The Last of Us Part Two Review: Fantastic Gameplay Ruined by an Atrocious Story.

2 and a half stars
When I reviewed my favourite video game of all time, The Last of Us, I said that, whether I loved, hated, or had mixed feelings about the sequel, I would always find myself returning to the original game because of how incredible it is.
While that is still true, whenever I do replay the game I will have to pretend that The Last of Us Part 2 never happened.
Seriously, what the hell happened with this game?
The graphics and gameplay are amazing, as expected, but the story is absolutely god awful, literally spitting in the face of Joel (Troy Baker) and Ellie’s (Ashley Johnson) relationship.
Before I get into the onslaught of terrible things about this game’s story, I’ll mention the great stuff first.
As I said, graphics and gameplay are near perfect.
There were numerous times where I was hating the story and was thankfully distracted by beautiful scenery or an amazing action sequence.
Crafting was well handled once more and I liked the more personal touch to enemies that made them feel like real people when I fought them.
The new kinds of infected are great to fight, especially the one that was teased but not revealed in the State of Play presentation.
Other amazing set pieces see you fighting through a burning village and a car chase, both of which are thrilling.

I can at least say that the gameplay of The Last of Us Part 2 is good.

Along with this, Gustavao Santaolalla’s score is amazing, again as expected.
As for the story, there are a couple things I like about it.
Some of the new characters like Dina (Shannon Woodward), Jesse (Stephen Chang), Yara (Victoria Grace) and Lev (Ian Alexander) are likeable.
Not to the extent that the characters from the first game are but they are enjoyable for the most part.
Also, some of the scenes during Ellie’s initial revenge quest are very compelling.
Then there are the flashbacks to Ellie and Joel’s time in Jackson, which are the best parts of the game by far.
However, the rest of the story is absolutely horrible.
Written by Neil Druckmann and Haley Gross, the story sees Joel and Ellie living in the town of Jackson.
After an act of extreme violence, Ellie leave for Seattle to seek her revenge, as the writers try to create a message about the cycle of violence.
Sadly, this is a message that falls flat over on its face.
The ending to this game makes no sense whatsoever and completely derails any notion of vengeance being a bad idea, which is what the story was trying to say.

ellie should have killed abby
The Last of Us Part 2 does a terrible job at trying to tell a story about revenge.

The build up to this ending is just as bad, with the inciting incident that causes Ellie to seek vengeance being driven by poor character decisions and feels like it was done for shock value.
A large part of why The Last of Us Part 2’s story is so bad though comes down to one, individual word.
Played by Laura Bailey, she is the mystery woman from the trailer that introduced the Seraphites and she is, in my opinion, the worst video game character of all time.
She is completely unlikable in every sense of the word.
Naughty Dog tries to make you sympathize with her but every attempt fails spectacularly.
The story follows both her and Ellie’s struggles with revenge and the damage it causes but Abby never shows any remorse or regret for her actions, unlike Ellie.
She came across as a complete psychopath at times, making her almost impossible to care for, yet the writers try so hard to make you do so, which fails entirely.

fuck abby
I honestly cannot remember the last time I hated a character as much as I hate Abby. 

Given that she is the most important character in the game next to Ellie, this is a huge problem and that problem culminates in a boss fight before the third act of the game that left me feeling insulted.
Not to mention that the game’s trailers misled and lied to us on multiple occasions.
The Last of Us Part 2’s story is just atrocious.
The game spits in the face of Ellie and Joel’s bond, the characters’ decisions make no sense, the inciting incident is not justified, Abby is an unbelievably terrible character, and the ending completely undoes any message they were trying to create.
The graphics and gameplay may have been amazing, and some story elements may have been good, but the majority of the story is so bad to the point that I never want to play this game again.

The Last of Us Part 2: State of Play Trailer and Release Date Discussion.

