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The Last of Us Part II review
Exceptional
by xXWoodinatorXx

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 reviews35

Incredible narrative with emotional moments that make this game my favourite of ALL TIME.  
A sequel that isn't just fan service. It took some bold risks, I know it didn't pay off for some but for me it for sure did.
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
One of the best things mankind ever made.
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
8/10
There are so many things to say about this game, but I guess the best summary would be: it did not (and probably could not) live up to expectations set by the first game, but that doesnt make it a bad game.
Story: 7/10
Gameplay: 10/10
If only they could have tightened up the story and fixed the pacing, then the story could have matched the gameplay in greatness and we would have had another massive hit like TLOU or Uncharted4.
Masterpiece in animation and an incredibly moving story. One of the best games I’ve ever played, and one of the best sequels in any form of media. 
Even though this sequel didn't stand a chance against its originator, I still fell in love with it. I liked the idea introduction of new characters as well as their stories. My issue is I feel like some things are out of order, whether that be just my taste or how I am used to traditional storytelling. Though without spoiling, there is a reason why the story is written this order. 

Even if you're skeptical, I would recommend trying the game for yourself. There's still a lot of chatter from both extreme sides (this is either the holy grail of gaming or bugsnax will take GOTY over it). I went in thinking it was going to be disappointing due to critics, but loved it. Even if you end up hating it at least you used your own thoughts to come to that. 
«OST on repeat»
!!!
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
Yeah a lot of people can hate it for perfectly understandable reasons, but for what it counts, it blew my mind with just how much of a dick the game tries to make you think Joel and Ellie are, which is perfectly reasonable. The game centres around a very basic premise, but is elevated by voice acting and some damn good writing. Biggest problem was the downtime, the game spends far too much time wondering around, which is kinda sad considering how fun the game can get at times. Wouldn't recommend it for anyone looking for Mario, or anyone looking for Spec Ops or BioShock, play it if you're looking for an interactive movie with interesting pacing. Lastly, if you're angry that there's a lesbian in the game, you are fucking stupid
Absolute masterpiece of a game. A high bar was set by the first game for sure and this cleared it with ease. 
The upgrades to the combat system really brought that extra level of flexibility to the character movement and I loved the fact that most of the situations you get into can be approached in different ways and play styles.

The storyline was always gonna hit hard, we knew the world going in. It was raw and realistic. Really challenges a person to consider more than what they see in front of them too: giving us the opportunity to see a situation from a different perspective. It definitely left me with a lot to think about in between play sessions and has cemented this game as a firm favourite for me.

I laughed, I cried, I swooned,  I yelled outloud, and I cried some more. Truly an incredible experience to play.
«Blew my mind»
8/10
Pure perfection 
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
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.
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«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»