The Last of Us Part II is still a week away from launching, and the general consensus from reviews is that it’s going to feel like a long wait. The latest from Naughty Dog, The Last of Us Part II picks up a few years after the PS3 original, following Ellie on a bloody path of revenge. It’s bleak, tragic and gut-wrenching, but a tale most reviews suggest you don’t miss.
Overall critic reception has been incredibly positive, with a few caveats. In GameSpot’s own 8/10 spoiler-free review for The Last of Us Part II, editor Kallie Plagge commends the game’s strong characters and tense combat, but feels it suffers from pacing issues and uneven analysis of its themes. “In the second half of the game, these exploration issues persist, as do the horrors of combat and violence. But for reasons I can’t explain due to spoiler restrictions, the narrative shifts significantly at a certain point, and the context of everything you’ve done up until then changes along with it. There’s a lot I want to say that I’m not allowed to until the game is out, but this half of the game is the reason anything in it works at all. It examines a lot of the violence that happens early on, though not all the violence in general, and it’s where the story finds its meaning.” Take note that we’ll be publishing another review (with the same score) that further explores the story and other spoiler-y elements once the embargo permits us to do so.
In the meantime, we’ve gathered additional reviews below, with the majority laying praise on the game’s narrative and personal character writing. A lot of praise has also been given to the game’s extensive accessibility options, allowing more players than ever to experience the game in a manner that is comfortable for them. For more reviews, check out our sister site Metacritic to see what other sites had to say.
- Game: The Last of Us Part II
- Platforms: PS4
- Developer: Naughty Dog
- Release date: June 19
- Price: $60 / £50 / $68 AUD
GameSpot – 8/10
“By the time I finished The Last of Us Part II, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It’s a hard game to stomach, in part because so much of who Ellie is and what she does is beyond your control. She is deeply complicated and flawed, and her selfishness hurts a lot of people. At times, the pain you inflict feels so senseless that it can leave you numb. It’s all messy and bleak and made me profoundly sad for myriad reasons, but the more I reflect on it, the more I appreciate the story and characters at its core. I wanted almost none of it to happen the way it did, and that’s what’s both beautiful and devastating about it.” – Kallie Plagge [Full review]
Game Informer – 10/10
“I can rave about the attention to detail, the world, and the combat, but the story is where The Last of Us Part II sets a new bar. It is more about challenging your heart than your reflexes, and I simply cannot recommend it enough. There is much to be said about this game that can’t be said here due to spoilers, but you should play it as soon as you can with as little info as possible. But you don’t need to know specifics to appreciate how the gameplay and environmental cues all play into a single purpose: They make you feel the choices, helplessness, and the violence at the heart of this world and its characters. I can safely say this is the best narrative game I have played. I felt the loss. I felt the confusion. It is a game that turned me inside out with each twist of the screw.” – Andy McNamara [Full review]
IGN – 10/10
“The Last of Us Part 2 is a masterpiece worthy of its predecessor. Taking strides forward in nearly every way, Ellie steps into the spotlight and carries the sequel in a manner that feels like the culmination of everything that’s made Naughty Dog’s blockbuster storytelling so memorable since the original Uncharted on the PlayStation 3. It delivers a layered, emotionally shattering story on top of stealth and action gameplay that improves the first game’s mechanics while integrating a bit more of Uncharted’s greater mobility and action. But while Part 2 is a thrilling adventure, it still makes time for a stunning, nuanced exploration of the strength and fragility of the human spirit. The PlayStation 4 has one of its best exclusives in one of the generation’s best games.” – Jonathon Dornbush [Full review]
Gamesradar+ – 5/5
“The Last of Us Part 2 not only justifies its existence as a sequel most didn’t think was necessary, supplementing and elevating the timeless qualities of its predecessor, but stands confidently apart as an entirely different beast, one bearing its own fangs that bite with just as much force. The lasting achievement is nothing short of extraordinary, and a game we’ll be looking back on for decades to come.” – Alex Avard [Full review]
USGamer – 4.5/5
“It largely regains its momentum in the final quarter or so, with a finale that’s as intense as anything I’ve experienced in a video game. When all was said and done, I was left feeling emotionally spent, uncertain whether I ever wanted to play a hypothetical The Last of Us Part 3. Together, The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part 2 tell one complete story; the first game being action, the sequel being reaction. It may not be the the ending that many fans want, but it feels like this story is finished. It’s one I won’t soon forget.” – Kat Bailey [Full review]
Destructoid – 8.5/10
“Like the original Last of Us, some people are going to come away underwhelmed, but the story beats and the characters driving them are the main draw. Part II doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it gives us a lasting glimpse of a unique broken world full of broken people that’s worth visiting time and time again.” – Chris Carter [Full review]
The Last of Us 2 News
- The Last Of Us Part II Review (Spoiler-Free)
- How Long Is The Last Of Us Part 2: Game Length Explained
- The Last Of Us Part 2 Pre-Orders Available: Collector's Edition, Ellie Edition, And More
- The Last Of Us Part 2: Release Date, Combat Changes, And Everything We Know So Far
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