The Last Of Us Part 2 is a story driven zombie fighting, third person shooter. As a sequel to the first game we follow the same characters we know as well as a few new ones as they journey across Seattle to deal with personal issues.
At first we play as two girls, Ellie and Abby which establishes the plot. Ellie then takes the main lead, setting off with her girlfriend Dina tracking Tommy (Joel’s brother from the first game) across country. There are both human and zombies in the way but the focus of this game is more on humans than it was in the first game, the zombies seem like a side idea.
There are gameplay improvements in the combat system such as a switchblade rather than craftable shivs, this makes stealth less of a hassle and less of a drain on resources. There are new zombie varieties, the human characters are sometimes accompanied by dogs that make sitting in cover more difficult as a tactical decision. There also seemed to be more Clicker zombies than in the first game which was interesting. The dynamic of combat was also different as travelling with a companion meant capable adults rather than a child.
We still craft weapon modifications and can use melee weapons but the combat feels intense most of the time, the stealth puts you on edge with a whooshing noise that signals you’re being detected. The game helps the players a lot with Ellie taking out her equipped weapon whenever enemies are nearby, characters will also have a discussion to note that combat has ended. If you take too long at doing something the game will offer a hint. It’s also generous with checkpoints.
The game isn’t all go, there’s also a lot of quiet moments of exploration or flashbacks for story. This is where the game really shines, Ellie is a young adult version of the girl that went through so much both during the first game and after. She’s big hearted and soft yet has so much determination as a fighter that she forces her way forward. She has quiet moments with a guitar (which is a minigame for the PS4 touchpad) and she’s nerdy and sweet, liking dinosaurs, space and superheroes (which are collectible cards in the game). Likability of characters makes The Last Of Us stand out from other dystopian games and Part 2 does an excellent job of maintaining that strength.
While exploring there are puzzles to solve (usually involving bins or wires), notes to read, things to see and safes to crack, the safes sometimes contain important items like weapon holsters which combined with the rucksack made the amount of equipment Ellie could carry believable. The believability of the character was also helped by putting a hood up when in the rain and having the character able to go prone (which isn’t always possible in shooters). Seattle as a location is overgrown to a point that it looks like a relic of a city, plus it has the added lore of the game world.
There’s also a twist that sort of resets the game half way through but I’m avoiding spoilers as much as I can (so it’ll be a different post). I did start getting a bit bored with it at this point and would have been happy with a twenty hour game. Click here to read about it.
Thankfully the game did start to feel good again but had a very unsatisfying ending focused on Joel rather than some brighter future.
There’s a chapter select and a New Game + feature that will allow trophy hunters to get all the collectibles and upgrades, I’d suggest getting a walkthrough online because I couldn’t find them naturally.
Overall, The Last Of Us Part 2 is a very good game that looks incredible. The characters are fantastic, and there’s a lot of thought gone into the writing of how the perspective of how the first game ended would motivate people. One man’s hero is another man’s villain. The game lasted longer than expected and felt a bit drawn out. The story structure is the biggest problem. I understand why some people wouldn’t like this game but I regret not buying it sooner.
As a side note, it’s a horror game with sexual bits and homophobic people won’t like it.