[EDITORIAL] The Last of Us does not need a sequel

Posted on Jul 15 2013 - 9:00am by Tom Lynch

With  ‘The Last Of Us’  selling 3.5 million copies in just three weeks and therefore becoming the fastest selling PS3 exclusive of all time, you can almost guarantee that Sony has green lit the sequel. However, I can’t help feeling that it does not need one. ‘The Last Of Us’ is a memorable and captivating game, the like of which I’ve never experienced before. With its thrilling story and solid gameplay, it found the perfect balance that only few games can claim to come close to matching. I would hate for it to land a sequel and ruin what made ‘The Last Of Us’ so great.

If Naughty Dog were to do a sequel I worry that the typical norms of sequels would be incorporated into the game, superfluous back-of-the-box bullet points like more enemies and weapons for example. What made the enemies in ‘The Last Of Us’ so terrifying and equally as believable, in particular the infected, is that there was only four types based on the amount of time you had been infected. It would be such a shame if they threw in more versions of the infected just to make the game slightly different as they would completely overshadow the horrific nature of the Clickers. What Naughty Dog did so well is make you feel terrified of only a handful of infected, rather than flooding dozens of them on screen, because it suited the ambiance created throughout the entire game. Every combat scenario you find yourself in, whether it’s with the infected or hunters, you’re fearful of every single enemy you face because you quickly realize that you might not make it out alive. So why overwhelm the player with countless amounts of enemies when you’re intimidated by so few? Additionally, with so little supplies in the world, a huge wave of enemies would be impossible to overcome, and by adding more supplies or weapons it just becomes a typical third person shooter.

You fear even the smallest group of foes.

You fear even the smallest group of foes.

I do agree that the world of ‘The Last Of Us’ is calling out for more stories and I’m looking forward to seeing what Naughty Dog has planned for the single player DLC; maybe it could be from the perspective of the Fireflies or other survivors, which would be fine, but if five years down the line I see a trailer at Sony’s E3 press conference of Joel and Ellie walking through some woods battling some new type of infected I will cry inside. I want ‘The Last Of Us’ to be a game we remember years down the line as the apex of the PS3, a game we can revisit and be treated to a one-of-a-kind experience, a masterpiece that will be treasured for years to come because that is what it deserves. I’m afraid that Naughty Dog will try too hard to improve something that is already perfect and ruin what makes ‘The Last Of Us’ so special. How can you improve perfection? Naughty Dog is an extremely talented team and it baffles me that they can produce games to such a high quality in a relatively short amount of time, but they have to slip up sometime right? Would you look at ‘The Last Of Us’ in the same way if it’s sequel got an 8/10? Would you fundamentally feel that it did not need it?

I understand that it is an industry after all and Naughty Dog is ultimately there to make money. But I hope they realize that a game this distinctive and this extraordinary just does not need a sequel or a franchise for that matter. It is rare we come across big-budget games of this caliber that have achievements that are not its visuals or action set-pieces, but its characters and their story. It was a shock when Naughty Dog revealed ‘The Last Of Us’, a team that was well known for their mature and action orientated games. I just can’t help feel that if they reveal a sequel it will lack the same effect as its masterful predecessor.

More from The Last of Us on HSR:

Review – http://highscorereviews.com/2013/06/24/review-the-last-of-us/

Why the ending to The Last of Us is perfect – http://highscorereviews.com/2013/07/09/opinion-why-the-ending-to-the-last-of-us-is-perfect/

6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. bocajbee July 16, 2013 at 7:19 am - Reply

    As far as characters go, Joel is done.

    Ellie’s story on the other hand, is just getting started. Having the second game set 10 years after the First when Ellie would be well into her 20’s would be fresh & the time gap wouldn’t take away form the original ending.

    I think that hey could still keep the ending of TLOU 1 ambiguous in a sequel set at least a decade after.

  2. Mitch July 16, 2013 at 10:42 am - Reply

    SPOILERS: There were actually four types of enemies by the way. Everyone seems to forget that, runners, clickers, bloaters, and stalkers. Stalkers were the scariest with ease for me, they were half clicker half runner and ran in between cover screaming. But anyway, I don’t think that the game is complete without a sequel. The ending just made me feel guilty for lying, and knowing that it is inevitable the truth will come out, it’s not over until the truth comes out, and it most likely won’t be over after then for another yet unknown reason. But I think the merits of this game will stand alone regardless of the quality of any sequel. People say that ND work in trilogies? So we could see Another new IP to give ND a new game every year or two? So they may be very spaced out also.

    • Thomas Lynch July 16, 2013 at 11:09 am - Reply

      SPOILERS: The stalkers of course my apologies, I completely forgot. Yeah I agree the merits will stand regardless of a sequel and we will probably see a another installment, but I feel that a sequel about Ellie discovering the truth would defeat the impact and meaning of the ending. I think that Ellie knew Joel was lying and accepted that because she has nobody else, which concluded their story perfectly in my opinion.

  3. Paul Balaji September 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    I agree that there should be no sequel to this game. However, some lingering issues should be clarified in the DLC.

    • Thomas Lynch September 8, 2013 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      I completely agree, but what lingering issues specifically do you want clarifying?

      • Paul Balaji September 11, 2013 at 10:23 am - Reply

        Specifically, I just want to find out what happened after that ending. How they integrated into that town and their general life. I don’t know, I want answers to questions I haven’t thought about. The ending feels semi-satisfying, for some reason. Maybe its meant to be like that.

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