After the revelation of Ellie's kiss in Left Behind, the downloadable expansion to The Last of Us, I decided two things. One, that I was sufficiently over being terrified of the game the first time to give it another go, and two, that I was curious whether or not the game would feel different knowing that Ellie was gay.
When I first reviewed The Last of Us one of the things that I most applauded the game for was the character of Bill. Bill was Joel's smuggling contact, a paranoid loner that lived in the overrun and extremely booby-trapped town of Lincoln. Joel and Ellie meet up with Bill hoping to cash in some favors and get a car to head west in.
Bill is also gay, something that you don't realize until you come across the body of his ex-lover Frank. Frank had grown tired of Bill's small-mindedness and set-in-his-ways attitude, and had attempted to steal the car battery Bill was going to give to Joel. In the process he was bitten, infected, and hanged himself after leaving a very rude note for Bill to find.
What makes Bill and this chapter of the game so awesome is the fact that for the first time I can ever remember a major character in a Triple A game was homosexual and was actually a regular person. Bill's story and personality would not have changed a single iota if Frank had been Francine, and I saw it as a major step forward for portrayals of non-hetero characters in gaming.More »