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The Last of Us Part II review
Exceptional
by xXWoodinatorXx

No Return Review:
Well I’m obviously a sucker so I bought the Part 2 Remaster. Full price too. Just really wanted to play that Roguelike mode and I’ve only played the campaign once and one of these days I want to play it again. 

It’s so fun. I’m loving it. Even when I die. Which can happen quickly. I just love the gameplay. It’s intense. I’ll pull off a desperate last second headshot on a guy running at me with an axe or some shit like that. It’s thrilling.

Joel’s 12 round revolver is so good. I just wish he could dodge.

Lev is pretty fun too. I love the bow so Lev awesome.

Abby might be the best. I won with her. It was intense still. Also very fun. 

This game mode is a lot of fun, primarily just because the gameplay of TLOU is so good. But I love it.

I’ve unlocked every character and I’ve beaten 5/6 bosses. Rat king is last. I’m loving the game mode. I’ve had tragic deaths, comical deaths, insanely clutch finishes, and perfect encounters. And all of it has been fun.

Beat the last boss. The Rat king. Funny enough I found him to be one of the easiest. I might keep playing a few rounds here and there. I’d like to beat all the challenges I think but I’m not sure if I will. This rogue like was awesome because TLOUS is awesome, my one complaint is I wish they had a stats page that showed how many runs you’ve attempted and succeeded on and all that. I also wish there was something else progression wise. Besides a few more random challenges there isn’t much more to do besides try to get high scores just for the sake of getting high scores which doesn’t do anything for me.

Original Journal Review:

The graphics, animation, and art design are fucking incredible. The different environments from the snow, to the lush overgrown abandoned city, to the sewers, to the infected buildings, to a burning cult  village, it all looks amazing. I especially enjoyed that the game is in Seattle. Seeing century link field and other seattle landmarks recreated so well really added to the immersion. There is a bar that you go loot and fight enemies in and I’ve been to that bar. It’s just another reason why I feel this game was made specifically for me. The cutscenes and character models are amazing. The voice acting is amazing. Are you getting the pattern here? It made me question whether this is the best looking game ever made. And then it answers the question. Yes it is. 

The combat feels so intense. I don’t know exactly what it is. I’m having difficulty describing why it feels so much better than other games of this genre. On paper it’s pretty much the same type of gameplay as tomb raider. But it feels so much better to play than tomb raider. I think it comes down to a lot of small things packaged together so well. I’m playing on hard and the fear of death is real. Every kill in this game feels intense, exciting and scary. Every death is unsettling and disturbing.

The sound and music is so effective at making you feel what emotion they want you to feel. The repeated use of the guitar throughout the story is very impactful.

The crafting, upgrades and gun customization is simple but effective. It isnt doing anything new. It doesn’t need to. The creative level design, beautiful environments, and the fear of running out of supplies adds plenty of motivation to explore and loot. But you never spend so long searching and looting that you lose sight of what your character is trying to accomplish story wise.

I am early on still but at the 12 hour mark I really like the story and how they tell it. I love playing as Ellie. I love what they have done with Ellie. 

And then the big Abby twist happens. I can see why people would be upset about this. It’s wrong for them to be upset, but I can see it happening. It’s a big story cliffhanger and you need to build up Abby’s customization and perks again. For a very brief moment it feels like you are losing gear and abilities. But they do a good job in quickly giving you new cool items and guns to use. And Abbys missions are sweet. They are even better than the early Ellie missions. The creepy cult bits were great. The skyscraper crossing level followed by the descent through the infected building level was amazing. And the patient zero hospital bit followed by the rat king boss was fan-fucking-tastic. That was so good. Then they follow that up with the sniper scene! This game is incredible. Next we get burning scar island ending with that big scar fight with the sickle and arrow. Sweet Jesus. This game is so much fun. It is currently on a 6 ish hour stretch of being absolutely perfect. It jumps from one unreal section to the next. I can’t believe people are complaining about this game. I can’t believe it.

And now the ending. What a sad ending. Right in the feels. That’s going to stick with me for awhile. Brutally effective. Incredibly well done. The ending to first game left me thinking about it for weeks. This ending will be no different.

After reading the reddit comments about this game they have left me sad. How can people miss the point by so much? How could they not hear what the game is saying? This is why democracy doesn’t work. Because of the people.

The only valid criticism I’ve seen is about the pacing of the game. But even then, the pacing is deliberate and the pacing decisions are made because they result in the best story telling possible. As a result, the pacing of gameplay is sacrificed. Switching up characters and not knowing who you will play as and for how long makes it difficult to plan your upgrades. And you become attached to Ellie. It’s difficult to want to play as Joel’s murderer. It’s difficult to jump back 4 days with such a story cliffhanger. It’s difficult to give Abby a chance and care about her backstory. It’s almost like that’s the point...Also, the ending to the game is anticlimactic from a gameplay perspective. But, even that makes sense because you don’t even want Ellie to go back and hunt Abby down! When Ellie says she can’t let it go it’s painful to see her leave again. You don’t get this big beautiful action sequence to end the game. That’s not the story they are telling.

Now for the serious journalism part of the review. The big topics that need to be discussed. That main debate that everyone is focused on. Are Abby’s arms too big? Are they too big for a women? No that’s ridiculous. Are they too big for a women in the apocalypse? No, her camp is doing fine and she’s been hitting the gym for years. But are they so big that I wasn’t able to focus on her story for about 45 minutes because I could only focus on how big her arms were? Yes. Was I exclusively going for head locks just so I could see those puppies in action one more time even though it wasn’t beneficial or practical? Yes. Did I take momentary breaks to pump out a set of curls so I could get swoll and feel more like Abby? Of course I did, and then my arms got tired and my aim was shaky.

I was late to the game on Naughty Dog because I never had a PlayStation as a kid but since then I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last three naughty dog games. The last of us used to be my favourite linear story game of this generation. Uncharted 4 I think is the best action adventure game of this generation. And this one is better than all of them. I can’t wait to see what they do next. Good luck cyberpunk. It is going to be a very hard task to beat this game.

Final Score: A++

Other reviews63

There are some things that really didn't get to me in this game, mainly around some artistic / storyline decisions. I liked that it tried a bit to be like Attack on Titan, to make you see both sides of the same story and of the same conflict, in a morally ambiguous setup. And while Attack on Titan manages to make you love and feel sad for Reiner, which represents the other side, The Last of Us fails to make Abby more than a mediocre character which saves some kids because she felt bad. That is probably due to more decisions of how she is presented in game or her personality, but, for me, a big contributor to this (which also made everything feel a bit anticlimactic) was the storyline splitting decision: to have me (almost) finish Ellie's storyline and then make me start all-over from the beginning playing with Abby. That's quite a bold decision, pretty hard to digest - maybe if they made the storylines side by side, more intertwined and linked together it could've build up more immersiveness? I am not sure. But I am sure that the current version feels flawed.
Anyway, all that aside, the game is absolutely gorgeous. It hits you with the same emotional rollercoaster as the first one, maybe even a bit more, as it is more mature and more brutal, and it knows exactly how to handle the wounds, that it inflicts to you right at the beginning of the game, throughout the story. The gameplay is from another world, the visuals are unforgettable, the ending is brutal as hell. Makes you wonder who the real villain really is, while rooting for the same villain (because, again, the other protagonist is not that likeable).
I really hope people don't miss out on this game because of some storytelling decisions that they did not like. The game is totally worth it and it comes at you with an emotional rollercoaster and also a fun challenge I liked to play while in-game - how many times and how brutally can you kill Abby?
PS: the soundtrack is absolutely <3
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«That ending!»
«OST on repeat»
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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