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2021, Action/Comedy, 1h 53m
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The trip photos.
A dysfunctional couple, Lars (Aksel Hennie) and Lisa (Noomi Rapace), head to a remote cabin under the guise of reconnecting, but each has intentions to kill the other. Before they can carry out their plans, unexpected visitors arrive and they are faced with a greater danger.
Genre: Action, Comedy
Original Language: Norwegian
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Producer: Kjetil Omberg , Jørgen Storm Rosenberg
Writer: Nick Ball , John Niven , Tommy Wirkola , Nick Ball , John Niven , Tommy Wirkola
Release Date (Streaming): Oct 15, 2021
Runtime: 1h 53m
Production Co: 74 Entertainment
Cast & Crew
Nils Ole Oftebro
Stig Frode Henriksen
Tor Erik Gunstrøm
Jørgen Storm Rosenberg
Critic Reviews for The Trip
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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘The Trip’ on Netflix, a Bleak Comedy That Elevates Marital Discord to a Bloody New Level
Where to stream:.
- The Trip (2021)
- noomi rapace
Stream It Or Skip It: 'Django' On Netflix, About A Man Looking For His Daughter In The Wild West
Big peacock energy 2023: the sexiest movies on peacock, stream it or skip it: ‘black crab’ on netflix, where noomi rapace skates through a wartime dystopia, stream it or skip it: 'the secrets we keep' on hulu, a post-wwii thriller starring noomi rapace & chris messina.
Netflix’s The Trip is — well, I was going to give the usual spiel about it being a Norwegian black comedy-slash-thriller starring Noomi Rapace ( The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo , Prometheus ) and directed by Tommy Wirkola of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters fame, but I’m just gonna cut to the chase and say it’s some sick shit. And as most sick shit goes, its smooth-as-guts-in-a-blender-set-on-puree mix of yucks and yuks is very much a take-it-or-leave-it affair.
THE TRIP : STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The Gist: For some reason, The Trip doesn’t open with a crazy scene that’s on the precarious lip of a suspenseful cliff before flashing back to the beginning — it just opens at the beginning. How very novel! So, a husband and wife sit in bed arguing and the conversation gets pretty nutty and out there and, as we suspected, they’re just actors on the set of a soap opera. Lars (Aksel Hennie) is the director. He chitchats with a co-worker about how he and his wife are going up to the cabin this weekend and he stresses repeatedly how she wants to go on a long hike into the mountains, and isn’t that dangerous? On his way home, he stops to visit his dad at the nursing home so the old man can question his manhood. Then he goes to the hardware emporium for a hammer, a hacksaw, some rope and duct tape — you know, the Serial Killer Special, $49.95.
He picks up Lisa (Rapace), and the bickering starts immediately. Needling. Irritation. Teensy little digs. Death by 1,000 cuts on both sides. Their professional lives are lousy and the poison’s bled into their personal lives. They get to the cabin and as he unloads his collection of suspicious tools, the camera lingers on a cabinet full of shotguns, and as she mills about the kitchen, the camera gets a lensful of butcher and bread knives. Why? No reason. Just the usual stuff you’d find in a cabin in the Norwegian forest where you might go hunting and then need to cut up the animal you killed.
Lars and Lisa drive each other nuts cooking and eating dinner, and before bed they play a game of Scrabble that only further sledgehammers the wedge between them. The next day, we follow Lars as he fetches the hammer from the basement and heads to the kitchen for two belts of booze, and the camera angle for this shot is canted, oh so very canted. He sneaks up behind Lisa and before he can ballpeen a hole in her skull she quickly turns around and tases him. It’s probably safe to say that marital counseling would be pointless at this stage of their relationship.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: The War of the Røsens ! (Yeah, I know, Røsen is Swedish, not Norwegian. Just give me this one!)
Performance Worth Watching: Rapace and Hennie are equally excellent at playing shitty people, pairing nicely like fava beans with a nice Chianti.
Memorable Dialogue: Lars gets in the nastiest dig ever (decontextualized to avoid a spoiler): “Maybe you’ll be satisfied now.”
