It is one of the most awaited games for the past seven years, after the success of its predecessor. Let’s find out what to expect from one of the last big games of the console generation PS4, Sony’s The Last of Us Part 2.

Last of US 2 Review
©SONY Interactive Entertainment

An empty rocking rowing boat, that’s all the players can see in the main menu, which makes everything else, hard to imagine, in one of the most anticipated console games of recent years, The Last of Us Part 2. The game is developed by California’s Sony studio Naughty Dog and is the last major exclusive title from Sony Interactive for the PlayStation 4, which will be replaced by the PlayStation 5 in November.

The ‘US’ in the title of the game is ambiguous again, because part 2 again takes place in the USA, to be precise, in Jackson (Wyoming) and Seattle. The protagonists are the ‘The Last Of Us’ because the spores of a mysterious mushroom have turned large parts of the country into ghost towns, where infected and rebel groups fight each other.

Unlike in Part 1, it is not the paternal protector Joel who takes the lead, but Ellie, who has meanwhile grown from a teenager to a young woman. The storyline is based five years after the events of ‘The Last of Us part 1’. It is regularly referred to in flashbacks. Revenge and Hate are two of the most important motives of this game. 

As for the 2013 release of The Last of Us, the game experience follows a clear thread and is extremely linear. The player usually has no choice of what task or challenge to tackle next. Instead, Ellie shuffles, sometimes alone, sometimes in a team, from one setting to another. There is usually a single entrance and a single exit and transition to the next station.

What to Expect?

Unlike open-world games, the game time in ‘The Last of Us Part 2’, is not stretched by annoying Bring from A to B errands and only trace elements of puzzles are included. If you stray for a longer time, you can get a tip from the game on request. The character’s abilities can also be optimized, for example, Ellie can sense opponents behind walls, free themselves from strangleholds faster, or stay calm when aiming.

Last of US Part 2 Review
©SONY Interactive Entertainment

Within the area, you are completely free with your tactics. It is often advisable to proceed gently, as silently as possible, step-by-step, and to explore carefully in the covering of bushes and walls. If you bring enough ammunition, you can also try a brute method, which often ends in disaster, because the opponents like to kettle or use dogs that Ellie can also find in hiding places. Tacticians also set booby traps or ambush individual enemies.

Drugs, ammunition, and components for weapon improvements are collected along the way. Silencers, explosive arrows, reduced recoil, more capacity, and faster reloading increase tactical sniping. This upgrade process is wonderfully staged and the weapons are lovingly taken apart, inspected, polished, filed, and screwed together.

A colorful bouquet of weapons like pistols, shotguns, rifles, bows, Molotov cocktails, smoke bombs are used. In particular, the sneak attacks, as well as close combat with knives, pickaxes, axes, and roof battens, are incredibly intense, gripping, and sometimes disturbing. As with ‘The Last of Us’, the sequel is also open to those aged 18 and over, for the obvious reason that the depiction of violence is explicit and downright brutal. What other games hide is shown here in all cruel details.

The Controls 

The controls follow naughty dog standards. If you are familiar with ‘Uncharted’, you will quickly get along. At best, the artful switching between weapons can lead to moments of frustration in the heat of the moment.

In general, ‘The Last of Us 2’ can be adapted to personal game preferences in terms of accessibility. This goes so far that there are individual settings for players with physical handicaps in the options menu, such as hearing and vision restrictions. This way, acoustic signals can be activated as soon as the character approaches an object that can be climbed like a box or a car.

Still From Last of US 2
©SONY Interactive Entertainment

So there is no specific level of difficulty, the challenge is always as great as the player allows. Simply turning the automatic target acquisition on or off makes a huge difference. The immense scope of ‘The Last of Us 2’ is identical for everyone. If you choose the medium standard setting, you will be busy for at least 30 to 35 hours.

In flashbacks, the player gets to know the characters. Sometimes the motivation for an excursion remains unclear at first and is only later explained. Only towards the showdown do all the strands gradually come together to form a logical picture. A second run is worth it because supposed encounters or the behavior of individual people have a completely different effect if you know what is coming.

With ‘The Last of Us Part 2’, Sony Bids a Grand Farewell to PS4 

An exclusive title, it is a masterful ending to the technical pinnacle of the PlayStation 4 era. The game values are outstanding including the landscape, cities, and figures that are bursting with details, while interiors and types of opponents are often repeated. In particular, wet surfaces like rocks, asphalt, skin, and textiles have an incredibly plastic appearance. The weather effects like rain, snow, fog, and the light and shadow effects set new standards.

End of PS4

The jaws don’t drop because of the grace and illumination of the locations but everything is wonderful, just not epic. An exception is the grandly told cutscenes, which thanks to lifelike facial expressions and gestures, you can empathize and sympathize with.

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Adults can hardly be entertained by a console game much better than with The Last of Us Part 2. Seven years after Part 1, Naughty Dog is again staging a cosmos that appears believably threatening at every second. You might start feeling like Ellie who has a feeling of contradictions, several questions, and above all, rage. This mixture feeds one of the most beautiful, exciting, and certainly brutal games for the PS4.

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