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The Last of Us Part II OT - Best Served Cold, update: the story behind the game's realistic facial animations (PlayStation Blog)


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On 6/12/2020 at 6:59 AM, Emperor Diocletian II said:

Game Information

Game Title: The Last of Us Part II

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4 (Jun 19, 2020)

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
    
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Game Information

Game Title: The Last of Us Part II

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4 (Jun 19, 2020)

Developer: Naughty Dog

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
    
Review Aggregator

OpenCritic - 96 average - 99% recommended

Critic Reviews


3DNews - Russian - 10 / 10


Areajugones - Spanish - 10 / 10


COGconnected - 100 / 100


Critical Hit - 10 / 10


DASHGAMER.com - 10 / 10


Daily Star - 5 / 5 stars


Digitally Downloaded - 5 / 5 stars


EGM - 10 / 10


Everyeye.it - Italian - 10 / 10


Game Informer - 10 / 10


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IGN - 10 / 10


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M3 - Swedish - 5 / 5 stars


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Spaziogames - Italian - 10 / 10


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6/1 UPDATE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-last-of-us-part-2-preview-shockingly-ruthless/1100-6477918/

 

Quote

In The Last of Us Part II, this chapter shows off an area that's got a lot more to it than first appears. You can spend quite a bit of time exploring a number of optional spaces, if you've got a keen eye. These places often blend right into the rest of the city, but are filled with supplies, environmental puzzles, enemy encounters, and side stories. It might be something as simple as searching the employees-only area in an abandoned convenience store for crafting materials, or something a little more dangerous like the ritzy diner filled with a bunch of infected but probably also a bunch of extra supplies--a place which you can certainly skip altogether if you're not up to it.

 

 

https://metro.co.uk/2020/06/01/last-us-part-2-hands-preview-love-hate-seattle-12787736/

 

Quote

The Last Of Us Part 2 is going to be a very hard game to review when the embargo drops next Friday. It’s almost impossible to discuss it in detail without the risk of spoilers, which is ironic given the game has already been subject to one of the biggest plot leaks in video game history (that link does not contain any spoilers). Our initial review will be spoiler free, but for now we’re not allowed to discuss any of that anyway. As although we have now beaten the game, all we can talk about right now is a section from about 10 hours into the story.

 

 

https://www.standard.co.uk/tech/gaming/last-of-us-part-2-first-impressions-ellie-a4456301.html

 

Quote

[C]ould this be the best game ever made? The Last of Us Part II seems to be surpassing the original in every way

 

https://www.theverge.com/21274923/the-last-of-us-part-2-accessibility-features-naughty-dog-interview-ps4

 

Quote

THE LAST OF US PART II ISN’T JUST NAUGHTY DOG’S MOST AMBITIOUS GAME — IT’S THE MOST ACCESSIBLE, TOO

When Naughty Dog was developing Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the studio had what lead gameplay designer Emilia Schatz describes as “a very simple plan” for accessibility features inspired by one player in particular. Prior to starting work on the game, the studio received a letter from a player who managed to get near the end of Uncharted 2, but got stuck at a point where they had to rapidly press a button during a quick time event. “They were able to play all the way to that point and then they were blocked from finishing the game,” Schatz explains.

 

This experience got the studio thinking much more about accessibility — though things admittedly started slow. “In Uncharted 4 our accessibility options were actually pretty sparse,” says Schatz. “But we got a lot of community praise for it, and felt like we had a huge success with a very small amount of things that we did.” The studio decided to take things a step further with its next game.

 

https://www.gamereactor.eu/the-last-of-us-part-ii-final-impressions/

 

Quote

Sense of Freedom
The gameplay can take a lot of the credit for this as well, as the areas in this chapter offer a wide variety of options in terms of how you can handle different situations. Many of the first game's restrictions have been thrown out the window. Being able to crawl and jump makes it easier to sneak up on or past enemies, while also making the hunt for resources and secrets far more engaging. The areas are often much bigger and more open as well, so you get to choose the approach that best suits your playstyle and equipment.

 

Great Variety
Exploring these areas wouldn't be as fun if they weren't well designed and diverse, so I'm glad to say that Naughty Dog and its partners have done a marvellous job in making each environment feel both natural and varied. In this chapter alone you'll walk on overgrown city-streets, climb and crawl your way through a dilapidated skyscraper, fight the sneaky Scars-faction in a gloomy forest, swim through a sewer, and infiltrate a hospital. All of which offers different paths and possibilities to fight, sneak and look for fun and informative collectibles.

