To be perfectly honest, there is nothing I want to do less than play The Last of Us Part II right now. If I had to put my finger on it, I think the whole global pandemic thing has really soured me on a lot of zombie fiction in general, but none more so than the inevitable gut-punch that’s sure to be the entire narrative of the game.
The basic idea behind the zombie outbreak in The Last of Us, was that the Cordyceps fungus had mutated in such a way that it would consume up to 60% of the humanity the host had, causing them to be living husks that want to feast on your flesh. I don’t think I remembered that the infected were still technically alive underneath all of that mess, but according to a The Last of Us wiki, that seems to be the horrible truth of the matter.
While these gruesome details were just lore and world building for the 2013 release, the sequel was unfortunate enough to release during a global pandemic which in my case, has soured me on the product as a whole. It isn’t as if I didn’t enjoy the original The Last of Us, in fact I championed that game to a lot of my non-PS3-owning friends at the time as a genuinely emotionally impactful game. Under normal circumstances, I would be all over The Last of Us Part II, but I just cannot muster the enthusiasm for it right now.
Additionally, I’ve been desperate for a game I can sink my teeth into, but haven’t really been able to find anything to scratch that itch. The Last of Us Part II seemed like a great contender back in the before times, but I genuinely don’t know when I’m going to ever find time for it. The Last of Us Part II seems poised to illicit the exact opposite response that Animal Crossing: New Horizons received earlier this year from a lot of folks who considered it an escape from the misery of our new normal.
Maybe I’m being overly sensitive about the content of The Last of Us Part II and am dismissing it without giving it a proper chance. But the reasons for why I’m probably not going to play it aren’t indictments of its quality, it’s just that I really don’t feel like it’s going to offer me the escapism I want right now. I fear that the entire time I’d just be drawing parallels between it and our reality, and reality sucks ass right now, so I’m good.