Don’t play this if you get emotional

By: Angelique Taylor

Spoilers: The Last of Us

The Last of Us I  is a dystopian zombie apocalyptic game with a meaning much deeper than killing a zombie. It’s a game based on a father-daughter bond with two main characters Joel Miller and Ellie Williams as they go through many states to reverse-engineer a vaccine to cure the zombie victims. To then find their bond is worth more than saving the world.

On Joel’s birthday, Sarah gave him a watch. When Joel asked her where she got it from, she said, “Drugs, I sell hardcore drugs.” Joel replies, “Good, you can help with the mortgage then.” This represents their sweet bond with each other as unfortunately, events spun out of control due to the beginning to the zombie apocalypse.

Joel’s brother Tommy picked up Joel and Sarah in his truck, to get far away from the city, since that is where the infected all are. As Joel and Sarah were running up a hill at the edge the city, they are stopped by a military guard, and commanded to shoot the two. Sarah got shot in the stomach, dying tragically in Joel’s arms, and Tommy watches this happen as Joel is in tears. 

Years later, Joel and his sibling Tess must smuggle Ellie Williams to the capitol building for reasons Ellie cannot explain. Spoiler: she has the cure in her brain. This makes her immune to the Cordyceps Infection, a zombie virus. Considering they’re in the Apocalypse, Joel and Ellie bond over guns, fighting for each other in life or death situations, and lastly, their trust from depending on each other with their lives. Events that follow prove Joel is showing his fatherly care to Ellie, and all he wants is her safety. 

Starting with Joel and Sarah’s relationship, you can tell they care about each other as they make jokes before she died. Now with Tess, and how she cared about Joel as a brother, always there for him in life and death situations, and smuggling Ellie to the capitol building with Tess sacrificing herself, shows the respect and love from Tess. Ellie and Joel are two powerful characters in The Last of Us. Their bond hit home for his fatherly care toward Ellie in those life or death situations. Their trust and care really does show us that even in this cruel world of the un-dead, you can still love and be loved. Neil Druckman, the director of The Last of Us, did accomplish showing us compassion in a world of cruelty. 

This game is absolutely astonishing in how it was presented. Game play is amazing and easy-access to choose your gun. I played this game over and over again just to get that same feeling of accomplishment I did when I first played The Last of Us, to then feel what these characters felt within the moment. If anything, when Joel showed his vulnerability to Ellie that made me cry. When Joel tried to save Sarah from the military official, that also made me cry. Once you get attached to these characters, they feel more like humans than video game characters.

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