 

https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/the-last-of-us-2

 

Quote

 I’ll be avoiding narrative throughout this preview, only touching on how The Last of Us 2 plays and ambitiously builds upon the foundations of its predecessor.

The Last of Us 2 makes a conscious effort to confront this cycle of violence, making us feel guilty for the acts Ellie is willing to commit, even if she believes it serves a greater good. She’s been raised in an environment where killing others has always been the solution and sparing those who wronged her is a distant concept. This is one of the most grisly experiences I’ve ever played, with enemies reacting to violence in a realistic way. They’ll scream the names of their fallen comrades or clutch missing limbs while crying out in pain.

 

https://www.pushsquare.com/news/2020/06/hands_on_the_last_of_us_2s_firefights_are_fraught_uncomfortable_fantastic

 

Quote

Hands On: The Last of Us 2's Firefights Are Fraught, Uncomfortable, Fantastic

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-06-01-new-enemies-new-abilities-and-new-details-hands-on-with-the-last-of-us-part-2

 

Quote

One thing you'll notice about The Last of Us Part 2 is that locations almost feel limitless. Even though you are of course always being subtly directed to specific waypoints, it never feels like you're being hemmed in or funnelled - the path forward seems organic, always allowing for optional detours to scavenge for resources. While exploring, we pass through shops and stores abandoned for 25 years at this point in the Last of Us timeline, but I was still able to find useful items here and there on the barren shelves, and by smashing the odd glass display and vending machine front to reach an overlooked rag or plastic bottle hidden away at the back of the case. Many areas had several stores you could explore if you wished, though it's easy to walk right by or overlook a hidden entryway if you're simply pushing ahead to the next story beat.

 

Quote

The section of the game available for preview definitely demonstrated this. It's desperate and it's challenging and it's often brutal, but just like its predecessor, there are, at the same time, those moments of quiet beauty and stillness shining through like bright lights at the end of a dark tunnel. The road ahead for Ellie may be hard, but I still can't wait to walk it with her.

 

 

 

OTHER UPDATES:

 

Here are previews. tenor.gif

 

https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/09/26/the-last-of-us-part-2-ps4-hands-on-preview-impressions

 

Quote

My little over two hours with The Last of Us Part 2 were engrossing, challenging, intriguing glimpses at what Naughty Dog is crafting. I’m one of many who, when a sequel was first announced, felt it was unnecessary. But given what I played, it’s clear Naughty Dog has evolved its systems in complex, fascinating ways that have already -- and I hope continue to -- allow for uniquely tense scenarios. The world feels larger, both on an exploration and narrative level, and I can’t wait to learn more, as this really did feel like a small glimpse. And it was a glimpse that indicated Ellie and Joel’s continued story is going to be one enthralling adventure.

 

Quote

The developers are taking a similar approach the studio has in its most recent games like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, with a “wide linear” design to the world. You’re always propelling forward in this story-driven sequel, but you’ll come across areas with points of interest that can take you off the beaten path a bit. The best example of this in my demo was a portion of the Suburbs, in which I could have simply run into one building, exited out the back door, and moved onto a new area. Instead, by exploring every structure, I not only found additional supplies but also a back alleyway with a small environmental puzzle, as well as a nest of runners to tackle.The first level of The Last of Us 2 preview demo was relatively light on combat, outside of a small-scale encounters, but it really shined in the little, exploratory moments. From Ellie and Dina exploring a few abandoned houses as Ellie explained Joel’s love of cheesy action movies, to the impressive way liquid of a molotov bottle would move when inspected close-up, to a frightening snowstorm that temporarily caused me to lose track of Dina while on horseback, Naughty Dog’s attention to detail is, as always, remarkable.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/26/20884749/the-last-of-us-part-2-hands-on-impressions-naughty-dog-ellie-interview

 

Quote

The quiet moments between Ellie and Dina were the most memorable, as Ellie’s sarcastic quips and Dina’s anecdotes about her incompatible ex-boyfriend slowly peel away the platonic cover of their relationship. In just 90 minutes or so, I could already feel myself developing a fondness for the two characters and their burgeoning romance, and it made escaping the infected in the survival horror sequences that followed alarmingly tense. When the teenage duo finds a deceased friend’s basement marijuana stash and decides to light up to kill the time, I felt like I was watching a story as classic as any iconic coming-of-age film.

