So I struggled for a long time with what to write about for this post. To be perfectly honest, most of my morning was spent letting my brain be melted by the stealth-bomb gesamtkunstwerk that is Beyoncé’s newest album, which if you haven’t heard, appeared at midnight on Friday the 13th, without being announced or leaked at all. Spooky, but awesome.
Speaking of things that are spooky, yet awesome: The Last of Us. If you don’t know, The Last of Us is a highly rated zombie-survival third-person action/adventure which tells the story of a jaded mid-aged smuggler and a young girl making their way across a United States awash in fungus-zombies and bandits. It is also a game that I am completely obsessed with and have talked about in no fewer than three other posts. I had said something about not doing any more posts about The Last of Us, but I am completely untrustworthy. 2.5 months have passed since I last wrote about it, and so much has happened.
For example, two days ago, Brian K. Anderson released a masterstroke on YouTube: a Lego The Last of Us video. Exactly what it sounds like, the Lego The Last of Us posits just what such a game might look like, in the vein of Lego Star Wars or Lego Indiana Jones. Somehow true to both the Lego games and the mechanics of Joel and Ellie’s troubling journey across this fine country of ours, this short adds a banality to the video game as cute as it is disturbing. There’s even a little Easter Egg at the end. Check it:
Or if you saw the banner at the top of the page, that’s by Janice Chu, video game concept artist and big fan of Naughty Dog, who sent that banner and another one commemorating Uncharted 2 to Neil Druckman of Naughty Dog Studios. Her work is fantastic, and you can wander through it here.
While we’re on the subject of art, though this isn’t really news, back in April, Dark Horse began releasing comics as a prequel to The Last of Us, created by the aforementioned Neil Druckman and Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl). I just finished reading them a week ago, and they’re great. At first, I found the art to be a little jarring, though it’s a taste I acquired by the time I was done. More importantly, the comics tell Ellie’s story, and it’s a well-known fact that all the best stories from The Last of Us are Ellie stories. It also provides some background to what has been hailed as the finest ending in the seventh generation of video games. The trade paperback is available here. That story, or at least a similar one, will also be playable: The Last of Us’s first single-player DLC will be available in January. Titled Left Behind, the DLC tells the story of Ellie and her friend Riley Abel during their school days living inside the quarantine zones, providing background provided neither in the games nor the comics. Here’s the trailer:
On a sadder note, the man who brought us the opportunity to buy Nathan Drake’s holster and Joel’s backpack, David Vigil, is suffering from stomach cancer. The fundraising project to help pay for his treatment is accepting donations, or you could just buy swag from his store. That backpack is going for $150 USD, which is actually not that much for a quality canvas-and-leather bag. I think I might just pick one up. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now, but The Last of Us does seem to be the gift that keeps on giving. I’ll probably pop in with a review once that DLC drops. In the meantime, stay away from clickers!