The Last of Us Part II Review by SolaceCreed

22 Jun 2020 10 Jul 2020
1 3 5
Sequels, they're an enigma that can either sink or swim. Some are incredible and others like Dragon Age 2 can leave an unpleasant taste in the mouths of the fans that spent so much time on the original.

The Last of Us 2 although an incredible turn in storytelling, as all Naughty Dog games go. There are a few problems that could do with ironing out in future updates (and I'm sure they will be), all in all a very enjoyable game.

Without giving away the premice of the entire game, as usual the game starts with tragedy. The draw back, is it is somewhat not as well done as Sarah's ultimate demise and it does seem to lack the punch of a father having to witness his daughters death. Mainly as the way it's been handled but the subsequent journey it pertains to, more than makes up for it.

Strangely, you spend quite a bit of time playing as the percieved villain of the piece. As in true Naughty Dog/Druckman style, you're made to feel sorry for her as we were with David in the original title. Although, it must be said, this could have been achieved in a shorter period of time. It does feel like they focused more on this part of the story than Ellie's, okay, it fills in some important backstory bits, but these are then told through flashbacks, which seem weirdly clunky in exposition.

Gameplay is as you'd expect, it plays like an Naughty Dog title. As I mentioned before, there are bits that need ironing out. Take hand to hand combat, for example, the camera angles occasionally go haywire when you try to evade an enemy, making you wide open for attack and on harder difficulties, this almost certainly means death. Bizzarely, if you aim the LS button sideways, it will back up still facing the enemy, in other cases it turns Ellie left which again leave you open to gun fire and a barrage of fists.

Stealth is where the game actually earns its stripes. Again this is basically the same as the first game, the difference this time is there is more hiding spots (crouching in tall grass, going prone in low grass) and also the added pain of Dogs on the battlefield. They will detect you if you get tol close to them or their owner. Ellie no longer needs Shivs! (Halellujuah) instead prefering her pocket knife to take down enemies. Although, They are needed in the second half of the game, which actually makes Clickers as dangerous as the first title.

Enemies can be more dangerous, unfortunately Naughty Dog decided only one new infected was needed, whilst formiddable as a gruesome twosome, they're exponentially weaker than a bloater still. There is one other new one, but it only appears once, and it wouldn't be right to describe the beast here.

The trophy list is somewhat disappointing in some respects. Mainly collectible based, it could do with more combat orientated trophies to balance it out. The two sort of combat ones, the shooting range and bow and arrow challenge aren't actually that difficult, even with or without auto-aim turned on from the options.

Within the graphics, it looks georgous even in plain HDR. The surroundings show the beauty of the world, it has a different feel to it than TLoU, however, with a clear dovide between beauty and horror in several locations, whereas the predecessor is a stark contrast between both through most of the game. The best parts of the horror sequences, such as the Subway tunnels within Ellie's chapters.

There's some disappointments in the final quarter of the game, but again, explaining some would destroy parts of the game that are better off experienced. Its not as strong as Joel's adventure across America, there's also very few bonds that stands out like Joel and Ellie's in the follow-up. Although, Ellie and Dina do come close for different reasons. Social dynamics are explored very well within the camp of the WLF. Which is a triumph in Naughty Dog's storytelling abilities.

Near perfect, but with bits missing and a weaker storyline than the first. It is difficult to not notice the paralells between them.

EDIT based on an NG+ and susequent earnkng of the platinum trophy, I've identified some real poor parts of the storyline (there's a blog post on my page if you really want to read it, but it will destroy parts of the game if you plan to play it). As such this edit is to say that the star rating has been reduced to reflect this.

EDIT 2 I wrote the blog post to stop spoilers for people that actually wanted to play it fordt hand, but since it's evident people don't read edit's. My blog post has now been linked. Don't read if you want to play the game first hand without spoilers, however.
SolaceCreed's Blog
Santa_in_SandalsNo mentioning of plot holes, bloated playtime, cringeworthy dialogue (especially the weed scene with Dina and Ellie), repetitve gameplay. No mentioning of false advertising, illogic behaviour of characters, the lack of chemistry between characters, and really bad pacing. How anyone could call this mediocre game 'near perfect' is beyond me. Forcing indentity politics into such a game is the final nail to the coffin.

This game is a prime example for the expression "style over substance".
Posted by Santa_in_Sandals on 10 Jul at 11:47
SolaceCreedYour opinion, a review is an opinion, you don't have to agree with it.

Also, look at my blog if you wanna see my more immediate thoughts of a new game + run.
Posted by SolaceCreed on 10 Jul at 16:20
SolaceCreedObviously didn't read the edit either laugh
Posted by SolaceCreed on 10 Jul at 16:21
SolaceCreedAslo, having not played it, how do you know what it's actually like to play?
Posted by SolaceCreed on 10 Jul at 17:14
Santa_in_SandalsI have played it for work.
Posted by Santa_in_Sandals on 17 Jul at 03:34