When the news landed that the UK, and pretty much the rest of the world, were heading for a lockdown in response to the Coronavirus threat, gamers everywhere were thinking the same thing: what am I going to play?
For many gamers, now a predominant age group of older gamers who have to straddle a working life alongside their social and gaming life, finding time to indulge in marathon gaming sessions can be a tough ask.
So with all this free lockdown time on our hands, it was the perfect for chance for furloughed gamers everywhere to take a deep dive into their favourite gaming world. But one major obstacle faced them – there weren’t many games coming out.
Cyberpunk 2077 was still along way off and the open worlds of CD Projekt Red would seem to have been the perfect lockdown companion. After all, what better way to spend the downfall of the modern world than in a dystopian future world where everything’s already gone down the toilet.
Luckily, to fill the void there was one big release of the year that arrived just in time: The Last Of Us 2. It has been 7 years since the first game wowed fans the world over with its incredibly detailed and nuanced storytelling, recreation of a familiar trope of infected apocalyptic survival in a beautiful and unique way and brutally gut wrenching action that pulled us in from the first minute and didn’t let go.
The Last of Us 2 brought us back to the West Coast of the USA to continue the journey of Ellie and Joel as they continue to make a life for themselves in a world full of infected, slowly being reclaimed by nature.
The atmospheric tension brought about in the game, as well as further heart-breaking storytelling seemed to be the perfect setting for COVID-19 lockdown in which a real life virus threatened humanity. Admittedly we didn’t have to go to the lengths to survive that Ellie and Joel had to persevere, we just had to make sure we stayed in our homes and wore masks when we went to the supermarket. Many braindead zombies struggled to follow these guidelines which made bashing the heads of virtual zombies all the more enjoyable. You see this lead pipe I duct taped scissors to? It’s for you Karen!
Even if this game didn’t come out in the middle of a lockdown it still would have been up there for game of the year. Neil Druckman and Naughty Dog sure now how to make a video game and they sure know how to tell one hell of a story. One which will tear your heart out and have you crying on the bathroom floor in your lockdown dressing gown you’ve been wearing for the past 6 consecutive days.
And if you don’t feel like having your soul and humanity questioned there is always Animal Crossing 2.