Staying up as one of the best games in the past decade, what Naughty Dog has achieved with The Last of Us is worth celebrating. Departing as a developer with a game that has a thick cartoon flavor at the beginning of its existence, to the Indiana Jones-style adventure game that burst through the action of a Nathan Drake, no one thought that Naughty Dog has the capability to not only mix a solid survival horror game. But also sowing it with a spell that is so charming story and character. Now, towards the end of the Playstation 4‘s lifetime, the second series is finally released to the market.
Compared to the first series which incidentally had to accommodate the Playstation 3‘s limited performance at the time, the fact that it was built for the Playstation 4 as a base made The Last of Us Part II able to inject so many amazing things. From the presentation side, the combination of music, world wide visualization quality, and full of detail, to just animated motion and attack that will make you amazed at first sight. But like the first series, in the end, we will return to the side of the story.
So, what is actually offered by The Last of Us Part II? The last of us part 2 review will discuss it deeper for you.
The Last Of Us Part 2 Review: Gameplay
The decision to carry the name “Part II” seems to clearly indicate Naughty Dog’s intention to make this second series a continuation of the story of the first series. This means we will return to the figure of Ellie and Joel who after the first series, now live “peace” in Jackson.
Taking the timeline 5 years after its first series, Jackson has now grown into a bustling city and community that no longer exists to simply survive, but slowly but surely begins to represent the return of human civilization itself. He became a safe place to make love, build a family, and dream of death in old age. As a replacement? Several groups in it carry the heavy task to not only collect a variety of resources needed but also to keep Jackson safe from bandits and Infected attacks. A task that Ellie and Joel also have to go through.
But who would have thought that on a day covered in super-thick snow, Ellie’s patrol, which should have been a light-duty without the burden that she was living with Dina, ended up being a nightmare that she never thought she had to go through before. Resulting in grief that he could not accept with only sincerity and heartfelt feelings of hatred that grew in Elie’s heart then developed into an act of revenge which at this point, began to feel like an act of suicide. Ellie decided to go to Seattle to hunt for a militia organization called the Washington Liberation Force (WLF). And he will not stop until each of them is finished.
So, what kind of catastrophe would leave intolerable hatred in Ellie’s mind? Who is he going to hunt at WLF? Can he complete the mission of revenge that he lived? You can get all the answers to these questions by playing The Last of Us Part II.
The Last Of Us Part 2 Review: Soul And Taste
As they achieved with The Last of Us about 7 years ago at the end of the Playstation 3 age, Naughty Dog again showed their “magical” work with The Last of Us Part II at the end of the Playstation 4. By using an engine they had displayed in Uncharted 4 with a variety of improvements that exist, he deserves to be in the top ranks of exclusive games with the sweetest visualizations on Sony’s console. Full of detail, you can see what nature can do with a variety of human-owned constructions when we are no longer at the top of the food chain. Combined with high rainfall that is synonymous with the city of Seattle, trees, grasses, shrubs are now spreading wildly, building the atmosphere as well as limiting the motion of each level to create the linear sensation that should be.
One that is surprising from The Last of Us Part II is how vast and large the design of the world that he stretcher. He was present like an amplification of the concept that Naughty Dog had wanted to push via The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 in the past. Instead of just one straight road, most of the areas you explore now come in a more open format, containing a variety of buildings that are not related to the story at all. You are given the freedom to explore each of them that can give you extra resources, ammo, to extra memos to get a clearer picture of the background story of the occupants of the building. How large are these areas? On one of the missions called “Downtown Seattle”, you are truly presented with a large location containing several buildings, each of which offers certain challenges. So vast, that you need a horse if you explore it quickly.
To create a realistic sensation, Naughty Dog does have heavy homework to push The Last of Us Part II in terms of technology. The Playstation 4’s performance is then translated through smoother motion and attack animations, which are also followed by attention to details where many of these animations will adapt to the situation and location where it is executed. As an example? Melee attacking enemies near a wall will produce an attack animation that closes with a different scene when you finish them off in an open space for example. That attention leads to other details that you might never have noticed, such as the adaptation of the reload animation or crafting when Ellie is on her back or on her stomach.
