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Review of The Last of Us Part II: longer, bigger and more interesting than part one. But is it better?

After over 30 hours of gameplay, I close the adventure with The Last of Us Part II on medium difficulty. I'm full. I am so happy. I am so pleased. Naughty Dog served the action game at the highest market level, which probably does not surprise anyone. Only one question gives me peace: is Part II better than the first installment?

This question hangs in the air from the very beginning: what is the Last of Us Part II against the background of the first installment? It is certainly bigger, nicer, longer, narratively interesting and more diverse. However, if you ask me if we got something noticeably better than the hit from PlayStation 3, I will smile only under my breath, remembering 30 fantastic hours of pure gameplay. Damn, I have no idea.

I would like to write to you about so many things, but I still can't ...

The pre-release agreement with the publisher obliges me (as well as every other reviewer) to remain silent regarding many story turns, locations, heroes and even gameplay mechanics. Where do these safeguards, conditions and restrictions come from? All this so that you can experience many surprises and surprises during your own game. The Last of Us Part II is not what it may seem. This is not an elbow continuation, created solely under the influence of the popularity of the first edition. The note Part II is simply misleading. This is a new story. New era. New world. Even more wild and dangerous than before.

This evolving world is in itself one of the leading heroes. Already in the first part we met murderers, cruelts and cannibals. Now the topic of post-apocalyptic new order has been moved much further. While in the first installment we saw the ruins of a fallen civilization, so Part II shows the first fruits of the new world, grown on these debris. There are more and more heroes in the game who do not know and do not remember the order from before 2013. They are new people in a new world in which we would not survive even a few days. A world fueled by hatred, violence and cruelty, with little room left for love, loyalty and peace.

The natural complement to the evolution of the US post-pandemic is the evolution of its opponents. I have already written to you about the silent scars with which fighting is something really special. The collection of monsters has also been subjected to the laws of nature, flourishing in the form of new monsters to defeat. Only with weapons and ammunition is the old way: it is always lacking. Because of this, we have to implement elements of sneaking into the game, silent elimination, and sometimes even bypassing entire groups of opponents.

The Last of Us Part II - the biggest and most interesting changes.

I really liked that at Naughty Dog they began to experiment safely with larger, more open locations. At some stage of the game, the player gets a faithful mare, city map and the entire district filled with optional shops and apartments for exploration. Visiting these places is not necessary, but it is associated with interesting stories (in the form of found documents), and from time to time also valuable prizes, such as an additional weapon belt or book that extends the skill palette. Unfortunately, the experiment with open areas ends too quickly. I look forward to more such areas in Part III.

The heroes of the new game have also become much more mobile. They learned to squat, crawl, but above all to jump. Thanks to this, a minimal portion of arcade elements was introduced into the game. We jump over chasms and rushing streams, and a badly measured lee ends with immediate death and loading the record state. In addition, the characters balance their bodies on narrow beams, and the game has noticeably more height locations. Being with them, The Last of Us Part II provides one of the most realistic representations of height fear I've ever seen in video games. I felt worse.

The fight was also improved and polished. Silent elimination of enemies no longer requires a constantly destructive knife. We gain faster access to items such as mines, Molotov cocktails or incendiary bombs. We have more resources, more weapons and more gadgets. However, the most important novelty in terms of combat is dodge. Thanks to him we can finally dodge opponents in close quarters. Using dodge is natural, while a powerful blow with an ax in the counter gives fun for the first, fifth and sixty-thirds together. The fight in The Last of Us Part II became dirtier and more contact. Yummy.

Only these dogs I can not get over. But the new bestiary is licking his fingers.

Trained dogs appear in The Last of Us Part II, used by opponents to track the player. A damn interesting, quite unique mechanic of the odor trace left by the main character was associated with the four-legged. Tricks that affect people, such as sneaking and ambushes, do not affect dogs. Gameplay becomes more diverse and demanding. I just warn quadruped lovers and dog owners that sometimes the game leaves us no choice ...

Traditional monster models from the previous part have been visually refreshed, including female body models. A completely new type of opponent is very interesting - fast, agile, but weak and not too durable monsters that wait in the dark for the player to reveal or make a mistake. The beasts hide from our eyes and attack only when we are in a difficult position: we are fighting someone else, we look into a backpack, create an object or stand back to them. Wicked bastards.