 

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-09-27-the-last-of-us-part-2-preview

 

Quote

It's a combat heavy sequence, and a reminder that The Last of Us takes a systems-heavy approach to its combat. The embellishments here are many, and welcome - you can now go prone as well as crouching, strengthening the options when it comes to stealth. Ellie now has a shiv on her at all times, meaning it's often a more appealing option to go softly towards enemies then not-so-softly towards their necks. There's a dedicated dodge button, most useful when in close-quarters combat as you duck and dive in fights that, while not exactly Arkham-style, have an effective choreography of their own.

 

Quote

The scope and scale of levels does feel significantly broader in Part 2, though, with the Seattle suburbs that house this set piece offering a big, wide and open play space (and not so open, handily, when you need to duck into an abandoned house to try and get attackers off your scent). It's a set piece where firearms are scarce and you're forced to rely on melee and a scant few arrows for your bow, and it brings the dynamism of encounters into focus, with enemies moving to flank you and the onus being on making the most of the space available as you pick them off one by one. The AI is exceptional, the human enemies you're up against audibly coordinating with each other in a way that feels convincingly human.

Which, you feel, is the point, even if when seen out of context can be a confusing one. Here's a game where headshots are met with glorious gibbage, and a game that at the same time goes out of its way to make you feel guilty for popping skulls. The overriding feeling in combat, though - which speaks to a problem with games rather than a problem with this particular one - is gratification. Booby trap the doorway, quickly vault over the balcony, offload a scavenged arrow in the dog then use a hammer to smash the last straggler's head! It all amounts to a very neat, outrageously lavish puzzle game. A very grisly puzzle game, of course, but one in which it's still immensely satisfying to find solutions.

 

https://www.gameinformer.com/preview/2019/09/26/the-four-biggest-takeaways-from-playing-last-of-us-part-ii

 

Quote

The Last of Us Part II’s enemies are smarter than ever. Not only will human foes coordinate their attacks, they have a few new tools to use while hunting you. One of those tools is actually man’s best friend. Humans now employ hunting dogs, and they will use them to sniff you out. Using Ellie’s hunter’s vision, you can see your own scent trail and watch these animals slowly follow that trail to your current position. Dogs are a challenge to stealth kill because they can sense you coming, so you need to take them down from a distance with a bow and arrow or some other silent weapon. Unfortunately, you will feel like a monster every time you kill a dog. At one point, a sniped a dog’s master, and the pup started to whine and paw at his master’s feet. I didn’t have the heart to kill the dog, which may have been a mistake, because the animal eventually caught my scent and hounded me until its teeth were in my throat.

 

 

 

 

https://www.giantbomb.com/videos/hey-we-played-the-last-of-us-part-ii/2300-14861/

 

 

Short gameplay samples. Don't worry about the different language in the title:

 

 

 

 

48797462788_1e29470230_o.jpg

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1 hour ago, Bloodporne said:

I can't stand Uncharted so I've always avoided The Last of Us like the plague. Is there actually a mechanically engaging and interesting game in there I should play one day or is it a case of the Red Dead Redemption 2's? 

 

It’s a decent stealth combat game with really engaging characters. The controls are light years better than RDR2’s, but the gameplay itself isn’t especially remarkable, just very solid. 

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8 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

It’s a decent stealth combat game with really engaging characters. The controls are light years better than RDR2’s, but the gameplay itself isn’t especially remarkable, just very solid. 

Thanks. That doesn't sound terribly exciting, will get it on sale on a rainy day some time. 

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9 minutes ago, Bloodporne said:

Well, we'll settle this taste-debate once and for all with the following:

 

@SaysWho? @Kal-El814:

 

Does RDR2 have good gameplay?

I think the gameplay is fine and the controls are bad, if that makes sense. 

 

11 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

The word 'decent' is wrong and negative. It's a pretty fantastic game front to back. 

As always, the worst part of Naughty Dog games is playing them and TLOU is no different.  :p  The gameplay in TLOU is never better than pretty good. It’s nothing special. The characters and their relationships sure are special though. 

 

Though I guess Uncharted 4 bucks that trend, it was much better to play than the other games in the series and the plot suuuuuuucked. 

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I'd like to clarify that I just like to bust Kal's balls. :p  He's a thoughtful dude.

 

5 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

I think the gameplay is fine and the controls are bad, if that makes sense. 

 

As always, the worst part of Naughty Dog games is playing them and TLOU is no different.  :p  The gameplay in TLOU is never better than pretty good. 

 

Though I guess Uncharted 4 bucks that trend, it was much better to play than the other games in the series and the plot suuuuuuucked. 

