The Last of Us Part II – PS4

RRP: £59.99

NOW £51.29
RRP £59.99

The Last of Us Part II focuses on the physical, emotional, and mental state expressed through every facet of gameplay. Naughty Dog has completely overhauled their engine, developed new combat mechanics, created new analog stealth systems. Revamping the animation system to fully express Ellie’s desperation, resourcefulness, and agility. Within broader, more complex, and more deta…
Read More
Category Tags , , , , SKU VCS-9329800 Availability 5+ in stock
Share this

Awards

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You Might Like

  • Incredible story told in a very new way
  • World Class graphics and cinematics
  • Compelling characters development and gameplay mechanics

Might Not Like

  • Single Player only
  • Graphic violent scenes and imagery
  • Some jumpy moments
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Related Products

Description

The Last of Us Part II focuses on the physical, emotional, and mental state expressed through every facet of gameplay. Naughty Dog has completely overhauled their engine, developed new combat mechanics, created new analog stealth systems. Revamping the animation system to fully express Ellie’s desperation, resourcefulness, and agility.
Within broader, more complex, and more detailed environments, the human enemies you’ll encounter are now more threatening and capable, using sophisticated communication and environmental awareness to create intense, more dynamic stealth and head-on combat encounters.
The Last of Us Part II features new and returning characters, brought to life by the latest performance capture techniques and an exceptional cast.
Five years after their dangerous journey across the post-pandemic United States, Ellie and Joel have settled down in Jackson, Wyoming. Living amongst a thriving community of survivors has allowed them peace and stability, despite the constant threat of the infected and other, more desperate survivors. When a violent event disrupts that peace, Ellie embarks on a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure. As she hunts those responsible one by one, she is confronted with the devastating physical and emotional repercussions of her actions.
A Complex and Emotional Story
Experience the escalating moral conflicts created by Ellie’s relentless pursuit of vengeance. The cycle of violence left in her wake will challenge your notions of right versus wrong, good versus evil, and hero versus villain.
A Beautiful Yet Dangerous World
Set out on Ellie’s journey, taking her from the peaceful mountains and forests of Jackson to the lush, overgrown ruins of greater Seattle. Encounter new survivor groups, unfamiliar and treacherous environments, and terrifying evolutions of the infected. Brought to life by the latest iteration of the Naughty Dog engine, the deadly characters and world are more realistic and meticulously detailed than ever before.
Tense and Desperate Action-Survival Gameplay
New and evolved gameplay systems deliver upon the life-or-death stakes of Ellie’s journey through the hostile world. Feel her desperate struggle for survival through improved features such as high-intensity melee combat, fluid movement, and dynamic stealth. A broad variety of weapons, crafting items, skills, and updates allows you to personalize Ellie’s capabilities to your play style.

 

The last of us feature image

The Last of Us Part II is a dark, story driven epic played out on a backdrop where a human eating parasite, spread through North America, is reanimating the dead. Following the events of The Last of Us, the bulk of the story is focused around Ellie in this post-apocalyptic landscape. We pick up a few years after the events of the first instalment and the game quickly centres important questions in the narrative: How do we go about defining who we are in this new world? And, more importantly, what happens if we lose those we love the most, the ones that helped us get here?

Cinematic Experience

From the high level graphics to the cinematic sound design, The Last of Us Part II is a production that exceeds the expectations of contemporary Triple A games. The attention to detail is so precise that both the environment you hunt in and every emotion the characters express, is observed and felt. Yet, without doubt, this game is driven by story and the story drives the gameplay.

There are many reliable gameplay features that have been directly imported from the first instalment. Resources you collect for upgrades to weapons and skills, are made scarcer the harder the difficulty you play on. The more upgrades to your weapons and skills you unlock, lead you to come up with far more creative ways of taking down your enemies. However, the most significant elements of the gameplay are the ones that are driven by the narrative, tying your experience directly to the story.

Largely due to the production quality of the graphics and sound, The Last of Us Part II feels a lot like you are playing a film. The cinematic cutscenes transition seamlessly from the gameplay importantly maintaining the pace of the narrative. The continuity and flow created here draws you further into the idea that you are playing a story, keeping you on the pulse of the narrative and in step with the game all the way to the very end. This relationship between play and story is so intrinsically linked that, at times, I found myself unwilling to continue through the plot because of the potential narrative consequences that may arise. I have seen this movie before, and I know not to go into the basement.

Although important, the graphics and sound can only draw you in so far. Naughty Dog have observed this and responded with some intuitive and subtle mechanics, making what you do as a player in The Last of Us Part II, opportunities to drag you deeper into the story. There are two main gameplay features that drive this. The first is Ellie’s Journal.

 

The last of us image 4

Taking Notes

Throughout the game Ellie carries a journal. She uses this to input notes, sketch out things she finds interesting and (most importantly) document her thoughts. On the surface The Last Of Us Part II uses this as a way of rewarding players for exploring every nook and cranny of the game. It is, at times, a momentary treat for your tenacious resource gathering. As you comb through Seattle you might get the prompt to whip out the journal and make a note—such as when Ellie carries out a sketch of her horse.