This is just a foretaste, because there are many more monsters debuting for the first time. One of the new types is really unique, and the fight with it will sink in your memory for longer, especially at higher levels of difficulty. The crew from Naughty Dog slightly indulged in fantasy, going gently towards such series as Resident Evil. The end result is great.

Graphically, we are dealing with the peak of the generation, but at what price.

Playing in The Last of Us Part II, my PlayStation 4 Pro sounds like a Boeing taking off on the landing pad. Console fans are running at full speed, significantly hindering the reception of the game itself. Hence the suggestion: get your headphones ready. Otherwise the PS4 Pro will kill with its howls great audio, which is one of the hallmarks of Naughty Dog. Other issues in the area of ​​graphics and performance are checkerboard rendering that doesn't do well in dark rooms. It also happens occasionally that high-quality textures jump in front of the player's eyes.

Putting these shortcomings aside, The Last of Us Part II is one of the most beautiful games of this generation. Both in terms of location designs, as well as further plans or attention to details. The number of postcard views present in this game is gigantic. Part II is the absolute maximum that can be drawn from the now seventh generation of consoles. Top of the top. The game on PS4 embarrasses the titles recently shown on PS5. In addition, I applaud the producers for applauding that they have succeeded in mapping the palette of facial expressions and emotions far beyond the standard, such as choking indignation or restrained laughter.

When it takes 30 hours to complete the game, the lack of a multiplayer module doesn't hurt that much.

It is a pity that in Naughty Dog it was not decided to implement the multipalyer mode. Although the studio is associated with single-player movie adventures, it has great multiplayer modules. The one from the Last of Us Remastered was really exciting and intense. Multi in Uncharted 5 also stood at a surprisingly high level. The greater the pity that I will not compete in team PvP with other players in the new The Last of Us. Some locations are asking for conversion into network arenas. They seem to be created for that.

A certain reward can be the length of the campaign itself. At medium difficulty, it took me over 30 hours to complete Part II. I couldn't collect all the documents or uncover all the secrets, so lovers of in-depth exploration can add a few hours to my result. I have to admit that these days, this length of campaign is an amazing achievement. Nowadays, you don't make such long games with a film setting. Naughty Dog goes against the current, delivering the product for several long evenings. And in the highest quality.

The Last of Us Part II - better than the first installment?

The question comes back in my mind like a boomerang. I will not close the text until I deal with it. I strive for the first The Last of Us with great sentiment. I have a weakness for the story of Ellie and Joel, wonderfully playing on the emotions associated with loss and fatherhood. When I think about Part II, I do not have such an emotional attitude to the newly beaten game. I fought better in it, shot better, developed my character better. However, the heart remained on PS3. When the first TLOU came out, it was a qualitative bomb. In the case of Part II, we know what to expect, which makes the wow effect smaller.

By making the most objective measurement possible, decomposing The Last of Us Part II into measurable prime factors, yes - we are dealing with a better game. In turn, subjectively, the story of Joel and Ellie is one of a kind, and no further adventures of these heroes are catching my heart so much. Therefore, I can be tempted by the thesis that the second TLOU wins on virtually every plane, except for one, but extremely important: it's about sympathy and attachment to the characters.

The biggest advantages:

  • A story about something more than you might think
  • 30 hours of adventure
  • Great new types of opponents
  • The perfect balance between shooting, sneaking and exploration
  • Avoidance and contact struggle
  • Excellent audio, mass settings and great quality
  • One of the few best games of this generation

The biggest disadvantages:

  • PS4 Pro howls like a starting Boeing
  • Artifacts in dark rooms (PS4 Pro)
  • No multiplayer (especially since Naughty Dog makes them great)
  • If anyone expected a revolution, you won't get it here

The Last of Us Part II is entering the pantheon of the best games for PS4, as well as the most successful games of the whole generation. It is a must purchase for every PlayStation 4 owner, closing the catalog of extremely successful exclusive games for this platform. The creators defend the high price of the product with a shockingly long campaign, during which they take care of every detail. You sit down, turn on the console and just feel that you are dealing with something absolutely unique.

The editors were not able to take their own screenshots, the contract with the publisher requires the use of materials provided by Sony.

Review of The Last of Us Part II: longer, bigger and more interesting than part one. But is it better?


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