Days Gone and Last of Us 2: the video games predicting the end of the world | Eurasia Diary -

20 May, Monday

Days Gone and Last of Us 2: the video games predicting the end of the world

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Two anticipated PlayStation games make different post-apocalyptic pitches: hordes of virus-infected undead walking, or romance in a pitiless, violent world. Pick your pandemic...

Who knows what could possibly be driving this, but post-apocalyptic video games are having a moment. In the past year, we’ve already seen Fallout 76, Anthem and Metro Exodus, while an open beta for Ubisoft’s online shooter The Division 2, set in a ruined Washington DC, started on 1 March. Arguably, however, the two most anticipated genre pieces are still to come on PlayStation 4: Days Gone and The Last of Us 2. Both sets after most of the population has been wiped out by a pandemic, their different approaches tell us a lot about what it takes to stand out from the shambling, undead crowd.

Days Gone, out April 26 from Sony Bend Studios, takes an open-world approach. Set after a virus has turned most of humanity (and a lot of animals) into bloodthirsty monsters, you play as the roving bounty hunter and motorcycle fanatic Deacon St John. Cruising around Oregon’s High Desert region with his best friend Boozer, he gets into confrontations with the infected – called freakers – as well as the low-life thieves and bandits who prosper amid the anarchy. The world is a vast space, featuring dense woodlands, sparse mountainous regions, small towns and deserted compounds, all freely explorable.

2013’s The Last of Us originally looked like another entry in this genre playbook, with protagonist Joel losing his daughter then developing a paternal relationship with feisty teen Ellie. But in choosing a linear, narrative-over-freedom approach, developer Naughty Dog crafted a much more focused, complex story, in which Ellie has agency (and, you know, she’s alive), and where the power dynamics constantly shifted between the two characters. From what we’ve seen so far, the sequel, The Last of Us 2 (also likely to come out this year), takes a similar approach, centering its post-apocalypse on people rather than dramatic events. The latest trailer focused largely on a romantic relationship between Ellie and a new girlfriend, Dina.

The Guardian

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