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The Last of Us Part 2


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Just me or are the visuals and environments even more impressive in the second half? The way they've used lighting, the weather, subtle effects and an absolutely insane amount of detail seems to be really ramped up in the last few chapters I've played. The water, not just in pools, but running down surfaces, the way the rain comes down in sheets, it's absolutely staggering. Other games are going to feel rough after this, there was nothing in the Sony PS5 reveal that looked even near as good. There's a tastefulness and maturity to the art direction, it's sophisticated and wants you to take it seriously. The colour grading is beautiful, muted but atmospheric, again incredibly tasteful. Imagine going back to Days Gone after this.

 

In one of the early levels of the game there are band/gig posters plastered all over a wall, not in pastichey, RockStar way, they actually feel authentic, bands and club nights you'd go to in real life. That alone must have been weeks of work, coming up with the band names, logos, club/venue names, the whole typography style and art direction to make them all feel unique. And this was in a side/optional room that would be really easy to miss.

 

The story has completely lost me, it's silly and just a pointless meandering mess at this point, but when the gameplay comes together and the stealth and shooting are front and centre there's still enough to like to get me to the end.

 

 

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1 minute ago, the_debaser said:

Played another hour tonight. Still utterly frustrating. It plays like a game from 15 years ago. Everything is signposted, full of hold forward cutscenes, crafting shit, codes on paper, boring conversations, scavenging, long pressing, qtes, uncharted lite environment exploration, NPCs telling you to look at stuff all the time, the game bombarding you with press button indicators all the time. Seattle feels so small. The story is absolute tripe too. 
 

A step backwards for gaming. I’ll stick with Nintendo for the foreseeable. 


Please, please, PLEASE stop playing it.

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1 hour ago, Stanshall said:

@Broker The gameplay is the best ever of its kind. Only MGSV is superior to this as a stealth game, but it can't compare in the third person action genre. I'd also say that this is better than RE2 Remake as a survival horror game.

 

It's big talk and I've had a couple of robust Trappist beers but I would molotov a dog to defend this position. 

 

Hold your horses there just a tiny bit. I love the game but that is taking it a bit too far. :P

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24 minutes ago, the_debaser said:

Played another hour tonight. Still utterly frustrating. It plays like a game from 15 years ago. Everything is signposted, full of hold forward cutscenes, crafting shit, codes on paper, boring conversations, scavenging, long pressing, qtes, uncharted lite environment exploration, NPCs telling you to look at stuff all the time, the game bombarding you with press button indicators all the time. Seattle feels so small. The story is absolute tripe too. 
 

A step backwards for gaming. I’ll stick with Nintendo for the foreseeable. 

 

Pretty much, it is dated and prehistoric in gaming terms. All of its systems and events have made me feel nostalgic for old games - remember when we used to do this in games? Remember when this was a thing? The entire game is a throwback. But when it does come together it is better than the games it reminds you of, it's done with such style and panache that your memory is tricking you into thinking you've done this already - but it's never been as slick or exciting as this.

 

This game was in development for seven years though, which I think is too long for any creative project - movie, album or game. Maybe the systems and gameplay would have been moved on considerably more if Naughty Dog had released this game in chapters and responded to current innovations and progressions in gaming, rather than dragging their seven year old ideas into the end of another generation and the beginning of a new one. I would love to see them let rip with the same creativity in gameplay as they do in visuals and character design, but their processes and pursuit of insane visual fidelity are clearly holding that back.

 

Did anyone really think they would be powering generators and finding notes to open safes in Sony's big AAA game in the space year 2020 though? It's pretty absurd.

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@Talk Show Host I should be upfront that I don't enjoy stealth games for the most part, so MGSV is the ne plus ultra for me. Stuff that's pure stealth has no appeal. To that end, TLOU2 is perfectly balanced, on the aggressive extreme of the stealth spectrum. That's what appeals to me. 

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3 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

Development didn't start until 2017. ND were working on U4 and TLL then, they ditched the two-teams idea after developing Uncharted 3 and the first LOU at the same time.

 

Is this incorrect then? "Development of The Last of Us Part II began in 2014, soon after the release of The Last of Us Remastered."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_of_Us_Part_II

 

Not being a dick (for once) genuine question.

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Well it's correct in the sense they were in pre-production but the majority of ND were working on UC4 

 

Quote

Following the release of Uncharted 4 in May 2016, The Last of Us 2 went into full production with Druckmann returning as creative director. Game director Bruce Straley did not return and instead took a sabbatical after burn out from The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, later announcing his departure from Naughty Dog in September 2017. Westworld's Halley Gross was brought on as an additional writer to assist Druckmann with the narrative, and Anthony Newman and Kurt Margenau were chosen as additional directors.

