The Last of Us 2 is coming. Naughty Dog has been dropping tantalizing hints for months now, and with a slick new trailer that dropped at E3 (below), anticipation for the sequel to their post-apocalyptic survival masterpiece is at an all-time high. However, Naughty Dog has yet to confirm an official release date, and if you’ve already replayed the original game, waiting might seem impossible. Fear not, because we’ve got you covered with five games you can play in the meantime to scratch that itch.
5. Fallout 4
One of the most memorable aspects of The Last of Us was the setting. Exploring the ruins of once-bustling American cities, now destroyed and slowly being retaken by nature, made for some unexpectedly poignant moments. Fallout 4 does an excellent job at recapturing that feeling. You can customize your own character and explore the vast wastelands of post-apocalyptic Massachusetts. The ruins of Boston also provided the backdrop for the first few chapters of The Last of Us, and you can actually visit some of the same locations, such as the State House, in both games.
4. Uncharted 4
Though the gameplay and overall tone is decidedly different, Uncharted 4 shares a large part of its creative team with The Last of Us. Naughty Dog guru and award-winning writer Neil Druckmann created the story for both games. This means that fans of the rich narrative in The Last of Us will find that same style of intricate storytelling here. This time around, Nathan Drake comes out of retirement to help his brother hunt down a fabled pirate treasure, an adventure that spans from windswept Scottish highlands to lush tropical island jungles. Joel’s voice and motion capture actor, Troy Baker, also returns in the role of Nate’s brother Sam. The graphics also look extremely similar to what we’ve seen so far from trailers for The Last of Us 2. This means that Uncharted 4 might be a good glimpse into what the characters and environments of The Last of Us 2 might look like.
3. Telltale’s The Walking Dead
Story-wise, this game feels like the long lost twin of The Last of Us. When you actually put both games on paper, their narratives are remarkably similar. Players control Lee Everett, a former university professor and escaped convict, as he rescues and cares for a young girl named Clementine. The two are forced to rely on each other as the world crumbles to the zombie apocalypse. Sounds familiar, right? If you’re looking for the same intense combat that The Last of Us offers, though, look elsewhere. Though not reliant on combat, this narrative-based game serves up the same stark moral choices players were confronted with in The Last of Us, and players will find out exactly how far they’re willing to go to survive in the post-apocalypse.
2. Bioshock Infinite
Troy Baker playing a grizzled, world-weary protagonist with a tragic backstory? Check. A young girl with the potential to save the world? Check. The pair being forced into a reluctant partnership that eventually develops into a much more meaningful relationship? Check. Bioshock Infinite almost feels like an alternate universe version of The Last of Us, which seems fitting considering Elizabeth’s ability to open portals into alternate realities. One of the most interesting aspects of Bioshock is seeing a different take on a very similar relationship, and will leave you thinking about how differently the story of The Last of Us could have played out. Gameplay wise, Bioshock is more of a combat-heavy shooter, and should appeal to the more action-oriented fans of The Last of Us.
1. Tomb Raider
If you only have to pick one game to satisfy your cravings for The Last of Us, look no further. When playing Tomb Raider, it becomes quickly apparent how similar the two games are in terms of actual gameplay. Tomb Raider puts players in control of Lara Croft at the beginning of her adventuring career. Shipwrecked on a mysterious island, she finds herself fighting for her life against ruthless cultists and other, more sinister forces. Players will find themselves scavenging for weapon upgrades, sneaking past deadly enemies, hunting for food, and pulling off brutal melee kills. Playing as Lara almost feels like getting an early taste of what it will be like to take control of Ellie in The Last of Us 2.
We don’t know yet when The Last of Us 2 will be released, and it could end up being a long wait. Now that you’re armed with these five titles to satisfy your cravings, that wait won’t feel quite so long.