Sex and Skin: None, but be warned, there are disturbing scenes of sexual assault.
Our Take: …Then again, Lars and Lisa do seem to finally be on the same page, homicidal though it may be, so loll that sweet and sticky caramel-flavored irony around in your mouth for a minute there. The revelation that they want to kill each other in the most literal fashion comes at the 21-minute mark of a 114-minute movie, so it’s not a spoiler to say things escalate from there, via a game of one-upspersonship that goes from cold to violent to utterly ruthless to extremely violent to repulsive to even more extremely violent to thoroughly complicated to flat-out gory as hell. And yes, other characters get involved, lest it get too repetitive. If you can hang with it through its demented twists and turns — no guarantees, love it or hate it, no deposit no return, mileage may vary, etc. — it’ll be to see what resolution Wirkola and co-screenwriters Nick Ball and John Niven came up with, and not because you root for any of these people, who are, at best, poor examples of the human species.
So I guess that means The Trip exists in the satire realm, where marital discord is depicted with immense exaggeration and grotesque homicidal impulses are rendered in rich, bloody reds. One wonders if Lars and Lisa find this elevation of confrontation therapeutic, going from passive-aggressive to insanely aggressive, dropping the sniper rifles for a knife fight, sometimes not at all in a metaphorical fashion. Wirkola occasionally crosses the line between bad taste (which is good; think John Waters) and tastelessness (which is bad; think R-rated Adam Sandler vehicles), spending the majority of the budget on burst blood vessels in eyes and viscous strings of various bodily fluids drooling from mouths and hamburgered knees and innards turned into out-ards — total gorebuckets, more splatter than two or three of those wussy middling slasher movies they make for eight-year-olds these days, he said, nudge wink grain of salt.
Anyway, the movie adheres to the cliche that all is fair in love and war. It’s amusing and irreverent, bleak and repulsive — and therefore an exercise in cognitive dissonance, I guess. It’s definitely conceived more in sickness than in health. For better or worse. ’Til death by disembowelment or shotgun do we part. I’m gonna stop there.
Our Call: STREAM IT. The Trip is far from great, and at its best, it’s barely good. But it inspires a few choking laughs, it’s challenging in its unpleasantness, and it’s likely to satisfy any iron stomachs who are up to the task.
Will you stream or skip the Noomi Rapace black comedy/thriller #TheTrip on @netflix ? #SIOSI — Decider (@decider) October 16, 2021
John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.
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Every Upcoming Video Game Remake And Remaster
By Darryn Bonthuys on January 28, 2024 at 6:00AM PST
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
If there's one thing that you can count on when it comes to video games, it's that a remake or a remaster is never far away. In 2024--and beyond--there are some interesting remakes and remasters on the horizon, ranging from PS2-era classics like Max Payne and Metal Gear Solid 3 to PC heavyweights that helped bring gaming further into the mainstream. We've rounded up all the known games getting a fresh lease on life below, and you can check in for updates as the rest of the gaming calendar is fleshed out over the months to come.
For a closer look at what you can expect in the future, you can check out GameSpot's guides to the most anticipated PC , Xbox , PlayStation , and Switch games coming soon.
Persona 3 Reload - February 2
Persona 3 walked so that Persona 4 and 5 could stylishly run, and fans of the series can soon try out this game for themselves when it lands on PC and console. Remade entirely in Unreal Engine 5, Persona 3 Reload includes stunning new visuals, tweaked gameplay more in line with Persona 5, and extra content for anyone looking to try out this remake.
Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered - February 14
We don't know when the next Tomb Raider game from Crystal Dynamics will be revealed, but for now, you can relive the formative years of Lara Croft through this definitive bundle of the first three Tomb Raider games. All expansions and secret levels have been included, the core gameplay has been modernized, and if you're feeling really nostalgic, there's even a photo mode to play around with in case you want to create 2000s-era wallpapers for your PC.
