Most of us have very fond memories from our time playing The Last of Us either on PS3, PS4 or PC using PS Now. There were also plenty of people who started watching The Last of Us on YouTube but stopped immediately after seeing the introduction scene to the game, knowing that this was something that they needed to play. Some people even went out and bought a PlayStation just for this game after seeing the introduction on YouTube. I was part of that last group. In honor of the The Last of Us Part II’s upcoming release, I am going to be giving a deep dive on the scene that set the tone for the rest of the game.

Spoiler Warning!

The Last of Us opens up with the “protagonist” Sarah sleeping on the couch waiting for her father, Joel, to get back from work. Joel enters the house, ends a stressful work related call with his brother Tommy and sits on the couch next to Sarah. It is then revealed by Sarah that is it Joel’s birthday and she was waiting for him so she could give him his present. Sarah gifts him a watch that he will end up keeping for the rest of his life. They exchange some banter and eventually Sarah is carried up to her bedroom.

Credit: Naughty Dog

Sarah wakes up to a phone call from a frantic Uncle Tommy at around two in the morning. Tommy has been trying to reach his brother but has not been able to get in contact with him. The phone then disconnects. If you try and call him back, you get zero luck. The player now has complete control over Sarah as she explores her house. In Sarah’s bedroom, you are able to interact with a birthday card that was meant for Joel.

Credit: Naughty Dog

Sarah mentions that he is the best dad even though he is never home. I am going to make the assumption that Joel got a divorce with his wife since he never mentions her throughout the rest of the story. Joel does later bring up people who he was closed to who had passed away so I am assuming he would have brought up his wife if she had passed away. I also don’t think Joel would have bought that large of a house if he knew that he would need to work double shifts all the time to afford it. If you enter the bathroom, Sarah picks up a newspaper that mentions a ton of infected people going to a hospital that we see later on in the chapter. Sarah can now walk into Joel’s empty room. On his television, you can watch the scene of a gas line blowing up a building as police and a reporter run for their lives. At the same time, you see the explosion go off downtown by looking out your window. We can assume this is when Joel puts his phone down and heads outside to investigate. As you walk down the stairs, you see multiple cop cars drive by with their sirens on. If you pick up Joel’s phone, you see multiple phone calls from Tommy. When you walk into Joel’s office area, he bursts into the house in a panicked state as he loads up his gun. Joel warns you to stay away from the glass door when your infected neighbor breaks through it. Joel warns him to stay back multiple times before shooting him. Tommy lights up the house with his truck’s headlights and they both run outside to flee the neighborhood.

Sarah watches the chaos unfold in her home town as she sits in the backseat of Tommy’s truck. As they drive through the town, they pass crashed cars and more explosions. They eventually pass a group of people with a kid walking on the road who Tommy wants to pick up. However, Joel makes him pass right by them saying that another car will drive by and that they have a kid that they have to protect as well. They eventually get to the to the way out of town which is backed up all the way to the hospital that was mentioned earlier. A person exits their car to see why they aren’t moving and is attacked by infected. Tommy watches in disbelieve as Joel yells at him to drive in reverse. Tommy finally makes a K turn as the infected start coming for his car. They drive down the road eventually making a left to try to cut through the town. People are running in the street but there is a giant truck blocking the road so they can’t see what they are running from. They eventually have an opening and with a move out of desperation, Tommy drives through but is hit by another truck when they cross the intersection.

Credit: Naughty Dog

The player now switches to Joel as he carries an injured Sarah through the town with Tommy protecting them. As you flee for your live, you see first hand how tense things are with people dying all around you. A gas station blows up causing you to cut through an alley. Tommy saves you from a few infected as you finally get to safety in a building. However, with the infected pushing on the door, Tommy tells Joel to run and that he will buy them some time. Tommy says that he can outrun the horde and that they will meet back up at the highway entrance. Joel carrying Sarah runs for their lives with infected in close pursuit. If you haven’t ever experienced this scene, I am going to recommend you to pick up your controller and play it now or to watch it here if you have zero interest in playing the game. My words can not give justice to this scene.

A cut scene now plays as a soldier shoots the infected saving Joel and Sarah. Joel asks the soldier for medical assistance while Sarah is worried for Uncle Tommy. Unfortunately, the soldier gets the order on the radio that all fans know to well. As the solider protests his orders, Joel’s hope immediately diminishes and turns into fear. The soldier raises his gun and opens fire. Joel turns trying to shield Sarah with his own body and they roll down into a ditch. As the soldier goes to execute Joel, Tommy comes and shoots the soldier saving Joel’s life. We now hear the whimpers of Sarah. Joel and Tommy both run over to her seeing that she has been shot in the chest. The whimpers continue for the longest fifteen seconds that I have ever experienced. Sarah passes away in Joel’s arms.

In the matter of a twenty minute introduction scene, we have experienced so much happiness and sadness. From the couch scene to Sarah’s final breath, we now know what tone Naughty Dog is setting for the rest of the game. We know that there will be plenty of smiles but also plenty of times where we genuinely feel upset for a person that doesn’t even actually exist. We can only hope that Naughty Dog gives us the same quality with The Last of Us Part II.

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