Round 1: Allan Muir on behalf of Joel from The Last of Us
Ah, Summer of 2013, not the best time period. Everything Xbox related was going to hell after E3, Ryan Davis passed away, but to be glass half full we got The Last of Us from Naughty Dog who you may know as the developers of Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter and prior to this game the Uncharted games. The game was hotly anticipated since rumors about the setting hit the web around the time Uncharted 3 released and the easter egg being in the game.
The Last of Us takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting where a fungus based parasite has laid waste to the world. It is the common man version of Resident Evil 4 where the roles are kind of reversed? Instead of being the bodyguard to the president like Leon Kennedy, you are a common-man smuggler who has been surviving for the past two decades getting things in and out of quarantine zones. Like Resident Evil 4 you are tasked with getting a young girl to a destination. In RE4 it’s back to the United States and in The Last of Us you must get her to a group of people which ends up being a trek across the United States. With Nathan Drake being a member of the All-Stars roster it would be interesting to see Nate against what a realistic version of himself would be.
I’ll just come out and say it: Joel is a badass. Not only that but he is a survivor, a one man wrecking crew, and has a high “Spideysense” perception level that allows him to know what’s near whether it’s a clicker, raider, or soldier. He also is one tough sumbitch if you catch my drift. He is proficient in many skills such as melee/close quarters combat which led to many deaths throughout The Last of Us. He is great with guns and surprisingly a bow. He will use anything that can hurt you such as a brick, bottle, or will even craft a Molotov cocktail and watch you burn to death. Speaking of death, Joel looked death in the face and broke its nose and said “not today”, as he fell right onto and was impaled by an iron rod. He even wiped out multiple groups of raiders, infected, and rebels. Someone that dangerous deserves to be on the Ultimate Roster.
Round 2: Emmett Watkins Jr. on behalf of Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
One of the biggest criticisms of the original PlayStation All-Stars was the lack of classic characters especially from the PS1 era. And while many of those grievances will, hopefully be addressed by the end of this Showdown, there’s one that certainly deserved to be put on now that many might have forgotten about: Lara Croft.
Tomb Raider, despite releasing on both Sega Saturn and MS-DOS, was one of the original PlayStation’s more widely recognized mascots in 1996. With 8 Tomb Raider follow-ups over the next 8 consecutive years, the series became a mainstream hit, and it even spawned multiple feature films and ports of the original PlayStation game. But over the years, despite exclusive graphical features in one of the sequels on Dreamcast and timed exclusivity of another on Xbox One, Tomb Raider has maintained its association with PlayStation, and Square Enix leaned into that legacy with the 20th Anniversary release of Rise of the Tomb Raider.
But for many of us, Lara croft has importance outside of her status as a PlayStation icon. She was one of the only prominent female protagonist in games at the time she was introduced, and her consistent presence in her future sequels cemented her as a template that many other female protagonists in games would follow, much how Ripley from Alien did the same for film.
No, since she has clearly earned her place on the roster, what would her abilities be? The obvious thing to do would be to giver her similar fighting mechanics to Nathan Drake, but her arcenal and abilities are too unique to stop there. She can bring along her iconic dual pistols as her main ranged attack, and for melee she can use her pickaxe from the prequel series. She could, of course, incorporate her many shotguns, rifles, and grenade launchers into her moveset. But something that would help her stand out would be the use of her spear gun from Tomb Raider 2 and 3, or maybe even just the spear itself from Lara Croft Go.
As for her supers, there you could incorporate some of the fantastical elements of the games. For her level 1, she could wield the Staff of Osiris, the item from Temple of Osiris that emits a leatha beam of light. For her level 2 and 3, have one of the many mythical creatures and being she’s gone up against make an appearance. Just imagine the T-Rex from the first game wreaking havoc and causing a screen wipe on the enemy players. Or maybe even replicate one of the set piece moments from the more recent survivor trilogy. Take the sequence in Tomb Raider (2013) where Lara is sliding away from a plane crash, but instead of her, add 3 other players who have to dodge obstacles during their descent or suffer being taken out by the super.
So, that’s my argument for Lara Croft. She’s one of the most famous faces of the console family, even if she is a third party, and she certainly deserves a spot on the roster for that, and her status as one of the leading ladies in gaming. Make the correct choice!
Round 3: Fight!
So, who is the rightful winner of this match, Joel or Lara? Vote in the Twitter poll embedded below, and follow @LosHarrowGames for the next match up!