 

This is a good example because I agree with Kal. I actually think there are a lot of good elements to the gameplay, but there were instances where I'd press triangle to get on my horse, accidentally choke the stagecoach operator, and then I'd have to leave town to escape the law. And all I wanted to do was sell my legendary pelt in Saint Denis. :p 

 

It's not like your current game, Bloodporne, GOW, which controls VERY well. But I think there's a LOT of good in RDR2's gameplay that puts a shine to the very detailed world and all the little Easter eggs and plot discoveries.

 

UC4 had both imo (the way they bookended two brilliant set pieces with some really fantastic twists showed some great growth in their story-telling department), though UC4 is the best-controlling of all their games.

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5 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

UC4 had both imo (the way they bookended two brilliant set pieces with some really fantastic twists showed some great growth in their story-telling department), though UC4 is the best-controlling of all their games.

The storytelling in UC4 was fucking terrible. This bit particularly had me steamed...

 

Spoiler

The fact that you played Sam’s fake flashback was some of the worst bait and switch bullshit I’ve seen in a game, ever. It makes NO fucking sense at all to have the player in control of that. 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

I think the gameplay is fine and the controls are bad, if that makes sense. 

 

As always, the worst part of Naughty Dog games is playing them and TLOU is no different.  :p  The gameplay in TLOU is never better than pretty good. It’s nothing special. The characters and their relationships sure are special though. 

 

Though I guess Uncharted 4 bucks that trend, it was much better to play than the other games in the series and the plot suuuuuuucked. 

 

17 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

I'd like to clarify that I just like to bust Kal's balls. :p  He's a thoughtful dude.

 

 

This is a good example because I agree with Kal. I actually think there are a lot of good elements to the gameplay, but there were instances where I'd press triangle to get on my horse, accidentally choke the stagecoach operator, and then I'd have to leave town to escape the law. And all I wanted to do was sell my legendary pelt in Saint Denis. :p 

 

It's not like your current game, Bloodporne, GOW, which controls VERY well. But I think there's a LOT of good in RDR2's gameplay that puts a shine to the very detailed world and all the little Easter eggs and plot discoveries.

 

UC4 had both imo (the way they bookended two brilliant set pieces with some really fantastic twists showed some great growth in their story-telling department), though UC4 is the best-controlling of all their games.

Well, this is disappointing. I just wanted at least one of you to confirm my opinion so I could be smug about it. Now I'm torn. 

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Just now, Kal-El814 said:

The storytelling in UC4 was fucking terrible. This bit particularly had me steamed...

 

  Hide contents

The fact that you played Sam’s fake flashback was some of the worst bait and switch bullshit I’ve seen in a game, ever. It makes NO fucking sense at all to have the player in control of that. 

 

 

 

I love that part completely.

 

Spoiler

I felt as shocked as Nate did about the entire thing because by playing his concocted story, you really bought into it. It's not something like Heavy Rain where you're shocked a guy died who you actually murdered; this is a completely fictional event he likely refined and rehearsed to himself before seeking Nate's help, an elaborate hoax to steal the treasure from under Rafe's nose. I loved it, and the reveal is so organic. It makes complete sense and I'm glad it's in the game; I wouldn't want him to simply tell me the story. I want to see this guy who's after him, I want to really fear him, and I want to wonder how he's going to come back into the story.

 

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9 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

 

I love that part completely.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

I felt as shocked as Nate did about the entire thing because by playing his concocted story, you really bought into it. It's not something like Heavy Rain where you're shocked a guy died who you actually murdered; this is a completely fictional event he likely refined and rehearsed to himself before seeking Nate's help, an elaborate hoax to steal the treasure from under Rafe's nose. I loved it, and the reveal is so organic. It makes complete sense and I'm glad it's in the game; I wouldn't want him to simply tell me the story. I want to see this guy who's after him, I want to really fear him, and I want to wonder how he's going to come back into the story.

 

 

I personally thought it was as bad as that other game you mentioned and for almost the same reason. 

 

Spoiler

You can die in that segment I believe. What sense does that make? I agree that it absolutely helped sell Sam’s story, but it’s a bullshit way to do it. If I played it, it should have happened, period. What story is Sam telling? “And then I took cover and then I shot this one guy in the leg like 6 times before he died and then *I* died, no fuck wait hold on, I respawned and got through it this time because I knew where the bad guy was gonna be.” It’s cheap. 

 

Heavy Rain is cheap in a similar way, because there’s a button that tells you the character’s thoughts and they’re bullshit thoughts that serve no purpose other than fooling the player.