Star Wars: Dark Forces remaster - February 28
There's no shortage of excellent first-person Star Wars shooters these days, but back in 1995, Dark Forces was a revelatory experience. Almost 30 years later, you'll be able to relive the adventures of Kyle Katarn as he joins the Rebel Alliance and infiltrates the Empire, as the remaster supports up to 4K and 120fps graphics, upgraded gameplay, and enhanced lighting. Video game restoration experts Nightdive Studios are behind this project, so expectations are high that the end result will be a fun and faithful (if non-canonical) return to a galaxy far, far away.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake - February 28
More than 10 years ago, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons arrived and left a lasting impression with its elegant tale of siblings juxtaposed against intuitive twin-stick gameplay. We're expecting more of the same in the remake--Avantgarden is tackling this project instead of the original studio Starbreeze--only this time with a prettier Unreal Engine 5 glow-up and local two-player co-op. You can still lone-wolf your way through this adventure, but either way, expect to be emotionally devastated by the time you finish it.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth - February 29
The next chapter in the Final Fantasy VII Remake trilogy, Rebirth is teasing an even bigger deviation from the source material as it explores familiar territory and surprising new directions. We already know that the game is set directly after the events of Final Fantasy VII Remake and will end at a pivotal moment in the storyline, but it remains to be seen just how big of a departure that moment will be. Cloud's party is getting bigger with the debut of Cid and Vincent Valentine, a trip to fan-favorite locations like the Gold Saucer is on the itinerary, and gameplay has also been enhanced with new moves to master.
Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake
Star Ocean: The Second Story R and both Octopath Traveler games are terrific examples of HD-2D games, and Dragon Quest III is the next game on Square Enix's list to get that glow-up. Beyond that, not much else is known about the game or its release date, but Square Enix did tease that the winning combination of pixel art and 3D effects will be dazzling to see in action.
Front Mission 3
Front Mission 1 and 2's remakes have been serviceable returns to that universe of mechanized warfare, but for US fans, Front Mission 3 is where the franchise truly began. Front Mission 3 was the first game in the series to launch outside of Japan, and like the previous two remakes, you can expect a graphically improved game, more content to explore, and tweaked gameplay.
Some games age surprisingly well with time, while other games… less so . Gothic felt dated even back in 2001, with many reviews noting the stiff combat system and clumsy controls, but Alkimia Interactive is aiming to modernize the experience with some big gameplay enhancements. If you're interested in checking out the roots of this dark fantasy series, Gothic Classic is available on PC and Nintendo Switch.
Max Payne 1 and 2
Butter them up, because Remedy Entertainment is on a roll lately. With Alan Wake 2 earning critical acclaim across the globe, the studio is preparing to return to its past with remakes of Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. That's a whole lot of Payne. While Remedy sold the rights to the Max Payne franchise to Rockstar Games back in 2002, the two studios have teamed up to combine both games in a single package of hard-boiled narration, gritty action, and the genre-defining bullet-time gameplay--just like what took the industry by storm decades ago.
Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater - 2024
Long considered to be the definitive game in the series, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is getting the grand remake treatment and is currently scheduled for a 2024 release. Konami plans to bring the origin story of Big Boss into the modern age with "cutting-edge graphics and 3D audio," while also retaining the elements that made the game so iconic all those years ago--namely, tight stealth, jungle warfare, and that banger of a theme song in this Cold War thriller.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Ubisoft's remake of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has had a rocky development cycle so far, as the delays piled up and development shifted from Ubisoft's India studios to its Montreal team. The good news is that while The Sands of Time has been indefinitely delayed, there's an excellent spin-off available right now. If you're in the mood for a Prince of Persia game influenced by its past and metroidvanias, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a great game to check out.
You couldn't shake a CD-ROM drive in the '90s without bumping into the mega-popular Myst, and any game following in its footsteps had some big boots to fill. Fortunately, Riven was a strong sequel, and years later, it's making a comeback. Built from the ground up at Cyan, the studio has even employed developers from The Starry Expanse Project, a fan remake of Riven, to help with its version of the game.