It is important to note here that Ellie is a stoic character, giving very little away other than the odd swear word and audio queue. This is important because The Last of Us Part II chooses not to bombard the player with a overloaded, spoon feeding script explaining how the characters are feeling. Instead, as you flick back through the journal and see all of Ellie’s notes, you are invited to learn how Ellie is thinking and feeling.

The journal invites you into her inner most thoughts permitting you to understand her anxiety, her anger and her love. It is a gift, from the writers and game designers to you the player, to really be a part of this character’s story. It is game design like this, with a symbiotic relationship between storytelling and gameplay, that elevates The Last of Us Part II into the higher echelons of video games.

 

The last of us image 3

Not The Last Of Us

The second most notable gameplay feature is unique and is one element that has been largely debated since The Last of Us Part II debuted. For half of the game you get to play as Abby, a member of the Washington Liberation Front and very early candidate for main antagonist.

Now I won’t go into great detail, through fear of giving too much away, but the controversial game design decision—to make the players play as the Bad Girl—is arguably it’s most unique feature.

It is fair to say that there is a range of games out there that toy with this concept, but rarely do they do it in a meaningful way. Fighting games make the bad guys unlockable, then playable, and other games might give you the bad guy skins as a cosmetic. Dead by Daylight goes as far as to build its whole multiplayer gameplay on the fact that one member of your party is the bad guy and the others are trying to escape the horror scene you find yourself in (think Freddie Kruger and Jason etc.) Yet, rarely do you get the chance to play their story, to understand their rationale or learn about their beliefs. In giving you the chance to play as Abby, The Last of Us Part II does all this and so much more.

Very early on, as the story starts to pick up pace, you take up the reins as Abby. It is in this moment you trigger the events that set the rest of the game in motion, then return to playing as Ellie. A few chapters, a lot of wet weather, and some non-linear narrative devices later, you return to this same set up and play as Abby for a far more substantial chunk of the game.

By giving you the chance to play as Ellie and Abby, you are plunged into the complexity of their relationship and the hardship they have to endure. You invest time and emotion into both protagonist and antagonist, which really blurs the distinction between the two roles. And its all part of the story The Last of Us Part II is trying to tell.

In an interview, writer and director Neil Druckmann discussed the theme of love in the franchise and how it played a significant role in linking in to The Last of Us Part II: “Both games explore the most wonderful things love can provide — and the worst things that love can drive you to...” We see this duality, this alternate extremes of the same thing, in the every fibre of the game from the plot through to the mechanics. We most obviously see this in our duty to play as both Abby and Ellie. We see it in the similarity of their story. We see when what we remember of playing as Joel is almost identically mirrored in the play-style of Abby. We see it personified in the repeating motif of the moth.

 

The last of us image 1

Moth And Fern

I think it was lost on me until I began trying to capture all my thoughts into this article, that the moth motif is a powerful reminder of action and consequence. The very first scene opens up on a Moth pattern printed onto a guitar that Joel is holding. As he cleans the board with a used rag, the imagery of a moth, its symbolic representation of death and compulsion, and its metaphorical allusion to action and consequence (the darker cousin of the butterfly effect), is signalled.

We see this again when they touch on Ellie’s tattoo, a moth at the tip of a fern branch. It continues to visit us whenever we play the guitar. It follows us throughout the turmoil and then finally returns in the last scene, lingering on our screens before the credits roll.

The ideas of death and compulsion; following the light until you get burnt, are frequently accompanied by the escalating severity of action and consequence throughout The Last of Us franchise. Where a change in one state might result in a large difference in a later state, the motif of the moth reminds us of the butterfly effect and presents a story which explores the deadly consequences of compulsion and love. Not the soppy, romantic comedy love where the guy gets the girl but something far more real, meaningful and damaging.

 

The last of us image 2

Moth And Fern, Part II

It is safe to say that The Last of Us Part II is one of the best games of this generation and possibly the best story driven game I have ever played. The whole production is centred around the story, where gameplay mechanics are designed to get the player further and further into the game world.

Through the high class graphics and dramatic sound design, moments of loss and pain are truly felt. When we get the chance to explore Ellie’s journal we are reminded just how varied and profound love can be. And, just how destructive compulsion is to our inner thoughts.

Ultimately, by playing as both Ellie and Abby, we get to fully explore a subversion of love, a narrative complete on both sides. We see the consequences of our actions and feel our way through the fallout. There are defined and varied moments of love on both sides of the story throughout The Last of Us Part II. However, the one that is most profoundly felt is the story of love that ends revenge, and leaves us wondering where we ended up after blindly following the light.

 

  • Zatu Review Summary
  • Zatu Score

    Rating

    • Graphics
    • Multiplayer
    • Story (Career Mode)
    • Originality

    You might like

    • Incredible story told in a very new way
    • World Class graphics and cinematics
    • Compelling characters development and gameplay mechanics

    Might not like

    • Single Player only
    • Graphic violent scenes and imagery
    • Some jumpy moments