The Last of Us Part 2 Review: Was It Everything We Hoped For?


You’ve been waiting years for this moment the last of us part 2. Ever since the credits rolled on the original Last of Us, you’ve been dreaming about returning to that world for another intense, emotional journey. Now, after months of hype and speculation, The Last of Us Part 2 is finally here.

But does it live up to the impossibly high expectations set by the first game? That’s the question on every fan’s mind. In this review, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the gameplay, story, graphics, and more to determine if The Last of Us Part 2 is everything we hoped for or if it falls short of the original’s greatness. Strap in for a wild ride through the next chapter in Ellie’s story.

Overview of the Last of Us Part 2 Story and Gameplay

The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the first game, with players assuming control of an older Ellie as she journeys across post-apocalyptic Seattle. The game explores the moral complexities and emotional fallout of Joel’s decision at the end of the first game in even greater depth.

  • The story focuses heavily on the relationships between Ellie, Joel, and other key characters like Dina. It also introduces Abby, a new playable character whose life becomes intertwined with Ellie’s. Their competing desires for justice and revenge drive much of the morally ambiguous narrative.
  • The Last of Us Part II expands on the first game’s gameplay with new mechanics like going prone to avoid enemies, jumping to traverse the environment, and an overhaul of the melee combat system. Stealth and scavenging limited resources remain integral parts of the tense, survival-horror experience.
  • The world design is richly detailed and immersive, with visually stunning environments like Seattle’s overgrown downtown area for players to explore. The graphics, animation, and audio design bring the post-apocalyptic setting to life.
  • Overall, The Last of Us Part II delivers a gripping, emotional narrative that raises thought-provoking questions. It couples this with refined gameplay and technical excellence, evolving the cinematic storytelling, gameplay mechanics, and world design of the acclaimed first game. However, the bold, controversial plot choices have proven divisive among fans.

Our Review of the Last of Us 2 Characters and Performances

  • Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson deliver outstanding performances once again as Joel and Ellie. Their emotional range and nuanced acting bring these beloved characters to life.
  • Ellie goes through intense trauma that changes her. Ashley Johnson captures her pain, anger, and thirst for vengeance with incredible depth.
  • Laura Bailey is superb as Abby. She makes you empathize with Abby despite her actions against Joel.
  • The complex father-daughter dynamic between Abby and her father Jerry is portrayed movingly by Laura Bailey and Jeffrey Pierce.
  • Shannon Woodward is wonderful as Dina, Ellie’s love interest. Their tender romance provides heartwarming moments.
  • The ensemble cast all turn in strong performances, from small roles to major characters. The authenticity of their acting immerses you in this post-apocalyptic world.
  • Naughty Dog’s writing, animation and capturing of the actors’ performances brings the characters to life. You feel their emotional highs and lows.
  • By the end, you understand each character’s motivations even if you don’t agree with their actions. A remarkable achievement in storytelling and acting.

The Last of Us Part II has some of the most compelling, nuanced characters and performances ever seen in a video game. The voice actors and animators deserve immense praise for their phenomenal work. This emotional, traumatic journey will stay with you long after the credits roll.

The Last of Us Part 2’s Stunning Visuals and Audio Design

The Last of Us Part 2 builds upon the franchise’s reputation for outstanding sound and visual design. This creates a highly immersive experience that draws players into the post-apocalyptic world.

  • The game utilizes advanced 3D audio techniques that mimic how sounds hit our ears in real life. This allows players to pinpoint sound sources and navigate environments largely by listening. An enemy’s footsteps or the click of an infected’s cries can clue you into their location and distance.
  • Naughty Dog’s sound designers went to great lengths to capture authentic audio. For example, they recorded the sounds of actual guitar strings being plucked and strummed to bring realism to Ellie’s guitar playing.
  • The graphics are equally impressive, with meticulously detailed character models and environments. Facial expressions and small mannerisms make the characters feel more human and nuanced. Dilapidated buildings are blanketed in moss and vines that creep in through broken windows.
  • Weather effects like rain and snow transform familiar environments and affect gameplay. Footsteps crunch in the snow, while rain masks sounds and obscures vision.
  • The Santa Barbara coastline late in the game is a particular visual standout. The golden hour lighting and vibrant blue water showcase the potential beauty amidst the desolation.

With its unparalleled sound design and breathtaking visuals, The Last of Us Part 2 represents the pinnacle of what is possible in video game esthetics today. These technical elements work in service of the narrative to fully immerse players in the experience.

Examining the Controversy Around the Last of Us Part 2

The Last of Us Part 2 was undoubtedly one of the most controversial games in recent memory. From the divisive story decisions to the morally ambiguous actions of certain characters, it’s easy to see why this title sparked so much debate amongst players.

  • The opening scenes showing Joel’s violent death upset many who were attached to him as the protagonist in the first game. It was an unexpected narrative choice by Naughty Dog.
  • Abby proved to be a polarizing character due to her pivotal role in Joel’s murder. Many struggled to empathize with her motivations and actions.
  • The ending where Ellie ultimately spares Abby’s life felt anticlimactic to some. After everything Abby had done, they hoped for a more cathartic confrontation.

While the game tells a bold, uncompromising story, it’s clear the writers made choices that challenged players in ways they weren’t necessarily prepared for. The Last of Us Part 2 asks difficult questions about cycles of violence and the morality of revenge. There are no easy answers, which is why it sparked such passionate discussion within the gaming community.

Was the Last of Us Part 2 Worth the Wait? Our Final Verdict

Seven years after the original masterpiece, The Last of Us Part 2 finally arrived in 2020. Fans had sky-high expectations, so did Naughty Dog deliver? In short – absolutely. This long-awaited sequel took everything that made the first game so impactful and raised it to another level.

  • The mature, emotional storytelling is just as gut-wrenching as you’d hope. Playing as Ellie on a quest for justice, you’re confronted with moral choices that will stick with you long after the credits roll.
  • The stealth gameplay is vastly improved, with new ways to outsmart enemies both human and infected. Combat feels weightier and more strategic than ever before.
  • The level design is staggering in scope and detail. Exploring the overgrown city of Seattle left us in awe over and over again.
  • Visually, it’s easily one of the most beautiful games ever made. The environments are photorealistic. Characters like Ellie and Dina feel alive thanks to incredible facial animations.

For fans of the first game, The Last of Us Part 2 delivers on every front. It tells a bold, uncompromising story that will move you, challenge you, and linger in your mind. The masterful gameplay, both tense and tactical, pairs perfectly with its ambitious narrative. We’d even call it a strong contender for one of the best games ever made.

Was it worth the seven year wait? Absolutely – The Last of Us Part 2 stands tall alongside its predecessor as a benchmark for storytelling and gameplay in video games. Naughty Dog has once again raised the bar.


So there you have it. The Last of Us Part II was a gut-wrenching, emotional rollercoaster that took you on a journey you’ll never forget. While not without flaws, it told an impactful story that left you thinking for days after. The stunning graphics and intense gameplay made it feel like you were living in that post-apocalyptic world. And who can forget those performances?

Even if certain aspects didn’t quite meet your expectations, you have to admire Naughty Dog’s ambition and commitment to their vision. Few games will move you the way this one did or spark such passion in its fans. Love it or hate it, The Last of Us Part II is a game that demands discussion. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself firing it up again just to feel those emotions all over.

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