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The Last of Us: Part II Game preview

Game preview 01 June 2020, 15:00

author: Matthias Pawlikowski

The Last of Us 2 Preview – What Glorious Apocalypse!

The Last Of Us part II takes feels to a whole new level, freezing with hysteria even those individuals who haven't played the game yet. I have played and I'll tell you how Naughty Dog will save the world in 2020.

Read the review The Last of Us 2 Review – A Game to Set the World on Fire

This text was based on the PS4 version.

Seven years after that release of the original, the California-based studio is back with a sequel, starting a bit of a fire along the way. It would be really bad if all the hype wasn't satisfied with a game of top-notch quality. Divagations aside: I've spent over two hours in one of the chapters and I think Naughty Dog may give us the holiday of our lifetime (at least when it comes to games).

The original Last of Us, released in 2013, for many of us the moment when the Earth stood still for a moment. We'd always known games could tell complex stories, and do so in a beautiful, cinematic, and memorable way. However, Naughty Dog took it to the next level, complementing the otherwise simple, post-apo story and rather generic gameplay with elaborate machinery of feels and emotions. And so it begun.

The first installment for me was a milestone in the history of game dev. And not because of purely "video-game stuff" (even though it was quite impressive back in 2013). What defined the game were feels – the emotional charge contained in the game from Naughty Dog not only completely outclassed direct, video game competition – The Last of Us could also confidently challenge representatives of the broader convention, including classics like Cormac McCarthy's The Road. If what the studio revealed so far is true (also judging by the quality of the released fragment), it will be the same this time around.

And though I absolutely, and honestly, adore this game, it's hard for me to write even the simplest preview. And that's because the list of things I can't talk about it rather extensive. Let's not find excuses, though. Especially since secrets are in this case worth preserving, and I'll be happy to hold back on some wildly interesting info just to let you discover all the things yourself – from the color of the font to the last skill to unlock. I will not write about what location Ellie visited first and what followed; instead I will try to explain to you my extremely affectionate relationship to this game. I hope that you will contract the same condition as I, and if you already love The Last of Us, that you'll appreciate the ingredients that constitute the most suggestive and beautiful world of in video games even more. While also discussing a few key changes introduced in the sequel. Let's begin with some more obscure stuff, like the apparition of the protagonist.

You spin me like a record

Ellie's changed. Really. It's not just the age, the five years that have passed are clearly apparent. Above all, however, it is easy to recognize the world in which she has to survive. She's as fit as a fiddle, and her Olympic body spells exactly what kind of life she lives. Her clothes, on the other hand, are grunge older brother's wardrobe. Is that peculiar? I actually think this quite a remarkable phenomenon in games. Think Lara Croft – no matter what sort of mud, blood and fire she endures, she has to look like the embodiment of male fantasies. The entire franchise is advertised by Lara Croft's appeal of a sexy archaeologist. Of course, she's a legendary, strong female character, but her femininity was pretty much always reduced to scanty tops and tight pants.

Ellie's different. She's no princess, she overslept the Bal des dιbutantes. She's not meant to arouse incels. Naughty Dog is not trying to sell us mere flesh of a sexy heroine – they present her protagonist with depth and deep consideration of her circumstances, and the dirty, mean world she inhabits. Ellie has grown into a strong, downright ruthless woman who has neither the time nor the need for make-up. It takes more than a supermodel with a hatchet to face the bandits and psychopaths, all grown men. It takes more than Lara Croft.

Ellie was snatched from childhood and we slowly realizes who she's becoming. We don't know who Ellie is looking for in the demo (we know the name's Nora), but judging by trailers and announcements, she's surely not a child anymore. There's still hope kindling deep within her, but at this stage she's desperate and determined. Saw horror and human fear. And I saw evil. Anger. Fury and frenzy.

I'm impressed with Naughty Dog's sheer courage. When CD Projekt was still an obscure studio looking for publishers of the original Witcher, they heard from one company that it will publish the game, if the protagonist is a woman flashing her flesh in combat. It’s similar here: foregoing sexualization of a girl in her late teens is a decision rarer than dragons in this industry. Such "serious," or "naturalistic" approach to post-apo is apparent in a few other aspects of Naughty Dog's new game. Such as the scenery.

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