Force reload of save file due to NPCs occasionally blocking doorways
Can get quite draggy
After 7 years, we finally get to play the long awaited sequel of The Last of Us, aptly named The Last of Us Part II. It is also coincidentally released at the end of another console’s generation like its predecessor and the PS3.
Much like the original, The Last of Us Part II is a Playstation-exclusive, action-adventure RPG that blends certain survival horror elements into it.
The story takes place 5 years after the original and follows Ellie, who returns from the original game all grown up and looking quite different from her original character model if I might add.
Set in a fictional post apocalyptic world overrun by zombies and warring factions between surging humans, the whole premise of The Last Of Us Part II is a never-ending quest for vengeance. Taking about 30 hours to complete, the story was filled with numerous flashbacks to help give context throughout the game and answer some burning questions that returning players might have.
The first act felt strong and intriguing, while the second, throws you off slightly and makes you reassess what you know till now. The third act on the other hand concludes quickly as opposed to the previous acts which were much longer and occasionally draggy. Perhaps the third act was made shorter on purpose to maintain and build dramatic tension but it did feel kind of rushed overall.
Gameplay, much like the original, is a 3rd Person Shooter that prioritises stealth over all else, especially with the zombies. Resource management and sourcing also play a very big part. Crafting is also essential, just like any survival horror game.
I do have to praise the AI in the game, as well as the interface as it allows you to not only adjust the overall difficulty level, it also makes available many customisable options so that you can actually adjust the awareness of enemy AI, how passive or proactive you’d prefer your companion AI to be and much more.
Frankly speaking, being able to adjust the difficulty settings is a huge plus as it helps further tweak the game to your ability level. If you want to go in guns blazing, you can do that by increasing the resources available, which helps you to not only find more ammo, but also find more items to level up your skill tree to make your character stronger. Skill trees are customizable to your playstyle and help build your character out further defining her personality.
The only issue I did face with gameplay was NPCs literally blocking my path when going through a doorway, and no matter where I ran they’d just stand there causing me to have to reload the save file to progress. It got quite frustrating for sure.
The graphics and location design were definitely a stand out for me. The world looked beautiful where it should’ve been and overrun with nature and crumbling buildings everywhere else. The dark dilapidated rooms and buildings you enter also do a very good job at instilling a sense of hopelessness and desertion that definitely helped me immerse further into the game.
I would also add that players new to the franchise can definitely pick this game up and not worry too much about context as there’s enough flashbacks for that and they might just enjoy it a little bit more due to the lack of any previous emotional attachment.
Overall, while The Last of Us Part II is definitely a very fun zombie apocalypse experience much like its predecessor, despite having some pacing problems, the game does leave you as satisfied as you can be in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world… in a good way.