This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
'I'm too uptight to write a review of this piece...'
It's been two weeks since I completed The Last of Us Part II. I would normally write a review soon, but I couldn't quite get my mind off of it and it's now July.
PS4's The Last of Us Part II is a survival action game that was released on Friday, June 19, 2020. As it's labeled Part II, it takes place a few years after the previous game, The Last of Us, which sold a total of 17 million copies worldwide.
I have not played the previous game. In addition, I played the Part II of the game without any knowledge of the previous game. I hope this will be helpful to those who, like me, have not played the previous game. The following paragraphs will contain enough spoilers to avoid getting to the heart of the story. If you don't like spoilers, I'm sure you'll stop reading after this, but just read the following sentence.
The Last of Us Part II is an enjoyable experience, even if you haven't played the previous games. The game's perfection and build quality is a real tip of the hat, and if you like ruins, nature, and casual snapshots, you should enjoy the visuals regardless of the game's content.
However, the theme of the game is "revenge" and the content is very heavy and violent, so I wouldn't recommend it to people who don't like that kind of content.
In addition, it is not a story where the protagonist is righteous and the antagonist is evil. There were times when I wanted to hold it or put the controller down. Anyway, it's a crazy emotional ride. It's a game where you control the protagonist yourself, which is why it blew my mind a few times, and I found myself thinking about it for a while after playing.
It's not the most exhilarating game with a clean aftertaste, but it's definitely a game worthy of the late PS4 blockbuster, so give it a try. The Last of Us Part II has more difficulty adjustment and accessibility than any other game, so even if you're not a fan of action games, don't shy away from playing it.
The Story Too Shocking
The story is the one thing you can't leave out when talking about The Last of Us Part II. As I mentioned, it's a very emotional game. I knew that revenge was the theme, but before playing the game, I was thinking something along the lines of "an ex-Special Forces father whose beloved daughter was killed by the mafia defeats the bad guys", which sounds like something you might see in a movie.
However, in fact, it's difficult to determine who is righteous and who is evil and who is right, whether the protagonist (Ellie) or the enemy (from the protagonist's point of view). Also, both had unreasonable violence and regret for it, which made it hard to place my emotions in the right place. This may possibly be due to the fact that I haven't played the previous games. Since I don't have strong feelings for the main character, Ellie, I often questioned her actions and it seems to have affected my emotional attachment to the enemy because of the reminiscences of the enemy's side of the story.
In the case of a movie, you can watch as an audience member (a third party), but in a game, you move the character yourself. This interactivity is the best part of games, but I didn't want to press the button a few times while I was playing. Or thinking, "If I don't press anything, can't I get around this flag?", I stopped to think about it. That's how much I sometimes want to run away from the story.
However, I'm glad I got to experience this in a game and not in a movie or something else. I've completed a lot of games so far, and I can honestly say that most of the stories and endings are I've forgotten. In this respect, The Last of Us Part II will traumatically carve scenes into the player's mind by letting them use the controller to control even those scenes that are "just play that part in the video". So I'm confident that the core of the game will not be forgotten as the months go by. In that sense, this is a title you should play.
Ruins, nature, and unassuming scenery all have a quality you want to capture
The Last of Us Part II is the game that I've taken the most screenshots of ever. Ruins, nature, and casual scenery are all so finely crafted that they make you want to take a shot at them.
I consider myself to be the one who took quite a bit of time to complete the game, mostly because of the exploration to take pictures. If this game was an open-world free scenario, it's so rewarding to take pictures that it makes you think "I would have taken pictures until I got bored".
For example, the two images above. Both are abandoned buildings that you pass by in an instant, but they are so well made that you can imagine the people who live there
This is the end of the office. Although the first and second floors are both finely crafted, this is one of the places you'll pass in an instant.
This one reminds me of a certain fashion brand. It's too tasteful, and it's a scene that I think I would have unintentionally taken with my phone in real life.
The park is also like this. The sun was shining in a nice way and it was worth taking pictures of.
The two photos above are of a certain place that I looked at from corner to corner of the room for a while without moving forward with the story because it was so well built. This is my favorite of all the places in The Last of Us Part II. Each and every poster is meticulously crafted.
The game comes with a photo mode. You can choose filters, add blur after you take a picture, change the angle, and more. The player and enemies can be erased from the screen, and other methods of filming can be used freely, including those that are difficult in real life .
There are more photos I could show you, but I don't want to spoil them and there's no end in sight, so I'll leave it at that. If you like ruins, nature, and casual snapshots, The Last of Us Part II is a game that you need to play. It will definitely satisfy your photography cravings.
Excellent difficulty control and accessibility, so everyone can play
The Last of Us Part II is not an open world, and you'll basically follow a single path. There is no turning back, and weapons and ammunition are procured on the spot. You can't take out all the enemies with your gun (because you run out of ammunition first), and they will sneak up on you from behind without you noticing. It's important to stealthy skills (kill in one hit) and go through the enemy without defeating them.
The game requires a certain amount of player skill on normal difficulty levels, as zombies and hostile groups will attack in large numbers if they find you. But this game is so good at adjusting the difficulty and accessibility (a feature that makes it easier for people with disabilities to play) that it's a good example for other games to learn from.
Particularly excellent is accessibility. There are numerous items available, including audiovisual aids and control aids. When combined with the difficulty adjustment, it's not just the strength of the enemies, but also hints, guides, and the location of items. You can fine-tune it to make it easier to play.
You can turn on/off functions easily, so if the ruins are too dark or scary to see, you can make it easy to see where the enemies are or where the items are, and then turn off the function when you get outside.
Even if you think this kind of game is too difficult to play, don't be put off by it, because I think you can play it without worrying. However, it's not an easy game to clear, no matter how much you lower the difficulty level or adjust it.
I have reviewed The Last of Us Part II without spoiling it as much as possible.
If you want to be a little more specific about the game's specifications, controls, and storyline to see if there are any "land mines" of your own, check out the article below.
As I've written many times, the story is shocking. It can be hard for the player to control the storyline, which would be tight even in a movie. But, or rather, that's why the player is moved by the casual scenery and soothed by the guitar Ellie plays.
The game also has a name for each mob character on the enemy side, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the chatter. When an enemy finds a dead companion, they'll shout the name of the dead one, and the expressions of enemies killed with the Stealth skill are very realistic. Because of that, it's hard to defeat enemies with an empty head. Instead, I could kill zombies without hesitation, but that kind of change of heart was also new to me.
The Last of Us Part II is an emotionally-charged game, and it's hard to place your emotions in the right place. But, it's definitely a big PS4 title, and I'm sure it's a game you'll remember for the rest of your life, so if you're curious about it, play it.
I'm going to play the previous game, The Last of Us.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.