The long-awaited sequel of The Last of Us is finally here. After a small delay caused by the worldwide pandemic, we finally got our hands on the game and reviewed it. Our The Last of Us Part 2 Review will be completely spoiler-free, therefore you can read it without the fear.
Let me describe how we format the review, so you can skip to the part you are interested in if you like. First, we will take a look at the storyline without giving away any spoilers. The following will be the gameplay and overall design sections. Lastly, I’ll give my final opinions on the game and conclude The Last of Us: Part II review.
Some themes are very well-explored.
The Last of Us: Part II provides us with a good “revenge” story for Ellie. Following the events that happened in the first game, Fireflies no longer exist. Therefore, there are different factions that control the Seattle region which has opposing views. Between all these, there is Ellie. The game’s plot puts you in a perspective where you need to understand there is no sole good or evil at all.
The storyline itself is also well-constructed aside from a couple of “what is going on” moments. If you manage to follow the story carefully from the beginning, I assure you everything makes sense when the time comes. Furthermore, the story is enhanced with some flashbacks which let us understand the depths of Joel and Ellie’s relationship. This is notable because Ellie is not like what she used to before.
The game explores the concept of being in the grey area so good that you might even feel uncomfortable. All this has a point of increasing the emotional immersive impact of the story. Violence in the post-apocalyptic world is another very well explored theme within the plot of the game. I believe the greatness of the story makes the player feel like they are indeed in the game instead of just playing it.
In addition, aside from the main storyline player is given the freedom to explore other sub-plots. You can find some notes around and solve puzzles to learn more about the story. This freedom further participates in the story experience the game provides the players with.
New traversal mechanics are interesting.
Naughty Dog managed to implement combat into the plot of the game very well. Observing the violence in-combat helps the player understand what kind of a world we are looking at. In addition, Ellie’s character development and what she’s become is also observable in-combat.
Just like the first game, combat is not always necessary. So, it is most of the time an option to avoid getting in combat with improved stealth mechanics. In addition, new elements like guard dogs make it more interesting to play stealth as they can smell you anytime. Therefore, the listening mode is still the key if you want to stay alive.
There are new enemies as both humans and the infected, so you’ll need to improve your skills from the first game. Note that The Last of Us: Part II does not change combat very much – and it should not.
The Last of Us: Part II is huge. In every part of the game, you can explore the wide setting utilizing the new mechanics. We are now able to climb, jump, and use ropes. Adding to the first game, levels are both vertically and horizontally rich with detailed setting elements.
The Last of Us: Part II’s visuals are stunning.
This is not an open-world game, and it constantly makes it clear to avoid any confusion. Being a linear game, as it does not let you go back to previous areas, the levels are very big. You can explore each area to find some easter eggs, notes, and story details on the way.
Naughty Dog is very good at level design, and it shows. Visuals are stunning and maybe even a threat to your PlayStation 4’s fan. Not even two buildings are the same and they show the scars of the post-apocalyptic world. Following the first game’s steps, the game puts us in an immersive environment.
Sounds and music of the game are also very beautifully designed. Every time you walk or fire a gun you feel the improvements in the sound design over the first game. I believe this is one of the best units that improve the feeling of a post-apocalyptic dark and emotion-full world.
Update: About the ongoing discussions.
One thing I want to mention about the storyline is that it does perfectly well as a sequel. If you have heard the recent discussions about the game trying to tell a story of a “higher cause”, you probably understand what I’m trying to say. Yes, there are some story elements that try to convey a message but these are well implemented within the game’s universe and plot.
It was and is a great experience to see Ellie’s inner-world and relationship is explored in the game just as it would be with a heterosexual relationship/person. This should not even be a point of argument, as it is part of the full emotional experience you get throughout the game. Our The Last of Us Part 2 review could not be complete without addressing all these, so sorry if this part is a bit off-topic.
I did not encounter any weird dialog or moment which break the immersive atmosphere to deliver an opinion or message to the player. I don’t think that the story would change or go in a different direction if LGBT themes were not present at all. Yes, as a part of the character development you will see different themes throughout the game. Though, this does not mean they are a “focused agenda” in The Last of Us: Part II.
The Last of Us Part 2 review conclusion
To conclude The Last of Us Part 2 review, I can directly say that The Last of Us: Part II is a great sequel. The storyline is beautiful and well-explored, visuals of the game are stunning even on PS4 and the gameplay is what we are already used to. If you liked the first game, you definitely need to play Part 2.
Version tested: PS4 Pro – a review copy was provided by Sony.
The Last of Us: Part 2
The Last of Us Part 2 review - A great sequel News | Review