Zombies are pretty cool too.
2020 is almost here, so we've asked GameSpot's staff to share which games they're looking forward to most in the new year. New consoles are going to dominate the headlines, but at the end of the day it's all about the games, and there are a ton of exciting ones to look forward to. When you're done reading this entry, follow along with all of our other end-of-the-year coverage collected in our Best of 2019 hub and our Most Anticipated of 2020 hub.
The Last of Us is one of my favorite games of the decade, and back in 2013, I probably would have told you it had the perfect ending. I wouldn't have thought it needed a sequel, or that I particularly wanted one. But the more I see of The Last of Us Part II, the more I remember how much I loved those characters--and I desperately want to see more of Ellie and her story.
Part II takes place a few years after the events of the first game, and from what we've seen of Ellie so far, she looks different. Hardened. Mad. The bits of gameplay Naughty Dog has shown portray a ruthless fighter; she moves fluidly from one action to the next, though she's still pretty scrappy. If I didn't know for certain the combat we saw at E3 2018 was all real-time and player-driven, I would have assumed some of it was scripted, given how natural it all looks.
Writer/director Neil Druckmann said that, along with an overhauled engine, new combat mechanics, and a new stealth system, the team "revamped [their] animation system to fully express Ellie's desperation, resourcefulness, and unique agility." I'm interested to see how the combat has evolved mechanically since 2013, but more than that, I'm excited to see exactly how Ellie has changed and how her personality and emotional state are expressed through her movements.
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Games have the unique potential to portray traditional narrative beats--story, characters, themes--through actions you take as the player, and this is one of my favorite things about the medium. The Last of Us did an excellent job of it already, and I can't wait to see if Part II ends up taking it further. I'm also personally so excited to play as Ellie in general; I identify with her much more than I did Joel, and I want to see how that affects my experience in this world, if at all.
Most recently, we learned that The Last of Us Part II has been delayed from February to May 2020. Some people take game delays as a bad sign, but I often see them as positives for both the final version of the game and the people working on it. If a game needs more time, it needs more time. And The Last of Us Part II is a game I'm willing to wait for--even if I also really want to play it right now.
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