The Last of Us Part 2 – my not really a review review
I’m about the break every “rule” that Games Germalists (that’s not a spelling mistake) insist you have to follow. I don’t even care. Take away my rights to ever talk about video games again just leave me with my controller so I can keep playing The Last of Us Part 2. While you’re likely still riding the high from the Playstation 5 reveal and ready to sell a body part to grab a new console… I’d suggest scraping some money together to get ready for one of the best games to be released this year: The Last of Us Part 2.
The Last of Us 2 launches on 19 June 2020. It will also be available for the Playstation 5 later this year. The original game, which released in 2013 followed a broken man, Joel, who was forced to trek across the country with a young girl, Ellie in tow. Basically, there’s been this massive infection, America is in chaos and the majority of humanity are toddling around like aggressive zombies. Turns out, Ellie is kind of special and Joel is tasked with getting her to some people… cue grumpy hardened old man filled with loss and despair paired up with young girl filled with wonder and seeing the world through the eyes of youth. I’m literally bastardising The Last of Us with my retelling here because the narrative is SO much more than the cliche ridden summary I’ve just thrown at you. Anyway, up to speed? Good.
The Last of Us Part 2
The Last of Us Part 2 picks up roughly 4 or 5 years into the future of where the last game ends. You’re playing primarily as Ellie, who is now 19 and in a very different space to what you experienced in the last game.
And here’s where this “review” goes off the rails.
I jumped into this game hell bent on getting through it to ensure I could give you a deep and meaningful write up punctuated by my oh so (un)professional and (un)qualified opinion about gameplay, graphics blah blah blah. And you’re getting none of it. The start of the game gets you up to speed and in the space of 30 minutes your heart is bursting with love while this sick layer of anxiety chews at the back of your neck. Ellie at 19 is everything I could have wanted. It was fun to be pulled into a world so normal to most, with conversations we’ve all had with the difference being they were happening with the constant threat of the infected. At the start of the game there is a snowball fight, it had me giggling and felt so wholesome… despite the constant anxiety sitting underneath.
This is where I stop with the story telling, because I can assure you, the wholesomeness stops here. Ironically after that first snowball fight I messaged Marco from Glitched to say how I was surprised to find joy so early on. His response?
😂 it’s the only joy you’ll have in this game friend. It’s a dreadful experience in the best way possible.
He’s not wrong
I haven’t finished The Last of Us Part 2. Not for lack of trying. As I fumbled along into the darkness of the narrative and the paths it took me down, it became harder for me to spend hours at play. I needed large chunks of time to process the story and the game. I needed time to just deal with what was going on. I’m not going to tell you the story or what I’ve experienced so far. I think the journey is one you need to go on. As I mentioned, I’ve not finished the game yet and I was okay with that. I want the time to take it all in and feel. I’ll say this: being a part of Ellie’s journey has been the emotional release I’ve needed in a difficult time in my own life. The writers have slowly been able to peel away pieces of me that I’ve held on to for so long and not really wanted to deal with. The story, so far at least, is glorious.
The game play is glorious too, if you’re wondering. The fight scenes are heart racing with the combat fast and thoughtful. I’ve died, like a lot. There’s a brutality to it all which quickly laces with the story and just makes for a magical gaming experience. There’s the ability to move around the world much more realistically with a host of movement options. There’s puzzling options as well which I hate because I like to rush through things, but their necessity to the game has forced me to slow myself down and just immerse myself in the world. It’s fluid in the gameplay and how it easily bonds with the narrative to take you on a journey.
Like I said, I’m not finished. If you want those serious reviews go find them. For me, this is an experience I’ll savour. Despite not being finished with a few more hours left to play I can say this: this game was what I needed. Hell, I haven’t liked some of it. It’s hurt. But it was needed.
Disclosure: I was given a review code for The Last of Us Part 2 by Playstation South Africa.
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