Seven years is not a short time in seven years. A child can be born, learn to walk and even begin his journey in elementary school. Seven years can also be a long wait for the release of the most anticipated sequel, an ambitious sequel that is most anticipated this year.
Unlike most previous reviews from Gamebrott that will provide a vital explanation of the story. This review will be a little different. We know very well that one of the greatest strengths of The Last o Us Part 2 is through its brilliant narration. Therefore not to disturb the best experience for the readers, we will not give details of the main story at all.
Taking the groove a few years after his first game, now Elle has grown up. He lived a healthy life with survivors in the city of Jackson. However, due to a tragic incident that happened, Ellie was forced to re-deal with the outside world to demand “revenge and justice”.
The essence of TLoU Part 2 is a journey of revenge. You will be taken on Ellie’s new adventure full of “black and white” questions. Where your emotions will be torn based on the subject “good and bad”. With Ellie’s decision as a human being that can always be questioned, is her actions right or wrong? Is the reaction “good or bad”?
The emotional story of TLoU Part 2 is well presented and ready to stir up your feelings. Not to mention with directing and brilliant narration, increasingly making Ellie’s new journey story feels much more “alive”. Many unforgettable moments occur, and often our hearts will be “torn”. We don’t even hesitate to mention that TLoU Part 2 is a game with the best story delivery in the last decade. Enough to make us never forget it.
You will be invited to explore more deeply about the true nature of ordinary people. Where not only the good that exists within them but also the worst kind though. Ordinary people can always feel hate, anger, sadness, annoyance, and feel right. The nature that almost everyone has becomes the foundation of the story of The Last of Us Part 2.
That with the feeling of sadness formed turns into anger until it evolves into a sense of revenge. It is this feeling that finally brings the story of the sons of men who determine the path, the right and wrong path. The Last of Us Part 2 presents this in great detail and can tear the innermost feelings of the players.
In addition to returning to his duties as director, this time Neil Druckmann also responded to write the script for The Last of Us Part 2. Various emotional stories are presented, written through the manuscript he has made.
You will be brought to the point of view of storytelling back and forth which is exciting and keeps various surprises in it. This formula can sometimes reduce empathy, but on most other sides, this narrative style also makes us feel more emotional on many fronts.
Super Cinematic with Stunning Cast Performance
One of The Last of Us Part 2’s strongest attractions is through its brilliant narrative quality. Each scene and dialogue that is displayed neatly and feels very natural. To present it to make it look perfect, Naughty Dog provides a cinematic aspect that is far more memorable.
This almost perfect cinematic aspect will bring your playing experience as if you were watching a movie. For those of you who have played the first series, of course, see how the totality of the acting actors capture motion and voice actors.
In this series, everything is presented with a more mature and “solid”. It’s not only because of the new, more advanced engine that makes this all look more “realistic”. But the performance because the cast here looks more totality and natural. Each cutscene presented has cinematographic techniques that feel more prominent to be enjoyed.
Not only from the cutscene alone, but cinematic aspects also crawl on the gameplay elements. Where every interaction conducted, Ellie will provide a more impressive scene. In an atmosphere of dealing with QTE, for example, sometimes you will be brought to the point of view of gameplay that feels more impactful as if you also think what is being done by Ellie. All of these experiences make The Last of Us Part 2 have a cinematic aspect that feels deeper and immersive.
The fantastic thing that was first seen at the beginning of the gameplay reveals, of course, is the mechanism that looks much more solid and fluid. The quality of the attack animation that looks brutal is one of the most exciting things that we anticipate. And the result, through the final version this time, it’s all not bullshit. The Last of Us Part 2 appeared with a lot of the game’s scary look at “brutal” as well as immersive.
Stay Familiar But Much More Challenging
The gameplay still looks familiar with the first series, but now it has a variety of overhaul that makes it look more awesome. Now Ellie appears more “free”, with a range of skills that he has. Option approaches such as stealth, attack to blind blindness, or combining the two you can do depending on the play style and strategy you want.
