We finally have some idea of when The Last of Us Part II will be coming out, but is it as big of a deal as it used to be?
For some of us, the answer is a definite “yes,” but for those who didn’t play the first game, what is going to make The Last of Us 2 stand out from the crowded field of zombie games out there?
To be sure, the first game was a cinematic masterpiece that happened to have excellent gameplay on top of it. Will that be the secret sauce the second time around, and how will that work?
The Last of Us is really the tale of Sony’s success these past several years, in one way or another. Coming out in 2013 for the PlayStation 3, The Last of Us was a sign of things to come with the PlayStation 4’s exclusive games. It really had everything and it did it all almost perfectly.
A sequel to the game no-one thought needed a sequel
Not only is it a tough game to imitate, but it almost felt self-contained – that is, The Last of Us didn’t immediately beg for a sequel. In a sea of games attempting to launch new IP into franchise status, The Last of Us stood out. But here we are, six years later, with a sequel to a game no one thought needed a sequel.
And it is allegedly coming out in September of this year. We’re still not sure when Cyberpunk 2077 will hit retail, but it seems like a lot of the console world is on pause until that happens.
A lot of people were thinking that The Last of Us Part II would come out in 2020, but Naughty Dog might be moving things up a bit to avoid the Cyberpunk 2077 marketing onslaught. Just like Red Dead Redemption 2 did when it came out, Cyberpunk 2077 is going to take up a lot of the air in the room.
Again, this is a marked difference from when The Last of Us came out in 2013 because PS3 players were starved for something new and fresh. Now, PS4 owners are drowning in it.
Even though a lot of people are taking the September release date with a grain of salt, we think it probably makes more sense than it doesn’t.
Will The Last of Us Part II have same market impact as first title?
The Last of Us 2 has to leverage what it can to stand out on a shelf brimming with triple-A exclusives and multiplatform masterpieces as well. We have no doubt that Naughty Dog will know how to leverage The Last of Us Part II’s unique assets to put it over the competition, but it isn’t certain whether it will have the same market impact that it did so long ago.
Again, no one expected a sequel, The Last of Us was a unique game on a system struggling to get exclusives, and there are a ton of zombie and survival horror games currently available and coming out this year as well.
But, if The Last of Us 2 can capture that same cinematic magic and robust gameplay experience, we have no doubt it will do really well. We just wonder how long people will actually care about it.