10 Things I Love About The Last of Us Part 2

The Last of Us Part 2 is a Masterpiece

Even though trolls continue to review-bomb The Last of Us Part 2, the game’s recording-breaking sales numbers are a testament to the quality of the game. I was lucky enough to play as soon as the game launched on June 19th and have been thoroughly hooked ever since.

The Last of Us is one of the few games in the last decade that I’ve actually completed so I knew I had to pick up the second installment. In Part 2, you play as Ellie as she continues to struggle with her role in this world.

The game builds on what made the first title incredible and adds features that, I think, will make this one of the best exclusives on PS4. I’m doing my first playthrough on hard mode and wanted to share a spoiler-free list of what I’ve most appreciated from The Last of Us Part 2!

Movement Upgrades

I didn’t expect to be so enamored by the additional movement options in The Last of Us Part 2. I’m still inexplicably pleased anytime I can crawl through medium-height grass!

The prone position opens up so many opportunities to sneak around, especially useful when trying to pick off enemies one at a time.  Lastly, crawling through small spaces sets the game up well to have Ellie jumped in difficult to defend positions, adding to the drama.

The last of us part 2 prone
Deep, Human Connection

We saw a little bit of this from the original trailer, and I’m impressed by how much emotion the developers are able to portray among the characters. The voice actors do a great job of capturing the tone of each scene and the camera angles accentuate the closeness of the characters.

As the game progresses, we get to see intimate moments on-screen which remind the players that even though the world has gone to hell, interpersonal relationships still play a huge part in sustaining humanity.

Time to Breath

Even though the walkers in The Last of Us Part 2 are ‘infected’, the game will still get lumped in with the zombie apocalypse genre of titles. Series such as Left 4 Dead are all about action and mowing down the undead. TLoU excels at intertwining intense battles with calming, exploratory scenes.

At times, it’s difficult to let your guard down and enjoy your surroundings. After a while, I was able to fully embrace the moments of silence, knowing I had at least a couple of minutes before I was in any immediate danger.

Powerful Flashbacks

The Last of Us Part 2 takes us back to years past, featuring a younger version of our protagonist. Flashbacks can sometimes come off as cheesy fillers, but the time travel in this game is intentional and engaging.

These flashbacks allow for fun times, a welcome respite from running for your life. Each flashback reminds us of how strong of a bond Ellie has with other characters and evokes the pleasures of simpler times.

Playing the Gee-tar

Strumming on the numerous guitars in The Last of Us Part 2 brings back the original sensation of playing the Ocarina of Time. The mechanics are super simple but allow for incredible music creation for the talented individuals out there.

It’s nice to just run through some chords and bring some order to the chaos of Ellie’s world. 

Effective Controller Rumble Usage

There isn’t a huge amount of rumbling happening, but when the DualShock does rumble, it lets the player experience Ellie’s physical struggle in an effective way. You feel the jolt of an engine, the fury of an infected walker, the shakiness of a large fall.

Overall, The Last of Us Part 2 takes advantage of the rumble feature without having an excessive amount of controller movement.

Loads of Easter Eggs

I won’t say much here, for fear of giving anything away, but every Easter egg that I’ve found so far has seemed thoughtful and brought a smile to my face!

Improved Enemy AI

I can’t even imagine how tough it is to make intelligent enemies who are able to adapt to the player’s changing location and actions. The Last of Us Part 2 is unique in its handling of WLF artificial intelligence, assigning names to each enemy, and having them work as a unit.

Oftentimes, you’ll execute a stealth kill on a lone opponent, only to have their buddy call out to the person and realize that they need to follow up. This makes the group encounters challenging, and I appreciate the need to be more strategic in how I take out enemies.

Tracking the enemies in The Last of Us Part 2
Heart-wrenching Sound Effects

From the labored breathing to the piercing shrieks of the infected, The Last of Us Part 2 does an incredible job of using audio to make the player feel the intensity of the situation. 

Add to that a soundtrack which gives Inception a run for its money and the wow factor increases fivefold.

Even when things aren’t as tense, the game’s environment overflows with creaking floorboards, chirping birds, rushing rivers, and hundreds of other subtle sounds. The end result is an engrossing landscape that will make you appreciate the level of detail in the audible content.

The Feeling of Scarcity

As expected, resources are limited in The Last of Us Part 2. You start the journey with little more than a backpack and knife. Scavaging for additional supplies is a must.

Because items are at a premium, I always felt more compelled to go the stealth route. This is a good thing, given Ellie is typically outnumbered and in a vulnerable position.

There were also decent stretches of the game where I could gradually load up on ammo and supplies before facing dozens of opponents. This ebb and flow felt like the right amount of scarcity in a world that is crumbling before me.

Upgrading weapons at the workbench
The Last of Us Part 2 Does So Many Things Right

It’s probably an understatement to say that I barely blinked while playing this game. The Last of Us Part 2 is gritty, captivating, visceral, and an incredibly satisfying game.

The literal struggle for survival is terrifying without being overwhelming. I found myself wiping my sweaty palms against my shorts repeatedly in the early goings. As I got more comfortable with the combat and the items, I was able to better embody Ellie’s on-screen confidence.

Naughty Dog did a great job in development and it’s been well worth the wait. I’ll probably finish the game by the end of the month, and can confidently say that The Last of Us Part 2 is one of the top experiences of this current generation of gaming.

The game isn’t perfect though. To me, the skill tree wasn’t interesting enough, there were too many places that looked explorable but weren’t, character animations sometimes looked awkward when interacting with non-moveable environment pieces. But no game is perfect, and these are minor things which don’t take away from the story behind The Last of Us Part 2.

Let me know what you’ve enjoyed most about the game in the comments section below! Feel free to join the conversations on our social media platforms too!

Also, we just started a new podcast! Check out episode one here, where we talk about the free-to-play gaming model!

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