Yes through normal difficulty levels only, TLoU2 has provided quite challenging levels of difficulty. Therefore every step and action you take must be right. There are various types of enemies that you will face. First, we will talk about the enemy with the human form. Here are two large factions that you will face. He was WLF, a militia organization that was broken from Fireflies, and also Scar / Saraphite, an occult army with a more traditional approach.
WLF itself will utilize more modern combat equipment such as firearms while Scar will use more traditional weapons such as bows and arrows. Both of them also have a variety of formation members with their respective abilities, ranging from attacking long distances, balanced, until the enemy type of tank with a health capacity that is much thicker.
Everything requires a different approach to be more useful to defeat. Especially now things look more immersive like when a shot hit Ellie; for example, she needed time to stand up again. Or when he is hit by an arrow, for example, the indicator will stick and give a bleed effect if it is not pulled out of the body.
As one of the central core of The Last of Us, the infected / zombie type enemies from the Cordyceps virus are also present again and even more ferocious. They often appear in more massive numbers, complete with more aggressive and brutal movements. Like the flickers, for example, who will do a one-hit kill, a stalker that will attack “stealth”, or even a bloater that will attack you with a large body and poisonous vapour.
But for infected variants that still have a humanoid, stealth or kill them simultaneously via Molotov or Trap Mine, this is the most effective choice. But it is different with enemies with tank types such as bloater and shambler. They certainly could not be killed with just one attack, “barbarians” were the only option to face them. All of them require specific strategies to be subdued.
Moreover, as a new type of infected shambler also has a fatal attack, where in addition to attacking at close range with his punch and steam, he is also able to throw acid bombs that will burn the skin. As Neil Druckmann said, there must be a new, more terrible infection waiting for your adventure. In order not to disturb the real surprises, we will not provide details related to this one.
AI Enemies and Companions are Much Smarter
This is also further strengthened by the presence of smarter AIs. Human-type enemies this time appear more interactive, where they can work together to hunt you down. They can give signals and can coordinate to provide the most effective tactics to kill you. The Scar, for example, they can sneak in the bush and give a whistle code to communicate remotely.
Likewise, with WLF, with various spots that have been mastered, they have a surveillance team ready to track and tell you your location. More interestingly, they also have dogs that can follow your scent. To overcome this, you have to be able to move around or do extraction by throwing objects or breaking glass. Because it looks alive, each AI is now also equipped with a naming system where each of them has their respective names and usually will be shouted by his colleagues when the enemy lost his life at the hands of Ellie.
But fortunately, on several occasions, Ellie’s adventure will also be assisted by Jesse or Dina where both will appear as a reliable companion, not like Ellie as Joel’s companion in the first series that is less responsive and interactive. Companion Jesse or Dina can always be relied upon, when you choose to play stealth, they will be able to adjust, as well as in “Rambo mode”.
When an enemy presses you, a companion will come and take action to save your lives. Under certain conditions, companions will whisper or shout to tell you the location of the enemy who is near or in the middle of targeting you.
Besides being useful in combat, the companion will sometimes also help you to find a way out. With environmental conditions that look very detailed, the area that can be explored looks more realistic and is harder to find because it seems “very unified”. In this condition, the companion will give a talk to provide a clue or step closer to the next location. They even sometimes will also provide location information related to crafting items and materials that you can take.
Ellie is more talented.
With an increasingly mature position, now Ellie also appears as a more reliable person. In the face of his long journey, he was equipped with more complete abilities than the first series. For the traversal system, he can use various objects to help him pass certain areas, such as throwing a rope to swing to a distant place and down the building. Or dive to catch the obstacle and make a “surprise attack” through stealth, for example.
Also, in terms of combat, Ellie is equipped with a complete stealth ability, where she can prone and hide through bushes. He can also now dodge, avoid fire and melee attacks more efficiently. And the most exciting thing comes through the more brutal fighting mechanism. Ellie can do melee combat using the melee weapon she took from her enemy.
