I can only play The Last of Us in short bursts.
There are games I devour, certainly. Bioshock Infinite got chewed up, a little thread of it got snatched in my gearworks and then the whole thing was hauled through in brutal fashion. Luigi’s Mansion, which I still recommend slash demand you play, didn’t last long between the plates of my masticator array. Maybe there is somebody that can binge on The Last of Us. It sure as shit ain’t me. It’s not about it being good. If it were less good, in a few specific ways, I could play it more.
I think that The Walking Dead might have exhausted my supply of whatever is required to sustain quasi-paternity. It’s more than that, though: Telltale’s gruesome endeavor was ablated, however slightly, by its visual style and decoupled camera. Still grisly, still grinds you into a paste. But The Last of Us just makes you look and look at its awful shit in all of that thorough, unrelenting plausibility.
I have to take regular breaks to ensure that fongoids aren’t doing any spores anywhere; I have to make sure the windows are not merely closed, but super-closed: a new close I have invented that includes an extra half-tug at the end.
I talked about the secret band of data a few years ago, specifically related to games like Silent Hill 2, the Bioshocks, or Heavy Rain. When I was younger, I would have resented some of this stuff - it would have seemed ham-handed. Manipulative. I could have discern what they wanted me to feel and valiantly refused, or (if it were executed especially well) felt a version of it which might bave been similar in color or shape. I would feel it in deference to their craft.
That’s not really how it works now. Children carve something out of you, a place for themselves; people can twist the knife in that spot, and it just bleeds and bleeds.