Silent Hill 2
Bloober Team might have just as many hits as it does misses, but there's hope that the studio behind Layers of Fear and The Blair Witch can faithfully recreate one of the greatest survival-horror video games of all time. Silent Hill 2's 2012 HD port didn't do the game justice, and it’ll be fascinating to see how this sequel builds on the original game when it arrives later in 2024.
Splinter Cell fans have been asking Ubisoft to bring the series back to life--as more than just a Ghost Recon cameo, at the very least--and those requests are finally being answered with a complete remake of the 2002 game. Development has remained in the shadows since the 2021 reveal, but Ubisoft has explained that it's aiming to modernize the series while retaining its core DNA. Splinter Cell is being built in the Snowdrop engine, the same software used to create impressive-looking games like Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
What exactly is going on with Embracer Group's planned remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic? The game has been beset with issues since it was first announced in 2021, with reports of an indefinite delay following the firing of two lead developers at Aspyr in 2022, Saber Interactive taking over development duties, and another report claiming that progress had ceased entirely. Embracer Group has yet to confirm any of these claims officially, and hopefully, the project hasn't been banished to the far reaches of the galaxy just yet.
While new games set in The Witcher Universe are in development, CD Projekt Red is also working on a remake of the first game. Like several of its other in-development projects, The Witcher remake is being built in Unreal Engine 5. Fool's Theory is handling the remake, with the creative direction being led by several Witcher and CDPR veterans.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 2024
20 years after it was first released on the GameCube, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is making a comeback on the Switch. Like Nintendo's other classic games, this new version will enhance the timeless design of the original game with sharper graphics and will make the adorable cardboard characters stand out more than ever.
Lollipop Chainsaw: RePOP - Summer 2024
Originally billed as a remake of the classic 2012 game, you might want to dial back your expectations for Lollipop Chainsaw: RePOP as the game will instead be a remaster. Producer Yoshimi Yasuda explained that this change in direction was in response to fan requests, and players can also expect to see shorter loading load times, improved hit detection, and enhanced graphical performance.
Braid: Anniversary Edition - April 30
Braid still holds up as a delightful platformer with time-bending mechanics, but visually, those handcrafted graphics have aged. Fortunately, the upcoming anniversary edition will feature brand-new painterly graphics alongside a slew of other audio-visual enhancements. Smoother graphics and improved sound are great, but the real draw here will be 15 hours of commentary from Braid creator Jonathan Blow and other developers, adding more insight into how this classic game was made.
Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Spring 2024
Fans of point-and-click adventure games featuring freelance detectives and an absurdist sense of humor, rejoice! Sam and Max are making a comeback in a remaster of the last game in the revival series from Telltale Games. Developer Skunkape has done an excellent job of bringing the first two seasons of Telltale's Sam and Max games into the modern era, and for this latest project, you can expect the usual upgrades in this remaster as you explore the most dangerous environment in existence: the inside of Sam's warped mind.
Beyond Good and Evil - 2024
It has been 20 years since Beyond Good and Evil first launched--and for anyone waiting for the sequel, it has felt even longer --and Ubisoft is preparing to celebrate the beloved sci-fi adventure that brings it up to modern speed. While the original Xbox listing for the remaster has since been deleted, according to its text, this new version will support 4K and 60fps visuals, upgraded audio, and improved controls when it arrives later in 2024.
Shadows of the Damned
Shadows of the Damned--Suda51 and Shinji Mikami's weird 2011 game that mixed action with not-so-subtle genital references--is making a comeback in the future. And that's about as much as we know, as developer Grasshopper Manufacture has kept a tight lid on this remaster since it was first announced. Long considered an underrated game full of tight action and absurd humor, it's still great to see demon-hunter Garcia Hotspur gearing up for a second shot at the big leagues, as the original game was only available on PS3 and Xbox 360 at the time of its release.