Even more impressive, TLoU Part 2 also includes entertaining elements in it, where Ellie can now play the guitar. Not made randomly, you can play the guitar based on a real cord that can be accessed through various combinations of your DualShock 4 keys. Of course, it’s challenging to play it well like a real guitar, but you can do.
Stronger Survivor Element
What we appreciate in TLoU 2 this time is the survivor element which is getting thicker. Where besides having to “hunt”, you will also be hunted, with the number of enemies which is undoubtedly far more massive. As we said before, an average level of difficulty is enough to provide a significant challenge. Every action you take must be mature and calculating, and just one wrong step can ruin everything.
We talk about stealth, for example, when you miss using a bow, for example, the enemy will be responsive and will immediately look for your whereabouts. Or when attacking with frontal, for example, you still can’t do that like Rambo. You must even avoid attacks, hide and occasionally lay a trap. Blind attacks are not very useful if there are too many enemies.
To further mature your adventure, you also have to have a variety of weapons and supplies that are adequate. The crafting feature is undoubtedly back to support this. To do crafting health, equipment, and other evidence, of course, you must find various crafting materials scattered along with the map.
But of course, the difficulty of the top three crafting and upgrading resources will be limited. Where this will make you more careful in doing crafting, think about which items are more useful and prioritized. Aside from crafting items, of course, ammo is also minimal, where you can’t use it continuously. Just one bullet can be significant because the amount is insignificant.
Impressive Upgrade System
We were still amazed when we first saw the TLoU2 demo presentation in the past that showed a weapon upgrade presentation that looked realistic. And when we try it directly, it is indeed very “eyegasm” and “eargasm” at the same time.
Try to hear and see firsthand the upgrading system that was shown at the State of Play at the end of last month.
In addition to providing increased stats on the various weapons we use, the upgrading process is shown through very detailed visual animation. Not to mention the different sound effects caused such as a cock, a resonating iron, or a reloading session at the end, for example, sounds very realistic, mainly if you use a headset when playing it.
To upgrade your weapon, you need weapon parts that are scattered randomly throughout the game area. At the top 3 difficulties, of course, parts will be more limited like ammo and other craft items.
In addition to weapons, just like the previous series, upgrades for skills are also available again. By gathering randomly scattered supplements, Ellie can improve her physical abilities. Like starting from increasing health, speeding up a craft, to hearing/detecting enemy locations with a broader range.
Brutal without forgiveness
Much darker and brutal is the core that Naughty Dog is about to convey. In addition to dark stories that drain emotions, to support them to the maximum level, they also embed various brutal things in them, where the elements of gore and violent scenes in this game appear very explicit.
You can see various blood and body parts floating, when Ellie shoots her shotgun at close range or when she detonates her enemy using a trap mine. Not to mention the screams of the enemies who would shout his friend’s name when Ellie had claimed his life. A detail that makes TLoU Part 2 look more immersive and “alive”.
The part that is our favourite is, of course, the melee combat scheme that looks “merciless”. Where in addition to showing a fight scene with fluid animation, each shot or slash of sharp objects that were ejected looks very impactful and gave a sense of satisfaction. Even more impressive, in a condition that has been narrow, human-type enemies can surrender and beg forgiveness to Ellie. Where exactly it remains uncompromising, this is the right time to spread a brutal finishing blow.
A Far More Open World
This significant change is indeed a very inviting curiosity. How was the first series with a more linear playthrough, now turned into “more open” in the second series this time? This more open world does not make TLoU Part 2 an open-world game. There are only specific folders that you can browse freely, one of which is the city of Seattle.
Various towering buildings that have been reunited with nature save a variety of exciting things to explore. Ranging from items, collectables, and many secrets that are waiting to be revealed. A more flexible system of traversal certainly supports this higher exploration. Ellie can use her horse to move faster.
