn't even a personal thing, I just think that if Bill got the spotlight fans would become annoyed with him.
He's like salt: A little can make a meal taste better, but you get too much and it's disgusting. I think too much of Bill would get annoying really fast.
6. Marlene Is An Uninteresting And Unlikable Character
One idea some fans thought of for the next Last of Us game is to make it be about Marlene and the rise of the Fireflies. The problem with that however, is the simple fact that Marlene (the leader of the Fireflies, whom this proposed prequel would be about) is just ssssssoooooo unlikable. Other than the fact that she wanted to kill my favorite character (Ellie), Marlene is very self-righteous, and talks down to people like she's better than everyone else. There is nothing intriguing or interesting about Marlene — nothing about her makes me want to know more of her backstory.
I mean, try comparing her to a character like Ellie. You want to know more about Ellie because she's a fun and likable character. Marlene is neither fun nor likable. Or, compare her to Joel. Joel has a very mysterious past. We don't know, nor can we really guess what Joel's life was like, or what he was like, in the 20 years from the beginning credits to when the game picks back up. With Marlene, we can kind of guess what the rise of the Fireflies would look like. Even if you compare Marlene to David (the leader of a group of cannibals), he would make a better protagonist than Marlene. Even though David isn't a very likable character (at all), at least David is so psychotic and so terrifying that people would want to see what makes him tick (like if they made an origin story of The Joker).
Like I said, we can pretty much guess how the rise of the Fireflies went down. The government is being oppressive, so Marlene gets together a group she calls "the Fireflies" (maybe the firefly beetle has some significance to her). Then we get a lot of gun fights, explosions, and throw in a few clickers here and there, and you got your game. Not exactly game of the year worthy. Plus, Marlene's dead. Her story wouldn't have any tension because we know how it ends.
However, we don't know what the future could hold for Joel or Ellie and we don't know how their story will end.
5. Any Other Story Would Feel Like A Side Story
In a game like The Last of Us, you would want a sequel to further the story or answer some questions. In some way it should add to the first game — add to your understanding of the story of The Last of Us, not replace it. New characters in a new location wouldn't really add anything other than to tell us other characters exist in this world too — a fact which we already know.
The anthology method of storytelling works for something like Grand Theft Auto because GTA is more about the gameplay and its world. However, games like The Last of Us are more about the characters and story, so a sequel to a game like this should be treated like the next chapter of one story instead of something to replace it.
I don't want The Last of Us 2 to make me forget The Last of Us ever happened, I want to be able to appreciate both games as two chapters of the same story.
4. 'The Last of Us' Is Not The Only Game In Its Genre
It may seem hard to believe, but The Last of Us is not the only game in its genre. It seems like some fans think TLOU is the ONLY franchise that can show us what the world would look like in some sort of zombie outbreak. It's as if they believe that if The Last of Us 2 doesn't take place in Europe, for example, then we will never see what a zombie outbreak would look like in that particular region. This is obviously not true! Naughty Dog doesn't own the rights to the apocalypse. They don't even own the rights to Cordycepts: It's a real life fungus. Heck, if you really want to see a zombie/infected type of story in your home town so bad, go out and make it yourself.
Anyone can make a zombie/infected type of story that takes place anywhere. However, only The Last of Us can tell us the story of Joel and Ellie.
3. Ellie Has A Lot Of Potential To Become A Great Character
The Last of Us really sets Ellie up to become the main character of the game. Throughout the game you learn more about her as she and Joel grow closer. As the game progresses Ellie becomes a bigger and bigger part of the game. Toward the end you even play as Ellie. She also goes through what many would consider to be the most intense moments of the game. Ellie runs into a group of cannibals who kidnap her, forcing her to fight her way out, or die. This segment (as well as the DLC) seem to tease at what a full game about Ellie would be like, and that's a game I would want.
However, that's not to say Joel shouldn't be in it. I see a lot of fans who would love Joel to come back as well.
Yeah, Joel's story as the main character may be done, but that doesn't mean he can't come back as a side character. I do feel The Last of Us 2 should be about Ellie, but Joel is still important to her and the story.
The next logical step in the story would be to have Joel and Ellie switch roles in a way — this time with Ellie as the lead and Joel as the one helping her on her way.
Then in the third game, Ellie could be on her own. Maybe starting a family of her own, or maybe she could be in charge of some new colony or something. Maybe then she would have her own kids to protect.
2. I Have Complete Confidence In Naughty Dog To Continue Their Story
Naughty Dog has a good history with sequels. They know how to further develop a beloved character without ruining that character. They've even proven that they can further develop Ellie's character without ruining the impact of the first game. I see no problem in them continuing Joel and Ellie's story.
1. The Last of Us Is Joel And Ellie's Story
At the end of the day The Last of Us is not about society and it's not about the Fireflies. It's not even about zombies (or infected). The Last of Us is about a man coping with the loss of his daughter. A man who has shut himself off from the outside world and eventually learns to trust and care for another human being again. It's also about a young girl who was born into a world of chaos, never knowing what it's like to truly have a family, until she eventually finds someone who truly cares about her. It's about two people who, through their journey, find something to really fight for in each other. And that's the story I want to see continued.
While I'll always love the first one, if The Last of Us decides to abandon that family dynamic it has with Joel and Ellie and instead focus on the game's world, that would ruin it for me and all the other fans who truly appreciate the story and the lessons The Last of Us is trying to teach.
The Last of Us is a beautiful story. Joel and Ellie are such great characters and I know they have more story to be told.
Naughty Dog, don't water down this title down with countless prequels, spin offs, and side stories. Give The Last of Us the true sequel it deserves. Just do it, nothing is impossible.