The Last of Us 2 in the test: A game that gets under your skin and a milestone in the medium

The Last of Us 2 in the test: A game that gets under your skin and a milestone in the medium

Almost four years after the announcement, The Last of Us 2 is finally the sequel to one of the most popular games of the PS3 era. But at first there were only doubts as to whether The Last of Us, which was told so consistently, needed a successor and whether Part 2 could take the players back emotionally at all, but there were major stumbling blocks for the PS4-exclusive action shortly before the release -Adventure. First reports of poor working conditions at developer Naughty Dog were published during the crunch phase, then the title had to be postponed again due to the coronavirus pandemic and finally a hacker leaked story details.

These details did not fit into the stuff of some people and they loudly said that Naughty Dog had ruined the game for them (certainly not their own will to look at release spoilers). Since some detonators were already in a mood against the developer studio because it was too politically correct for them, a shit storm developed around the probably most anticipated game of the year next to Cyberpunk 2077. About the hard crunch, which is a general problem of the game industry, must you can discuss it, but otherwise it was all a lot of unnecessary noise. The Last of Us: Part 2 ( buy now ) does not please everyone, but it is precisely because of this that it has become a great game that will reverberate for a long time. The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the testThe Last of Us 2 in the test

Back to misery
Source: Sony
Part 2 takes place about four years after the events of the first part and lets us take control of the now 19-year-old Ellie. The post-apocalyptic game world is of course still dangerous, after all, over 20 years ago, the mutant Cordyceps mushroom had turned more than half of the world’s population into bloodthirsty cannibal monsters and looters and other gangs roam everywhere. Nevertheless, Ellie and Joel have come to rest.

Together with Tommy and Maria, they settled in Jackson, Wyoming, where, along with many other survivors, they built a functioning society. A wall and regular patrols ensure security, there is electricity in the city, adults have different professions, children go to school and engage in extensive snowball fights. Jackson is a true idyll amidst the chaos where Ellie and Joel are accepted members of society. Ellie even comes a little closer to Dina, about the same age, who has just broken up with her boyfriend and is now discovering that there is not just friendship between Ellie and her.

Anyone who played the first part and thus experienced the odyssey of Joel and Ellie is happy about the new life of the beloved characters and Naughty Dog understands once again how to build a new scenario and is alive thanks to the often irrelevant information in the great written dialogues close. Of course, not everything remains peaceful, because after a serious incident, Ellie is torn from her ideal world and swears bitter revenge. She arms herself, leaves Wyoming, and returns to the bleak outside world on a self-imposed mission that could cost her not only her life but also her humanity. The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the test

Source: Sony
Typical for Naughty Dog and author Neil Druckmann, the premise of the story is relatively simple, but it is carried by outstandingly written characters. As the game progresses, however, the story becomes more and more important and takes a few turns on the way to an emotionally exhausting finale. The story will surprise and shock many players. Some may even scare you off, because Naughty Dog trusts and challenges the players a lot. The developers play cleverly with the expectations of the fans and even demand their trust, but then also reward them with an intelligent story that breaks with conventions and that takes advantage of the special characteristics of the medium. The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the test

The story and the accompanying emotional roller coaster ride is only possible as a video game, because you experience it yourself. No leak in the world can convey what The Last of Us: Part 2 says, represents and lets you live through. Naughty Dog prove once again that they understand immersion better than most other studios. The Last of Us: Part 2 always sprinkles small, light-hearted moments, but is otherwise consistently oppressive and constantly confronts you with scenes that have such emotional force and exude such heaviness that you have the feeling that the controller hardly still able to hold in hand.

Even less than its predecessor, the title is a casual action adventure for in between. The 18 USK stamp does not only refer to the extreme violence that is also present. We also strongly recommend that you have played the first part. At first there is a short flashback The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the test The Last of Us 2 in the test

Horror and beauty
Ellie follows a group of people to Seattle, Washington, where most of the game takes place. Since you hiked across America in the predecessor and saw so many different areas, this may not seem particularly varied, but Seattle has some surprises in store. Due to the location of the city, you not only walk on the streets of the long past civilization, but also through wild parks or forest areas.