One of the most appropriate approaches to be appreciated from this game is the presentation of uncompromising brutality that makes every action not only feel realistic, but also dangerous and deadly. That the action taken by Ellie or happened to Ellie is an attempt to kill lives as quickly and effectively as possible. On the other hand, there is a certain satisfaction in seeing your actions indeed produce fatal consequences.
For example, you can see how the contents of the enemy’s brain explode through the back hole of the head that your bullet just hit. Once their bodies fall, blood then flows down the floor with viscosity and reflective properties that may reflect a little light around. With heavier weapons such as Shotgun and Explosive Arrow, no longer just the leakage of the contents of the head, you can see the enemy’s body shattered into pieces, scattered in the area, which sometimes contains pieces of the body is not shaped to simply leave pieces of clothing. The Last of Us Part II is a brutal game.
As if to sweeten, this brutal sensation became stronger when he was supported by an audio presentation that was no less fantastic. This sound system makes you understand that you realize that what you just finished, is a creature that had animate before. This cool audio design you can enjoy when you do a Stealth Kill action that usually ends with the action of a small but sharp knife and cut by Ellie’s, between the throat or the heart of the enemy just like that. The visualization is brutal, but what makes this violence rise to the next level is sound design. You can hear how these enemies try to breathe emergency in the middle of leaked blood and flood their throat and throat. Sometimes, they still move like hot worms on the floor before they actually die. This voice makes the level of brutality The Last of Us Part II rise to a higher level.
Still not enough? Unlike action games in general that make enemies just a “target” for you to kill without an emotional approach at all, Naughty Dog tries to mix a little sympathy every time you end up killing them. How? By giving them an identity. That the enemy you meet at least has a name. You will be able to hear how their names are shouted by other enemies with panic when they find their bodies lying lifeless. Cool again? This is not scripted. Different playthroughs will not always produce the same reaction. Although not so strong as to produce guilt due to the lack of background in the story, the presence of a “name” for the enemy is at least enough to humanize and at the same time produce a stronger illusion that the militia team that you are opposing is also bound by friendships.
In the end, the strength of the presentation side of The Last of Us Part II should also be directed to support the side of the story that must be recognized, the main attraction. The implementation of new visual technology not only offers details, but now also allows Naughty Dog to present emotions that are more appropriate for not only cut-scenes, but also the actions you take during gameplay. Much more alive, more soulful and soulful, this emotional presentation has indeed become the best focus of The Last of Us Part II. Lip movements, slight vibrations on the cheeks, eyes that are red and swollen from crying, until a small smile in a happy situation becomes a perfect for voice acting once again, deserves to be praised here. So mesmerizing and natural the emotions this technology can achieve, The Last of Us Part II also includes one of the most natural kissing scenes we have seen in any game, something that has never been achieved before.
The atmosphere was then wrapped and amplified by the OST which was again handled by Gustavo Santaolalla who returned in this second series, this time also supported by the talents of a Mac Quayle – film composer Mr. Robots that also contribute in it. Gustavo’s guitar passage again successfully supports a variety of emotional moments that Naughty Dog wants to encourage. But it is no longer limited to guitar passage, there is so much music that is more dominated by drone that now makes your battle action which has been dangerous at the beginning, more intense and tense. One thing that deserves to be welcomed with open arms is of course the fact that like its promise in the first series, Ellie can now play the guitar so well. This gives the VA – Ashley Johnson the opportunity to show her vocal expertise in songs that are ready to make you smile or, sadly, sadly.
So with all the things he presented in terms of presentation, Naughty Dog must be recognized as successfully presenting a cinematic experience with a super dark theme that is consistent and uncompromising here. Technology support that is now able to reflect emotions better makes it a medium for stories that can no longer be underestimated. The Last of Us Part II comes with a soul and is ready to offer flavor.