The wait is finally over for The Last of Us Part 2 news.
There were so many leaks and rumors over the past few years, both true and untrue, that I was just dying for more details on the upcoming sequel to my favourite video game of all time.
Well, this morning we got the details and then some with the latest State of Play, which included a trailer for the game, along with the much anticipated release date.
It is official; the rumors about February were correct because The Last of Us Part 2 will be released on February 21st 2020.
And now begins the slow, agonizing wait for the game to come out.
Not that I think that February is too far away, it really isn’t, but whenever you badly want something the days just seem longer until it comes out.
In any case, the trailer gave us all lots of juicy details to analyse before the game is released.
The biggest of these is that we finally got a look at Joel, alive no less!
He appears right at the end of the trailer and the graphics for him are fantastic.
He has had quite an update from the previous game to the point that I actually think he looks like an older Troy Baker.

Joel better shot
Joel looks incredibly different from how he looked in the first game with the updated graphics.

Along with the appearance of Joel we also get the basic plot of the game, with Ellie (Ashley Johnson) going to get revenge after a personal loss.
While the person Ellie loses is not shown, all signs point to Dina (Shannon Woodward).
Their relationship is just too happy at the beginning of the trailer for it to end well.
With Ellie losing Dina in a snow storm and then stumbling across a cabin where she walks in on something bad, only to be attacked and forced to watch as someone is shot, Dina seems like the most probable person to die.
Unless, of course, this is Naughty Dog wanting us to think it is Dina who dies and they actually kill someone else.
However, the only character I can think of whose death would be enough to get Ellie to go on a journey of revenge is Joel.
This would mean that Ellie is hallucinating him at the end of the trailer but I have never really liked this theory so I hope this is not the case.
Another thing that has me concerned is the people Ellie is after, the Seraphites.
In other trailers we have seen that their method of killing people is to hang them and then disembowel them, and this could make the deaths of Joel or Dina especially horrifying.
Granted, we do hear a gunshot so whoever is killed could die quickly but, again, that could be a part of the trailer intentionally used to mislead.
Also, part of me thinks that it is possible Naughty Dog would do something so dark.
No matter who dies, though, the moment from where Ellie first walks into the cabin to where she is sitting looking broken, with her bare back covered in bruises, is chilling, and sent goosebumps going up my skin.

The scene with Ellie in the cabin looks to be the most harrowing moment of the game.

From here, Ellie is shown to begin her revenge quest with Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) advising her against it, only for her not to listen.
She almost seems suicidal as she expresses that she doesn’t care how many people the Seraphites have or how well armed they are.
Ellie appears to be solely focused on getting her revenge, not matter what happens to her, and this is translated well through the brutal combat.
I praised the gameplay in the last trailer for how cinematic it all looked and the new trailer continues this.
Ellie pulls an arrow out of her shoulder after getting shot, and even snatches an ax out of an enemy’s hands before killing him with it.
We also get a look at new Clickers and Bloaters, both of which look especially terrifying.
Speaking of the infected, we get a few shots of Ellie going through a spore infested area when she is still with Dina, and she is wearing a gas mask.
This makes me think Ellie is hiding her immunity from everyone else and this could backfire quite a bit if she loses that mask and someone notices.
Back to the gameplay, we also get a quick look at Ellie fighting a dog, which appears to be owned by the Seraphites because it does not look wild and has a collar.
I could honestly talk about how great the gameplay looks forever but I will finish by stating how fantastic the graphics are.
They are downright stunning with both the environment and character animations being awe inspiring.

landscape the last of us
The graphics for The Last of Us Part 2 are absolutely stunning with great landscapes.

The opening moments of the trailer give off a real Red Dead Redemption 2 vibe with the snow effects.
All in all, the latest trailer for The Last of Us Part 2 has got me even more hyped up for the game, if that is even possible considering how hyped I already was.
It looks to contain an emotional story, immersive and brutal gameplay, and beautiful animation.
Now we just have to wait a few months for what looks like the next masterpiece from Naughty Dog.

The Last of Us Part 2: Most Cinematic Gameplay Trailer Ever?

