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The Last of Us Part II review
Exceptional
by landey

so overall i really enjoyed the game, although there were a few parts that dragged it down for me. what i liked: the gameplay is so much better than the first game, everything flows really well and that intensity in every encounter makes you really value your resources. easily the best part of the game was "The Seraphites" chapter on seattle day 2, where you have to use all the tactics you've learned up to that point and apply them to a new environment with new enemies and new combat techniques. the level design in the game (especially seattle day 2) was outstanding, with large open areas full of different pathways and ways to hide. the story during the first half of the game is also fucking great, joel dying is honestly fine with me and everything really clicked story-wise in that first half. one of the most powerful moments in the game for me is when abby beats nora with a pipe to make her talk, the game even making you press the button prompt to swing the pipe, then we see her hands shaking and she's clearly shaken by what happened. another pretty powerful moment was when abby kills mel, who she then finds out was pregnant, and you can see ellie hyperventilating and panicking because i imagine she was thinking of dina, who is also pregnant. this really had a profound effect on how i thought of the wolves, as it made me understand that they're people too, and abby's section of the game also helped in creating this sense of no one in this world being truly in the right or the wrong.

the overall production value of the game is out of this world too. the music, level and sound design, graphics and gameplay all exceeded my expectations by a mile - it's an amazing technical feat for the playstation 4 and a great swansong for naughty dog's ps4 era

abby's section was really great... to a point. i feel like the writing really dropped down a notch in quality after abby goes to the seraphite's island, and also jesse's death? no one ever talks about him or even mentions him except for one note after he dies. isaac, who is built up from cutscenes and from notes as being this terrifying and imposing figure (who really should have been pitted against abby more in my opinion), gets killed by one bullet from another character who had already been stabbed. it just felt... cheap for both of these deaths and i didn't find it very dramatic. i was upset when jesse died, but the game doesn't do a very good job making it feel truly meaningful to the story in my opinion. however, abby's story really does humanise her and made me sympathise not just with her, but the scars/seraphites too. lev is a really good character who i empathised with a lot too.

joel's death is the main motivator for the entire story, it's what makes ellie want revenge on abby and it makes sense in the context of the story in the way that it's set up. abby tracks down joel, only to be saved from a horde of zombies by him, and abby leads him back to her lodge, where joel obviously chooses to go because who would want to fight a horde of zombies instead of keeping safe with a bunch of survivors? of course, what joel doesn't know is that abby is the daughter of the doctor he killed near the end of the first game when he saves ellie. joel's actions have had consequences in this world, and abby decides to exact her revenge in a rather over-the-top way, but i think it's still a very powerful moment. joel was not a good person, nor is abby, they were just humans trying to survive, one of whoms father was killed by joel because of selfish reasons.

oh so you wanna know what i think of the ending? well... i thought it was pretty good actually. ellie understands the relationship between lev and abby, and spares abby's life because she knows what it was like losing a parental figure to her (joel), and i believe she didn't want lev to go through the same thing, so she ended that cycle of violence that is ever-present throughout the game. when ellie returns home, she finds that her quest for revenge has cost her almost everything, including her girlfriend and her surrogate son. she also lost two of her fingers, meaning she can't even play guitar properly anymore. the final shot of the game is so depressing to me, as we know that ellie has lost everything but she may go looking for dina? who knows, but the damage going back for abby has caused to her and her relationships will be near-irreparable.
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
«That ending!»
J
Jwremy
Based 😌✌️
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Ísak Agnarsson
Its not about the scenes, what happens what gets to people, its the false advertisement saying that Ellie will be the only playable character, most people knew Joel was about to die but forcing you to play Abby and forcing it down your throat to like her and dislike Ellie, because Abby likes dogs and Ellie shoots dogs and the stupid drama for the sake of drama with pregnant mothers going on missions and the playable deranged psychopath likes the idea of killing pregnant mothers if she's angry, Lev killing his own mother and all that stuff to have the biggest possible offensive drama imaginable was a little bit too obvious. Not negating the fact that you Neil crammed his rejected Revenge story he's been itching to put out before he was hired at ND and Bruce Straley told him not to this with TLOU1 which he wanted to do and now that he's president thats exactly what he did, crams also all possible social agenda like Rian Johnson did with Last Jedi and subverts expectations all that nonsense, its disappointing to alot of people for a reason but there is always a bunch of people that love the product like you which is perfectly fine :)
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Other reviews62

Great gameplay, but not good story and characterization. The strong point of the first The Last of Us was the characterization of the characters and the bond that was created between them (especially Joel and Ellie) while the sequel has almost all the characters badly characterized, the story is poorly executed and above all it is full of plot armor, deus ex machina etc ... that force the plot to move it forward and in a game like TLOU that wants to be realistic these things completely ruin the game. Even in the first TLOU there were similar things, but in a minor way and above all the game was executed so well that you didn't even notice it. In part 2 the suspension of disbelief is less given how many absurd situations and/or situations that serve to move the plot forward are created, thus leaving you indifferent to the events and making you want the game to end as soon as possible.
«Disappointment of the year»
«Waste of time»
foooo
«Waste of time»
«Boooring»
Storytelling and worldbuilding at its peak
Just got done with my second playthrough of this. *spoilers for those who may have not played it*

Honestly I think I like it more than the first time I played it. Really took my time this time around. 

