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I can’t stop playing The Last of Us

August 2, 2018

I get so lost in this game's world. Despite all the darkness, there is always light to be found.

At this point, my backlog for games I haven't played but need to play is getting slightly out of hand. With every passing Tuesday I see new games being added to the PlayStation Store, and I feel more and more overwhelmed. How am I ever going to have enough money and especially time to buy and play all these wonderful games? The answer: I'm not.

So what do I do? Instead of starting a new game that I bought during a flash sale two years ago, I fire up The Last of Us, which I have clocked thousands of hours into and beaten at least five times. This time, I'm playing on Grounded difficulty on The Last of Us: Remastered. I started my Grounded playthrough back when Remastered came out (four years ago just this past Sunday), and when I first started, I didn't think I would ever make as much progress as I have. I'm currently a little halfway through the game, and it's harder than I could have imagined. I thought Survivor difficulty was JUST right, but Grounded really takes it up a notch and forces you to be on your toes at all times. There have been plenty of parts that I thought I could never get past, and when I finally did, I felt so damn accomplished that I almost teared up.

Out of all the games I could choose to play, why do I keep coming back to The Last of Us, a game that came out five years ago? It's because every single time I play, I discover something new. A few days ago I was running away from some bad dudes trying to get to Tommy's place, and I noticed a small, white butterfly, or maybe a moth, fly across the screen. Similarly to the giraffe scene, it reminded me of the beauty that can be found in every situation. Even while I was getting shot at, this little creature caught my attention because it looked so out of place in that dark, lifeless world. It inspired me to keep going when I got frustrated after dying over and over again. "Look for the light."

So why don't I ever start new games? Well, I've been trying to figure that out myself. I think it's because starting a new game requires me to take a risk. What if I don't like it? What if I spend hours playing this game and it ends up being no-so-great? Why would I risk playing a mediocre game when I can just keeping playing games that I know are incredible? I do the exact same thing with music, television shows, and movies. I probably have some kind of disorder. I pretty much only start a new game if Jimmy forces me to because he knows I'm going to love it, or if it's something I've been looking forward to for a long time.

When games get delayed, I feel a slight sense of relief. Most people take to Twitter and get angry at the developer, but I, for one, am relieved because I will have more time to hopefully catch up on games I've been meaning to play before this new one comes out. Usually, though, I get so overwhelmed by my other obligations in life that I just end up going back to my ol' faithfuls whenever I have a chance to sit down with a controller.

Are there games that you just can’t stop playing, despite there being so many new games to play? Do you ever get stuck in a rut, playing the same thing over and over again? Well, I guess it’s better than not playing anything at all. Let’s talk: twitter.com/cgottowhite
  • Cassie Gotto-White is a gamer, communications professional and coffee lover. She discovered her passion for video games at age six when she was given an NES Top Loader. Her current main console is a PlayStation 4, but she also owns a Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. She considers herself to be a single-player games advocate, and some of her favorite games are The Last of Us, the Uncharted series, the Yakuza series and Night in the Woods. Follow her at cgottowhite on Instagram and Twitter, and add her on PSN: unleash-the-bats.

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