the-last-of-us

Ever since Naughty Dog first revealed The Last of Us to the public, one of it's main characters Ellie has always drawn reference to actress Ellen Page. While game director Neil Druckman has never acknowledged whether it was intentional or not, playing the game leads one to believe there were at least some traits lifted from the actress and her likeness. In short the game takes place in a gritty realistic post apocalyptic world where a large portion of the population has been destroyed by a plague that turns humans into zombie-like creatures. The story revolves around relationships and how those relationships develop under such chaotic situations. This isn't a review in any way only a write up of something I found extremely fascinating. Last night, February 14th 2014, Valentine's Day no less, Naughty Dog released it's first story based DLC for The Last of Us called Left Behind. When you first boot up the expansion the game asks you to allow access to your Facebook account for a "neat feature." I usually don't allow games to do this but this is Naughty Dog we're talking about not King, developers of that Candy Crush Saga bullshit.

The way Facebook is integrated into Left Behind is...pretty rad. Simple but effective

Spoilers start here ---

Throughout the roughly 2-3 hour game you play as Ellie and you are accompanied by your AI partner Riley, both female protagonists and yes this point must be made. As with Last of Us proper the story telling and character progression are paced in a manner that you care enough about the outcome at the end, and yes it's always pretty fucked up. However, somewhere in the middle is where the whole Facebook integration and this post come together. This story takes place in a small town shopping center that's fully destroyed and abandoned. Riley and Ellie are just doing what all fourteen year old girls would do in this situation; break windows, play arcade games, shoot each other with water guns, argue then kiss and make up. Wait what?!?! Yes, kiss and make up. The Last of Us was no stranger to pushing the boundaries of what storytelling in video games is capable of, and with Left Behind Naughty Dog should be applauded for having the balls to do this. As the player you control Ellie around the mall and it's up to you to really explore the environment. I came across a photo booth which resulted in this picture that was posted to my Facebook.

As the player you choose your pose and the theme, Love, Friends, or Cool. Once you're done you can choose to export the picture. Shortly there after is when Riley and Ellie argue about their past and how they can't live without each other. They laugh it off while dancing then Ellie reaches out and kisses Riley on the lips. This is what I found fascinating. I woke up this morning to the news of Ellen Page announcing that she's gay. What a fascinating coincidence. Bravo on both fronts. But what a fascinating coincidence.

Also Ellen Page does actually star in a video game but that game is called Beyond: Two Souls. It's still great but no where near the style of story you get from the Last of Us. Sorry David Cage, but you're game is still great in it's own way.

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