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The Last of Us Part 2 - Now updated for PS5 for at 60fps


Uzi
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  • 2 months later...

I finally started playing this, I was hoping this would be the first Naughty Dog game I love, but after 4 or 5 hours it seems to be having the same effect other ND games have on me and leaving me with a sense of apathy more than anything else. I don't know exactly what it is about all their games that leaves me cold, but I feel like they're always games that tick every box a critically acclaimed triple A game should tick, but I can't feel any soul in them. From story, characters to gameplay, it has everything a good game "should have", but the only exceptional thing that I can see about it is the polish and budget. 

 

I feel like I'm watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster, just as I did with Uncharted (albeit a different genre). I get the feeling ND wants to make movies far more than Hideo Kojima ever has. I would go as far as to say that ND's whole thing is refining the gaming status quo until it seems almost groundbreaking, except it isn't. 

 

Nothing wrong with all that though, and I'll keep on with this game as it's only early days still and it might still win me over. 

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I wish there were more Hollywood blockbusters as challenging as The Last of Us 2. When I think of a typical Hollywood blockbuster something like this certainly doesn't come to mind, that's for sure. Maybe in a bygone age something like this would come out of the Hollywood machine but Hollywood nowadays is pretty much all reboots, remakes and superhero movies.

 

If you consider something like Marvel the standard for a modern Hollywood blockbuster, mostly all perfectly competent but extremely safe 3/5 popcorn movies, then Naughty Dog are running rings around those from an artistic perspective. 

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An absolute fucking beast of a game, 25 hours of awesome gunplay, amazing visuals and quality storytelling. The only problem is it's such a meaty big beast I haven't had the time to go back to it since the credits rolled last june.

 

Wish they would hurry up with the multiplayer.

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I do find it interesting that so many consider this a challenging piece of storytelling, but I'm only on the first chapter (first day) so my opinion may well change and it's a wonderful thing we if we do end up having different opinions anyway. 

 

Maybe I am comparing it to Hollywood films of a bygone era, certainly not comparing it to marvel. But so far it just has all the traditional elements I imagine a big budget zombie blockbuster would have, maybe something starring Tom Cruise or Will Smith, or whoever their teenage equivalents are . There's nothing very unconventional so far. But I'll play to the end and give my final thoughts then.

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I find it an extraordinarily difficult game to actually enjoy. It's fantastic in terms of looks, sound, gunplay and all that sort of thing, but it's too depressing by half for me to replay it. I'm very, very glad I did play it through, as there's artistry in the game that's pretty much unmatched, but my god it's a sad world these poor buggers inhabit. Tough and cruel and whilst there are a few moments of light in there, it's not a 'nice' game.

 

I think the original is one of the greatest pieces of software that's been made. I think it told its tale perfectly well and - for me at least - had a very satisfying conclusion. I never really needed or required another game set in the same world, and I probably still don't really. But I think ND made a worthy sequel, and I think it's good that it exists.

 

I just can't summon the fortitude to put myself through the wringer on it again!

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On 12/10/2021 at 19:32, Alan Stock said:

You're very very very nearly there.

 

I did actually make it just after this and thought I'd posted but obviously not.

 

Like others have just said one of the most intense, grueling, painful and downright incredible bits of software I've ever played.

 

But jesus christ, it's grim on another scale. I'm not sure I can bring myself to play it through again (completed it on hard) and definitely don't think I need another one. Just way too much at times but maybe that is I have a family and am getting older and even softer now. I did let out a number of oh god, no and jesus christ's during the second half as certain events unfolded.

 

Amazing, amazing stuff though. 

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I gave it an 8/10 because at its heart was a slightly old fashion 3rd person action game with cut scenes splitting sections but as time goes on I never stop thinking of it as a benchmark for entertainment as a whole.


It’s a real journey. Like those trilogy films that you watch and get a sense you’ve been through alot.

 

I think maybe next week I’ll play through them again.

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I haven't finished this yet, though I'm good way into it now (it's a big game!) and surely not too far off. I need to see how this ends before I figure out exactly how I feel about it all, but soulless it is not.  It's a consummately made game, for sure. 

Still, I did go back to Death Stranding today, and returning to that glorious genius (not horrifically violent) lunacy felt so good after TLOU.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

Finished this tonight, a fantastic game that wouldn’t suffer if it was cut by a 1/3rd. Still, the combat is fantastic, the way the AI flanks and hunts you is amazing and the detail of the world is second to none. I hope Part 3, if there is one,

Spoiler

focuses on the story of Abby. I didn’t enjoy the switch to her character initially but in the end I think it was my favourite section of the game.