This year at E3 I have been anticipating numerous trailers for upcoming games and have not been disappointed.
The trailers for Kingdom Hearts 3 and Overkill’s The Walking Dead were fantastic and have me really hyped for those games.
The one game I was anticipating above all else though was The Last of Us Part 2 and, let me tell you, I was not prepared.
Coming into E3, I was hoping for either another story trailer or some gameplay from The Last of Us Part 2 and was pleasantly surprised when Naughty Dog gave us both.
The trailer starts with a cinematic of an older Ellie, played by Ashley Johnson, at a dance, most likely in Jackson, Tommy’s camp.
For starters, these graphics looked incredible as always, with Naughty Dog improving even further from their previous games.
The trailer introduced us to two news characters here, Jesse, played by Stephen Chang, and Dina, played by Shannon Woodward from Westworld.
Dina is shown to be Ellie’s new love interest but I do wonder how long this will last since Neil Druckmann has said The Last of Us Part 2 will be a game about “hate” and something has to motivate Ellie’s thirst for vengeance.
Anyway the tender moment ends between Dina and Ellie when Dina states, “oh, Ellie. I think they should be terrified of you.
This statement is proved to be 100% correct because, after this, the trailer dissolves into absolute, epic insanity as it transitions to gameplay footage and wow, just wow.
This is, without a doubt, the most cinematic gameplay I have ever seen.
I know that sometimes developers show much more advanced gameplay than is actually involved to get people to buy their games but if The Last of Us Part 2‘s gameplay is even a fraction close to what was shown then it will be absolutely incredible.
It starts off simple enough with more stealth mechanics like being able to hide in grass and bushes, like the recent entries in the Uncharted series, but so much more comes as well.
You can dodge enemy attacks, you can grab a bottle or weapon while running, sneak through gaps in cabinets and you have to pull arrows out when they hit you, this gameplay has everything.
Even better, or worse depending on your stress level when playing, the enemy NPCs are a whole lot smarter than they were in the previous game.
They check for you under cars and some will even not hesitate to shoot you when you are holding one of their people hostage.
Every single element of this gameplay looks fluid and like a movie, which I really hope is the case of the finished product because that could make The Last of Us Part 2 have potentially the best gameplay of any game I have ever played.
As for speculation about the game’s story, it does seem to mainly involve the cult we saw in the previous trailer.
This cult is still shown to be doing the disgusting practice of hanging and gutting people for an unknown reason.
If I am right and the last trailer we saw was in the past then that would mean this cult would have been doing this for 20 years at the least, which is a disturbing point.
Also this cult seems to constantly be referring to Ellie as a “wolf” for some reason, we will probably get more details on that later.
Another interesting thing is that we did not see Troy Baker return as Joel in this trailer.
He was mentioned briefly by Jesse but he made no personal appearance sadly.
I hope the fan theory that he is dead and this is why Ellie wants revenge is not true.
Overall, this gameplay trailer was incredible from start to finish.
It went from a tender moment between Ellie and her new love interest to violent and insane gameplay that looked incredibly cinematic.
If I was not already as excited for The Last of Us Part 2 I sure am now.

The Last of Us Part 2: Ellie’s Mum, past timeline and a cult?

