Spoiler Warning: The following post contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part 1 and 2.After months of insider leaks, teasing, and online discussion, one of the gaming industry’s worst-kept secrets is now officially out in the open. Thanks to Geoff Keighley’s recent Summer Game Fest event, PS5 owners know that the last of us part 1 will land on console this September. While the announcement rounded out the show, it provided plenty of other updates on future projects for the franchise, such as its HBO adaptation and multiplayer-focused spinoff game.
Considering that the release of Naughty Dog’s PS3 exclusive was a landmark event in 2013, it’s understandable that most of the internet attention has been dominated by its new version. From snippets of images, screenshots, and details the studio has provided, it appears that the last of us part 1 will give the classic a modern makeover. Even though there is a lot of crossover between the original game and the last of us 2the upcoming remake has a later opportunity to address the plot discrepancies that currently exist between both chapters.
Surgeon Jerry Anderson
Examining the timeline of The last of us at any length, it makes it clear how much attention Naughty Dog has paid to making its universe feel like organic, believable reality. It’s fair to say that the two existing entries in the franchise stand as one continuous cohesive story, so much so that labeling the sequel with a Part 2 the nickname feels equally earned and necessary. That said, thanks to the amount of time that passed between the creation of both games, it is true that there are several glaring plot discrepancies within the series.
By far the biggest discrepancy that can be seen between the original game and the last of us 2, is the existence of the surgeon Gerald ‘Jerry’ Anderson. Although the character would have a profound impact on the trajectory of the series, in the first The last of us and its PS4 remaster, was actually absent from the proceedings. Instead of facing the surgeon head on, Joel is forced to deal with a more generic looking doctor as he tries to save Ellie from the fireflies at the end of the game.
for the launch of the last of us 2 however, Naughty Dog retroactively added Jerry into the mix. Through various cutscenes, notes, and lines of dialogue with his daughter Abby, the studio established that the surgeon was the driving force behind the Fireflies’ attempts to find a cure for the zombie virus that destroyed civilization. Joel’s instinctive decision to murder the surgeon essentially canceled the entire project. Considering Jerry’s importance, not to mention Abby’s quest for revenge that defines the sequel, his absence from the first game is a huge plot hole.
While Naughty Dog has generally nailed their narrative lines, the decision to add the character to the mix slightly undermines the studio’s story. However, when it comes to correcting this particular discrepancy, the last of us part 1 you have an easy time on your hands. Simply swapping the surgeon’s face with the actor who played Jerry in the sequel should be easy and uninstructive. If Naughty Dog wants to address the other plot holes surrounding the character, like the fact that removing Ellie’s brain wouldn’t help create a vaccine, the studio could also add some helpful collectible notes to the game’s iconic final chapter.
Abby’s quest for revenge
It’s fair to say that Abby’s performance at the last of us 2 has remained a bone of contention among certain sections of the series fanbase since the game’s release in 2020. Despite Laura Bailey’s spectacular performance bringing her to life, and the often harrowing trajectory of the character’s journey, some fans simply felt that their debut was too forced. One of the benefits of a remake like the last of us part 1 it’s the fact that studios like Naughty Dog can take steps to address these kinds of comments.
Thanks to some scenes and playable sections in the last of us 2, it’s already been retroactively established that Abby was active in the Fireflies’ Salt Lake City base when Joel and Ellie’s fateful visit took place. So it feels like a huge golden opportunity for Naughty Dog to just gloss over this one more time in their next PS5 remake. Considering how Part 1 is being designed to connect the first game to Part 2It would make a lot of sense for Abby to show up somehow.
Even though most fans of the franchise will likely be interested in Naughty Dog faithfully remaking their classic, a physical cameo from Abby would bolster the overall narrative of the series. However, it’s worth noting that during Abby and Joel’s fateful scene at the beginning of last of us 2, neither character immediately recognized the other. If the studio physically adds the former into the mix during the upcoming remake, it is important that this continuity is maintained so that another discrepancy does not occur.
Having Abby pass out of Joel’s line of sight while the character is interacting with another person would be a quick and effective way to accomplish this. After all, Joel was so focused on the fate of his surrogate daughter at the time that he would make sense if she really wasn’t paying attention. Less intrusive and radical options are also on the table within the last of us part 1 also, if Naughty Dog decides to address this discrepancy. A random note left by Abby or a picture of the character and her father posted on a bulletin board would be effective references to the Easter Egg level.
Other potential plot fixes
In general, it seems as if the last of us part 1 will focus on bringing many welcome technical fixes to the table. Apart from putting the game more in line with Part 2 mechanically, it should be noted that the graphical buffs will also more closely align its cast of characters with their sequel counterparts. From a plot perspective, it’s easy to imagine this move having a knock-on narrative benefit. Characters like Ellie, Joel, and Maria shouldn’t look like they’ve been radically altered between installments.
Naughty Dog shouldn’t just focus on making graphical adjustments to their characters in the last of us part 1, though. Various recurring locations that appear in the original game and Part 2 it must also be modernized, in the name of narrative cohesion. It can be argued that locations like Jackson are completely redone to reflect the levels players get to explore in the sequel. Similarly, the aforementioned hospital could use a lick of paint in the remake, as the scenes that take place there in the existing games look radically different from one another.
the last of us part 1 launches September 2 on PS5. A PC version is in development.
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