Also, to explore places that are difficult to reach, Ellie can use a rope to climb up or down higher or lower positions. Still not enough, in specific segments, Ellie can use an engine boat to navigate an area that has now become swampy and filled with fast-flowing water. Changes to a more open world make exploration more enjoyable. Some many exciting things and panoramas spoil the eyes, especially with the beauty of visualization, which we will explain further after this.
Very Enchanting Visualization!
If asked, what first fascinated the eyes when seeing TLoU Part 2, of course, was its stunning visual appearance. Before being drugged through the gameplay, the visual appeal did become the first inherent in the eye. Through the myriad of trailers and screenshots that had been released by Naughty Dog and Sony, TLoU Part 2 looks very impressive.
Sure enough, after we tasted it directly, Naughty Dog was not lying about the visual beauty they had promised. Supported by the strength of the latest version of Naughty Dog Engine, we can confirm that this game has not experienced any visual downgrades. TLoU Part 2 presents a variety of epic scenes, and Naughty Dog managed to show how the world that has now been destroyed and reunited with nature very suitably.
Various abandoned world panoramas look very immersive and impressive. Different towering buildings filled with moss and plants, swamps that form naturally in the middle of the city, to the swift river that is now flooding the city are presented with a visual that is very building atmosphere. Every visual aspect, such as lighting, reflection, shadow, fog, to texture, all look detailed. We even feel that the TLoU Part 2 visuals are driving the PlayStation 4 capabilities that have reached the end of this age at their highest capacity. As proof of that? You can see a myriad of screenshots from the preview and review of assets that we embed in this article.
Photo Mode For Capturing Beauty
To support the stunning panoramic view of the destroyed world, Naughty Dog also includes a crucial photo mode feature in it. You can capture every moment that is more freely available. Fierce battles full of activities that are “difficult” captured by the screenshot button can quickly be done via photo mode. For panoramas, of course, you will also look more cinematic and dramatic where you can freely position the camera position.
Interestingly, not only in gameplay but the current cutscene can also use photo mode. This is very beneficial, considering that screenshots usually require a delay of several seconds. It’s just a weakness you will not be able to use free mode to put the camera position during the cutscene.
In addition to the cinematic aspects of the film, music is also one of the powerful weapons in Naughty Dog’s distinctive game, and this time they are once again able to prove their strength. With a myriad of famous musicians line-up that brought TLoU Part 2 able to look charming with a variety of soundtracks that are ready to spoil the ear.
They were starting from Pearl Jam, Mark Lanegan, and many more. The various soundtracks can describe the atmosphere and emotional story that was raised by TLoU Part 2. A famous composer who had worked in his first series – Gustavo Santaolalla also returned through the list of his new soundtracks. Even more impressive, the game also features a cover version sung directly by the cast.
One of them is a song belonging to New Order and Lotte Kestner which had appeared through the cinematic trailer of the latest TLoU Part 2. With various soundtracks that spoil the ears, we even believe that TLoU Part 2 is one of the games with the best soundtrack list this year.
Although it was doubted because of some problems that had “attacked” The Last of Us Part 2 was stillborn as an extraordinary masterpiece. Our highest appreciation is dedicated to the cold hands behind Naughty Dog. They were able to present excellent work, which was even able to ward off all the bad news that had attacked him.
Although appearing as a straight game TLoU, Part 2 has a very long playtime duration with more exciting gameplay. It is also increasingly supported by a deeply emotional story. Not to mention the stunning visuals that will frequently make you feel at home along with the destroyed but fascinating world. We barely encountered anything lacking in this ambitious Naughty Dog game.
We must also acknowledge that this game is one of the best directing and historical masterpieces in this decade. We do not even hesitate to say that The TLoU Part 2 is one of the strong candidates to win the title of Game of the Year. Face to face with Final Fantasy VII Remake and some ambitious games that will slide in the rest of this year. TLoU Part 2 brings a cinematic gaming experience full of emotion that you must feel through your own Dualshock 4 grip.
The Last of Us Part 2 itself will only be released on June 19, 2020.