 

The first Lords of Shadow does this, too. 

 

I don’t have a problem with an unreliable narrator in a game, but it’s gotta be done honestly, and UC4 breaks the player’s trust by letting you control something that didn’t actually happen in a way that makes no sense when you think of what the character is actually doing  

 

 

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16 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

 

The GAF DNA is still in you. :p 

 

3 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

I'm disappointed if a thread does NOT get derailed!

I keep forgetting one is allowed to have naturally flowing conversations on here and doesn't have to pretend like any of this is gravely serious and important.

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28 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

 

I personally thought it was as bad as that other game you mentioned and for almost the same reason. 

 

  Hide contents

You can die in that segment I believe. What sense does that make? I agree that it absolutely helped sell Sam’s story, but it’s a bullshit way to do it. If I played it, it should have happened, period. What story is Sam telling? “And then I took cover and then I shot this one guy in the leg like 6 times before he died and then *I* died, no fuck wait hold on, I respawned and got through it this time because I knew where the bad guy was gonna be.” It’s cheap. 

 

Heavy Rain is cheap in a similar way, because there’s a button that tells you the character’s thoughts and they’re bullshit thoughts that serve no purpose other than fooling the player.

 

The first Lords of Shadow does this, too. 

 

I don’t have a problem with an unreliable narrator in a game, but it’s gotta be done honestly, and UC4 breaks the player’s trust by letting you control something that didn’t actually happen in a way that makes no sense when you think of what the character is actually doing  

 

 

 

See, here's why I disagree:

 

Spoiler

We have instances where, in a movie, an unreliable narrator incorrectly remembers or lies about something that happened, and you see the scene. A video game is unique in that you can actually play the moment. There's not much fear about Alcazar without really getting an idea of what he's capable of, and busting out of prison using his resources and then putting a knife to Sam, along with the threat of consequences if Sam contacts authorities, is how you can do it. I played the scene; now I've bought into it. 

The Heavy Rain example isn't even an unreliable narrator; it's just a cheat. Shelby acts shocked with no one else in the room and at no point could have killed the guy. UC4's is an unreliable narrator and it's done brilliantly in a way only a video game can.

 

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5 hours ago, Bloodporne said:

I can't stand Uncharted so I've always avoided The Last of Us like the plague. Is there actually a mechanically engaging and interesting game in there I should play one day or is it a case of the Red Dead Redemption 2's? 

The Last of Us is a completely different game than the Uncharted games. It's an M rated horror survival game that's extremely dark in tone, and pushes the envelope in terms of video game content. While the core game itself doesn't really standout from a gameplay perspective as it's mostly cover shooting and stealth, the mechanics are solid and do allow for some strategy at times. As an overall gaming experience, it's one of the best that I've played. The story, characters and things that happen throughout aren't usual video game fare. Anyone who likes horror should play it IMO.

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33 minutes ago, Phaseknox said:

The Last of Us is a completely different game than the Uncharted games. It's an M rated horror survival game that's extremely dark in tone, and pushes the envelope in terms of video game content. While the core game itself doesn't really standout from a gameplay perspective as it's mostly cover shooting and stealth, the mechanics are solid and do allow for some strategy at times. As an overall gaming experience, it's one of the best that I've played. The story, characters and things that happen throughout aren't usual video game fare. Anyone who likes horror should play it IMO.

No I know what it is, just think the Uncharted games are crap gameplay-wise and didn't want to suffer through the same idea on this one in terms of serviceable gameplay to support their story aspirations. The bolded is what I had always assumed and is why I stayed away from it. 

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1 hour ago, Bloodporne said:

No I know what it is, just think the Uncharted games are crap gameplay-wise and didn't want to suffer through the same idea on this one in terms of serviceable gameplay to support their story aspirations. The bolded is what I had always assumed and is why I stayed away from it. 

Have you played Uncharted 4? I feel that its gameplay is better than the previous games. It's the best game in the series IMO. As for The Last of Us, it's admittedly a more narrative driven experience than a gameplay driven one, but the gameplay is still solid IMO. While it doesn't reinvent the wheel in terms of shooting and stealth mechanics, its overall gameplay is still more than just serviceable enough to push the story along.

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I forced myself through two and a half Uncharted games trying to get what the appeal is and there is no way I'm playing 4. I think the whole spectacle-first popcorn blockbuster thing is incredibly boring and strikes me as smug. 

 

What I've read here convinced me to continue ignoring The Last Of Us. Come to think of it, I haven't liked a single Naughty Dog game I've played, damn.

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