Video Game Review: The Last Of Us Part II

Where do I even begin? It’s been a week since my boyfriend and I finished this game and I still feel gutted.

The Last of Us Part II is a 2020 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. Set five years after The Last of Us (2013), players control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States: Ellie, who sets out for revenge, and Abby, a soldier who becomes involved in a conflict between a militia and a cult. The game is played from the third-person perspective. Players can use firearms, improvised weapons, and stealth to defend against enemies and cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus.

(Description from Wikipedia)

This game has been the subject of much criticism and even review bombing. But, if you were afraid due to the negativity surrounding this game like I was, have no fear, this game is fantastic. People were genuinely worried about the game because they thought it was going to be a “get woke go broke” scenario, well that’s definitely not the case. This game is a pillar of inclusivity without cramming the concept down your throat, believe me when I say that this game is not the 30 hours of “woke” propaganda that some are claiming it is. It’s a game adapting to the times and including everyone. That’s all I’ll say on that.

The story is so beautiful. If you played The Last Of Us Part I, then you’re probably already familiar with the devastating writing style that will make you feel everything. The Last Of Us Part II cranks it up a few notches, and I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much playing a game. This one will hurt you, but it will also give you hope. This was something that reviewers were also mixed about, because some people can’t handle the concept of a titular character being killed off. Especially being killed off in a brutal way. But, this game is about the apocalypse and people are going to die in horrible ways, that’s the reality of the situation. So to me, it felt like Naughty Dog, the creators, were really banking on the realism. Did it feel good to watch a character I loved die? No, but it felt necessary for the story to progress.

My favorite aspect of this game is that it damn near forces you to love even the antagonist. One thing I can admire is a story that makes you feel all sides, and shows you that human beings will be human beings. Can we really decide who the bad guy is in a one sided story? No. I wanted to hate the antagonists so much, but when you are put in their shoes and see their motives how can you hate them? Everybody is human and everyone is doing the best they can.

The gameplay mechanics could be wonky and confusing at times, but they did try and switch it up a little. They used the touchpad to simulate playing a guitar and I thought that was genius. I’ve never seen it implemented so flawlessly. While we’re on this subject, the use of music is beautiful. They use music from my favorite band, Pearl Jam. For me this was intense because my dad and I always listen to Pearl Jam together and it turns out that Joel, Ellie’s father figure, was teaching her how to play their music. For me it was another way to relate to the story.

Okay, back to the controls/gameplay. It felt like Naughty Dog tried expanding on existing concepts while also implementing new ideas. The range of weaponry is wider and the use of new objects for the puzzle aspect was interesting. Also, they added new zombies, and they will not disappoint because they are absolutely horrifying. Like scary to the point that we were flinching and yelling while playing the game. Definitely got us a few times.

This game is full of characters you will love and characters you will hate. That’s something else that Naughty Dog has nailed down in this game. Every character has depth and you will fall in love with most of them. It makes it hard to decide which side you’re on or if you can even pick a side. For me it was hard and I couldn’t make up my mind. Even right now I’m not sure which side was “right”. That is powerful story work.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

With everything taken into account I’d say that this games is an easy 5 stars.

If you’d like to purchase your own copy you can follow this link. I will get a portion of the profit at no extra cost to you.

Have you played this one yet? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Published by

Savannah Worman

My name is Savannah, you can call me Sav. I am a recent Oregon State graduate, Siletz tribal member, and aspiring book critic. Join me on this exploration of the literary world around us. You’re sure to find something you like. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments feel free to hit me up on the contact page! I live in the Pacific Northwest with my boyfriend, my Havanese/Aussie Shepard Stark, my Jack Russell/Shih Tzu Daenerys, and my son Finn.

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