The Last of Us Part 2

The Last of Us 2 continues the story of a post-apocalyptic America. It's now been 25 years since the fungal outbreak began which infected the majority of humanity. Infected humans quickly turned on the uninfected, tearing them apart. The infection spreads itself through cities like mushrooms through a forest.

The first game showed hints of how humanity continues to survive by avoiding and fighting the infection. It also showed us the lengths at which people will go to survive, and fight for their own.

Last of Us 2 continues 4 years after the ending of Last of Us 1, and its story is no longer about surviving. Joel and Ellie have found their life in Jacksonville, Wyoming with Tommy. Both have built relationships within their community. Ellie has grown.

Last of Us 2 is about revenge. Being hunted because of our past decisions, hunting others because of theirs, and ultimately living with the cost. You play as two characters, Ellie and Abby. Ellie leaves Jacksonville to Seattle in order to hunt down Abby. And Abby tries to make sense of her life and what she believes in as it is taken away from her. Both Ellie and Abby push themselves too far at the cost of their friends and family.

(It's difficult to talk about the story without spoiling major events)

Last of Us 2 is an absolutely beautiful looking game. Being able to stay in Seattle for days shows the full story of how a city had fallen and crumbled from the infection and how nature has begun to take it back. Vines, trees, and other vegetation had completely reclaimed the city in parts due to the constant overcast weather and rain. It all looks amazing.

The areas of Seattle are far larger than anything in Last of Us 1. Even though it's still quite linear, there are many places that are open to explore. Every journey from this corner of the city to that corner has weight to it, and it shows how incredibly strong you must be in order to get anywhere. The scale of this game is so impressive.

Several real world locations in Seattle were modeled for the game including the Seahawks stadium, the outside of the library, and the Seattle Convention center where PAX West takes place. It would be fun to return to Seattle and compare these locations to their counterparts in the game. :)

But while the scale is impressive, the length of game is somewhat troublesome. The first game never felt long or exhausting. Some parts took a while, but I never felt like it was taking forever. The Last of Us 2 shows the full breadth of the journey, from the very beginning to the very end and all parts in the middle. Sometimes it'll skip to where you need to do next, but you take the long way around every time.

Which, it's hard to fault the game for avoiding shortcuts, telling a complete story, and showing you the full journey. I think The Last of Us 2's biggest strength is its obsessive attention to detail and lack shortcuts in all aspects of the game. It's also its biggest weakness as it makes the game so long. Indulgent or Impressive?

I guess it's a matter of perspective and expectations, though. I knew what to expect from Last of Us 1 and went through it pretty quickly. I had no idea where this game was going to go.

It's also insane to me that I was able to buy it for a mere $10 when it feels like the most expensive game ever made. Looking online, apparently it has not come near to breaking even. Which.. given the amount of options people have for entertainment and how people immediately hated the game on its release, makes sense. I suppose that's why Naughty Dog re-released Last of Us 1 and optioned for the TV Show.

With the amount of detail, work, and care that went into The Last of Us 2, I think it's hard not to be impressed. I really didn't care much about the first game, but I think the TV show and the sequel really highlight the best parts of the story. I think The Last of Us is something quite special.

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