The Last Of Us Part 2 Review: Fight And Survive
Comes with a more maximum presentation thanks to the ability of Playstation 4 at the end of his age, Naughty Dog also injects many new aspects of gameplay for The Last of Us Part II itself. That along with the age of Ellie who has aged about 5 years from the last series, the figure we once knew as a “girl” also grew up along with a story of romance, a change in attitude and behavior, perspective of seeing the world, and of course the shrewdness to uproot. lives, both against the Infected or other human groups. Those of you who have already read our previous preview article already seem to have an idea of what changes he is carrying.
Various additional moves that Ellie can do compared to the first series, such as jumping on command, doing prones, and breaking windows do sound like simple, shallow additions on paper. But trying this game directly will immediately dispute this perception. This new ability that Ellie can execute directly also influences the world design approach offered by Naughty Dog in The Last of Us Part II.
That combined with a world that is far wider and free to explore, you will find more obstacles in a more vertical form to utilize Ellie’s jumping ability. Prone’s ability to provide alternative solutions for stealth gameplay approaches that can now also be done in open space, as long as there are plants high enough to be infiltrated. While the action of breaking the glass? In addition to leaving behind a sense of satisfaction, he also sometimes creates his own dilemma during the game – especially when you have to weigh about the temptation of resources or secret locations hidden behind him, against the sounds that naturally attract threats around. Through the trailer that was released to the market, you also have had a chance to see how the arrow damage system now works, where Ellie now has to pull it out manually if you don’t want to experience fatal damage over time. Or how do you always have the option of “banging” on Infected and human enemies if they are in the same room.
But if we talk about the addition of mechanics that really makes The Last of Us Part II different, we seem to have to give extra appreciation for the action of the dodge which is now pinned on one different button. As long as you can read the enemy’s attack timings which usually start with a clear animation, you can use this dodge button for two things: avoiding damage and saving bullets. Avoiding damage certainly becomes a clear function and doesn’t need to be explained much, especially if you use it to get a little space to run from Infected which can kill you instantly like Clickers or Bloaters. But saving bullets? This can be achieved as simply as the dodge button now makes melee battles a far more reliable option. You can now decide to finish off human enemies or Infected Runners and Stalkers classmates with Ellie’s knife attack, without netting a bullet at all. It is risky indeed, but the opportunity to save resources, especially at a higher difficulty level, is certainly a pretty tempting choice.
For this new trip, Ellie did have to deal with a completely new threat and an old threat that is now renewed. From the human side, you can meet dogs who can now smell your scent to track your whereabouts and pathways even when you are doing Stealth. Dogs are part of the WLF troops which are told as militia forces with modern weapons and tactics that are more military. While for other groups called Scars alias Seraphites, there is a type of melee fighter named Brute who is large and usually offers extra challenges to be subdued if you answer this battle by exchanging melee attacks. But once again, like an Indiana Jones, there is always an option to take out your shotgun, while yelling about the devil’s concern about fairplay, and just blowing the Brute’s head off.
While from the Infected side, there will be two new types that will complicate your journey. First of course, Shamblers, a new variant of half Bloaters that is focused on range attacks with the ability to blow up and create spore clouds to produce damage areas while closing your running access in a variety of different situations. The second variant? We certainly won’t divulge it here, but Naughty Dog has something even scarier than the Bloaters.
Together with the presence of this variant, The Last of Us Part II also changed the behavior of the other Infected. Stalkers who actually have been around since the first series are now acting smarter and annoying. Their movements are silent until you cannot rely on your hearing mode to track their whereabouts. If you let your guard down? Not just attacking, they will also shout loudly to the point of attracting another Infected, which will immediately produce a noise that you may not be able to deal effectively. Bloaters also experienced significant changes that also took root in the implementation of new technologies that were carried by The Last of Us Part II. Even though the moveset he was carrying was similar to the first series, his charging ability will now also destroy various objects around the “battleground”. We are not just talking about just chairs or scattered arcade machines, but also the walls that should be your “safe space”. For Bloaters, fierce battles use all kinds of ammo and resources that you have and ultimately win, always producing satisfaction.
