The modding scene for console exclusive titles isn't exactly at the same level that it is for PC games, but that doesn't mean the community completely keeps itself out of PS4 exclusives like The Last of Us 2. A recent example of the Last of Us modding community hard at work has produced a video of a fan-favorite character becoming playable in Naughty Dog's 2020 title.
This latest mod for The Last of Us 2 comes from YouTuber Smasher248, who has been periodically updating new videos of the process for the past few weeks. So far, fans can see the alterations done to bring a character that some were hoping to play as in a number of different circumstances, including combat and exploring through the game's extensive maps.
With this new mod, players can play as Joel, the protagonist of the original Last of Us, as a bit of a way to balance out the short-lived run that the character had in last year's sequel. The footage Smasher248 has shared so far shows off Joel in a couple different sections of the game, including Eastbrook Elementary and a watchtower gate from Seattle Day 1. There are even multiple variants of Joel to choose from, so players can get a similarly evolving experience with these different models as was available in the official release for Ellie's storyline.
Some of the new outfits available with this model swapping mod include versions of Joel from the original The Last of Us, giving players a somewhat younger option to take through the game. However, since the mod is mostly a model swap, there are a few smaller details that don't mesh perfectly, specifically in the way animations work between the differently sized models. Granted, these minute animations can be the types of thing that takes Naughty Dog the longest to get right in The Last of Us 2.
The original modder hasn't made it clear yet if there will be a public release of this playable version of Joel for fans to get a chance to run through the new game with the previous protagonist. From what Smasher248 has shown so far, the mod is still being tested to see if it works in different combat encounters, so it might be some time before fans can have a crack at the new choice in character. Still, some fans commenting on the video have mentioned how cathartic it is to just see Joel gunning down droves of The Last of Us 2's enemies, especially the Wolves.
The Last of Us franchise may boast strong gameplay and gorgeous visuals, but it is praised the most for its intricate storytelling and complex characters. One fan of the series has translated the best moments from The Last of Us and its sequel into a series of art pieces, a process that must have taken a massive amount of time and focus.
The art for the first game begins with pieces centered on the death of Sarah, Joel’s daughter, and Ellie’s relationship with Riley from Left Behind. Joel and Ellie’s first meeting, Tess’s death, and the pair’s encounter with Bill all come next. Another poster highlights the tragic meeting between Henry and Sam, with the “stop feeding on lies” writing shown in the corner adding to the piece. Joel and Ellie’s journey to the school comes after, showing off Joel’s injury and building up to the game’s unforgettable finale.
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