Five years after their dangerous journey across the post-pandemic United States, Ellie and Joel have settled down in Jackson, Wyoming. Living amongst a thriving community of survivors has allowed them peace and stability, despite the constant threat of the infected and other, more desperate survivors. When a violent event disrupts that peace, Ellie embarks on a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure. As she hunts those responsible one by one, she is confronted with the devastating physical and emotional repercussions of her actions.

When the credits rolled on The Last of Us Part 2 I was still buzzing from the excitement of the final few hours. My loyalty shifted between characters. I grew to love who I hated and dislike who I loved. I laughed, I teared up. I felt anger and elation. It’s the new high water mark for video game characters and I can’t wait for everyone to see just how special it is. As soon as it ended, I booted up New Game Plus and I’m experiencing it again with my eyes open, the context of the finished story imprinting new meaning into those early scenes and characters. I’m not swiping in the dark anymore.

Even though The Last of Us Part II relishes in making players uncomfortable and reminding them characters can lose everything at a moment’s notice, those bleak traits are part of the game’s appeal even if the charm’s a morbid one. It’s a monumental effort in storytelling and a model for tales of vengeance and repercussions pushed forward by gratifying gameplay, and while not everything you do will sit right with you, the game never leads players to believe the result would be anything different.

The graphics and lighting make this one of the best looking games I have ever seen, especially on the current-generation of consoles.

The Last of Us Part 2 is a stunning achievement in every sense of the word. From the beautiful, detailed world to the nail biting moment to moment gameplay, there is nothing quite like it. With an emotional story to boot and some of the most beautiful environments ever created, Naughty Dog has created another masterpiece.

The Last of Us – Part II delivers exactly what you’ve been expecting: adult storytelling and perfectly balanced gameplay. This game will give you shivers down your spine for nearly 30 hours and something to remember long after its end.

The game displays a thorough, haunted understanding of what cruelty for cruelty’s sake can do to the soul.

In trying to subvert expectations, The Last of Us Part II discards the best aspects of its predecessor to provide a rote revenge tale that is ill-considered, ending on a note that makes everything — all the violence, all the loss, all the struggle — feel utterly, hopelessly pointless.

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