One of the highlights of The Last of Us Part II is the fact that apart from a variety of video presentations and screenshots that focus on an Ellie’s solo action, the story will still pair you with several companions at some point in the story. He is indeed not “as strict” as what happened in the first series where most of the game is centered on Joel and Ellie’s journey that seemed inseparable, but when this moment occurs, you can see the various improvements carried by Naughty Dog.
AI brought into this companion feels and looks more active and effective to contribute to your actions, rather than being quiet and just waiting. If you are dealing with two different enemies, you can just slit one of their throats and find that the AI moves automatically to finish off the second one without your command. When the battle situation ends badly, especially when fighting the Infected, they will actively shoot with high accuracy, helping to neutralize the source of the threat as best they can. What about the movements themselves? Given that one of the sources of the immersive sensation revoked in the first series came from Ellie’s AI sporadic movement which in the name of playing comfort, would be ignored by AI. You can also find the same thing in The Last of Us Part II, but it is very rare. AI Companion will now be more alert to immediately find a place to hide, even move around it if the enemy starts moving toward them. They will also look for more strategic positions to help you if conditions permit.
So like the game The Last of Us should be, the option to fight openly and stealth is still open for you. At a higher level of difficulty, where enemy AI movements become far more alert and resources for ammo and material are more limited, stealth options are certainly more rational choices. In addition to arrows and bows, Ellie is now also able to mix a compressor for the main gun which certainly makes this stealth action more adaptable for more situations. This stealth strategy is also perfect through the fact that to concoct an AI sensation that feels more like a human, Naughty Dog also makes them now have an “intermediate” alert system – where they know you are in the same room, they know you have killed their partner, but they won’t know firsthand where exactly you are firing a weapon or bow. This makes extra options to keep moving to make the most fooled enemies always available. Especially with prone action, you can hide in more places, including under the truck or table.
Since the exploration process is also a key part of The Last of Us Part II’s experience, especially if it is supported by a large world design, you certainly will not consistently fight against WLF, Scars, or the Infected. In a process like this, the main challenge will come from the opportunity to find a variety of secret locations and puzzles that often gift resources that will help your journey, from ammo and materials. He is usually also the main motivation why you are interested in moving a little off the main road and prefer to occupy yourself to “rob” houses and buildings that are no longer inhabited, at least when talking about hosts who are still human.
Puzzles in The Last of Us Part II itself can be divided into two large sections that you will encounter most often. The first puzzle is usually related to the effort and way to get to a certain location, whether related or not related to the main story. This puzzle can end up asking you to push the trash bin to simply climb to higher ground or find a solution using long ropes that you have to throw and hook in various locations to be climbed or swung. The solution to the puzzle itself is not exactly difficult and only requires a short observation process to find out what you have to do.
The second puzzle that “floods” The Last of Us Part II and will be a source of excitement is the safe that you will encounter along the way. By containing super tempting resources, from ammo, materials, to resources to strengthen Ellie, you will be tempted to open each of them. What makes it interesting? Of course the process of finding a combination of numbers to unlock each of them is quite challenging, but not annoying. Not annoying in the sense that the solution will not be located far from the initial position of the safe that requires you to move back and forth in the style of the old Resident Evil game. The solution for each safe combination is usually located close, only it requires a process of turning the brain and a little observation to be completed. Each of these puzzles will ask you to be a little more “sensitive” to choose an accurate combination of numbers, especially in situations where there are so many fake clues scattered.
The rewards obtained are indeed around the material for the crafting and ammo process which will certainly help your trip. As in the first series, to ensure gameplay remains challenging, Naughty Dog still injects a resource limitation system that you can carry at once, both from the number of bullets to the maximum material. You, for example, will not be allowed to save, collect, and hoard up to hundreds of handgun bullets. You are still limited by 16 bullets for this type of weapon. In addition to bullets and materials, you will also be able to get two upgrade resources that are used to strengthen Ellie. There are medicines to inject Skill Tree-style permanent buffs back in this second series and of course Parts, which can be used to modify weapons on specific tables that can strengthen or inject new functions for each of them. This weapon modification action is now followed by a detailed animated change made to make your eyes spoiled.
