The Last of Us Part 2 Review – An amazing achievement
_ This review does not contain history spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2 _
“All I did. It can not be for nothing.” These words shook me when Ellie said in The Last of Us. For me, it was perfect. There was nothing left to say. This girl, forced to grow too fast, to do things that no one would have to do, has somehow seized the fundamental struggle of the existence of so many people. That’s why I did not think the world needed the Last of Us Part 2. I understand people’s hesitation. But now, on the other side, I see the goal. The Last of Us Part 2 means something.
Naughty Dog knows how to tell a story. With respect to rhythm, framing and ability to provide emotional weight, they have very few peers. The screen time is never lost. The story is constantly advancing, and yet she knows exactly when to be breathed. In the quietest moments, when music fades and the weight of the world is at the top of the characters’ shoulders, they support this weight with brio.
All underlying in The Last of Us Part 2 is writing. This is not a Ho-Hum narrative, pass-goat. The motivations are credible because the story implements and completely completes the characters. Any overflows with symbolism, mood and passion, and every moment of the character is deliberately at the service of themes. Extended dialogue sequences – of the genus that could easily allow a spirit of walking – generate unbreakable concentration. I clinged desperately, waiting for the next subtle words escape from Joel’s lips, or that the Ellie’s fire temperament embraces. The characters here feel like people who advance the plot. They are never in wood and are nothing but mere traced.
Uncomfortable by design
It is designed to challenge you. Everyone has expectations and prejudices, especially when it comes to a well-liked world like The Last of Us. You probably have an idea of what you want to see arriving at your favorite characters, and The Last of Us Part 2 works very specifically to put you uncomfortable. He effectively weapons your perceptions against you. The way in which destiny, resignation and desire come into history is brilliant.
On the technical side too, everything is specifically oriented towards the creation of immersion and credibility. The game is absolutely beautiful. A great care has obviously been brought here, always at the service of the credibility to which I keep referring as well. At first, crossing the coastal rainforest near Seattle, I was shocked to see how real life was imitated. The quality of environmental assets is almost stupid and even resists a thorough picture of the game mode. The aggressive film grain gives a meaning of the most banal grain, while beautiful lighting and environmental effects had my jaw on the ground. Offwards? The way the infectious spores hang in the air, illuminated by a flashlight.
Glorious, Glorious Chaos
In these moments where everything goes wrong, The Last of Us Part 2 is incredibly tense. Ellie moves quickly, dancing and weaving like Muhammed Ali, but in balance on a knife cutting edge. All that history, characters and writing do to create an immersive environment that the evasion of the danger looks like a fight for your life. And in a fight for your life, the actions can be brutally bloody. Even inducing nausea. If combat damage is not entirely dynamic, an astronomical canned library is available.
When Ellie pushes a machete in someone’s shoulder or triggers a hunting rifle bearing, you feel it. Not only the impact of exceptional sound design, but in reaction ripples caused by these actions. With a look of disgust and resignation on the face of Ellie, a terrified attempt to escape after blowing the hand of an enemy, the attention to the detail of Naughty Dog gives the impression that your actions have Consequences of great reach, even if they are never seen. Sometimes they are seen, and these moments are really hard to watch. As disturbing as it is, these are the moments when you really discover the characters of The Last of Us Part 2.
_ Review of the copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment _