When released on Friday (19), “The Last of Us Part II” will finally reach the expectations of millions of fans around the world. The PlayStation 4 exclusive game is tense, violent and exciting, and is not afraid to challenge its players. But it is also unlikely to please those who have not liked their predecessor. As we already anticipated here on Gaming Net, in the post Most anticipated games of 2020: The Last of Us Part II, the game would be one of the most anticipated of this year.
The sequence of the 2013 game, considered the best of that year, knows how to masterfully use the characters and the world presented in the original. At the same time, it expands on its complex themes of human nature and the duality of the hero. These proposals, however, require a narrative that often limits the player. Apart from the importance of your decisions or even your control over the action.
These restrictions are not necessarily an issue. After all, they worked very well in the first one, which had the potential to please even those who prefer greater freedom. But the story of “Part II” is lost several times. With comings and goings in time and between different characters, with different purposes, and moments when the objectives are not justified.
The new “The Las of Us” begins five years after the end of the first game. In it, the protagonists Joel and Ellie live a peaceful life in a community that comes together to survive. Despite the tranquility, this is still a post-pandemic world. Destroyed by a disease that turned most people into zombie-like creatures.
This time, the players take control of the young woman, now 19 years old. After yet another violent episode that ends the region’s peace, she sets out on her own journey. The baton pass is the best decision that the Naughty Dog studio, also responsible for the “Uncharted” franchise, could make. Ellie has a much larger space to evolve, and since her predecessor she has shown herself to be a more complex character.
A little more mature, she loses the limitations that made her moments so frustrating in the 2013 game. Proving that she is a force to be reckoned with. More than that, she is more human and accessible than the experienced Joel, which makes her control even more intense and pleasurable in combat.
The scarcity of resources expected in a post-apocalyptic world, was a factor that marked the predecessor. It continues to make confrontations with zombies and enemy factions extremely satisfying. Frustrated in the beginning, the battles gradually evolve and reward strategy and patience. In this sense, the system remains largely unchanged. After all, why mess with something that worked so well, now, present in The Last of Us Part II.
Visually, the game meets the expectations of a release on the eve of a console generation switch. With a stark evolution, especially in the details. The movement capture technique used in the construction of the characters also reflects the improvement. The expressions are even more human in The Last of Us Part II.
Duality in history
The duality of the actions of those who think they are the hero was already a glaring theme by the time Joel takes Ellie out of the operating room at the end of the first part. In The Last of Us Part II, she goes deeper. Mainly by adding the point of view of new characters that face the young woman.
Unfortunately, as much as playing with Ellie is a highlight, it is difficult to find motivation in those moments that go beyond the desire to get back to the protagonist as soon as possible. Furthermore, such an established history takes its toll. This is paid through limitations on the player’s choices.
He can devise the best strategy for combat, it is true, but he is totally hostage to the narrative. That, several times, leaves coherence aside to force unnecessary moments. It is possible to reveal the lack of freedom in the face of an impeccable text. This becomes more difficult when, after killing ten heavily armed enemies without firing a single shot, Ellie forgets that she is in a hostile environment and is taken by surprise in an animated sequence.
In addition, there are several moments when the plot drags on, stuck in conventions and clichés typical of games. This involves going to and from places to meet people who are never exactly there. There is a climate as if they exist only to increase the campaign’s already long duration.
Representativeness without preaching
In an interview, the game’s director, Neil Druckmann, stated that it was very important not to force the bar, not to “preach” the messages. In this sense, it is possible to say that the sequence is successful. Despite the bullshit and slippage, the story builds a good reflection on the search for justice and Manichaeism without shouting the concepts all the time.
In addition, it gives pleasure to see the naturalness with which it deals with the protagonist’s sexuality, which had already been revealed in the expansion “Left Behind”, of 2014. Between violence and savagery, “The Last of Us Part II” serves the majority of yearnings of fans of the series. As much as you take yourself too seriously at times. It may not please those who want more control. But whoever likes it will be marked by Ellie’s adventure for a long time.