(Available for PlayStation 4 only)
The Last of Us Part II is the sequel to the Original game from the PlayStation 3 7 years after the fact. The original game was considered one of the best games of that consoles library and a new standard for narrative games by many people, not bad for developer Naughty Dog fresh off the success of the Uncharted series.
The Last of Us second entry has certainly been a long time coming with the team attempting to work on worthy successor that’s going to justify it’s rather divisive ending. Nether the less despite several appearances at E3 along with a few delays it’s finally here and has been hotly anticipated. Due to the narrative nature of the game I made the decision this will be a no spoiler review and will in no way talk about the story in any sort of detail. This is because I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t played The Last of Us to do so before the announced HBO series is released and we all know everything about it. the only thing I will reveal is that Last of Us Part 2 takes place 4 years after and is a very similar game to the first in many ways. once again it’s a survival horror game fighting both a variety fungal zombies and heavily armed humans in militias though has more of an emphasis with both stealth and action gameplay with the player making choices on how they wish to proceed with a heavy emphasis on narrative. The first game was heavily identified by the character interactions and development and it’s great to see that back. This one does feel like it treads a lot of the same grounds, there’s actually very little change outside of a few chapters taking place in more open environments and some near non-existence loading times even in the bigger environments. The game is also longer by about 7 hours with a total play time for the main story being 20 hours and it goes up by about 4 hours for all the collectables.
- Gameplay: Las of Us part II’s Gameplay is as previously mention almost identical to the first game and I’m glad they kept it because I love the methodical nature I have to approach each challenge in seemingly every situation. Every time I die it feels like my fault and I just need to rethink. There are a few knew variety of zombies in the game including one that really challenges you with avoiding close combat as well as dogs that can track your sent so there will be things to figure out for people that mastered the first game
- Graphics: The Last of Us Part 2 has some of the best graphics on the PS4 and is an amazing way to show off the console in it’s last year before PS5 becomes Sony’s primary console. Honestly you have to see it to believe it. it’s also an amazingly designed game I really liked the way Seattle was designed for example and it genuinely feels like Naughty Dog has looked at the PS4 capabilities and pushed to it’s max.
- One particular boss fight: I won’t spoil what it is but they built this up big time in The State of Play built this up big time and it’s one of the best moments from the game in both design and how you have to approach it. they truly captured the terror they wanted to induce.
- The story: I think this story like the first has some good character moments, the big objections that people have had for the story are not what I share, my objection is that the story is that the second half takes us on a big detour to th story that takes up a good chunk of the game time and while it has good character moments that work and get what Naughty Dog was trying to do but it doesn’t quite work and the ending feels rather unsatisfying. The story doesn’t reach the heights of it’s predecessor.
- It Outstays it’s Welcome: this game way, WAY too long. This easily could’ve been a 15 hour game and would’ve been all the better for it not helped by the long detour. by the end of the game I was so exhausted by the fact that it seemed like the writers had no idea when to call it quits and was just done with it begging for a final moment to such an extent I was throwing out all strategy to just get it over.
- Partner AI is useless: what is the point of you having companions if they never hit anything. granted they can’t die from enemies which is good but could they please hit something so I can get a hand instead of their only use getting me out of grapples.
The Last of Us 2 has some of the best graphics and some excellent gameplay. The story doesn’t quite succeed and it is a game that’s too long and doesn’t flow too well but I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s the disaster that some people have made it out to be though in a narrative driven game that can be a death sentence. This already is a divisive game and I reckon it’s going to be a few years before a consensus is reached on it especially after the Inevitable PlayStation 5 port (note: this has not been officially announced but I’m convinced it’s going to happen). Me and Ren are going to be streaming this game on my personal YouTube channel in a few weeks where we’ll be giving our full thoughts so if you thought this awkward attempt to avoid Spoilers didn’t get across my opinion well that’ll probably do the job a bit better.
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