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, FiveFootNinja said:

I appreciate I'm late to the party on this, but I finally finished the game last night. I've been thinking about it a lot so wanted to write something up with my thoughts.

 

I was bought it as a Christmas present in 2020 and, not feeling like a great one for festive feels, it went on my gaming pile for a full year. New Year 21/22 saw me finally crack it open and begin.

 

My initial reaction was really positive. While not a massive fan of the original, I did enjoy it a lot, and this felt like an immediate drop back into that grim world. There first act built at a slow but immersive pace, and the narrative setup is something I thought really hit the mark...

 

  Hide contents

Joel's death at the hands of Abby was a fantastic bit of gruesome, brutal storytelling. Who is this badass woman? Why is she caving in the head of my favourite character? Why can't I stop her?! Awesome stuff.

 

Moving into the game proper and entering the semi-open world of downtown Seattle felt great. The freedom of exploration and choice wasn't something I was used to in a Naughty Dog game, and in may ways I wish more of the game was like that.

 

However during Act 2 (part 1) I did find myself switching off from the game a bit. The world and levels are stunning and the performance smooth, but the environments did start to blur into the same issue I had with the first game of "jump wall into next very pretty but unmemorable ruined suburb, crouch behind cars to kill 6-7 guys, climb another wall/break through a door". I have also never really got on that well with NG combat but I know that is subjective.

 

I soldiered on though as I was invested enough in the story to see it though, and the brutal tail end to that section of story really nailed a visceral, hefty landing.

 

Cut to Act 2 (part 2) and a combinations of things conspired against my progress. One one hand I'd already felt like I'd played a full game at that point (I really think on reflection the first portion of this game is baggy and drawn out, I think just to satisfy an amount of "screen time" for a certain character), plus there is also the question of character buy-in at that stage. Also, unfortunately, this also coincided with a busy period at my work, and a disruptive house extension. The net result is I put the game pad away in late January and didn't pick it up again until June and questioned whether I should bother finishing it.

 

Well I did, and it is bloody fantastic...

 

Act 2 (part 2) evolved to be may favourite portion of the game, with in my opinion the more interesting narrative dynamics, more interesting levels, and more enjoyable weapons. After an hour or so pushing myself back into it, it just clicked.

 

Coming to the final (ish) act I find myself in a brilliantly conflicted by the convergence of narratives. I didn't really know how I felt, who I was rooting for, or what I wanted to happen. Brilliant stuff, and way more mature storytelling craft than video games can normally managed.

 

Then came the epilogue... for me it felt mostly unnecessary and, for a game that I already felt was about 8 hours too long, didn't really give me anything meaty enough to justify that could not have been written into earlier portions of the game. I think it was referenced above, it it's very "Return of King", but when finally watching the credits roll my overwhelming reaction is one of relief that I stuck it out. The game is most definitely flawed, but I think it is probably masterpiece.

 

Some additional, mainly character, spoilered comments below...

 

  Hide contents

Abby... brilliant.

 

I went into her story initially feeling burnt out and had no desire to play as her. But once I cracked on I think it was the most rewarding narrative of the two. By the end it is clear to me that Ellie has been consumed by her pain and trauma that she has become the monster. That isn't to say I hate Ellie, quite the opposite, I'm massively invested in her. But her soul is destroying itself. Dina (another fantastic character) provides Ellie everything she needs physically and emotionally to rebuild herself after the resolution int he theatre, but the guilt over both Joel's actions and Joel's death doesn't allow her begin that healing journey. By the time we got to the Pillars I was hoping in many ways that Abby would be able to do arguably the kind thing and put her out of her misery.

 

Abby's own path is great. As you get to know her the dynamics of her relationships with the Fireflies, Owen, her friends, the cause, all build a really satisfying picture of a hugely flawed but ultimately exceptional human. The story with Lev feels like her soul's way to repenting past mistakes, and is the thing that Ellie needed to find (but couldn't) with her family.

 

All in all I really wish it was about 8 hours shorter and elements of the mechanics and levels could be refined/removed completely, but at it's best this is an exquisite narrative action game. I hope when HBO bring the franchise to the screen in 2023 it does it justice.


 

Great post - I like the throw the kitchen sink at it length and I really like the epilogue - but I do agree that Act 2 part 2 is the highlight. 
 

That whole section is absolute genius in the way that Naughty Dog, who are so often criticised for pretensions of making films instead of videogames, seek to accomplish their core narrative in a way that can only work in a videogame. 
 