Luigi's Mansion 2 HD - Summer 2024
More than a decade after Luigi returned to his part-time job as a paranormal exterminator on the Nintendo 3DS, the hapless plumber’s first ghost-busting sequel, Dark Moon, is getting ported over to the Switch in 2024. Luigi's Mansion 2 increased the scope of the original game by throwing the lanky plumber into five different locations filled with pesky spooks, spreading the terror from a haunted mansion to an abandoned factory, research lab, and more.
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Steve is asked to review restaurants for the UK's Observer who is joined on a working road trip by his friend Rob who fills in at the last minute when Coogan's romantic relationship falls ap... Read all Steve is asked to review restaurants for the UK's Observer who is joined on a working road trip by his friend Rob who fills in at the last minute when Coogan's romantic relationship falls apart. Steve is asked to review restaurants for the UK's Observer who is joined on a working road trip by his friend Rob who fills in at the last minute when Coogan's romantic relationship falls apart.
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7 fun local multiplayer games available with PlayStation Plus
Discover some modern hits and timeless classics you and a friend can play across PlayStation Plus Essential, Extra, and Premium.
You ever get one of those awkward phone calls from your cousin that he and his family are in town and want to drop in for an unexpected house visit? Or your buddy texts you about arguing with their roommate, and they need to come over and cool down. Or, perhaps, the most dread-inducing — your coworker’s kid-sitter canceled, and they need an emergency backup. Suddenly, you’ve got guests over, and you need to keep them entertained for a while. Fortunately for you, you’ve got a PlayStation Plus membership and extra controllers, which means one thing: it’s local multiplayer time.
But even if you’re not in an urgent need to keep a surprise audience entertained, getting a group of players together on the couch to have a good time is one of the best uses of your PlayStation. There are plenty of amazing PS4 and PS5 games you can always boot up whenever you need a good serving of multiplayer mayhem. Here are some of our favorites available with PlayStation Plus.*
Nobody Saves The World
- Drinkbox Studios
- 2 players
Everyone’s a hero in this chaotic transformation-focused action/RPG. With the aid of a magic wand, your bland amorphous humanoid character assumes myriad different forms, each with a unique playstyle–and, with a friend in tow, you can take on forms that cover for each other’s weaknesses or double up on your strengths. With hundreds of combinations of forms and abilities to explore and blast through foes, you’ll have hours of fun with bodily modification.*
*Available as a PlayStation Plus January 2024 Monthly game.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
- Gearbox Studios
- Up to 4 players on PS5, 2 players on PS4
The weirdness and humor of the beloved Borderlands series continues in this tabletop fantasy-themed spinoff. You and three of your friends/frenemies can play together in a weird and wild fantasy loot-driven FPS with your own customizable characters in classes like Stabbomancer and Brr-zerker. Use melee weapons, spells, and (of course) lots and lots of crazy guns to eradicate enemies and get all the sweet, sweet rewards. Play in either normal co-op mode or coopetition mode, where you’ll need to squabble to decide who gets what loot.*
*Included in the Game Catalog with PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium memberships.
Street Fighter: 30th Anniversary Collection
- 2 player competitive
We all know and love Street Fighter. Even if your play partner’s never thrown a Hadoken in their life, it’ll only take a couple of minutes to learn, and then you’ve got even more fun and strategy to dig into. With 12 different Street Fighter games in one package, you can stick with the classic Street Fighter II titles, or dig deep into the later Alpha and III series. You don’t have to be able to do the Daigo Parry to have hours of fun digging into the storied history of Street Fighter with a friend–but once you’ve had fun playing competitively, you may want to take your skills to the next level.*
*Included in the Classics Catalog with PlayStation Plus Premium memberships.
