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The Last of Us Part II Has Cosplay Rubber Ducks

The Last of Us Part II Has Cosplay Rubber Ducks

Less than 24 hours away from The Last of Us Part II‘s launch on PS4, Sony Interactive Entertainment is still pulling out all stops with for the game’s rollout. Starting today at 8 AM PT, the Playstation Gear Store has made a vast amount of The Last of Us merchandise available for pre-order, hand in hand with additional merch from trusted third-parties. A partnership with the ever reputable Taylor Guitars has brought us two custom-designed acoustic guitars. The standout amongst them is The Last of Us Part II Replica Taylor 314ce, a direct recreation of Ellie’s guitar in-game. The pre-order window extends to July 31st at 11:59 PM PT, with shipment projected for August 2020.

A variety of apparel is also on offer, ranging from a cosplay equipped workman’s jacket to five types of branded t-shirts set for prices as low as $9.99. Hoodies, hats, and backpacks are also on offer along with some less orthodox branding choices that prove especially intriguing. Alongside the digital artbook included with deluxe edition purchases of The Last of Us Part II, a physical artbook is available to purchase a la carte in advance of its June 24th, 2020 publication date. Authorized retailers Nendoroid and Funko have also been integrated into the merch line with respective vinyl figures for sale.

Display image of a rubber duck cosplaying as Joel from The Last of Us
Image courtesy of Numbskull

But most striking of all is the line of The Last of Us cosplay rubber ducks, sent here to lend a bit of charm to the post-apocalypse.  With a striking amount of detail, Joel, Ellie, Tess, and a Clicker are all available in duck form, as glorious as they are inexplicable. They also register as some of the cheaper items amongst the available merch and all come with bathtub display boxes. It’s not often a concept as radical as “The Last of Us rubber duck” comes to light, let alone in this sheer quantity.

I can just now say that my hype for The Last of Us‘ future is at an all-time high.

UI Overhaul Promised for the Sony PS5, Full Reveal Soon

UI Overhaul Promised for the Sony PS5, Full Reveal Soon

During Sony’s massive Future of Gaming showcase, people saw a glimpse of the PlayStation 5’s user interface (UI) with the official boot-up screen greeting the audience in the middle of the showcase. Many were surprised at the sudden tease and have grown to appreciate the little chime that coincides with the boot-up animation. Shortly after the showcase, Sony’s Vice President of UX (User Experience) Design Matt MacLaurin provided additional details about the entire operating system of the console on his LinkedIn page. MacLaurin left multiple comments saying people will see the UI “soon” and that the UI is a “100% overhaul” of the PS4’s dynamic menu.

MacLaurin went into the more technical details of the UI, claiming it uses a “whole new visual language and a complete rearchitecting of the user interface”. He made other bold claims about the UI, saying that the team is “obsessed with function” and that the PS5 could load the entire OS in milliseconds. Throughout his comments, MacLaurin stressed that the UI design philosophy applies emphasis on functionality and practicality. He considers the PS5 UI to be more “pragmatic” than the PS4 and offers new design concepts. As of right now, the UI team is currently tweaking the entire system before Sony decides to fully showcase it, but MacLaurin ultimately believes the reveal is not far.

While MacLaurin gave no hints of what the UI would actually do, players can hopefully imagine that they won’t need to beg Sony for basic features as much as they had to do in the early years of the PS4. Given MacLaurin’s ambitious claims, we might not see the familiar XMB format that graced the PS3, PSP, and, to a lesser extent, the PS4. That being said, Sony’s goal of leveraging the capabilities of the PS5’s SSD could translate to an incredibly fast UI that would accomplish a lot more than players expected. A feature I could easily see is multiple game suspensions like we have seen in the Xbox Series X earlier this year. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait much longer to see the whole thing in action.

What do you want to see from the PS5 UI? Do you expect a far more robust system than the PS4 or do you expect a bare-bones UI at launch? Let’s talk about it in the comments below and stay tuned for more Sick Critic updates!

