The Last of Us Part II review: Riveting storytelling meets marvellous gameplay, but will it be too much for you?
The Last of Us Part II review: With The Last of Us Part II, the makers have surely pushed the limits when it comes to storytelling within a game and achieved a visual delight, at least I didn’t see coming. Since story is the core of this game, during this review I will be talking less about it and more about the gameplay. So, let’s get started.
The Last of Us Part II review: Before we even start this review, let me admit that I am a lazy gamer. What does it mean? Well, I hate sitting through those slow builds waiting for the real action to happen. This is probably the reason why I can play FIFA or WWE for hours, without complaining. Since we have enough time to kill these days, I thought of shaking up the routine a bit, by having a go at Sony and Naughty Dog’s new survival horror title – The Last of Us Part II - a sequel to seven-year-old The Last of Us.
Probably, it wasn’t the smartest choice when it comes to genre. The world is battling a pandemic and there I was, playing a game set in a post-pandemic world -- with gory visuals and darker realities that are bound to play on your mind. But, games like these make me regret not spending more time on them.
WATCH | Evolution of Gaming
With The Last of Us Part II, the makers have surely pushed the limits when it comes to storytelling within a game and achieved a visual delight, at least I didn’t see coming. Since story is the core of this game, during this review I will be talking less about it and more about the gameplay. So, let’s get started.
What is the game about?
Created by Neil Druckmann (who also created the first part), along with Halley Wegryn Gross (Westworld) as co-writer, the game is set five years after the events of the first part. The story revolves around 19-year-old Ellie who goes through a personal setback amid the ongoing crisis and war with the plagued. She sets on her journey for revenge, taking the fight to Seattle. During the process, she goes through several emotional ups and downs.
The story includes cutscenes and playable flashbacks with users switching between characters and locations. This is the maximum I can reveal without spoiling the game for you.
The Last of Us Part II is already up for grabs at Rs 3,999 for PS 4 and will also be available for PS 5 later this year.
The Last of Us Part II review: All That’s Good
If you like intense storytelling, then you will thoroughly enjoy this game. The Last of Us Part II has been treated like a marathon movie with action placed in between. It sets new benchmark when it comes to production. Every location, character and action sequence has been stitched together so well that it gives you the feeling of watching a Tarantino movie.
The story unfolds as you play the game with several important characters making their way. The action sequences can get really gory at times, with the dead showing out of nowhere and launching their attacks. The action sequences are really brutal with blood creating puddled on your screen and characters screaming their way to death.
There is emotion, there is drama, characters discuss their hobbies, tad past – everything you ideally look for in a movie.
Every action sequence is followed by intense dialogues or playable flashbacks – that can seem stretched at times but are largely engaging. The story can get really intense at times, especially with the kind of times we are living in.
The game allows users to do explore every location, adding an extra dimension to the game. You can roam around, find new places, investigate them, collect items, upgrade your weapons and more.
The gameplay is pretty slick too. While in battles, you can dodge enemy melee attacks, crouch while attacking an enemy and climb and swing on ropes.
The characters learn different traits as the game goes on. The upgrades are divided into categories as well - “Survival” (Listen Mode speed, health kits), “Crafting” (melee upgrades, smoke bombs), and “Stealth” (silencers, prone speed).
The game also allows you to customise several aspects of it. There are five difficulty options to begin with and you can tweak the difficulty during your playthrough. At the same time, you can also make supplies and ammunition occur more or less frequently in the world.
The biggest addition to the gameplay comes in the form of newer enemies which include dogs. They can sniff you out, no matter where you are hiding. They are probably the toughest to deal with. The Last of Us Part II also brings tank-like mushroom zombies that spew poison gas.
The Last of Us Part II review: Where it Misses the Mark?
The Last of Us Part II is not for the faint hearted, or kids. It gets really dark, gory and too much to take with millions of people around you losing lives because of a deadly virus. The realism makes your heart heavy as you slit throats on Ellie’s quest for revenge. What adds to misery is the fact that unlike a movie where characters just die, you are the one pulling the trigger here.
The story, despite being extremely engrossing, is slightly on the slower side. The game requires hours of build-up before any meaningful payoff can be reached. In fact, the first proper action sequence comes about 40 to 50 minutes into the game. This can make some users a bit restless and understandably so.
The Last of Us Part II review: Final Verdict
The Last of Us Part II can be a pathbreaking game with it's near-perfect blend of riveting storytelling and marvellous gameplay. It takes you on a journey that teaches how every action of yours can have serious consequences on a lot of people. You pass through dynamic environments, brutally fight enemies and connect emotionally with characters as the game progresses.
In total, The Last of Us Part II promises a 30-hour long story which not all gamers might be willing to sit through. But, Sony and Naughty Dog have seriously pushed some limits here to deliver a power-packed game that offers a movie-like experience.
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