File picture: Pexels
File picture: Pexels

The Last of Us Part 2 review: The good, bad and ugly

By Dr Shailin Henry Time of article published Jul 5, 2020

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The “The Last of us” was a technical masterpiece at the time of its release in 2013. With solid gameplay mechanics as well as one of the most beautiful, yet simple stories, ever, in gaming.

2020 enter “The Last of Us Part 2”. Retaining the solid gameplay, but taking the fond memories we have of the original, and massacring them, in more ways than one. 

It starts off with a bang, forgets its roots exactly at the midpoint, and spirals into oblivion from there, ending with a whimper. 

Unfortunately, it seems that the writer has watched too many “arthouse” films. There is now teen drug use, pointless use of excessive violence, forced LGBT references baked in, as well as a convoluted plot that seems as if it is only for shock-value, and to excite the millenials. It doesn’t help that the lead writer’s likeness is actually a character in the game. 

The writer wants the player to be unbiased to the entire plot, and wants us to view the protagonist and antagonist in the same light, so much so, that the second half of the game forces you to play as the antagonist. This was a poor decision, as it made me take a “break” from the game for two days, as I lost interest. 

Being forced to play as the antagonist gave me a sense of Stockholm Syndrome. Forcing me into playing with this character, however, did not make me feel empathy for them, the way that was intended. It is clear to see, that the story has failed dismally. Overall, I would give the story 4/10 

Gameplay wise, everything is on point, stealth mechanics are well done, Inventory management and the user interface is intuitive and slick. Good enemy variation, each encounter feels tense and atmospheric. 10/10

Level design appears to suffer at the halfway mark and seems rushed, as certain areas cannot be differentiated. 6/10

The ambient sound is done amazingly and adds to the atmosphere. Metallic, realistic sound of reloading and cycling weapons, the grit of walking on gravel, all came through beautifully. 10/10

Graphically, it holds up well, however it has not changed much since the original. 8/10

Replayability depends on how much you have connected with the characters, there is an added New Game + mode where your previous upgrades remain as you trek through the story. I can see some completionists enjoying this. 

Personally, I would not give the game a second playthrough after my roughly 20 hour playtime. There also is no inclusion of any multiplayer modes
Overall, the game is good. However, I cannot look past the extremely poor narrative choices. 

A good writer leads the audience’s thoughts, not force them to wallow in his catharsis. This game could have easily been a 10/10 for me, but being a purely story driven game my final score will have to be a 6.5/10
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I have recorded my entire playthrough of the game for you to make up your own minds before purchasing.

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