Spoiler

Although there is a lot of narrative used to build sympathy for Abby, the absolute main tool for connecting us with her is that she becomes our avatar, and we have to keep her alive to see the rest of the story.

 

On top of that, they make Abby fundamentally more fun than Ellie to play as - she feels stronger, more mobile and has access to better weapons straight off the bat. And she has the most entertaining set pieces in the game. 
 

And when you think about it, the seeds for connecting with her are sown in the bits where we control her in the first act - we literally become complicit ourselves in Joel’s death because we guided Abby to him. 

 

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4 hours ago, Flanders said:


 

Great post - I like the throw the kitchen sink at it length and I really like the epilogue - but I do agree that Act 2 part 2 is the highlight. 
 

That whole section is absolute genius in the way that Naughty Dog, who are so often criticised for pretensions of making films instead of videogames, seek to accomplish their core narrative in a way that can only work in a videogame. 
 

  Reveal hidden contents

Although there is a lot of narrative used to build sympathy for Abby, the absolute main tool for connecting us with her is that she becomes our avatar, and we have to keep her alive to see the rest of the story.

 

On top of that, they make Abby fundamentally more fun than Ellie to play as - she feels stronger, more mobile and has access to better weapons straight off the bat. And she has the most entertaining set pieces in the game. 
 

And when you think about it, the seeds for connecting with her are sown in the bits where we control her in the first act - we literally become complicit ourselves in Joel’s death because we guided Abby to him. 

 

Thanks :) 

 

I actually liked the epilogue as a thing too, I just felt it added unnecessary length (and detail) so late in the game that I already felt was long enough and, other than setting up the cinematography for the final actions of the game, didn't feel it really added much to the story as a whole. In fact, thinking as I type this, I would have been up for a DLC or something where that area/enemy was given its own space and time to be explored properly.

 

It was a bit like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for me (which I'm currently reading my son as it happens). Everything in it is good, and it provides good depth of characters/the world, but as a complete narrative work it gets buried under it's own weight a bit and (in my humble opinion) needed a good old edit to strip the fat a little.

 

Anyway, I'm just glad I played it as at one point I was very much hovering over the delete button and I would definitely have missed out on something a bit special.

 

P.S. Totally agree about ND using the video game medium as a tool for developing narrative, not just a method of delivery for it. 👌

 

P.P.S. For clarity when I say "epilogue" I mean the whole final section rather than just the last chapter (called "epilogue") :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progressing my second playthrough, on the second half of the game, and just got through the massive hotel that you need to descend from top to bottom. My god, I forgot how tense that was. The bit at the bottom, where you have to fight a bloater and about six or seven clickers, was an absolute ordeal. 
 

Few games elicit the kind of dread this one does. 

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8 hours ago, Popo said:

Progressing my second playthrough, on the second half of the game, and just got through the massive hotel that you need to descend from top to bottom. My god, I forgot how tense that was. The bit at the bottom, where you have to fight a bloater and about six or seven clickers, was an absolute ordeal. 
 

Few games elicit the kind of dread this one does. 


Oh, it was most definitely the Hospital that screwed me up. Just the thought of doing that again fills me with all the ‘nopes’ going.

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  • 1 month later...

I have never been a Naughty Dog fan. Really dislike the Uncharted series, found LoU1 a slog.

 

However I picked this up when I got my PS5, and am now 12 hours in.

 

It's really really fucking good ain't it? Properly immersed in the characters and the gameplay is a HUGE leap on what ND normally pump out.

 

At this pace it's masterpiece territory.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Scrap the above.

 

Ended up watching the rest of this on a playthrough as could not be arsed going back. Its too long for what it is. Kinda glad I didn't play on now. Druckmann is a shit writer.

Impressive technical feat but ND are ridiculously overhyped.

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On 20/08/2022 at 21:17, Dark Soldier said:

I have never been a Naughty Dog fan. Really dislike the Uncharted series, found LoU1 a slog.

 

However I picked this up when I got my PS5, and am now 12 hours in.

 

It's really really fucking good ain't it? Properly immersed in the characters and the gameplay is a HUGE leap on what ND normally pump out.

 

At this pace it's masterpiece territory.


image.jpeg.389ae18cc2faf47e81f35b97e90cd03b.jpeg

36 minutes ago, Dark Soldier said:

Scrap the above.

 

Ended up watching the rest of this on a playthrough as could not be arsed going back. Its too long for what it is. Kinda glad I didn't play on now. Druckmann is a shit writer.

Impressive technical feat but ND are ridiculously overhyped.

image.jpeg.679d4575c407a7a54bc202f4c89339ce.jpeg

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