The Last Of Us Part II: Review, What's Left of Us!
Few of the works considered the absolute excellence have been seen, and all of them have reached this status thanks to the exceeding of standards that have crumbled under the weight of the years. After The Last of Us - Part 2, it will be very difficult for the whole industry to try to compete with a title that makes the medium take a whole step forward, which cancels all the timid attempts to propose narrative avant-garde, which traces a clear line beyond which no one had ever gone so far.
The Last of Us - Part 2 makes tremendously unpopular choices, almost impossible to testify without coming out of it with a broken heart ; it builds a story of extreme and incurable pain, with scenes capable of shaking your interior and transmitting a heap of sensations that only trauma and deep bewilderment are able to convey.
The Last of Us - Part 2 speaks of lives to the limit and of human beings who no longer have moral rules to submit to, of primordial emotions that take over, of obscene cruelty and evil acts; but also of sweet and compassionate love, of violated bonds that will remain firm forever, of what is good in a humanity irremediably led astray by the lowest instincts that the need to survive has brought to light.
The Last of Us - Part 2, what's left of us
In The Last of Us - Part 2 , Ellie is nineteen and lives safely in a quiet community in the town of Jackson. Joel is also part of it, and while he seems to have put his past as a smuggler behind him, respect for him continues to grow. On the other hand, in a world that has lost all points of reference, its expert and authoritarian presence can only be a guiding light for those who have lost their certainties.
In this environment where a group of men and women have come together to try to restore a semblance of normality, an unexpected and violent event shakes the whole community. New characters that move in the shadows come out into the open, perform terrible acts that apparently have no explanation and change the balance of each one's lives forever through a story that proves to be divisive, atrocious, multifaceted and able to stage characters of a depth simply never seen .
One of the greatest qualities of The Last of Us - Part 2 is to free oneself from the logic of good and bad, of heroes and villains, of benevolent personalities and other bearers of misfortunes : in Naughty Dog's great work there are characters from malignant inclination capable of performing brutal acts driven by the noble feeling of love, with a harrowing experience that generates immediate empathy, which justifies and in some way will even accept apparently unforgivable gestures; and there are also beloved and positive characters capable of leaving a trail of copious blood behind them, while they are darkened by their blind reasons and driven by a thirst for revenge that knows no commiseration and respect for human life.
The Last of Us - Part 2 shows us how the consequences are often unpredictable, how human reactions are always diversified , and how nothing, in the face of a writing with an out-of-parameter quality, can be anticipated by the player before it really happens. For about thirty hours you will be tossed inside an out of control roller coaster, capable of reducing you to tears, making you mount in a burning anger and accompany you step by step on an adventure that will remain inside you forever . Not only is it a visceral and intense drama, but above all a work able to clear customs once and for all delicate themes and of which no one has yet managed to tell with so much honesty and naturalness.
There is no denying that The Last of Us - Part 2 was built with the importance of such a complex and difficult role to play in mind, and this is evident from the way in which not only is the emphasis placed on certain dynamics loving, but by the way in which relationships are built and deepened during the course of the adventure, without forcing and without ever making instrumental use of socio-political ideologies. However, there are times when Naughty Dog seems to tread the hand more than expected, as if to reiterate certain concepts without ever needing to , making a vision already clear and explicit from beginning to end redundant. The inclusion of minorities in the narrative fabric of The Last of Us - Part 2not only does it touch the LGBT world, but it also caresses the religious and social ones, lapping side-by-side themes that open the doors to an emancipation of the all-round video game .
The decadent poetics of pain and the cycle of violence are part of human existence, and representing it with so much truthfulness does not make The Last of Us - Part 2 a violent game, but one in which figurative realism appears to the excesses of reality . Each physical confrontation is animalistic, instinctive, with contextual animations dependent on the point in which you are attacking, on the white weapon you are using and even on how you are attacking the opponent: from standing still, shooting forward or with the cowardly instinct of a treacherous blow.
Nothing is left to chance, and the amount of details and touches of class clearly shows how much attention there is in wanting to establish completely new canons, models that will act as a new comparison point. The weight of the weapons and the different impact of the fire mouths, the sensation of physical impediment that is felt when you receive a bullet or a violent blow, the perfect animations and facial expressions of terror, hate, pain, disappointment, jealousy and resentment these are just some of the details that make The Last of Us - Part 2 the manifesto of an entire generation .
The Last of Us - Part 2 did not shake the solid foundations of the previous chapter, but used them to build a project that stands well above those already remarkable results, expanding the framework in a simply impeccable way. The Seattle devoured by the pandemic and submerged by wild nature has a completely different scale from the Boston of the progenitor: the accordion structure of The Last of Us - Part 2puts you in front of huge areas dotted with dilapidated buildings, abandoned shops and what remains of old buildings; then it closes again, sometimes until it forces you along earth casings and asphyxial caves, outside which there is another area of imposing dimensions where the conflict gives way to curious and careful exploration, or to sudden ambushes by the infected, or in reprisals from the Washington Liberation Front and Seraphites.
