Think back to January and all the PlayStation 4 titles you looked forward to playing. Everyone knew the PlayStation 5 was on the horizon, but there’d still be one more year of pure PS4 action without pondering if you should wait to buy a game on current gen or next gen. Turns out this pandemic had other plans as release dates played musical chairs, with The Last of Us Part II likely to be the PS4’s last big game.
That isn’t to say there won’t be other big-name title released on the PS4 in the future, but this is likely to be the last big exclusive on the console. With titles being delayed left, right and centre and shifted to future dates—and the PS5’s holiday release remains on course—there isn’t much room in the release schedule for another huge exclusive in the same league as Naughty Dog’s brainchild.
It isn’t a bad thing, though, especially since The Last of Us is remembered as one of the last big titles on the PlayStation 3. So, there’s a symmetry here as the cycle has come full circle. It’s rather poetic as well when you consider the nature of the franchise. There’s a sense of closure and finality to it, which is the way many console owners are feeling as they prepare for the arrival of the next-gen juggernaut.
More importantly, The Last of Us Part II pushes all the right boundaries, setting a new standard and expectation for PS5. From the jaw-dropping and next-level visuals to the immersive gameplay and inclusive storyline, it stands as a beacon of what’s possible in the forthcoming era of gaming. Judging early PS4 titles and this one, the growth, development and maturity of the medium can’t be overlooked. Gaming has evolved in leaps and bounds, as we stand on the precipice of something even more extraordinary than we ever imagined.
Everyone has known how powerful the medium of video games can be, but Naughty Dog has demonstrated that ordinary characters can tell the most powerful stories. Not everything needs to be superpowered, from a different world, or OP; it’s possible to find the remarkable in everyday people you can relate to.
If The Last of Us Part II ends up being the PlayStation 4’s swansong, it ends on a note that’s a polar opposite of the game’s sombre tone. It leaves us with a sense of optimism for the future and excitement for the potential game-changing storytelling. If this is the next evolution of gaming, we’re in good hands here.