This piece contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part I and The Last of Us Part II.
If I ever were to lose you, I’d surely lose myself.
Is it possible to have a new, refreshing take on this video game? Probably not. But I’m going to try anyway, because no matter if you loved it, hated it, or ended up in between, The Last of Us: Part II made you feel something—pissed off, exhausted, bewildered—the list goes on and on.
The Last of Us: Part II dropped on June 19, 2020, in the thick of the pandemic, or as I like to call it, the plot twist of the century. I remember dropping everything to shove the disc into my PS4, escape the outside world for a few hours, and be fully immersed in a brand-new story. Who knew that about an hour in, we’d lose one of our main characters in a brutal murder, witness PTSD-level trauma, and not even know what we were stepping into for the next twenty to thirty hours of gameplay (more like thirty-five to forty if you’re like me and die almost every chapter).
Abby, a new character we’re introduced to early on and even play as for a moment, kills Joel. Brutally, like I said, with a golf club right in front of Ellie. We don’t know why. We’re lost and confused, hurt and broken.
But when you think about it, was Joel dying really a huge surprise? I think most of us saw it coming, at least eventually. It would be naive to think Joel would make it through the entire game without a scratch after all the pain he caused four years prior to the events in The Last of Us: Part II. Whether you agree with his decisions or not, Joel’s actions were going to have consequences—we just had no idea when or how they would manifest. To me, that wasn’t what instilled the most shock and awe while watching how it all unraveled. Here’s the major curveball: playing the second half of this gruesome game as his killer.
We find out later that Joel killed Abby’s dad, the doctor operating on Ellie at the end of the first game, whom you are also forced to kill. This is after you switch roles and play as Abby for the second half while trying to understand why you must keep this character alive and move along her story after she did such an uncalled-for act.
But was it uncalled for? Maybe you’re angry because you’re forced to see a different perspective that challenges everything you know. It’s unexpected, not something you were emotionally prepared for, and that’s all right. I felt the same way before realizing the true power of The Last of Us: Part II—teaching yourself how to gain empathy and forgiveness for those who have wronged you.
A cycle of revenge. A true Greek tragedy. We care about Joel, but he’s not a “good” person. We don’t know anything about Abby besides the fact that she killed someone close to us, the audience, and someone close to Ellie, our “hero.” We’ve seen this story since the beginning of recorded time: Agamemnon was cursed for killing Iphigenia. The cycle of violence continues until the person you least expect to break it eventually does: Abby Anderson, probably the most hated character in video game history.
I’m not referencing Abby getting revenge on Joel for killing her dad at the end of Part I. It’s when there’s a moment of peace. Abby finally has a dream instead of a nightmare and sees her dad one last time after saving Seraphites Lev and Yara, just like Joel does with Ellie. Does this make her actions redeemable? No, but it shows us as the player that we can change and evolve too.
She’s deeply flawed, she’s grieving, and she’s angry. She’s pushing away the people who care about her, and she’s a killer who won’t stop at anything to get what she believes is justice. Now, am I talking about Abby or Ellie? Who knows. And that exactly proves my point.
This is how we progress through life: cycles of forgiveness, acceptance, and grief; if anything, Abby was the only character who truly found clarity in the end. Ellie could have chosen forgiveness and lived the rest of her life with a caring partner and child. She had a choice. She finally broke the cycle of violence, sparing Abby in that final fight, but at what cost once she returns home and sees Dina and JJ are gone?
Loss is not always wrapped up in a digestible bow for us to come to terms with. Most of the time, it makes no sense. That’s why the sudden loss of Joel as a character makes you feel so empty, it replicates real life and throws a curveball at us. To see people you brutally murdered as one character, then take care of you as another—that’s a gift to be able to have that experience, not a curse. You get to have perspective, and you choose how to deal with it, just like with grief.
This is not a perfect game. There are bad decisions, painful twists and turns, epiphanies that come too late, and revelations that feel just out of reach. If anything, The Last of Us: Part II is deeply flawed, just like we are. That’s what makes it real.
We can’t bring Joel back, or anyone we’ve lost for that matter. But we can try to heal ourselves from trauma, loss, and grief. We can endure and survive. We can look for the light.