Dragon’s Crown Pro
- VanillaWare/Atlus USA
- Up to 4 players
Don’t have your dice and Dungeon Master gear on hand for your tabletop roleplaying session? Boot up Dragon’s Crown Pro and take your gang of adventurers on a gorgeous side-scrolling journey through realms of treasure and fantasy. Play as one of six classes and travel into dungeons as a band of up to four players, felling fearsome foes in fierce action gameplay and returning to the tavern with tales of bravado and plenty of sweet loot. Customize your warrior with skill trees to create your dream fantasy fighter. Will you discover the legendary Dragon’s Crown?*
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
- Tribute Games/Dotemu
- 6 players on/offline
Take a trip back to the days of multiplayer Turtle beat-em-up action at the local arcade, but with brand-new visuals, super special moves, loads of secrets, and no need to worry if some kid before you spilled orange soda on the player-three joystick. Run through the single-session arcade mode with up to six players or, if you’re spending a while together, play through Story Mode co-op to build custom character loadouts and aim to conquer special challenges. Add the DLC expansion Dimension Shellshock for a new Survival mode and even more playable characters.*
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Sumo Digital/Sony Computer Entertainment
LittleBigPlanet’s star sets out with some friends on an incredible family-friendly journey through a beautiful 3D world. The very fabric of Craftworld is abundant with stretchy, bouncy, tactile joy that allows you to use Sackboy’s robust movement skills in delightfully enjoyable and creative ways. But to get the most out of this Big Adventure, you’ll want to visit with friends (up to three more), as some stages and challenges require cooperation to conquer.*
- Neon Giant/Curve Games
- Up to 4 players
Well, it looks like the megacorporation that you and your buddies were employed (read: enslaved) by in the cyberpunk world of Veles suddenly collapsed. Now, everything in your neighborhood’s going to hell. It’s time to get the guns out and solve problems. Explore neon-lit, dilapidated environments in an open world from an isometric viewpoint while blasting through foes and hazards with twin-stick shooter action. Augment yourself with upgrades and hack into forbidden areas as you acquire new skills, strengths, and loot. And don’t neglect to take cover when you have to. It’s better than becoming a bullet-ridden shell.*
*Titles available with PlayStation Plus memberships at the time of article publish.
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The Last Of Us Part II Remastered’s Lost Levels, Explained
The Last of Us Part II Remastered features three incomplete levels that were cut from the final release. What did players miss out on in 2020?
What are the lost levels, "jackson party" breathes life into jackson leading up to ellie's dance with dina, "seattle sewers" sees ellie taking cues from super mario bros., "the hunt" showcases a fascinating parallel from the last of us part i.
One of the toughest decisions a video game developer has to make is what stays and what goes. When developing a game, sometimes ambition extends too far beyond what is possible at the time or there's just not enough room in the story. Things get cut. While most players often see cut content as something that can get shamelessly sold later as DLC shortly after release, the truth of the matter is that a lot fails to make it to launch for understandable reasons.
With The Last of Us Part II Remastered , Naughty Dog is allowing players to play three "Lost Levels." Each of these levels was cut at varying points in development and is still in an incomplete state. However, these Lost Levels are a fun way to not only learn more about why these decisions are made but also add greater context to The Last of Us Part II's story.
This article contains major spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.
Everything We Know About The Last of Us Season 2
The Lost Levels are three sections from an earlier build of The Last of Us Part II . These levels are found in the "Making Of" menu. Each of these levels is a pre-alpha build that was months away from completion before it was cut during development. Each Lost Level is accompanied by an introduction by creative director and co-lead writer Neil Druckmann as well as a varying amount of Commentary points throughout each level that players can click on and hear the background of that level.
Each Commentary point is numbered, allowing it to serve as a guide to walk players through each level and ensure they don't miss specific details. Aside from one optional Stalker in "Seattle Sewers" and a required boss in "The Hunt," there is no combat, so there's little fear of dying and having to start over. Even if a player did have to start over, the Lost Levels are short, spanning roughly 10 minutes each .
While it can be disappointing to not see these levels finished and integrated into the game as a The Last of Us Part II Director's Cut , there's still some hope in the future. Druckmann told Entertainment Weekly that, "I will say there is at least one element from a cut level that is planned [for] the show." While Druckmann says that things can change during production with possibly more elements added, or more The Last of Us Part II moments cut, it's nice to know that the Lost Levels are under consideration for being included in the show.