Gameplay is solid. Character movement feels amazing.

I love how quickly stuff can go wrong in a conflict. It's probably something that wouldn't play as well in other games and end up being irritating but with the setting of this game it makes total sense that you make a couple wrong moves and it's over for you. 

Game has an excellent balance of supplies (I assume this game has somewhat of a dynamic difficulty?), It's very rare I like a crafting system these days but it works quite well in this game what with you having to make decisions as to what you need more in any given moment. 

A key moment for me in the game is pitting infected against human enemies, but there's so little of it. I think you get to experience this like ...twice or three times in the whole game. I could fuck around with that for hours. 

There's a few parts that irk me, story wise. But things considered for a sequel, they did a really fucking job pulling it together, props for them really trying something off the beaten path for a sequel narrative too. Considering the first game was such a hit, it would have been easy (and probably advised by investors to play it safe).

The final scene still hits hard. 

A few extra notes: 
I wish we learned more about the seraphites and the rattlers. I think it's perfectly plausible that groups like this would arise in the post apocalypse world after 30 years or so, but I'd love to know how they came about recruiting people and whatnot. 

I wish there was some gameplay for the final part of Santa Barbara, when you release the prisoners, would be good to get involved in the chaos as they revolt against the Rattlers and would make for an excellent gameplay crescendo right before the final fight. 

I'm not sure what they fuck they'd do if they made a part III, maybe something about Abby and the regrouping of the fireflies. But I'd be here for it if they made it. 

There's probably a bunch of other things I thought of while playing this, but I didn't bother taking notes. this was the general gist of it tho.  

9/10
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«Beaten more than once»
I simply don't have words to describe how good this game is.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to play this game and its precursory at once. That was crucial to my experience since Part II is an organic peace of Part 1. Why? well, let me explain. Basically, all events of Part 2 happen as consequences of the epilogue of Part 1. All the development we saw involving Joe and Ellie is elevated to extremes. But you have to play the first game to feel it. Going straight to the point, the prologue shows how impactful the new engine is. I played the Part 1 remake and was incredible, but still tied in the PS3 script. Here, there is no limit. It`s almost unbelievable to believe that this runs in a PS4. The expressions, lightning, physics. My god, is so verossimile. The gore though... insane. After that shocking beginning, we go thirsty to get our revenge. Fortunately, this game just shows us how important a perspective is. At first, I didn't like the Abby section. But when I started to get involved by the scars arc, man... I was totally into it.

This game is a study of human nature, such as Game of Thrones and Red Dead Redemption. Its connections to the first game add to the original narrative and integrate even more into the discussion about what we do for love. Powerful story. Unfortunately, since English is not my mother language, I really can't express myself about how impactful this game was for me. But anyway, I know you understand me if you played as I did.
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«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Great!
«Blew my mind»
-- The game is about not judging by people's worst actions, context matters
-- so that's why it's crazy how they can do that but switch protagonists to make you embody and empathize. It;s so meta that people hated the story and that's exactly what they're trying to get you to feel.  
-- Revenge! Is it ever worth it? They're the same!
--the game is maybe too long? Stretched out and the back (like I had to do the revenge) and I didn't want to restart the story with Abby 
-- The stealth mechanic was fun but the sound sucked for it and I wanted more interesting encounter styles 
-- The world building is sublime
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
The ending is heartbreaking
«Can’t stop playing»
One thing I’d like to say that i love ellie but everything changed and it’s horrible 
After budgeting a good amount of time between release and actually playing this, I can confidently say that the backlash to this game is maybe the worst of all the non-troversies that have shook nerdom in recent years.

I thought it was unanimous that the strengths of The Last of Us were always its commitment to complex characters, a gritty, dangerous world where no one was ever safe, and a genuinely morally grey journey. The Last of Us' ending is not some edgelord fake-deep ending. It's messy, it's uncomfortable, it's gut-wrenching. Joel does not emerge a hero, he's just Joel, with more blood on his hands and just a shred of hope left. It's this experience that left the impact on fans. 

While Part 2 may have a different kind of story, at the end of the day, it's still The Last of Us at its core. I don't see any of the strengths from The Last Of Us absent in Part 2. If anything they're here stronger than ever. The journey may be a  little darker and more complex, but it's always profoundly human in a way that few games are. Beyond that, gameplay has also been improved. Combat is highly energetic, kills are SO brutal, traversal is fun and intuitive. I was motivated to go at it again in New Game + (something I hardly ever feel), though I think I'm playing too many games right now to give that a go.

I still love Elli. Now I love Abby and Lev. I have no idea what they could do for Part 3, but I'd love to see them try. 
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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»