The Last of Us 2, known as one of the greatest horror games of all time, captivates players with its themes of death, despair, and survival in a zombie-infested world. This game not only keeps the tension and terror levels high throughout but also delivers an intelligent and suspenseful experience that keeps players guessing from start to finish. As rumors of The Last of Us Part 3 circulate, it takes us back to a time of uncertainty, where we faced the horrors of a pandemic and fought against hordes of infected creatures.
During the height of lockdown measures, I, like many other fans of Naughty Dog’s survival horror series, played The Last of Us 2. One of the most disturbing and spine-chilling sequences of the game was the journey to a Seattle hospital, where players faced off against the terrifying Rat King. However, it was the mission that came before this encounter that truly terrified me, evoking feelings reminiscent of Dark Souls.
In this chapter, titled ‘Ground Zero,’ the protagonist Abby infiltrates the basement of the Lakehill Seattle Hospital in search of medical supplies. The lower levels of the abandoned hospital, once the epicenter of the outbreak, had been left unexplored since the Cordyceps nightmare began. Abby navigates through ransacked wards filled with discarded gurneys, decaying bodies, and active monsters. While it follows some horror genre tropes, the tension builds up to a nerve-wracking boss fight that tests both your nerves and your health. If you survive the encounter, you are rewarded with a non-combative exploration phase, a common element in survival horror games.
‘The Descent’: A Heart-Pounding Journey Through a Derelict Hotel
In contrast to the previous chapter, ‘The Descent’ flips the script and introduces an entirely different experience. Abby and Lev embark on a mission to find gas masks and navigate through a dilapidated multi-story hotel filled with spores. Initially considered a shortcut, this path quickly turns into a nightmare as the floors are riddled with holes and the undead lurk in every corner, some fused into the walls. The maze-like layout and limited visibility make navigating the environment much more challenging than anything encountered before. The verticality of the derelict building, with its dead-ends, narrow catwalks, and deadly pitfalls, creates a sense of unease reminiscent of Dark Souls’ infamous Blighttown area.
While drawing comparisons to FromSoftware’s games may seem forced, the descent through the hotel evokes memories of the treacherous journey through Blighttown. In both cases, reaching solid ground feels like a significant accomplishment. However, the use of vertical level design in The Last of Us 2 disrupts the typical cycle of action and rest found in survival horror games. This makes ‘The Descent’ an unforgettable and haunting experience that lingers in the mind.
The Last of Us on the Small Screen: Adapting the Intense Moments
With the upcoming HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, fans wonder how the terrifying moments of the game will translate to the small screen. The show has already made some changes to the source material, including altering how the Cordyceps virus is transmitted. This change eliminates the need for gas masks, which played a significant role in the original game’s tension-filled moments.
‘The Descent’ presents a unique challenge for the adaptation. The intense and suspenseful nature of controlling the character’s descent may not translate as effectively on television. The success and failure, the sense of achievement, and the fear of navigating through the perilous environment may be difficult to replicate. Only time will tell if the adaptation can capture the same level of intensity that made ‘The Descent’ a standout moment in the game.
The Last of Us 2 stands as one of the best horror games of all time, delivering moments of tension, terror, and intelligent gameplay. From the chilling encounter with the Rat King to the heart-pounding descent through the derelict hotel, these unforgettable moments keep players on the edge of their seats. As the game transitions to the small screen, fans eagerly anticipate how these intense sequences will be adapted and whether they can capture the same level of horror and suspense.