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The Last of Us Part II review
Exceptional
by Devon

I know some people hate this, but I think if the first story meant something to you, this story will mean even more if you get past the antiquated beliefs people are using as weapons against this game. It doesn’t give you what you want, but it gives you what is DESERVED. No one makes it out of this game unchanged, and it often means they have to experience the worst thing possible. It’s raw, brutal, and overwhelming, but also beautiful, intimate, and haunting. Without a sequel, the first game was complete, but this game fundamentally alters the first game, and without this chapter, it now feels like only part of the story. It’s incredible, I truly do not understand how fans of the first game can not appreciate the story being told here.
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
«OST on repeat»
Lochie S
Great review. I agree with everything you've said. The hate targeted towards this game is just unfair. It may not be a masterpiece in everyone's mind, however to give this game a 0 out of 10 is just stupid. It deserves way more credit than that.
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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. 
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«Disappointment of the year»
No video game has ever made me feel so many emotions. It is a powerful game & the story is true to the harsh post-apocalyptic world. It does not do any fan service & remains authentic as per actions & decisions taken by the characters in the first part. It’s a long game with close to 30 hours of content that requires patience. An incredible amount of effort, time, love & thought has gone into making this interactive experience & it shows. Regardless of whether you like or dislike the story, this is one of those rare things that should be experienced first hand. Don’t decide to play or not play any game based on anybody else’s review. Trust your own gut feeling whether you should invest your time & money into any experience. Don’t play this game with any expectations & if you play with an open mind, you might be rewarded with the most gut wrenching, thought provoking & emotionally draining video game of all time that will make you think about its characters & their feelings for a long time even after completing the game.
«Blew my mind»
I very much enjoyed the first The Last of Us. So much that I pre-ordered The Last of Us 2, which I rarely do. If you ignore what people on the internet are saying (which is good advise in general) you'll find an engaging and dark story that takes place in a world with a staggering amount of detail.
The one thing I could have done without is the companions. At best the help out on the rare occasion but mostly they just sit around and waste the good cover spots. Once they even pushed me out of cover in front of a very angry looking fella.

Date Completed: 2020-07-03
Playtime: 25h
Enjoyment: 9/10
Recommendation: If you played the first then it's a definite yes.
I really enjoyed the ride, despite its obvious issues!
The Last of Us Part II tells an insubstantial, poorly structured, and badly paced story. Many situations are implausible and the message is confusing and simple. This second part does not adequately continue the story of the original game. I expected a lot from this game but I get almost nothing from it.
«Disappointment of the year»
An amazing and emotional masterpiece.
A mind blowing masterpiece. So overwhelmed and impressed, absolutely love it. 
«Blew my mind»
Great game
«Blew my mind»
This is, without a doubt, the best game I have ever played. What an achievement.  I can understand why some people who played it may not feel the same way, and I respect that, but don’t trust anyone who has only been going off the leaks. Trust the people who have actually played the game.
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
If you love The Last of Us 1. Don't play TLoU 2. It ruins the story. 2/10
«Disappointment of the year»
«Reviewers bribed»
Lifechanger.
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»