“Come on… When have we ever gotten into trouble?”
We already know the tragic ending to Ellie and her best friend’s story. That’s what makes Riley’s mischievous words at the close of Left Behind’s opening cinematic all the more poignant. It will inevitably come to a heartbreaking conclusion.
Many might question whether this is a story that actually needs to be told. From the gut wrenching introduction through to its ambiguous finale, The Last of Us almost never misstepped or faltered. Nothing, it’s argued, need be added or taken away from the experience. One of the game’s greatest strengths was that it treated its audience like adults. It trusted that players were intelligent enough to fill in any blanks themselves, encouraging them to make their own connections without the need for clumsy exposition. When Ellie tells Joel in those closing moments about how she and her best friend were bitten – and how only she survived – we picture the event in our minds. We imagine just how terrible it must have been for her but we never actually see it happen. Despite this being the defining part of Ellie’s backstory, we didn’t need to.
The Obscure Draw rummages through boot sales and bargain bins to unearth weird and wonderful videogames: from hidden gems to those that were better off forgotten…
Year of Release: 2001
Format: Playstation 2
Welcome to Lebensbaum, a strange imaginary town somewhere in Germany. An imposing wartime wall looms over it from all sides casting a shadow over the tangle of alleyways, Bavarian-style houses and cobbled streets. The sky is a ominous shade of grey during the daytime. Doors are firmly bolted come night. Nothing much seems to happen here and yet there’s something not quite right. Lebensbaum’s residents drift through life in a collective bubble. They are either too rooted in their small town ways to notice, or perhaps like the natives of Summerisle and Twin Peaks, complicit in something more sinister. You really hope it’s the former…
Assassin’s Creed III was a huge disappointment. It was a disjointed, unfocused project that eventually became the victim of its own ambition. So when Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was announced the reaction was fairly muted. Many people, myself included, had been deterred by the previous game and raised their eyebrows at the idea of another numbered sequel only a year later. But Black Flag is surprisingly good. Ubisoft has duly noted AC III’s rather long list of problems and improved it in practically all the areas that matter. Connor’s laborious slog through the American Revolution left a bad taste in the mouth, but Black Flag’s buoyant pirate adventure may just be the swig of rum that washes it away. Here’s a rundown of the reasons why…