In June of 2013, near the PlayStation 4's release, the PlayStation 3 received its last hurrah from Naughty Dog that would change everything. The game, called The Last of Us, marked the developer's first foray into the post-apocalyptic scene, and also held - and still maintains - the prestigious title of "one of the best games ever created." Fast forward seven years, and we are once again nearing the launch of the next generation of the PlayStation console, and yet again, we stare at a familiar sight - the release of Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part II. Does it live up to the gargantuan expectations set by one of the best games ever created, though?
NOTE: This review is completely spoiler-free.
The story of the sequel takes place five years after the events of the first game. With the grueling events of the past, an older Ellie and Joel are living a reasonably stable life in Tommy's settlement. Unfortunately, in their world, violence lurks behind every corner. A tragic event rips their "new normal" to shreds, forcing Ellie to abandon the security of the settlement in search of vengeance. The vicious journey she undertakes not only explores difficult themes but also the physical toll such dangerous emotions take on a person.
Throughout my time spent with Ellie and her quest for revenge, I was in constant amazement at the stellar job Naughty Dog has done in bringing the characters to life. The "standard" Naughty Dog details are here, like Ellie looking behind her when you walk backward, or Ellie flipping on her hoodie when she encounters rain. The detail that went into rolling eyes, a scuff, or a snort, that's where the animations truly shine. It might be minuscule to some, but it takes the realism of characters in the game to a whole new level. Speaking of, the art direction, and subsequently the graphics of The Last of Us Part II, shine as some of the best this console generation has to offer. Objects take on a realistic appearance, sun rays coat buildings with an orange tinge, while snow mass together on clothing. Stopping in the middle of my adventure to soak in the surroundings was a common occurrence during my time with the game, and in some cases, it's a necessity.
Combat in The Last of Us Part II has been refined and expanded upon. Melee hits convey a beefy punch, oftentimes followed by a satisfying (and brutal) crack or splat. Few things in the game are as satisfying as dodging an enemy's attack, then quickly following it up with an ax swing straight to their neck. Gunplay, on the other hand, provides the largest spectrum of changes. Pistols can be fired in rapid succession, while a revolver's slow rate of fire, and incredible power, can stop an enemy dead in their tracks. The thunderous crack of a shotgun on the last pestering enemy leaves a quiet void, heralding the calm before the metaphorical storm.
Make no mistake, The Last of Us Part II features brutal actions in scenes that made me tear my gaze from the screen...
The dedication and commitment to the series can be seen from the onset of the game, and only improves as you progress through it.
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
Please login to post comments.
Sony Interactive Entertainment
19 June 2020
Latest ReviewsBrowse All Reviews