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Some unorganized thoughts on The Last of Us Part 2 [Spoiler-free]

First off, visuals: Game looks great, probably among the best of any game on the market at the moment. Art direction’s also a pretty good step up over the first game. That’s my analysis.

Gameplay-wise, I know that detractors of the game REALLY want to avoid praising any aspect of the game, so they try and say that the gameplay’s nothing special. But honest-to-god, I legitimately think you’re lying to yourself if you try and claim it’s totally average. It’s probably not as in-depth as, say, The Evil Within (At least, from how my friends who have done many, many challenge runs like no-upgrades have made it out to be), but I think I could go into a fair bit of detail about the hit reactions, resource management, encounter design (And I think the game’s at it’s best when both infected and humans are mixed in. Sadly, these encounters are in short supply), and weapon design.

But to be truly honest though, the main reason why the game’s fun to play, is that it’s very, very satisfying to kill things, thanks to the sound design, and animations. The way enemies limbs fly off when you hit them with an explosive, the blood that sprays everywhere when you knife someone in the throat, the sickening crack of necks when you snap them, zombie heads getting crushed to bits when you stomp on them, enemies panicking when you brutalize their friends… I’m probably sounding like a fucking weirdo here, so I’ll stop. I’m looking forward into going into the dev menu, and giving myself max resources to tackle encounters with.

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Now, as for story, or the reason why the discourse was so, uh, “intense”, to say the least. If you ask me, it wasn’t perfect; Far from it. I think a lot of the side characters were pretty underdeveloped compared to the ones we got in the first game like Bill, or Henry and Sam. There were also some plotting moments, where even though they could probably be justified by human nature, still really made me think “Yeah, you’re pushing it”, like the whole map thing. I also think the second half of the game is kind of too slow, and tries to juggle too many elements at once. Regardless though, I enjoyed the story quite a bit overall. I was consistently interested in seeing what would happen next, there were characters that I got pretty invested in, and some really cool backstory through the notes found in the environment. And if you’re wondering if I thought “they” deserve it after I played through “that” part, well, when I got back, I was thinking “That’s a bit of a tough question”. So yeah, in my case, the developers generally achieved the goal that they were going for. By the end, I just wanted Ellie to stop, and learn to step back from it all.

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So yeah, those are my unorganized, vague thoughts on The Last of Us Part 2. Not perfect by any means, but I’d say that it left an impression. Really enjoyed my time with it overall.

Anyway, now I gotta read something light-hearted and relaxing to offset that.


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