PLATFORM: PS4 (REVIEWED) | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
They say that lightning doesn't strike twice. However, in the case of developer Naughty Dog, they've made the impossible possible and have achieved a perfect follow-up to 2013's masterpiece The Last Of Us.
Set five years after the events of the first game, Ellie (now 19) and Joel reside in Jackson with Joel's younger brother Tommy and a host of other survivors. In this sequel, players assume the role of Ellie who, in the wake of the horrific happenings from Part I, has learned everything she needs to be the ultimate survivor and must hunt down those that have wronged her.
What made The Last Of Us: Part II's predecessor such a generation-defining experience was the fluid gameplay, intense stealth set-pieces and vast world filled with interesting and fully realised characters with mesmerising chemistry. The sequel once again achieves all of that whilst also building upon it with console boundary-pushing graphics fleshing out this post-apocalyptic world and responsive gameplay mechanics that feel that much more refined.
What also makes TLOU: Part II stand out from all other survival horror games is the story. As should be the case in an infected-covered landscape, horrible people exist and gut-wrenchingly brutal things occur including losing loved ones - and no matter who those characters may be, not everyone gets a ceremonious send-off like those in The Walking Dead. What Neil Druckmann and his team have crafted is nothing short of masterful, including one of the best-written villains in not just video games but in entertainment history, period. As a player, you instantly connect to these characters and want to see where the narrative takes them next.
The Last Of Us: Part II is an absolute masterpiece that is not just the defining game for this generation, but is easily one of the greatest games of all time.