Since the Last of US Part 2 was announced there has been rabid speculation by fans as to what the story will be about.
This has caused theories about the next installment to run rampant, both plausible and ridiculous.
I, for one, think the theory of Joel being dead and Ellie hallucinating him to be one of the worst theories.
Now that a new trailer has been released theories are, once again, running rampant, although these theories seem much more plausible than previous ones and I actually believe some of them are true.
The newest trailer is especially brutal as we see an unknown woman about to be gutted and hanged by a group of people who are apparently from some kind of cult, due to the fact that they use biblical words like sin and apostate.
However, before the woman can be killed, two guards bring a woman named Yara before the leader of the group who orders her arm bashed in with a hammer saying, “clip her wings.”
This torture is especially brutal and nothing like what we saw in the previous games.
However, before the group can break Yara’s other arm they are set upon by arrows and, with help from the unknown woman, Yara is able to kill the leader.
The archer, named Lev, emerges from the woods and tends to Yara who tells him to cut the woman down from the noose.
Disturbingly, Lev does not want to do so saying, “she’s one of them,” showing how little death matters in this world as he has almost no reaction to a woman hanging feet away from him.
Yara insists and Lev relents, cutting her down, only for the trio to be attacked by a group of Clickers.
The title appears and the trailer ends.
This trailer naturally generated much confusion due to the absence of Joel and Ellie and was a bold move on Naughty Dog’s part.
To show a trailer that does not focus on the main characters at all but instead a group of new characters was a risky move but it definitely paid off because of the level of speculation it has generated.
Already theories are running rampant, the biggest one being that the unknown woman in the trailer is actually Anna, Ellie’s mother.
Now I actually believe this theory.
For months there have been rumors that The Last of US Part 2 will take place in two different timelines, one in the future, with Joel and Ellie, and one in the past.
If this is true, then this trailer most likely takes place in the past.
As to the theory of this woman being Anna, there are three things that support this.
First of all, the woman does bare a slight resemblance to Ellie, although this may be stretching it.
The second thing that supports this theory is not from the trailer at all but an Easter egg  from Uncharted 4.
In the game you can find a poster called The Last of Us: American Daughters, which has a pregnant woman wearing a gas mask that strongly resembles Ellie.
american daughters
Given that I do not believe in the Ellie being pregnant theory either, I think this person is most likely Anna and this is hinting at her appearance in The Last of Us Part 2.
The final piece of evidence to support this theory is Naughty Dog released the names of all the characters in the trailer but blanked out the woman’s name.
However, we can tell from the blanks that the woman’s name is four letters long, just like Anna.
Therefore I think this is most likely Anna and she will appear in a past storyline in The Last of Us Part 2, which will detail the events of Ellie’s birth.
If this is true then the past story line will probably take place six years after the outbreak began, since Ellie is 14 in The Last of Us and the outbreak started 20 years ago.
The idea of The Last of US Part 2 going back and forth from past to present is certainly an interesting one.
If this is Anna, then I wonder how it could tie into Ellie’s story, considering Anna died shortly after giving birth to Ellie.
Maybe Anna’s story could give an explanation to Ellie’s immunity?
Maybe something happened while Ellie was in the womb that made her immune?
Of course this is just speculation so it is possible all of this will not happen.
Still though, I really like the idea of it constantly cutting back and forth between timelines because it could offer the opportunity for us to see the same characters in both timelines.
For example, if these new characters Yara and Lev live through the past storyline then we could see them interact with Joel and Ellie in the future years later, which would be really interesting.
Another thing we can guess from the trailer is who these new enemies are.
It appears that these enemies are from some kind of cult, due to the leader saying the woman is nested with sin and asking Yara where the other apostate is.
A cult being the main enemies of the game would certainly be unexpected because most people thought the Fireflies would be the main ones.
However, just because the Fireflies may not be the main threat does not mean they will not be in the game.
If this woman is Anna, then we will most likely see Marlene as well in the past storyline because the two were close.
There is also the fact that the leader of the cultists says, “clip her wings,” when telling her men to break Yara’s arm, leading some people to believe that Yara is a firefly, which could certainly be possible.
However, there is also the possibility that Yara and Lev were actually a part of the cult because they refer to the Clickers as demons.
yara and lev
But, although the cult does take up a big part of this trailer, there is a possibility that they could just be a side enemy like the hunters were in The Last of Us and they might only take up a small part of the game.
Speculations aside, I feel that I have to talk about the graphics of this game in the trailer, which are nothing short of stunning.
Naughty Dog have really outdone themselves this time.
If this is in-game footage, then The Last of Us Part 2 is going to be an incredibly beautiful game.
So, those are my thoughts on the second The Last of Us Part 2 trailer.
I cannot wait for this game to come out, although unfortunately that probably will not be until late 2018 or early 2019.
However long we have to wait, I will be sure to buy it when the game comes out.