[PODCAST Episode 266] The Newest ‘The Last of Us Part II’ Trailer Is Ambiguous in the Worst Way

Cutting a game trailer can be tricky. You want to give potential players enough of a sense of the game without spoiling any important narrative beats. That can mean leaning on ambiguity and trope, using the established vernacular of your genre as a shorthand without giving too much away. However, leaving something ambiguous doesn't excuse problematic themes even if in the full game, given further context, that same trope plays out very differently. We discuss the new trailer for The Last of Us Part 2, the tropes it engages with, and how those tropes operate when the protagonist is a queer woman. You can read an excerpt and listen to the full episode below.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kz4gjx/the-newest-the-last-of-us-part-ii-trailer-is-ambiguous-in-the-worst-way

What was this Ash is Dead tweet were they reacting to? I can’t find it.

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For anyone else confused this the post for the latest podcast episode and not an article about The Last of Us 2.


Here you go!


Interestingly, their complaints about Overland are exactly why I find it cool. I really like that it feels like this slow, rough survival game that’s truly apocalyptic. It nails the experience of barely hanging on and then slowly spiraling downwards in a way games rarely capture. I can totally understand why that’s not for everyone, though. It’s a weird thing, and it’s one of those cases where I think the flaws work towards creating a unique experience, but I’d understand being put off by said flaws.

It’s definitely not perfect, though. It’s for sure a little too skeletal, and not being able to use items between maps is really weird. Some kind of metagame progression I think would help the game as well, even if it was fairly minor like buying items to start with or designing your own starting characters.

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Austin made it sound like Cubeworlds player base got over the redone mechanics of the game within a couple days when in reality the Steam forums and subreddit are still full of people unhappy with how much the game has changed since they bought it.

[pictured: a black and white poster showing footsteps trailing in the distance, with text that says “Dirt has evolved a lot. The question you just asked depends on which dirt you’re talking about.” - Rob Zacny]


“Dirt… Dirt has changed.”
-Robert Zacny

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Even Austin, who makes gamesI know I’ll hate sound like the greatest gaming experience of my life, couldn’t make that “you lose all your gear in each area” thing in cube world sound cool. I don’t think anyone on the podcast bought it, and I’m the same way. That just sounds incredibly contrived.

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Cube world owns and the region locked gear is brilliant Imo, it’s like no man’s skys concept of infinite planets to explore but applied to fantasy questing

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Yeah, straight up I had zero interest in Cubeworld prior to him describing that mechanic and now I’m seriously considering it. It seems weird and cool, in that “if it’s this weird there had to be a real good reason” way.

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I’m late to this episode but don’t worry Cado, I got your Pokerus joke.