By now you’ve heard of The Last Of Us Part 2. Either because of the controversy caused by its characters or because it was the best-selling game a few days after its release. The title of Naughty Dog promised to improve the formula of the great prequel and, after having played it, we can already 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 hard and miserable game. And it doesn’t 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 PS3 TLOU left us with a very bad body seven years ago due to Joel’s lie to Ellie, do not expect this second part to be a movie of fairies and wonders. The promotion of TLOU2 has been a bit of a lie, and made us all think that a few years after the game we should face the murder of Ellie’s girlfriend. Or so the trailers made us think … How innocent … The reality is harsher and more linked to the events of the first game than to 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 tough end of Joel. At a time when he and Ellie have not finished solving their problems. A situation of unrest that only marks the beginning of a journey to poor Ellie’s hells. And that It will be the hardest thing you have 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. He is accompanied by his girlfriend, Dina, and although it seems an adventure worthy of being told, you will find yourself with increasingly ugly situations. Not only for what it means to infiltrate enemy territory and kill right and left for the memory of a person. But for facing other situations such as your girlfriend’s pregnancy, the pressure of the possible death of Joel’s brother and the continuous torment of his death. Not to mention zombies, of course. The objective of this quest is not pretty, and you don’t come across pretty situations.
But this game had another surprise in store for us: Ellie is not the only protagonist. Beyond introducing us to Abby as the nemesis for ending Joel’s life, the game will fully immerse us in its history. He will make us share in his pain and need for revenge when he knows that it was Joel who ended the life of his father, the doctor who would find the cure from Ellie’s brain. Her training, her suffering, her emotional situation … She is another protagonist of the game and, after several hours playing in her shoes, TLOU2 makes you rethink who you are on.
They both want revenge. They both have compelling reasons. They are both strong, intelligent and capable. Who do you defend? TLOU2 puts you in the difficult situation of playing two stories that are part of the same narrative and that only advances towards what seems to be a painful and dark outcome. 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. For knowing which woman will be victorious. Which story is stronger or luckier. And it is a distressing and desperate feeling, but it makes you always keep going.
The end of this story is not pretty. Nor is it satisfactory. Nor is it fanciful. It is hard, dark, predictable and emotionally draining. And so it is enjoyed and understood. This game does not want to leave you a good taste in your mouth. Wants to mark you. That you remember him for changing the Hollywood rules of the narrative. For telling you what no post apocalyptic story would tell you. How revenge wears you out and never returns what you seek to avenge. That final moment between Abby and Ellie, fighting in a California bay, with no strength or life in their bodies reflects it perfectly. A nonsense that almost ends them on more than one occasion and that does not allow them to advance with their own stories. Abby seems to be clearer than Ellie and shy away from the fight. Ellie just loses. He loses everything. But he doesn’t notice until it’s too late and he returns home. Neither son nor Dina, not even the possibility of playing the guitar as 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’s that the technical limitations of game consoles don’t matter. With the right team, budget and care you can achieve everything. From details of hairs escaping from Abby’s braid in a realistic way, to the way the clothes move over Ellie’s body when Dina takes her shirt off. If you have a trained eye and are aware of the technical complications of animating absolutely everything in a scene of this game, you will be amazed with 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 the wounds, the animations of the faces when you make silent casualties, the stains of blood, the light and the effects of particles … All this without losing of view the careful modeling of characters, settings and the composition of light and colors of each environment. A show for the senses and for those passionate about photography.
The gameplay has also won in this part 2. Now the scenarios are more vertical thanks to the skills of climbing and jumping. There are even elements straight out of Uncharted 4 that pop up around here like hanging on ropes and swinging. Ellie and Abby are much more agile than Joel, and it shows. So you will play the same mechanics as ever but even more powerful. Although it is in combat and movements that this TLOU2 has really won.
– SunhiLegend (@SunhiLegend) July 3, 2020
You can spend the game parapetoterte in coverings or going in front of the enemies. However, if you want to create bestial action sequences you have all the tools to make a John Wick. You can wound enemies in the legs to slow them down, catch the infected and launch them against snappers, crawl on the ground, dodge attacks … and all link it to recreate these action sequels. I personally have not taken advantage of this combat style, but it is present in the game if you are a skilled and experienced gamer. The skills and tools you can create during the game have also been developed. Plus, they’re different between Abby and Ellie, allowing us to experience relatively different gameplay.
The game that broke the norm
TLOU2 will go down in history as the game that changed everything. I have already explained that at the plot and plot level the title shows things that no one else is capable of doing today. At least with this level of detail and realism. But it is that the rest of the controversy that drags this game is more than justified. It is a non-normative game, and has had to face a multitude of mental schemes, prejudices and limitations of vision. And this only adds to its legend.
There are more lesbian characters in contemporary video game stories and cultural creations. In fact, the love story between Ellie and Dina should not be news. But his treatment is so well cared for and it is so organic that it surprises. More game makers are needed with this character vision. But beware, the thing does not end here. In TLOU2 they have touched on other controversial topics such as body regulations, transphobia, 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 has come to change everything.