 

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17 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:

Hold your horses there just a tiny bit. I love the game but that is taking it a bit too far. :P

I fucking love stealth games, the stealth in this is right up there with the best of them for me. :)

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1 hour ago, Stanshall said:

@Broker The gameplay is the best ever of its kind. Only MGSV is superior to this as a stealth game, but it can't compare in the third person action genre. I'd also say that this is better than RE2 Remake as a survival horror game.

 

It's big talk and I've had a couple of robust Trappist beers but I would molotov a dog to defend this position. 

 

10 minutes ago, Stanshall said:

@Talk Show Host I should be upfront that I don't enjoy stealth games for the most part, so MGSV is the ne plus ultra for me. Stuff that's pure stealth has no appeal. To that end, TLOU2 is perfectly balanced, on the aggressive extreme of the stealth spectrum. That's what appeals to me. 


Yeah I don’t think it being a great stealth game really hold up. First it’s not really a stealth game because it constantly forces you to kill people and presents you with sections where you have to fight and can’t use stealth. Secondly, the stealth is incredibly limited and repetitive, boiling down mostly to stabbing people in the neck 500 times with no other options. 
 

Once the stealth breaks, the AI is impressive and the gunfights look meatier and more interesting, if it wasn’t for the lack of ammo. But yeah, the awful stealth gameplay is the main reason I didn’t enjoy the first one and watched rather than played this.

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Broker, you watched it, not played it. Feel free to comment on the story all you want, but when it comes to the gameplay ... man, shut your mouth. :lol:

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Spoiler

Just escaped the subway station after meeting my first shambles. Jaysus that was tense and exciting, dripping in atmosphere. 


I’m loving this a lot so far. The combat is wonderfully scrappy and meaty, smacking a runner in the face with a hammer isn’t getting old yet. Just wow. 

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Just now, Thor said:

Broker, you watched it, not played it. Feel free to comment on the story all you want, but when it comes to the gameplay ... man, shut your mouth. :lol:


Are you actually so stupid that you think people can’t understand things they haven’t done? The extremely basic stealth gameplay is pretty clear from videos and playing other games. And I don’t recall signing up to have what I can and can’t discuss policed by someone as terminally boring as you. 

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I still think it's a poorer stealth game than Manhunt, in that there's no risk/reward or gamble when you're doing a stealth kill. It's pretty much hit Square to win. In Manhunt you had the three increasingly graphic ways of killing with each weapon, depending on how long you dared to hold the kill button, but doing so exposed you to being discovered. In Last Of Us it's always the same outcome and always the same animation, with no incentive or visual feedback to discern between a quick messy kill or a beautifully planned and executed, well, execution.

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7 minutes ago, Broker said:


Are you actually so stupid that you think people can’t understand things they haven’t done? The extremely basic stealth gameplay is pretty clear from videos and playing other games. And I don’t recall signing up to have what I can and can’t discuss policed by someone as terminally boring as you. 

I was being as nice as I could while still telling you that you're talking with "authority" about stuff you haven't really fully experienced. Then you come at me with the most dull of ad hominems. 

 

Guess what, pal. I'm not going to take the bait. :bye:

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Isn't this the second person who watched the whole thing and said the gameplay is missing something?

 

I think I know what it is guys

 

61zusMCSSUL._AC_SX679_.jpg

 

;) - PLEASE NOTE THE 'WINKING' SMILEY WHICH INDICATES THIS IS JUST A BIT OF FUN AND NOT SOME KIND OF ATTACK

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Broker said:

 


Yeah I don’t think it being a great stealth game really hold up. First it’s not really a stealth game because it constantly forces you to kill people and presents you with sections where you have to fight and can’t use stealth. Secondly, the stealth is incredibly limited and repetitive, boiling down mostly to stabbing people in the neck 500 times with no other options. 
 

Once the stealth breaks, the AI is impressive and the gunfights look meatier and more interesting, if it wasn’t for the lack of ammo. But yeah, the awful stealth gameplay is the main reason I didn’t enjoy the first one and watched rather than played this.

 

I think it depends what you want from a stealth game. If you're after literally just sneaking about in the shadows and the game failing when things go wrong then yeah, this is pretty limited. And it's fine if that's your thing. 

 

What I look for in a stealth game is how satisfying the Sneak > Get Found > Experiment/Reset loop is. I don't think failing at stealth is fun, which is why I find it much more satisfying that when that does happen there's that choice to either engage in full combat, or run away and reset to stealth mode again. Game Maker's Toolkit did a great video on this earlier in lockdown which i'll link to, but for me The Last of Us 2 is only secondary to MGSV as a stealth game purely because of how it nails the above loop. You can sneak around and clear out a whole area with silent stealth and feel like a total badass if you want. Or you can be Predator, and use noise/distraction/bodies to create a kind of on the fly murder simulator where enemies don't see you but are very much aware of you. You pay for this, because enemies group up and move faster and look for you when they're aware you're there, but the fun is in the hunt/be hunted/oh shit moments. 