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Arrives This Year on PS5

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Arrives This Year on PS5

Marvel’s Spider-Man, developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, was a high profile PS4 exclusive that instantly blew critics and audiences away. Combining Insomniac’s experience with open-world superpowered gameplay (as fixated on in the Infamous franchise) with what may be the most iconic superhero IP in the world proved to be as exciting in execution as it was in concept. After a tumultuous history with Activision, Spider-Man found himself in masterful hands taking the satisfying web-slinging of Spidey’s past and elevating it to the stratosphere. With the added leverage of two successful Spider-Man films released in its aftermath, it makes all too much sense that Insomniac Games would be eager to follow up their massive hit.

 

Insomniac Games broke sales records with Marvel’s Spider-Man

 

Today at Sony’s “The Future of Gaming” event, the murmurings of a new Spider-Man game coming soon were swiftly confirmed, but with a different protagonist at the center. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse made Miles Morales a household name and was largely considered a masterpiece. Now Miles is headlining a video game all on his own. Announced for a Holiday 2020 release, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is keeping the momentum going for the franchise and likely serving as a launch title for the PS5.

The trailer premiering the game shows Miles holding his own in snowy NYC, swinging with the same finesse that made the game’s prequel so satisfying. Meanwhile, his powers against enemies of all shapes and sizes can only be described as electric. The trailer is a triumphant tribute to all things Spidey as he fluidly maneuvers through his environment smoother than ever before. The picturesque footage of Miles protecting his city wears the honorable badge of all being “captured on PS5”, making for an excellent debut of the PS5’s power.

As of now, Insomniac Studios are playing coy about Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales being an outright sequel to Marvel’s Spider-Man or more of a standalone expansion, but it’ll no doubt raise the PS5’s profile singlehandedly.

The Last of Us Part II Promises to Redefine Cinematic Gameplay

The Last of Us Part II Promises to Redefine Cinematic Gameplay

We are now less than two weeks out from the release of The Last of Us Part II. Naughty Dog’s sequel to instant cultural phenomenon The Last of Us is coming to all storefronts on June 19th, 2020, arguably serving as this summer’s first major release. It’s been a long road to the game’s release, with hints about Ellie’s journey into adulthood first materializing years ago. This is Naughty Dog’s first project since Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in 2017, a standalone expansion to Uncharted 4, and together with Ghosts of Tsushima will likely serve as a parting gift to PS4 owners as Sony embarks on the PS5 rollout.

 

Naughty Dog Brings a New Standard for Action-Adventure

 

Where Naughty Dog franchises in the past have generally relied on a streak of levity (be it the attitude of Crash Bandicoot or the Spielberg-like tone of Uncharted), The Last of Us places players in a stark post-apocalypse, where the horrors of mass infection and human nature alike combine into a singular terror. The near photo-realistic capabilities of the PS4 promise to make The Last of Us Part II even more immersive than its predecessor. The dilapidated Seattle environment is at once harrowing and beautiful as dense foliage and lifelike lighting spills over the abandoned city.

Despite some false alarms, full details of the narrative and gameplay have been kept under wraps. However, what we’ve seen of the game in recent promotional videos illustrates a refinement of Naughty Dog’s past ambitions. Third-person stealth and urban exploration remain the central focus, now with landscapes that are more open than ever. Ellie is mutually equipped to ambush or sneak past enemies, with verticality of the environments and improved enemy AI erasing the linearity of the game’s prequel. A narrative about survival amidst the downfall of civilization is paired with survival-focused gameplay. Crafting and resource management is now integrated amongst carefully deployed encounters. An even tenser campaign stands before the player.

 

The Last of Us Part II treads toward a greater reconciliation between cinematic storytelling and thorough gameplay. Those who were enthralled by Joel and Ellie’s characterization and a vivid approach to pandemic-based horror can rest assured that The Last of Us Part II will bring forward a cathartic evolution. Those waiting in anticipation can treat themselves to 23 minutes of gameplay footage released by Naughty Dog.