If any kind of functional musical instrument gets included in a video game, then you can bet your life that some talented gamers are going to find a way to recreate their favourite songs in stunning in-game covers. We’ve seen it with the pianos in Overwatch and Half-Life: Alyx, the Shawzins in Warframe (seriously, those covers are amazing), and the town tune maker in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. And now some amazing fans of The Last of Us Part II have channelled their talents through their DualShock 4 controllers to bring us a little bit of musical joy within the dark and scary world of the game.
Ellie’s already a pro at guitar, and you’ll get to play a few songs as part of the game anyway, but if you pick up the guitar and practice it outside of those moments, you’re free to play pretty much whatever you please. Also, if you head to the music shop the first time you get to wander around Seattle, you can find a hidden cutscene in which Ellie plays an acoustic cover of a-ha’s Take On Me. It’s glorious.
Or if, like us, your musical career began and ended at primary school recorder class, you can just sit back and let the pros handle it.
1. The Last of Us Main Theme – Gustavo Santaolalla
This is about as meta as it gets. This cover of the original game’s main theme makes us reminisce about happier times (no, who are we kidding, the first game was just as heartbreaking).
2. Hotel California – Eagles
Glorious song, gorgeous cover. When you think about the lyrics, which seem nice enough on the surface until you realise how outright disturbing they are, they actually fit pretty well with a game like The Last of Us.
3. Let It Be – The Beatles
When all that vengeance-seeking and throwing bricks at Clickers takes its toll, take a minute to stop and think about the bigger picture with the help of The Beatles. Let It Be has some solid advice about letting things go that Ellie could really do with learning.
4. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
Some songs don’t really work as acoustic covers. This is not one of those songs. It’s also got exactly the right kind of feel for The Last of Us, and if we weren’t just as obsessed with Gustavo Santaolalla as we are with Metallica, we’d question why this wasn’t made the main theme instead. No? Just us?
5. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Whether your first introduction to this song was via Shrek, or via someone else who’s seen Shrek, you’ll never be able to think about anything else when you hear it. Come to think of it, Shrek would probably be pretty handy to have around in the world of The Last of Us. Just saying.