A Worthy Successor Even with it’s Faults
The Last of Us Part 2 does a lot of good things right and improves on the mechanics from the first title. Though the story somewhat stumbles along the way this is still a title worth picking up and putting into the Game of the Year Category.
This is easily one of the best if not the best looking game ever made so far. The amount of detail that is in the character design is stunning and the environments are out of this world realistic. There were plenty of moments that it was hard to distinguish on what was completely real looking. And these environments are HUGE!! There’s a lot to see and how truly degraded this world has become. The seamless transition gameplay is top notch and stands on its own platform. No load times whatsoever and just goes to A all the way Z with ease. Naughty Dog has to take pride in that they once again set the bar high.
Naughty Dog has done a much better job this time around with the gameplay with you playing as a much younger character and being able to jump around adds a different element to the style of the game that we didn’t see in the first one. The intense fighting is extremely well done and very responsive and helps when you’re over run by infected or humans. As always they brought the bow back and it’s just as much fun this time as before especially since you are able to craft your own ammo for it!
Once again Naughty Dog brings us an incredible score that brings so much intensity and feelings into the story that you can’t deny this could be one of the best. Gustavo Santaolalla, take a stand sir. You have outdone yourself!
(Spoilers) Taking place 4 years later we find an older Ellie in Jackson living a regular life with the townspeople. Jackson is huge even though you only spend a moment in the town but you visit a bar, see Ellie and Joel’s place, have a snowball fight with a bunch of kids. It’s nice. It’s civil. Newcomer character Jesse gives Ellie her duties and you go on patrol with your love interest Dina in the cold snowy morning.
Later you are introduced to Abby, another playable character who has a sense of mystery about her. She heads to an outpost of Jackson’s but gets swarmed by infected and is on the run where she meets up with Joel and Tommy and they hurry back to Abby’s people. Unfortunately things go south for Joel and Tommy as they are here for Joel. Ellie and the others begin searching for them and Ellie is the first to arrive. Hearing the screams of Joel being beaten she rushes through the house and is jumped by Abby’s people and she must witness the death of Joel. From here everything begins to unfold.
Finding out who Abby is and why she killed Joel and Ellie, Tommy, Dina, and Jesse go out to hunt for all of Abby’s people involved in the death of Joel. This takes you to Seattle and you come across the Wolves and the Scars and are caught in the middle of a war. Things get intense trying to survive both fractions as well as taking on the infected and the infected have definitely evolved since we last faced them. These things are not to be messed with this time around and pose a serious threat if you’re not careful and have a plan going in. When bloaters were the biggest threat, now we have Shabblers who have acid as a fighting mechanism and blow up once killed and the stalkers who cloak themselves and are deadly and will give you the most frightening experience.
Switching back and forth between Ellie and Abby and seeing Ellie go down a path of revenge and death and Abby, the person who murdered Joel live and protect people she cared about and see them all killed in front of her it became hard to decide who’s side I was truly on. At least by the ending both survive and both go their separate ways. The biggest struggle is that I couldn’t root for either and my hatred for Abby and having to be forced to play her and eventually be like she’s been through enough let it go. The absence of Joel is deeply missed and having him killed off so quickly, though provides the spark of the story also deeply hurts this story and game since we spent so much time with him in the first game and finding more about him throughout made Joel the main character to always have around and be the link between the past and present and that’s gone now, the balance is gone. Overall I did enjoy the story but it’s not without its flaws.
The Last of Us Part 2 is another win for Naughty Dog and one of the best games of this generation but it suffers from character loss and fills it in with not so much fun characters. The world is dark and full of death and visually stunning! I recommend anyone who enjoyed the first title to pick this up and enjoy the second one but let’s hope this is the final one.
- June 17, 2020
Adam Gorman, @FirstChoiceAdam