The Last Of Us Part 2 Review: Covering All Gamers
If you have followed our review on our blog all this time or read our news so far, we rarely provide extra time and space to discuss features designed by developers to facilitate gamers with disabilities. There are several reasons underlying this – which could be a form of unconscious indifference that makes us feel quite guilty about it. But on the other hand, not many of these options also end up comprehensive enough to ensure a variety of gamers with disabilities can end up enjoying the game.
But there is something special about what Naughty Dog has achieved with The Last of Us Part II. That their call to ensure “representation” of diverse races, sexual preferences, to the group of gamers available in their games is not just a promise and nonsense. That they offer a concrete effort to ensure that this happens, at least for persons with disabilities, who of course have their own problems. With The Last of Us Part II, Naughty Dog injects an appropriate accessibility mode, becoming a standard for other games in the future.
They seemed to think of all the options needed here. There is an option that focuses on visual clue where you can activate the arrow to consistently tell you where you need to move or where the sound is coming from to ensure that the deaf gamer can be alert to the surrounding conditions. They provide control re-mapping options and also a variety of auto-aim assistance and skip puzzles for gamers who have limited motor functions, which of course will not be able to control the controller like gamers with normal motor fungi. Even crazier? There are special options that can be activated to inject a variety of specific sound clues for each action and obstacle that you can encounter, where you can get a unique sound clue when dealing with an unbreakable window or simply material that can be collected until the enemy layout is also melted down with the text-to-speech option also voicing everything. That’s right, Naughty Dog wants to make sure that even blind gamers will be able to complete The Last of Us Part II!
What made us even more fascinated was the decision not to make this accessibility option a “barrier” for gamers with disabilities to get the The Last of Us Part II trophy, where they can even pursue Platinum levels though. Why this decision deserves appreciation? Because basically, each of these options will make the gameplay of The Last of Us Part II easier. For gamers with normal limbs, if they turn on these options, then the role is like a “cheat” that makes you not difficult to complete every challenge offered by Naughty Dog, both from battles to puzzles, even to get a Platinum Trophy. Kudos to Naughty Dog who continues to open this option to protect those who need it more.
To be honest, when The Last of Us Part II was first announced to the public, we were skeptical. Those of you who had read a review of The Last of Us first seemed to know how much our love for the ending he had brought and how he felt fit for the name “The Last of Us” that he was carrying. How does Naughty Dog offer stories and gameplay of the same quality or even more? Fortunately, these doubts disappeared without a trace after the tens of hours of emotional journey we spent together with him. Naughty Dog does not refrain from presenting an adult story about the vulnerability of human values that “coincidentally” takes the setting of a post-apocalyptic world containing monsters born from mold spores and not vice versa. Combined with Gustavo Santaolalla’s music, optimal visualization that is super captivating, broader level design, uncompromising violence, and intense solid gameplay, it’s hard not to fall back in love with it.
If we have to talk about his shortcomings, we actually only have one thing. That there is a side of the story that feels “dragging”, where we feel that Naughty Dogs can actually convey their messages and plot points more effectively without having to sue you through the cut-scene, story, or gameplay that basically cannot be said to contribute significantly on your trip. This impression is felt most strongly when you start moving near the end of the story. It might sound strange, but we feel that Naughty Dog can actually shorten the gameplay time of The Last of Us Part II. Although we believe, this opinion might not be popular among many gamers.
In the end, The Last of Us Part II grew more than just a video game that showed off many technical achievements that were worth celebrating. Slowly but surely, you will be drawn into an emotional journey that is ready to drain energy and tears, in a story about the hatred that has been formulated so beautifully. The Last of Us Part II increasingly affirms that ultimately humans and the human values that define them are vulnerable.
Suitable for gamers: who have played and completed The Last of Us first, who want a game with quality stories
Not suitable for gamers: those who are not happy with too many cut-scene games, who are fed up with the current world conditions and really need a light game full of fun
Linkcube Media arrived on Feb 2020 after long year ago focusing on selling video games based on japan and editing across multiple gaming sites. It owner like many video games since the era of the first Playstation and still playing video games until right now using his PC, and his consoles. He’is happily to sharing about his gaming experience