"Peppered throughout the level are moments of levity or shared history. All the while seeing how happy and mundane they all were before her huge revenge odyssey."
The Complete The Last of Us Timeline in the Games
The first Lost Level is "Jackson Party," which is set at the dance where Ellie and Dina first kiss and Ellie and Joel commit to repairing their relationship. This dance was featured and mentioned frequently throughout The Last of Us Part II culminating in the final scenes of the game . "Jackson Party" is the roughest around the edges as there's no voice acting and facial animations with dialog being subtitled . This level would've taken place in the transition between the theater confrontation and the farm, which is late in the game. Commentary for "Jackson Party" is provided by Banun Idris, the Lead Game Designer at Naughty Dog.
In "Jackson Party," Ellie is working up the courage to go to the dance and express her feelings for Dina. The level begins with Ellie downing a bottle of beer before making her way to the party. Outside of the barn, there are numerous carnival events Ellie can partake in . Ellie can "craft" her own drink using mechanics similar to the crafting elements throughout the game or play a ball-throwing carnival game where Ellie can win a toy — the very same one J.J. has in the final build, which originally was only going to appear had Ellie won the toy. Ellie can get face paint from her tattoo artist ex-girlfriend Cat — marking her first interactive appearance after being mentioned in the release version of the game.
However, Cat's model was not finalized as her appearance is different from a picture of her seen in the game. Ellie can also play a game of "Clicker Marco Polo" with a group of kids, which sees Ellie, as a Clicker, close her eyes and listen to the sounds of the children in order to tag them. "Clicker Marco Polo," which was considered for the beginning of the game in place of the snowball fight, highlights the contrast between the Jackson community and the world around it while emphasizing how peaceful the Jackson community is. Other moments reward exploring such as catching a young couple in the act. "Jackson Community" ends when Ellie speaks to Maria at the front of the barn.
Like the other Lost Levels, "Jackson Party" was cut due to pacing issues . Since this would've taken place later in the game, when Ellie and Dina's kiss was seen, "Jackson Party" would've slowed the game down considerably at a time when players were eager to learn how Ellie and Abby's conflict concludes.
"The intention here being that the only option is to go off the standard path in order to search for a way out."
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The second Lost Level is "Seattle Sewers" and was much further along than "Jackson Party," though still months away from completion despite having voice acting and appearing like it could've been in the final release. "Seattle Sewers" is set while Ellie is in Seattle on Day 2 as she pursues Nora at the WLF Hospital . It's an expanded version of the sewer section that occurs after Ellie fights a hoard of Stalker Infected in an office building . Commentary for "Seattle Sewers" is provided by Pete Ellis, the Design Director at Naughty Dog.
The first thing that's highlighted in "Seattle Sewers" is the active water current. Ellis says the idea was the use water currents as a sort of puzzle for traversial . Uncharted 4: A Thief's End players may already be familiar with this as it, too, had water current-related mechanics. Throughout "Seattle Sewers, Ellie will have to crawl through a series of pipes that get smaller and smaller with each one she has to pass through. Ellie clearly isn't having as much fun with pipes as Mario does. While crawling through one of the pipes, Ellie encounters a Clicker fused into the pipe, causing tension as the player doesn't know if it's alive or dead. As Ellie approaches it, Ellie quickly hallucinates the Clicker as Joel , further underscoring Ellie's PTSD. The goal of this section was to bounce back and forth between the despair of finding the dead end with the subsequent hope of a new potential path forward.
With Ellie Day 2 being a long chapter as is, it makes sense to shorten the sewer section. Even after the sewer, Ellie still has a long way to go to reach Nora including fighting Seraphites in a forest and at an abandoned mall. So "Seattle Sewers" were trimmed down to expedite the process a tad.
"In early iterations of the fight, it was more arena-like. The player slowly whittles down the boar's health. Ellie gets more visceral and more vicious, we get a little worried about her. As the boar gets weaker, more panicked, more feral, we start feeling sympathetic to the boar – was the hope."