In this sinusoid of varied moments there is never a drop in rhythm, a section out of place, a dilution of the adventure, a scene that does not give color to the already heated scenario outlined by Naughty Dog. Even in the final phase, when everything leans towards an unedifying narrative choice, there is an opening that leaves ample room for deductions that already project the player towards the future of the series.
The Last of Us - Part 2 never reveals itself unbalanced towards the combat phases, which are rather rarefied if it fits into the larger picture painted by Naughty Dog. However, it must be said that here too there are important improvements and new introductions that broaden the spectrum of possibilities granted. The stealth phases, together with the reactions of the AI diversified by type of enemies, give life to sections in which meticulous attention and the timing of one's actions become fundamental, if you want to take your skin home.
But it is with extreme difficulty that The Last of Us - Part 2 becomes truly uncompromising and gives its best : resources are rare and every bullet is precious; the enemies are very aggressive and almost relentless, more precise in gunfights, they perform faster and more articulated maneuvers; members of the seraphite sect and WLF soldiers have more sensory perceptions, alert their comrades quickly, have more complex melee combos and, in general, leave very little room for error.
A hostile world, a life to fight strenuously for
In addition to new types of infects that we leave you the pleasure of discovering, it is appropriate to outline the role of the WLF and the seraphites. The Washington Liberation Front is a sort of anarchist-insurrectionist military apparatus that at first glance could appear as a direct emanation of the Lights, but it will soon be discovered how some drifts have changed its face and oriented its purposes. They usually attack in small groups and tend to wander around with pincers, sometimes using dogs to hunt you down quickly.
The seraphites are in constant struggle with the WLF and are the members of an oppressed sect whose ultimate objectives are unclear; they appear much more circumspect and calculating, attack with bows and white weapons and offer fewer points of reference. They communicate by means of a code made up of short and rapid or prolonged whistles, and they have among their ranks some elements of great size, leathery, powerful and difficult to break down.
These differences sometimes require differentiated approaches, and as it is easy to imagine, there are moments when mixed situations suddenly pop up, with infected people ready to clear the cards on the tables and force you to creative approaches. In all this, the environment will often give you support or leave you exposed: the vegetation has two different levels of height and can hide your presence both from crouching or lying down. In the first case it will be possible to advance curled up and surprise the enemy when he is not directly in front of you; in the second, crawling or wedging under trucks and depressions is a momentary solution that in the moment of escape will leave you at the mercy of the enemy: attempting a transition will in fact force you to discover yourself, and sometimes you may not reach the next shelter without arousing suspicion. But it is clear that these are considerations more oriented towards those who choose the most intransigent line.
The Last of Us - Part 2 is totally inclusive and its scalability, together with the audiovisual options, prove it. This does not mean that it is permissive, not even at standard difficulties, but to have the ultimate survival experience and to better grasp the quality of the work done by the developers, one cannot ignore a second game that brings out all the subtleties of a true breed masterpiece. Moreover, the verticality of the game world and its surprising horizontal extension will constantly leave you in the doubt of having left something aside.
Among text files, resources, collectibles, small optional areas and even weapons, there is a lot in the game world of The Last of - Part 2 that you could get lost on the street. It is not anything so important or fundamental, it is clear, yet discovering the heartbreaking stories of others, excerpts of some background or the unfaithful destinies of those who wandered in those same areas that you are preying on, conveys all despair and meaning of inevitability that envelops that world tormented by disease and nihilism.
Artistically The Last of Us - Part 2 represents the peak reached so far by Naughty Dog : not only did his decadent vision take on a new dimension thanks to an even more vivid and impactful imagination, but it was enriched by a choral work that it is the result of a consolidated awareness, of a commonality of intent evident from start to finish, which has expanded the series and improved its body and scope.
And its technical sector is incredible , capable of never putting even a standard PS4 in crisis, which does not sob, does not show frame losses and proudly manages a polygonal size and complex game situations without suffering even when you do could forgive. During our long test no bugs of any kind ever emerged, and that flaw that left your shoulder invisible was also gone. Now your partner takes on a more active role, can be seen, has an AI that acts by emulation and in a more appropriate way to situations. And it can even be caught out, animating battles or literally making them start because of a misstep, without ever resulting in a forcing or a calculated error. The realism of The Last of Us - Part 2 also passes through this, while without any pity or sweetenings it shows us who we really are, what we could become and what remains of us when the world goes out.
All and all the merit of Naughty Dog goes beyond the objective beauty and enjoyment of this second chapter, since it embraces the total customs clearance of delicate social issues, the grim representation of violence never an end in itself, the realism of a world not at all unlike the real one and the ability to narrate a vibrant and intense drama by crumbling every filter between characters and player.