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The Last of Us Part II review
by Kieran

The Last of Us Part II was a massive disappointment, at least from a narrative standpoint. Unfortunately, even while other aspects of the game may be brilliant, at the end of the day it is a narrative-driven game that has a flawed narrative. Let's get the pros out of the way. 

Gameplay-wise, TLoU 2 is pretty great. They've improved on the stealth and combat gameplay from the first game and created a solid system, with crafting and upgrades providing the requisite progression. Encounters were at times difficult but always engaging, especially when playing as Ellie. There were some truly cinematic moments which were awesome to experience. New characters of Jesse and Dina were excellent. The flashbacks with Joel and Ellie were heartwarming, even if I wish they weren't delivered as flashbacks (although the one where Joel reveals the truth was pretty effective). 

But here is where the problems begin. Joel is killed by Abby in the first two hours of the game, which no one is going to be happy with - everyone loved Joel. The circumstances of his death make him seem dumb and naive, which is really out of character for Joel, but EVEN PUTTING THAT ASIDE his death never reaps the payoff it needed. I really enjoyed the first half of the game because I was anticipating that eventual payoff where Ellie gets her revenge, but that moment never came. Ellie never kills Abby. I would have been okay if the game ended at the farm, because at least Ellie would've had a new life with Dina and JJ. But to see her leave the farm, travel all the way to Santa Barbara and still not kill Abby is so mind-boggling. Ellie ends up going home, losing everything without achieving anything.

Naughty Dog makes you play as Abby for the other half of the game and tries to humanise her and emphasise the theme of perspective, but I was never going to care about her after what she did to Joel. She was unlikeable, her friends were unlikeable, and when she started to care about Lev and Yarra I didn't buy it. The game tries to convince you that she's a good person when you're preconditioned to think that she isn't, because she's killed our favourite character, who saved her life, by the way. Yes, Abby's dad was killed by Joel, but we don't know her dad. We know Joel. We know Ellie. That's the bottom line. Getting us to care about the character that killed Joel was never going to work, and Naughty Dog should've known that. 

However, Neil Druckmann and Naughty Dog knew exactly what they were doing with this game, in that everything was deliberate. It's just that those choices that they made were poor. Big risks MUST have a fulfilling result, and most of them didn't in this game. Taking risks isn't in and of itself a commendable act. It's pulling off those risks that makes the game, and when you don't pull them off you just look pretentious and self-indulgent. The game is depressing and makes you feel so empty by the end, and the themes that the narrative was trying to evoke were poorly executed. The Last of Us Part II has great elements, but they are almost completely undermined by a narrative that punishes you for caring about certain characters. There's a million ways this game could've been rewritten and instantly been made better as a result, but unfortunately those versions were not the game we received.

Looking at the game as a whole, it's not bad. You can't ignore the elements that are well done. But the narrative is so flawed, and in a narrative-driven game, that's a massive problem. 
«Disappointment of the year»

Other reviews50

I played TLOU I for the first time right before playing this game, which helped me see TLOU II as an extension of Part I. Still raw from the events from the first part, the second part ripped my heart out and I hated what was happening ...until I played as the antagonist. The game really underlines the fact that everyone, even our favorite characters, are only human and imperfect. The only misgiving I have about this game is the pacing. I mistook two chapters for the Epilogue before it actually ended. But what an ending. 
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Ellie is literally me irl
I have major issues with the story and the character writing, and the already dated combat from the first game has only been slightly improved.  But it's graphically stunning and the gameplay is solid.
The Last of Us is my favorite game. That's not something easy to say for someone who has played so many games during their lives, but I can say it with complete certainty. So I waited seven years for the second part, scared to have my favorite title ruined. But now I can say it with even more certainty than before: The Last of Us, in its entirety, part 1 and 2, is the best game I have ever played in my life. The second one brings more to the table with updated and brand new gameplay mechanics, and a hint of horror that was more intense than the scariest parts of the first one. The story is brutal, it's no longer a tale about love and hope, is a tale about grief, rage, and revenge. It's an entire lesson of empathy and humanity. It caught me by surprise, and it changed me. No game ever had an impact like that in my life, and I doubt it ever will. 
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
Graphism excellent, ost too. Gameplay meh at least u can personalize it. Ever fell tension cause u dont have amo in a resident evil, guess what just turn the option increase loot. The story is certainly the worst part of it, with a scenario who try so much to subvert expectation than it doesnt make any sens and stupid forgetballe character who are stupid af. Just one exemple, u kill somebody in front of his friend they say to u i will kill u what to do ? leave and forget a good night will certainly change his mind. Also they have change the first one in the flashback guess they need consistency at some point
«Waste of time»
«Oh God i managed it»
Completed 2/20/21
This game is the best thing happened to me in 2020. It screws open-world and multi-ending products just delivering a masterpiece story in a mind blowing way.
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Blew my mind»
«Beaten more than once»
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Jogos em sua maior parte tendem a focar em 2 quesito: diversão e entretenimento. TLOU part 2 por mais que seja entretenimento de alta qualidade, não busca sua diversão e isso o torna o melhor jogo de 2020 e provavelmente um dos jogos mais corajosos já feitos.

 Games for the most part tend to focus on two aspects: fun and entertainment. TLOU part 2 no matter how high quality entertainment is, it does not seek your enjoyment and that makes it the best game of 2020 and probably one of the most courageous games ever made.
Anyone realizes that this has maybe the best graphics of any game ever, but the story is controversial. I loved it, it was so original and I never knew what to expect. They made me understand both Abbey's and Ellie's views and side and that was wonderfully done. People who hate it do so because they are emotionally attached to Joel and hate Abbey for that at the beginning, but if you just think about it Ellie and Joel are probably worse people than Abbey. Still I think both of them have flaws and that is what the game tries to tell you. 

Further are the factions in the game set up beautifully and you can, again, feel for all of them.

No one is perfect, and revenge is kind of pointless. That is what this game tells you and it does that well.