The Last Of Us Part 3 Needs to Give Ellie the Ending She Deserves
"The Hunt" is the final Lost Level in The Last of Us Part II Remastered and may be the most thought-provoking. "The Hunt" is set after Ellie's confrontation with Abby at the theater and before Ellie returns to Dina at their farm , and would've been right after "Jackson Party." While this level was cut, some details of it appear in Ellie's journal in the final build. Commentary for "The Hunt" is provided by Banun Idris.
"The Hunt" can be seen as a parallel to the similarly named chapter in The Last of Us Part I where Ellie is hunting an animal, in this case, a boar . In the context of the game, fans once again are unsure if Ellie is alone as Dina, like Joel in the original game, was seriously injured. How much time has passed? Unlike The Last of Us Part I , Ellie doesn't appear to be hunting for survival. Ellie's pursuing the already wounded boar possibly for sport or maybe to take out her aggression. Ellie finds the boar in a gas station where there's a mini-boss fight. The boar eventually flees before collapsing inside another room. "The Hunt" concludes with an in-development cutscene where Ellie finishes off the dying boar with a scowl on her face and more PTSD triggers. The idea behind "The Hunt" was the show Ellie's mental state and obsession with violence as she ruthlessly chases down this boar that, as of the final game, she never took back to Dina nor told her. Developers wanted fans to start to sympathize with the boar as it fights for survival .
One of the biggest reasons this level was cut was because there was a lot of uncertainty on how to approach the boar fight with numerous scenarios tested. The boar's A.I. had to work in such a precise way that it not only posed a threat, but also behaved accordingly to progress the plot and emphasize its sympathetic struggle.
The Last Of Us Part II Remastered
Five years after the events of The Last of Us, Ellie embarks on another journey through a post-apocalyptic America on a mission of vengeance against a mysterious militia.
Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition in 2024
Age of empires 2: a timeless rts revitalized.
D uring the transitional phase between the late releases of 2023 and the new beginnings of 2024, many gamers, including myself, found solace in revisiting classic real-time strategy (RTS) games. From “They Are Billions” to “Command & Conquer: Red Alert” and even classics like “The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth,” this period offered a perfect opportunity for nostalgic gameplay. This trip down memory lane piqued my curiosity, especially towards the enduring charm of “Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition.”
The Continuous Evolution of AoE2
Surprisingly active on Steam, “Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition” has been receiving continuous updates, DLCs, and patches since its release in 2019. This consistent enhancement has not only kept the game fresh but has also maintained a strong player base. With around 26,000 players on Steam, it’s evident that the game, which is almost 25 years old, still holds significant appeal.
Expansions Galore: A Rich RTS Experience
“Age of Empires 2” now boasts 37 campaigns, not including historical battles, tutorial missions, and remastered campaigns from the first game. This expansive content makes it a treasure trove for single-player RTS enthusiasts. The game’s remaster by Forgotten Empires enhances the experience with quality-of-life improvements and smarter enemy AI, making gameplay more engaging than ever.
A Seamless Blend of Classic and Modern
Despite the occasional pathfinding issues, “Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition” remains a stellar example of a game that combines classic RTS mechanics with modern enhancements. The game feels as good to play now as it did at its original release, if not better, thanks to these updates.
New Adventures Await in Recent Expansions
The game’s newest expansions, “The Mountain Royals” and “Return of Rome,” promise to add even more depth and variety. This continued support and expansion are a testament to the game’s lasting legacy and its transformation into a vibrant modern game .
Age of Empires 4: A Worthy Successor
While “Age of Empires 4” by Relic Entertainment has made its own mark since its 2021 release, with unique features like asymmetrical faction design, “Age of Empires 2” still stands tall. Its blend of slick mechanics, stunning art, and creative missions keeps it at the forefront of the RTS genre.
In summary, “Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition” is more than just a trip down memory lane. It’s a continuously evolving game that bridges the gap between nostalgia and modern gaming innovation. Its ongoing support and expansion not only celebrate its past but also herald its thriving presence in today’s gaming world .