The Last of Us Part II – Review
Follow Genre: 3rd-person Action-Adventure, Horror-Survival, Stealth
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Interactive
Platform: PS4
Tested on: PS4

The Last of Us Part II – Review

Site Score
9.8
Good: An amazing accomplishment on so many levels
Bad: Messing with sentimentality is a big risk.
User Score
10.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Well then, it’s been a while old friend. So many people have been waiting for your return, you don’t even know. What’s that? Negative talk about you? Well yes, there have been some people who talked about you due to some spoilers and negativity, but what do they know? They formed their opinions on part of your story. Just some rumors, nothing else. But now that you’re finally here, you can tell the full story with all the ups and downs yourself. So please, without holding back, tell us everything.

Story

On the off chance that you have managed to steer clear of spoilers about The Last of Us Part II, we will try to not mess it up for you. Part II takes off exactly where the first The Last of Us game left you, but a few years later. In the first game, you got to play as Joel mostly, a somewhat grumpy middle-aged man who gets tasked with escorting a girl, Ellie, to a resistance group. Why you have to do this is not instantly made clear, but the fact that Joel lost his own daughter to the infectious zombie-like virus-ridden world of The Last of Us, gives the old man and Ellie a special kind of dynamic that worked insanely well.

In The Last of Us Part II you will be playing as Ellie, who is a fully grown young adult now. Though a couple of themes come forward in the game, the main theme the entire game revolves around is revenge. Despite the rather forward theme, the way that paths intertwine is well thought out, and pretty well written. In many aspects, The Last of Us II is a master in blending elements together so you can’t really differentiate where the story begins, how some tutorials are hidden, or even where you can go and where you can’t. But beyond that, it’s a different story that doesn’t just make you the hero of the game. It makes you slowly question what is generally good, and what is evil? What is your own morality? And that ballsy move is what compensates for the missing dynamic between Joel and Ellie like in the first game.

Graphics

As the first game had a lot of memorable moments that left players in awe, such as a certain scene where an overgrown city got introduced by a giraffe walking by, the second game hooked into this and expanded on it. There is SO much AMAZING stuff to see that it honestly feels like getting spoiled. There’s practically no game right now that has so many different and detailed models in its game, which is one of the reasons why the story feels so unique and realistic. There are many beautifully overgrown buildings that are overtaken and each looks different depending on what pre-zombie function they would serve.

There’s a lot of rain and water in the game that generally shows the best the engine has to offer, and despite the couple of bland non-important NPC faces that you come across in crowded areas, it’s just a fresh breath of joy to witness all around you. Generally, the animations are great as they all seem to be motion-captured, and the expressions on the faces of characters that you do get to play seem much more realistic and appropriate to the situation compared to most other games.

Sound

No experience would be complete without having the proper sound, and Part II is just as, if not more, cinematic than the original. This means that also the sound division spared no expenses and you will get the best there is to fully enjoy the game. The voice acting is amazing, the background music and recorded effects are as cinematic and atmospheric as they can get, and you will just feel fully immersed at all times. Oh, and as an extra note, you get to play on a guitar that essentially has the full range of a real guitar, including every string. And you can do that while fiddling with your PlayStation controller. How badass is that?

Gameplay

The gameplay essentially stayed exactly the same, with a few tweaks. The Last of Us Part II is still a horror-survival action-adventure game, where you get to play from a third-person point of view. Either you follow the story and move to your destination, while looting and exploring your surroundings, or you find yourself in a combat situation. In combat, you often get to choose between multiple approaches and angles where you can use stealth or a more aggressive approach with an arsenal of weapons and (explosive) devices. You are often paired with a buddy main story NPC, and they can feel weirdly useless at times. For instance, you try to take down two enemies at once, and most of the time your buddy will stealth kill the second one. Sometimes, however, they won’t, and you are put in the awkward position of shanking a dude while the other one is slowly turning around. Most of the time your friends act rational enough though.

Most of the exploring, as well as the combat, generally feels very natural. Thanks to the previously mentioned masterful blending of game elements, it’s pretty hard to guess what will happen next at which point. Where a normal say, shooter genre would definitely announce the next boss area with either a lot of ammo and health packs or has a clear arena set up for you, in The Last of Us Part II whatever seems to be an arena isn’t and stuff can happen when you least expect it. On top of that, you sometimes get to walk a rather linear path from A to B aside from some looting, where at other times you are freer in exploring your surroundings. This combination makes the right direction a tad harder to find, but the subtle solutions are always blended into the world with great care. This might be a small amount of light, a tarp, or just the way other NPCs are facing. Whatever it does, it works well.

With your gathered supplies you can still craft items such as medkits, and upgrade weapons with a better grip or more ammo, and this all essentially is the exact same gameplay as the first game. What’s different is that it all feels that tiny bit more adult, just like Ellie has grown as well. It has an extra layer of realism somehow, and also an extra layer of polish. Together with all the highly detailed greatness, that’s what makes The Last of Us Part II excel as a game. The only point of discussion here besides the sometimes weird behavior of your helping NPC buddy is the story, but that’s heavily opinionated because, from an objective point of view, the story is well-written and offers some unforgettable moments.

Conclusion

Despite the risk The Last of Us Part II took in its storyline by messing around with sentimentality, the game turned out to be truly magnificent. If you want the best that PlayStation has to offer in terms of story-driven gameplay, The Last of Us Part II does exactly what its predecessor did as well, but arguably better on many levels. It’s one of the games that you can’t afford to miss and is worth every penny as it’s thrilling, enjoyable, and above all a feat of accomplishment.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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The Last of Us Part II - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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