The Last of Us Part II Review: A Masterpiece That Delivers Dark Emotions


Releasing a sequel to a beloved game is always a challenge, as it risks disappointing fans. However, The Last of Us Part II not only meets expectations but surpasses them. This game builds upon the well-crafted story of its predecessor while staying true to its roots. If you haven’t played the original, you can find it here.

A Powerful Emotional Impact

Ellie’s Journey

The Last of Us Part II continues the emotional narrative that made the first game so compelling. We already know and love Ellie, making it easy to immerse ourselves in her story. However, it’s important to note that this is not a happy tale. Sony described it as a quest for vengeance, and the game takes numerous dark turns that challenge our expectations.

Ellie has grown since the first game. The weight of the world has aged her, transforming her from a spunky, tough kid into a jaded survivor. While her loyalty and fearlessness remain, she has lost the hope she once had. The failure of her previous mission to find a cure has drained her optimism, and the challenges of surviving in a post-apocalyptic world have taken their toll.

Nuanced Relationships

The game deepens Ellie’s relationship with Joel as they attempt to build a new life together. Flashbacks to their past highlight the importance of chosen family over blood ties. But Ellie’s growth also comes with a sense of curiosity and a desire to question authority. The loss she endures on her quest for revenge changes her in ways that even she doesn’t recognize.

Inclusive Storytelling

The Last of Us Part II bravely explores diverse experiences and emotions. We witness Ellie’s coming-out story and her struggle to reveal her first girlfriend to Joel. The game treats these narratives with the same sincerity as heterosexual relationships, a beautiful portrayal of inclusion and authenticity.

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Screenshot from The Last of Us Part II
Naughty Dog

A Dark and Detailed World

A Heartwrenching Narrative

The game’s narrative expands beyond Ellie, introducing us to other captivating characters. Through the documents and mementos we discover, we become invested in the lives of individuals we will never meet. Connections between notes and characters create a sense of continuity and emotional impact. Finding a final note near a deceased character is truly heartbreaking.

Society at the Brink of Collapse

The Last of Us Part II takes place in a world torn apart by conflict. The collapse of a truce has led to a war between factions, with each side experiencing its own suffering. The moral question of who is right and who is wrong lingers in the air. The game expertly examines what society looks like in a post-apocalyptic world, where survival isn’t the only concern.

Realistic and Devastating Details

The game showcases painstaking attention to detail. Killing a human enemy has consequences beyond the act itself. Their friends will mourn their loss, adding a realistic and heart-wrenching element to the gameplay. These small touches create an authentic and immersive experience that leaves players with a lingering sense of unease.

Engaging Gameplay and Stunning Visuals

The Last of Us Part II expands upon its predecessor, introducing new gameplay elements and a larger world to explore. While not an open-world game, the levels are intricate and rewarding to navigate.

Emotional Discoveries

Exploration is key to fully experiencing the game. Easter eggs, hidden stories found in notes, and optional cutscenes provide additional layers of emotion and depth. These moments are not to be missed as they contribute to the overall narrative.

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Evolution of Mechanics

Gameplay mechanics remain consistent with the first game, while combat has been refined. Stealth is smarter, new enemies add variety, and ability trees allow players to customize their preferred fighting style. The game effortlessly incorporates these improvements without straying too far from the original formula.

Screenshot from The Last of Us Part II
Naughty Dog

A Visual Masterpiece with Attention to Accessibility

The Last of Us Part II boasts breathtaking visuals that rival those of 4K games. The level of detail in the environments and character models is truly remarkable, even on a base PlayStation 4. The developers have spared no effort in creating a visually stunning experience.

Screenshot from The Last of Us Part II

It’s worth mentioning the dedicated and hardworking team at Naughty Dog who brought this game to life. Their efforts are evident in the intricate details and impressive accessibility options available. Players can customize difficulty settings, change controls, and adjust visual aspects to enhance the overall gaming experience.

Our Verdict

The Last of Us Part II is an absolute masterpiece that exceeds all expectations. It beautifully builds upon its predecessor’s strengths, delivering a narrative that will leave players breathless. The attention to detail in both world-building and gameplay elevates this game to the top of its class.

No Better Alternative

There is simply no game quite like The Last of Us Part II. Its unique story and compelling gameplay set it apart from any alternative. It’s a testament to why players fell in love with the first game.

Length and Value

With a campaign lasting 30 to 40 hours, the game offers a substantial experience. Exploratory players will find extra satisfaction in discovering all the hidden details, while even those focused on the narrative will benefit from some additional exploration.

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A Must-Have Addition

We wholeheartedly recommend adding The Last of Us Part II to your gaming library. It’s an instant classic that will be remembered for years to come, just like its predecessor. The extent to which this game expands on its already successful foundation makes it a worthwhile investment.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • “Sony’s cloud handheld, the PlayStation Portal, will only stream certain games”
  • “The Last of Us finale makes a subtle change from the game to set up season 2”
  • “New art for The Last of Us multiplayer spinoff teases its seaside setting”
  • “The Last of Us Part 1: best weapon upgrades”
  • “The Last of Us Part 1: All Training Manual locations”

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