 

I also found the combat totally lacking in the first game, Broker, and I can imagine if you watch the wrong play through or maybe even in some cases the right ones this could probably look very similar. But the areas you fight in are much much bigger in the sequel and that AI you were so impressed with combines with this to make one of my favourite stealth/combat sandboxes ever. It feels like Tony Hawks at times, zipping through gaps and over desks with gunfire zipping around you (might have lost the Tony Hawks metaphor a bit, there...) trying to reset to stealthiness or cause more carnage. As I get older I'm starting to realise it's in the moment experimentation like that that turns a good game into a classic, for me anyway.  

 

I thought The Last of Us was a great story attached to a 7/10 game. The Last of Us 2 is a great story attached to some of the best combat I've ever played in a videogame. It's that good. 

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Just now, Uncle Nasty said:

Comparing this to MGSV is like comparing Toploader to the Rolling Stones, let's keep our heads guys.

You are wrong. :)

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1 minute ago, Uncle Nasty said:

I still think it's a poorer stealth game than Manhunt, in that there's no risk/reward or gamble when you're doing a stealth kill. It's pretty much hit Square to win. In Manhunt you had the three increasingly graphic ways of killing with each weapon, depending on how long you dared to hold the kill button, but doing so exposed you to being discovered. In Last Of Us it's always the same outcome and always the same animation, with no incentive or visual feedback to discern between a quick messy kill or a beautifully planned and executed, well, execution.

 

You always have to weigh up whether you'll be spotted while performing the stealth kill, though. In fact, I got the skills that allow you to perform stealth kills more quickly and drag enemies faster as soon as I could because I found them so useful, especially towards the end of the game.

 

I don't really understand the argument that the stealth is basic, either. Unless you want to fundamentally change the nature of the game, what other mechanics would you want the developers to include? Apart from something like knocking on walls, Solid Snake style, or hiding inside boxes or something, I can't think of much you could introduce that would fit with the realistic tone that the game is going for. Having a teleport mechanic like in Dishonored's stealth system obviously wouldn't make any sense, nor would all the elaborate gadgets that Snake has in MGSV.

 

As @BitterToad suggests, the combat is so fantastic because, when you do get discovered, it's not an instant restart and you can start getting up close and personal.

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1 minute ago, Thor said:

You are wrong. :)

 

I really like the stealth in this but there is nowhere near the depth of opportunity or ingenuity offered in MGSV. It's just madness to suggest that.

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Of course it doesn't have the sheer wealth of options, but in terms of the fluidity if its stealth gameplay, this game is easily, for me, second only to MGSV. 

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30 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

You always have to weigh up whether you'll be spotted while performing the stealth kill, though. In fact, I got the skills that allow you to perform stealth kills more quickly and drag enemies faster as soon as I could because I found them so useful, especially towards the end of the game.

 

I don't really understand the argument that the stealth is basic, either. Unless you want to fundamentally change the nature of the game, what other mechanics would you want the developers to include? Apart from something like knocking on walls, Solid Snake style, or hiding inside boxes or something, I can't think of much you could introduce that would fit with the realistic tone that the game is going for. Having a teleport mechanic like in Dishonored's stealth system obviously wouldn't make any sense, nor would all the elaborate gadgets that Snake has in MGSV.

 

As @BitterToad suggests, the combat is so fantastic because, when you do get discovered, it's not an instant restart and you can start getting up close and personal.


I’d like to see a bit more depth when you get close enough to see the ‘grab’ prompt because there is really only one correct option at that point (grab -> neck stab). What would be really great is some kind of analogue ‘drop the weapon’ hold-up type move (yes, like MGS) where you give the AI a chance to toss their weapon. Now, they may or may not do this depending on who they are and how you catch them but it’s better than just the one clearly optimal option you have now. 
 

I do like that there’s no cop-out silent sleeper hold move, but something that gives the enemy a chance to live but at much greater risk to the player would be cool. Like, even if you convince an enemy to give up their weapon and lie prone, you’d have to assume that they rejoin the fight as soon as your back is turned, and so it’d be up to you, the player, whether you want or reduce the enemy count by 1 permanently or just take them out of the fight for a short time. 

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20 minutes ago, Uncle Nasty said:

Hitman? 

 

I love a bit of Hitman, but I play the thing like it's purely a puzzle game, so when I fuck up I reload...

 

each and every time

 

It became a terrible addiction, and then I stopped playing it because I felt I was wasting my life :( 

 

I love the way in LoU2, you can do the whole stealth thing, but because you're clearly not Snake the shit will hit the fan more often than not, but that's okay because the game kind of allows this to happen and great fun ensues.

 

Well, at least it does for me!

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