After a long wait, the story of Ellie and Joel in The Last of Us 2 finally continues. Can the story build on the excellently set framework of the first part and playfully add further accents? Christopher has fought his way through Seattle and tells you in our test here on GIGA Games how good the sequel really turned out.

The Last Of Us 2

What is The Last of Us 2?

TLOU 2 is the sequel to the action adventure released in 2013 for PlayStation 3 The Last of Us by developer Naughty Dog (Uncharted, Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot). In it you move through a post-apocalyptic world in which the Cordyceps fungal infection has turned most of humanity into zombie-like creatures. You experience the beginning of the outbreak with protagonist Joel, but then you make a leap in time in 2033, in which the mushroom has completely changed the life of mankind on earth. But new hope arises in the form of 14-year-old Ellie, who appears to be immune to the spore infection. Joel escorts Ellie on her way across the United States to deliver to the Fireflies group, who are looking to develop a cure for fungal spores with Ellie's help.

Even today, the first part leaves critics and fans alike with enthusiasm. Developer Naughty Dog already demonstrated his talent in storytelling with the Uncharted series, but The Last of Us put it one step higher. Especially the development of the relationship between Joel and Ellie had a depth that has rarely been captured so well in a video game. This is one of the reasons why we awarded in our GIGA test for The Last of Us 9 out of 10 points. If you missed the first part, you can and should catch up on The Last of Us Remastered on PlayStation 4. Alternatively, we give you in the following video a story summary of the events from the first part:

Test conclusion to The Last of Us 2

Forget about that Leaks and anything negative you may have heard about The Last of Us 2 in advance. The sequel is an epic twice as extensive as the first part and does not have to fear the comparison in any way. The second part is primarily a dark story of revenge, but one that has washed itself.

Naughty Dog again takes a lot of time to draw and shape his emotional story. Ellie and Joel are torn characters after the events in the first part and have to deal with the consequences of their decisions. Exactly the questions you may have asked yourself after the end of the first part will be answered in the sequel. But even the smallest minor character gets room for development in the sequel. The second part is an emotional roller coaster ride that has brought tears to my eyes.

And how does it look playful? The combat and crafting system has been consistently developed, and players in the first part will find their way around immediately. There are new weapons, equipment, and procedures that you can use to get rid of enemies. In their ranks there are in turn new, different factions and also other types of infected who require appropriate approaches.

TLOU2 also feels so much bigger than the first part in terms of level design and game world. You want to explore more open areas and lots of hidden areas to the left and right of the main path in destroyed Seattle, so you don't miss anything.

They are Strengthen from The Last of Us 2:

  • The history maintains the high level of the first part and surprises with many twists and turns and emotional highlights.
  • More open game world and even less hose level than in the first part. The balance between linearity and optional explorations fits.
  • Enormous scope with approx. 30 – 35 hours of playing time. About twice as long as the first part.
  • Graphically gets everything out of the old PS4 hardware, especially that Game world and character animations create atmosphere.

They are weaknesses from The Last of Us 2:

  • Relatively low replay value despite New Game Plus. No optional decisions or side missions.
  • No multiplayer mode like in the first part.
<img class = "lazyload” alt=”The Last of Us Part II – Exclusive Steelbook Edition (PlayStation 4) (Uncut)” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51sTv7B9qIL._SL160_.jpg”/>

The Last of Us Part II – Exclusive Steelbook Edition (PlayStation 4) (Uncut)

Story: the story is so good (spoiler-free)

It's hard to write about The Last of Us 2's plot without spoiling too much. Don't worry, I'll do the devil and give you details at this point, because the greatest strength of the game is clearly the story. The first part did first-class preparatory work here and the script writers really had to work hard to build on this level.

I can only call this project a success. The Last of Us 2 is like that many motifs and emotionsthat they make the first part appear almost small and you have to reevaluate its events.

So much we can tell you about the starting point in the sequel (if you really don't want to know anything, just jump to the next section):

Part 2 takes place five years after the events of its predecessor. Ellie and Joel live with his brother Tommy and their community in Jackson, Wyoming. In the meantime Ellie has grown up to a young woman and forms the first delicate bonds of love. At the same time, her relationship with Joel suffered significantly after the events in the first part. These are taken up again and again in the course of history and shed light on further conflicts between the two. After an incisive experience in Jackson, nothing is as it used to be and the events take you to Seattle, where the story continues.

You don't need to know more about the story in advance. Of course it helps if you played the first part to understand the emotional state at the beginning of the second part. The sequel is rather a story of revenge and deals with subjects such as loss, hate and forgiveness.

