Just how controversial is this sequel?
Five years after their dangerous journey across the post-pandemic United States, Ellie and Joel have settled down in Jackson, Wyoming. Living amongst a thriving community of survivors has allowed them peace and stability, despite the constant threat of the infected and other, more desperate survivors. When a violent event disrupts that peace, Ellie embarks on a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure. As she hunts those responsible one by one, she is confronted with the devastating physical and emotional repercussions of her actions.
Naughty Dog have come a long way from making the original Crash Bandicoot games, they jumped to another platforming series with Jak and Daxter before creating the legendary Uncharted series and then to top it off, they make The Last of Us which was considered the best game of the PS3 era, and to some as the best game of all time. Did it deserve that level of praise? Personally, I loved the first game but not to the extent that I’d say it was the best game ever made but it was definitely impressive.
A sequel for TLOU was always going to be a tough task for Naughty Dog as fans were divided if they even wanted it, some were satisfied with the end of the game and clearly nothing was going to convince them otherwise, while others were desperate to know what fate awaits Joel and Ellie and despite a number of leaks before the game even had a release date and the delays thanks to Covid-19, they finally got the answers…but was it a case of being careful of what you wish for?
I won’t be spoiling anything story-wise in the review as I think it’s unfair to those wanting to take the plunge into this sequel which some have very mixed feelings about. The game is getting unfairly review-bombed on sites like Metacritic mainly because they didn’t like the direction the story went. I personally had no problem with the story and found it engaging.
I could see why some might take issue, but I think Naughty Dog themselves have the right to decide what happens in their own franchises, so perhaps they shouldn’t get so worked up about it. I think it’s the classic MGS2 situation here, which also clearly divided gamers to this day but it’s still up there as one hell of a game, and I think in years to come we will look at TLOU2 in the same positive light that MGS2 now has.
In terms of gameplay, TLOU2 is a big improvement on the original. It handles the same but it’s more refined and you won’t need to keep making shivs to silently kill those fricking tickers, which is a huge relief as they seem to be quite a number of the things during the game. It’s about as close to perfection as possible for a third-person adventure like this.
The locations are well varied and highly detailed, while the character models are the best this generation has to offer, especially in terms of facial expressions which show real emotion. The voice-acting is superb as the original and the soundtrack is something special as well.
The Last of Us Part II is a hell of a sequel with some truly gut-wrenching, superb moments that will be talked about for years to come. It’s a game that deserves to be experienced and not just review-bombed for not being the sequel that some fans think they are owed.