“What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?” Scream The Game GIVEAWAY
Are you a die-hard fan of the iconic Scream franchise? Do you know every detail about Ghostface, Sidney Prescott, and the events in Woodsboro? Now that Scream 7 has officially landed its director (Christopher Landon), and Funko Games has released their Scream game we’ve decided to do a small giveaway.
Are you a die-hard fan of the iconic Scream franchise? Do you know every detail about Ghostface, Sidney Prescott, and the events in Woodsboro?
Now that Scream 7 has officially landed its director (Christopher Landon), and Funko Games has released their Scream game we’ve decided to do a small giveaway.
Would You Like to Play a Game?
Starting August 4th we’ll be giving away two copies of Funko’s Scream The Game… With some extras…
How can you enter on Facebook?
Step 1. Make sure to join OUR FACEBOOK FAN PAGE!
Step 2. LIKE AND SHARE the giveaway post!
Step 3. Tag a friend who would play the horror movie expert in a Scream movie.
For a second chance at winning, make sure you enter on Instagram too!
So how can you enter on Instagram?
Step 1. Make sure to FOLLOW OUR ACCOUNT!
Step 2. LIKE the giveaway post!
Step 3. Tag a friend who would play the horror movie expert in a Scream movie.
The winner will be announced on August 11th and will be notified via social media. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, we will randomly select another winner.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to our FB Group/Instagram page, like our post, follow our page, and tag a friend for your chance to win your copy Scream The Game!
Good luck, and stay spooky!
**Contest entries are limited to addresses in the United States.**
Everything You Need to Know About ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Game
The 1974 classic is coming back swinging in a new way. Here’s what players should expect ahead of the game’s release!
The recent death sentence for Friday the 13th: The Game still wears on horror fans’ shoulders, but a new slasher legend is coming to pick up the slack. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is the latest fresh meat in the co-op, player-versus-player gaming subgenre, joining the likes of tried-and-true Dead by Daylight and becoming the third piece of media in the TCM franchise to share the original film’s name.
Want a crash course on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre? We have you covered!
An Assortment of Playable Victims
TCM is a multiplayer combat game following a group of college students who end up in a life-or-death chase against the now-called Slaughter family. Players can choose to be a victim (one of five characters original to the game) or a killer protecting the Slaughter’s farm. The gameplay itself will be an asymmetrical experience, with three killers pitted against four victims in every round.
The victim characters are grounded not only in classic horror archetypes and gameplay styles but also a narrative plucked straight from the fields of ‘70s Texas. Maria, a burgeoning art student ready to break away from her rural upbringing and attend university, goes missing during sunflower season in the Lone Star State. Her sister, Ana, and her friends Leland, Sunny, Julie, and Connie, head out to bring Maria home, dissatisfied by the fruitless efforts of local police.
Returning Killers, Plus Two New Family Members
On the other side of the fence, the Slaughter family features Leatherface, the Cook, and the Hitchhiker, along with two new family members named Sissy and Johnny. Sissy embodies a cult-obsessed ‘60s chick gone bad, while Johnny is a handsome, serial killer-inspired misfit. Even Leatherface’s beloved chainsaw was treated as a member of the family by developers, designed to evoke the sinister foreboding edge that comes with the TCM name.
Despite their unfamiliarity to fans, these new Slaughter siblings come straight from the brain of Kim Henkel, the co-writer of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), along with Tobe Hooper. This authenticity is at the heart of the game. Wes Keltner, President and CEO of Gun Interactive, said it best: “If you don’t have that voice in the mix, something’s missing.”
An Authentically Licensed Texas Chain Saw Massacre Experience
It’s important to note that Gun Interactive only scored licensing rights to the 1974 film, so gamers shouldn’t expect cameos from Chop Top, Stretch, or anyone else from the rest of the franchise. Even so, this roster is impressive on its own, featuring the legendary Kane Hodder as Leatherface (and stunt coordinator) and Edwin Neal reprising his role as the Hitchhiker from the original. Check out some fun behind-the-scenes of the cast killing each other in motion capture suits here.
Whether you have played Dead by Daylight since 2016 or love the thrilling discomfort of the TCM films, this new installment to the franchise seems worth checking out.
See if you can make it out of the Slaughter house alive!
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre will be released on August 18 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, along with Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. Score it for $39.99 at launch or get 10% off on Steam if you preorder.