- System: PlayStation 4
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Developer: Naughty Dog
- Release Date: June 19, 2020
- Pricing: $59.99
- Rating: M
- Genre: Action-Adventure, Survival Horror
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://www.thelastofus.playstation.com/
The Last of Us Part II – Official Accolades Trailer | PS4
Who it Caters to
Fast-forward to 2020 and the long-awaited sequel to Joel and Ellie's story is already in stores, and it surely didn't miss the mark. If you fancy a mature video game that makes you think, smile, and cry, then you already know The Last of Us Part II is a playable masterpiece, and all owners of a PS4 should be playing it right now.
What to Expect
There are a lot of new characters, a lot of new enemies, but the essence is quite the same. This is a narrative-driven adventure, and you'll find different gameplay mechanics along the way. Sometimes you'll find yourself running and gunning, some other times you'll be exploring and solving puzzles, and there are even some minigames here and there. Of course, there are also hours upon hours of dialogue and interactive cinematics, but this should come as no surprise for any The Last of Us fan.
The vibrant colors, the polished textures, the importance of a clean UI design... it's hard to find something we don't like about this game when it comes to the graphics. A keyword here would be 'immersion', and the perfect use of light, textures, and the color palette puts you exactly where Ellie or the other characters are. Truth be told, a game like The Last of Us Part II would still be amazing even with lower graphics, but part of its charm is definitely how close to realism it can get.
If we're saying this is a narrative-driven game, and it all feels so real, we need to take a moment to admire the voice acting too. Just like in the first game, all character's voices are on point, even when some lines feel a little bit too much for the scene.
All that out of the way, let's talk about the basics: The Last of Us Part II, much like the first part, defies the concept of a classic video game. For the most part, you obviously will be running around, exploring things, shooting at your enemies, and solving puzzles, but a lot of your playtime is basically taking a step back and just enjoying the dialogues and the landscapes. Some of these segments are good old cinematics, but some others at least try to make you part of the story. It's up to you to say how fun or boring it is to just walk several minutes while another character talks to you, or how fun or boring it is to casually explore a room while Ellie talks to herself, but these things are what ultimately makes The Last of Us Part II feel different, and closer to a movie or TV show. Unlike other games, though, the transitions between gameplay and cinematics are deliciously smooth, so at least that helps with immersion.
In other titles, at least you have a clear objective, and you are aware of your situation. Am I winning? Am I making some progress? What's my goal now? Thanks to this game's nature, however, you never know what could happen next, and that keeps you at the edge of your sit. You don't even know if you're allowed to expect a happy ending. In fact, what would a happy ending be like in a story like this? So yeah, The Last of Us Part II is extremely fun to play and we really enjoyed all the upgrades and improvements... but let's talk about the one thing we didn't like: the ending.
There are great video games, books, movies, and TV shows that feel so perfect and satisfying without a 'happy ending'. Our problem with The Last of Us Part II is not what happens in the most talked-about scene or the reason why Ellie goes after Abby; our problem is how poorly resolved it all feels, and how this anticlimatic ending leaves you thinking that it all happened for nothing...in a bad way, because we can think of a lot of awesome stories about people losing it all or not being able to live happily ever after. Simply put, and from our humble perspective, the ending makes no sense at all and makes the rest of the game—including Ellie's decisions and motivcations—feel totally trivial.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Graphically, it pushes the limits of a ‘dying’ console.
- Even if you don’t like what happens to specific characters or where the story goes, the use of the narrative aspects to move the gameplay forward is wonderful.
- Gustavo Santaolalla is a beast.
- Some decisions definitely angered the fans. They can probably justify every decision made, but the ending just feels... anticlimatic and unsatisfying.
- At times, you would rather be playing and actually doing things than watching cinematics, but this is how The Last of Us goes. Narrative over gameplay. At least we get swift transitions and zero loading screens!