By now you've heard of The Last Of Us Part 2 . Either because of the controversy caused by its characters or because it has been the best-selling game a few days after its launch. The Naughty Dog title promised to improve the formula of the great prequel and, after having played it, we can now confirm that this game has come to change everything. And the changes involve pain, facing our own beliefs and values and, above all, growing and improving. But we are not going to fool you. It is a tough and miserable game. And it does not hide it. It will make you cry and it will make you suffer. And it will also make you excited and enjoy. We tell you everything in our review with spoilers.
The zombie game where zombies don't matter
If the TLOU of PS3 left us with a very bad body seven years ago because of Joel's lie to Ellie, do not expect that this second part is going to be a fairy and wonder movie. The promotion of TLOU2 has been a bit of a lie, and it made us all think that a few years after the game we should face the murder of Ellie's girlfriend. Or so we did think the trailers ... What innocent ... The reality is tougher and more linked to the events of the first game the story of Ellie and Joel.
After the escabechina that Joel prepared to free Ellie from the Fireflies there were those who chased him. As well. After an hour of play you will face the hard end of Joel. At a time when he and Ellie haven't finished solving their problems. An uneasy situation that only marks the beginning of a journey to hell for poor Ellie. And that will be the hardest thing you've seen in a video game in a long time .
Ellie wants revenge and does not hesitate to travel to Seattle to find the group of people who caught and killed Joel. She is accompanied by her girlfriend, Dina, and although it seems like an adventure worth telling you will find increasingly ugly situations. Not only for what it means to infiltrate enemy territory and kill left and right for the memory of a person. But for facing other situations such as the pregnancy of your girlfriend, the pressure of the possible death of Joel's brother and the continuous torment of his death. Not to mention the zombies, of course. The goal of this mission is not pretty, and you don't come across pretty situations.
But this game had another surprise for us: Ellie is not the only protagonist. Beyond introducing Abby as the nemesis for ending Joel's life, the game will put us fully into her story. She will make us share in her pain and need for revenge when she knows that it was Joel who ended the life of her father, the doctor who would find the cure from Ellie's brain. His training, his suffering, his sentimental situation ... He is another protagonist of the game and, after several hours playing in his shoes, TLOU2 makes you rethink who you are.
They both want revenge. Both have compelling reasons. They are both strong, smart and capable. Who are you defending? TLOU2 puts you in the difficult situation of playing two stories that are part of the same narrative and that only progress towards what seems to be a painful and dark ending. You play Ellie's story first, and then the same days with Abby. A kind of complementary flashback that will make you feel anxious or anxious to know how the situation is resolved. By knowing which woman will be victorious. Which story is stronger or luckier. And it is an agonizing and desperate feeling, but it keeps you going.
The end of this story is not pretty. Nor is it satisfactory. Nor is it fanciful. It's tough, dark, predictable, and emotionally draining. And so it is enjoyed and understood. This game does not want to leave a good taste in your mouth. Wants to mark you. May you remember him for changing the Hollywood norms of storytelling. For telling you what no post-apocalyptic story would tell you. How revenge wears you down and never returns what you seek to avenge. That final moment between Abby and Ellie, fighting in a California bay, without strength or life in their bodies reflects it perfectly. A nonsense that almost killed them on more than one occasion and that does not allow them to advance with their own stories. Abby seems to have it more clear than Ellie and refuses the fight. Ellie just loses. He loses everything. But she doesn't realize it until it's too late and she goes home. No son, no Dina, not even the ability to play guitar like Joel taught him. It is devastating. But there is always some hope ...
Details, details and more details
If Naughty Dog has taught us anything, it is that the technical limitations of video consoles do not matter. With the right team, budget and care, anything can be done . From details of hair that escapes into Abby's braid in a realistic way, to the way the clothes move over Ellie's body when Dina removes her shirt. If you have a trained eye and are aware of the technical complications involved in animating absolutely everything in a scene in this game, you will be amazed at the details.
- Much (@ Much118x) July 1, 2020
It lacks nothing. From the humidity of the fabrics, to the drops of sweat and the texture of the skin and wounds, the animations of the faces when you perform silent losses, the blood stains, the light and the effects of particles ... All this without losing from sight the careful modeling of characters, settings and the composition of light and colors of each environment. A show for the senses and for lovers of photography.
The gameplay has also won in this part 2. Now the stages are more vertical thanks to the skills to climb and jump. There are even items straight out of Uncharted 4 that pop up around here like hanging from ropes and swinging. Ellie and Abby are much more agile than Joel, and it shows. So you will play the usual mechanics but even more enhanced. Although it is in combat and movements that this TLOU2 has really won.
- SunhiLegend (@SunhiLegend) July 3, 2020
You can spend the game hiding in covers or going head-on for enemies. However, if you want to create beastly action sequences you have all the tools to score a John Wick. You can hit enemies in the legs to slow them down, catch infected and launch them against clickers, crawl on the ground, dodge attacks… all linked together to recreate these action sequels. I personally have not taken advantage of this style of combat, but it is present in the game if you are a skilled and experienced gamer. The skills and tools that you can create during the game have also been developed. Also, they are different between Abby and Ellie, so it allows us to experience relatively different gameplay.
The game that ended the norm
TLOU2 will go down in history as the game that changed everything. I have already explained that at the plot and graphic level the title shows things that no one else is capable of doing today. At least with this level of detail and realism. But the rest of the controversy that this game drags is more than justified. It is a non-normative game , and has had to deal with a multitude of mental schemes, prejudices and vision limitations. And this only adds to his legend.
There are more lesbian characters in contemporary video game stories and cultural creations. In fact, the love story between Ellie and Dina shouldn't be news. But its treatment is so well cared for and is so organic that it surprises. More game creators with this character vision are needed. But beware, the thing does not end here. In TLOU2 they have touched on other controversial topics such as the normativity of bodies, transphobia, the diversity of races ... It is a current game and with a special sensitivity to touch these themes. The most retrograde gamers will say that they do not feel identified with the characters, but it is time for the culture to represent more realities than the heteronorm.
And yes, of course gender identity, physical appearance, raciality or sexual orientation have to do with some of the directions of this story. But it wouldn't be that important, tough, exciting and draining if it weren't for all those details. And it's something to thank Naughty Dog for. Both for the courage to do it and defend it and for the path they have opened for the rest of the developers. TLOU2 is here to change everything.