I’m sitting in my bedroom, surrounded by Fight Club posters, and I’m ready to play The Last of Us Part 2.
The Last of Us is one of my favourite games for many reasons. The main one being that Joel Miller is the most relatable, heroic video game character ever conceived. His gruff face, his beard, his flannel shirt - he’s the perfect protagonist. He tortures people, but that’s only because he’s a tortured soul himself. He doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve (mostly because that’s where his watch, a present from his dead daughter, goes), but he has a heart of gold pounding beneath that plaid.
Some people paint Joel as a villain, due to the fact he guns down loads of doctors at the end of the original game. These disgusting surgeons want to fashion a cure from Ellie to save the world, but there’s a catch: the surgery will kill her. As I previously established, Joel’s real daughter is dead. Who will be his new daughter if he lets Ellie die here? Exactly.
Ellie is 14 years old in The Last of Us - she doesn’t understand the world and Joel is well within his rights to murder all of the good guys and steal her choice away from her. That’s not kidnapping, that’s just being a good, self-appointed apocalypse dad. And looking cool while doing it.
The Last of Us Part 2 opens with Joel admitting his heroism: “I saved her,” he says, correctly. His brother Tommy is fully onboard. Now we’re riding into Jackson and I’m playing as Joel! This is amazing! I hope nothing happens to him.
There’s so many graphics here. Just, like, graphics all around. And sound.
Aw, this is nice. Joel is playing guitar for Ellie. Hold up - what is this shit? Pearl Jam? My man doesn't eat jam or like pearls and everyone knows it. Should have had him smashing out some Slayer to keep him in character.
So I’m playing as Ellie now. Ellie is cool - she learned from the best, after all. She’s riding on patrol with her friend, Dina. They seem like fine friends. Platonic pals. Massive mates. There was something in a conversation earlier about a kiss they shared during the winter dance, but who among us hasn’t kissed their friend after too many mulled wines? Just gals being pals.
So we just came across some humans infected by the cordyceps virus. Now to dig into the mechanics a little bit. One little detail I appreciate: you can shoot the infected and blood comes out of them. I like that.
They’re kissing again, but I’m pretty sure it’s just the weed. They found a secret hideout and a grow lab. The spliffs they found in a jar have been sitting there for god knows how long. They’ve probably gone bad. It’s just two stoned mates going at it - nothing to see here, to be quite honest. Me and my mates often Snapchat each other pictures of our dicks. Just bros being bros.
Now I’m playing as someone called Abby. I’m not sure who this is, but I’m not convinced in her proportions. It's a scientific fact that women can’t grow muscles, and I’m frankly terrified of being pounded into dust by a hench woman. Yesterday I pulled my shoulder out when opening a pack of super noodles.
Abby killed Joel. She killed him and someone else spat on him. I know people often talk about immersion in games, but I felt the spit hit me in the face. Spit from the mouth of Naughty Dog. A glob of saliva coating my dreams.
I can’t believe Naughty Dog has done this. Who wrote this SJW nonsense? They’ve made me, a true fan, truly angry about a character death. A character who I love, that they wrote, who dies at the hands of a woman. Joel should have died a hero’s death, facing off against 100 other men in flannel shirts. Or he could have simply snatched the shotgun from Abby and gunned them all down while mouthing “blammo” with each trigger pull.
Why would I want a story to make me feel things? If I wanted to feel emotions I’d stub my toe. I simply no longer trust these writers who previously made me care so much about a character that I made five anonymous Twitter accounts so I can tweet abuse at them.
Seriously. I could write a better story in an hour. How about this: Joel builds a massive truck made of knives and drives it across America, killing all of the clickers. At the end, he listens to some Slipknot, looks at the camera and says, “That was the last of THEM.” Fin.
Not hard, is it? No, it isn’t.
At this point, I sincerely wish I’d experienced the story via a hastily-narrated synopsis from an apolitical gaming YouTuber who solely covers politics in games and never the games themselves. That way I’d know the truth: the real virus is inclusion. I’m never included in anything because I’m deeply unlikable. Why should anyone else be included? It’s not right.
I may have only played three hours of this 25 hour game, but I’m going to have to make a stand and put a 0 user score on Metacritic. That’ll show them. I’m going to let them know that I know I’m losing the culture war I invented in my head and I’m having a proper wah wah about it.
I’m also gonna go on Twitter and come up with my very own joke to comment beneath every story about the game.
Wait a second…
It’s coming to me…
Something golf-themed to be truly original...
Ah, I know: “Joel in one”. Hahaha!
I just snapped my copy of The Last of Us Part 2 in half - both discs. I’m going to mail them to Heel Cuckmann as a warning. Now, to see if mother is nipping to the post office today...