Even more than in the first part, action-packed sections alternate with quiet passages that take full time to develop the characters. If such sections degenerate into annoying walking simulator passages for me in other games, they are one of my absolute highlights in TLOU2 and help immensely with the connection to the characters. In this game I don't care about any character and since time jumps and flashbacks are often used in the course of the game, a few moments later hit me emotionally twice as hard in the stomach. I would like to describe so many such moments at this point, but of course you should experience them yourself. Part 2 narratively belongs to the absolute spearhead in the video game landscape.

Gameplay: WLF vs. Scars vs. Clicker

Between the extensive story sections, you will spend most of your time in the game fighting the numerous enemies. It is above all three factionsthat make your survival difficult:

  • WLF: The Washington Liberation Front is a tightly organized military group that once seized control of Seattle from FEDRA state forces. Among other things, they also send dogs into battle that can absorb the weather from Ellie and relentlessly follow her.
  • Scars: A fanatical religious group (also called seraphites), which above all acts silently and with quiet weapons like bows. They constantly communicate with each other with whistles and quickly become aware of someone missing from their ranks, for example if Ellie has just secretly switched them off.
  • Infected: The threat posed by runners, clickers, stalkers and Co. is still pervasive. There are also new types of infected people such as the shambler. These monsters littered with pustules emit acid clouds that will burn you if you get too close.

To fight all of your enemies, Ellie now has even more options to fight back. Your arsenal is largely similar to that of its predecessor, but there are also a few innovations. You can, for example, lay self-made mines or mount silencers on your pistol to act even more quietly. In addition, you can now crawl on your stomach with Ellie and hide even better from enemy eyes.

I found the battles on the middle of the five levels of difficulty almost a bit too easy, since you will also find more than enough resources to craft replenishments. If you want, you can also adjust the level of difficulty or even individual aspects such as battles or resource occurrences separately in the options (also during the game). In general, I would also like to mention the many options for accessibility. A lot of adjustable aids for additional audiovisual signals also help people with impairments to optimally adapt the game to their needs.

Playing time and scope: when does that end?

"Wow, that should be the end." I had this thought about five times during the game when I thought I was at the end of the story. But far from it, because then it went on again. The Last of Us 2 is the biggest game by Naughty Dog and outperforms its predecessor by double in season.

When the credits flickered across my screen, I had 44 hours of play on my watch. However, it should be said that I really explored every corner of the game world and took a lot of time to explore the areas. A normal game cycle should take between 30 and 35 hours. For a single player game with such an elaborate staging, this is an enormous amount. Even more remarkable, because there are no side missions or the like in the game.

However, you can spend a lot of time searching buildings off the path. In order not to miss some cutscenes and other interesting sections, you even have to do this. Again and again you stumble across ruins or various shops with lots of loot and crafting materials that are worth a detour. In addition, only players with a thirst for research will also find the hidden training books that unlock new talent trees for you to learn more skills and instructions on crafting.

There are also open areas with a map in TLOU2, as you may already know from Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. So if you want, you can discover a lot, but you don't have to do it and you can only concentrate on the story.

Game world: no open world, but a lot of freedom

Most of the game takes place in the metropolis of Seattle. 25 years after the onset of the infection, nature has visibly recaptured the city. Streets and rivers overgrown with grass and trees, which make their way through the canyons, now shape the cityscape. Naughty Dog has always had level design, and Seattle is also a real feast for the eyes.

In addition, the areas are even more extensive than in the first part. Although you are not moving through an open world, there is a lot to discover and at every nook and corner the area tells little stories if you look at them closely. Remnants of camps, doodles on walls or letters and notes bear witness to past events.

I am anything but a friend of scattered documents in video games, because if I don't want one, I have to dig through text avalanches. But it's different in The Last of Us 2. I soak up every snippet of information because I am so invested in this game world and want to find out everything about its backgrounds and characters. Ellie's diary, for example, gives me an insight into her emotional world and records details that I might otherwise have missed.

To be able to explore everything, you now move vertically more often than in the previous one. To do this, you will often be in the game Ropes stumble that you can pick up and throw. This way you can rappel down to lower levels or climb higher. In addition, sometimes you are traveling by horse and boatto bridge rough terrain.

Multiplayer: where is the online mode?

For all of you who haven't noticed, we want to point out that you have to do without a multiplayer mode in Part 2. The faction multiplayer mode known from the first part has been deleted.

An online mode has been omitted in favor of the single player. If you look at the scope of the end product, it can rightly be said that the redistribution of resources was fully worthwhile.

The Last of Us 2 will be released on June 19, 2020 exclusively for PlayStation 4.Since the PS4 version is almost brought to its knees by the game, a future release on PlayStation 5 is not excluded, but this has not yet been confirmed.

9.3/ 10

“Hate, anger, hope and love. The Last of Us 2 depicts the full range of human emotions in a brilliant epic. One of the last big highlights of the PS4 that should have been played in 2020. ”

Christopher Bahner