The Last of Us is an incredibly cinematic franchise, with its characters resonating in the hearts of so many that experience it. The latest title, The Last of US Part 2, sees our beloved characters in action once again. With unexpected twists, some heavy emotional moments, and expertly written characters, it should come as no surprise that The Last of Us Part 2 is Shacknews’ Best Narrative Game of 2020.
Picking up roughly 5 years after the events of the first game, The Last of Us Part 2 envisions how Ellie and Joel’s lives have carried on after everything that went down in The Last of Us. After a slow introduction back into the world and some new characters, we get our inciting event that sets the story off like a rocket.
Neil Druckmann and company do such a good job at immediately forcing players to invest in the story. After playing for a couple of hours, I was determined to see the story through to its conclusion. It’s an amazing character study on how anger and revenge can consume a person, turning them into a monster. It also works as a cautionary tale on how the ghosts of our past can come back to haunt us.
It’s also quite admirable how the narrative handles Abby, a new character and major player in The Last of Us Part 2. The writers make sure that we quite dislike this character when we first meet her, but grow to understand and even empathize with her by the game’s conclusion. It’s a big risk that pays off in dividends.
The Last of Us Part 2 could’ve easily been a rehash of the first game, with Joel and Ellie on another adventure to get from point A to B, and it likely still would have been a Game of the Year contender. However, Naughty Dog delivers a story that subverts expectations while packing quite the emotional punch. It’s undoubtedly the Best Narrative Game of 2020.
Check out the other winners from The Shacknews Awards 2020 in our Year of the Games: 2020 article.