As nature slowly regains concrete, tar and steel from the lost society, the destroyed city is equally bleak, dilapidated and gray, but also wonderfully green. You constantly get to places whose interplay between the destroyed past and the blossoming nature is simply impressive. The game world is so detailed, so organic, that you are even more drawn into the game than you already are by story and characters. The fact that the title mainly takes place in this one city also makes the story more intimate and personal. The Last of Us 2 in the test

Both the military-inspired Wolves and the cult of the Scars are fighting over the supremacy of Seattle. Ellie meets both factions. The Last of Us 2 in the test
Both the military-inspired Wolves and the cult of the Scars are fighting over the supremacy of Seattle. Ellie meets both factions. The Last of Us 2 in the test
Source: Sony
In addition, Seattle is quite lively, because not only are all sorts of people infected in the ruins of the city, there is also a war raging between two factions. The military-inspired Washington Liberation Front, WLF or Wolves, is fighting the armed sect of the Seraphites, whose members are also called Scars because they scarred their faces at a young age. We probably don’t give too much away when we say that Ellie will have to deal with both the infected and both groups in the course of the adventure.

As expected, it is tough as it stands between the fronts of the raging war. The fights are not only exciting because of the action and the prevailing brutality, but also because you learn about many individual fates. As in the first part, the exploration of the individual areas plays a major role and in the houses that you rummage through, you will always find notes, written instructions or even farewell letters in which you can read very personal war stories. We already mentioned that The Last of Us: Part 2 is very depressing. The Last of Us 2 in the test

Crafters and collectors
But of course you will not only find a few pieces of paper with information, but also a lot of usable objects and materials, because just like in the predecessor, there is a simple crafting system. Ellie collects rags, alcohol, containers or scissors to make various useful items from these materials. Items such as Molotov cocktails, melee weapon reinforcements, silencers or simply medi-kits require several of these materials to be manufactured.

To create the objects, open them with a push on the touchpad Ellies backpack. Then you select the desired object and if enough materials have been collected, you hold down X and you can treat yourself again, dampen gunshots or otherwise strengthen yourself. Of course, crafting takes some time. If you squat down in the middle of a battle to create booby traps or pipe bombs, you will probably quickly start walking across the Jordan. So prepare yourself in quiet moments, because at any time you can be surprised by one of the many horrors in the world of The Last of Us.

In addition to the materials already mentioned, there are also screws and scrap from which improvements to weapons can be made on workbenches. For example, you can increase the stability of the pump gun or the rate of fire of the semi-automatic pistol or attach a rifle scope to your hunting rifle. But Ellie herself can also improve. Although the US opioid crisis only smoldered at the time that the civilized world was sinking in The Last of Us, pills are found everywhere that enhance the protagonist’s abilities. For example, you can improve the speed of crafting, improve the speed of movement when crawling or expand the radius of the listening mode. The Last of Us 2 in the test

The title is linear, but the areas are more extensive. Sometimes you have to climb and jump your way through the ruins.
The title is linear, but the areas are more extensive. Sometimes you have to climb and jump your way through the ruins. The Last of Us 2 in the test
Source: Sony
That’s right, just like in Part 1, you can switch to this mode, which means you can also detect enemy movement through walls. If you keep your eyes open, you will find certain books in the course of the game, with which even other small skill trees can be unlocked. In any case, one should extensively explore the surroundings. Yes, The Last of Us: Part 2 itself is pretty linear and only in a few places do you solve environmental puzzles or even find the right way. If you strictly follow the path to the next story event, you will not notice many things.

So we found safes crammed with ammunition off the road or interesting objects that gave us more information about the backgrounds of the destroyed Seattle. We explored a lot and took about 30 hours to finish, of which we didn’t want to miss a minute. If you only follow the story and maybe even choose a low level of difficulty, which can be freely defined in various ways, you can deduct five hours of game time.

In some sections you even have to use a boat to move through the partially flooded Seattle.
In some sections you even have to use a boat to move through the partially flooded Seattle.
Source: Sony
This is also because the areas are often quite extensive. This way, we can usually also search the surrounding buildings and discover their secrets. Very often you can already see that the houses are full of infected, so you have to consider whether it is worth looking for materials there. After all, it could be that you are exposed and have to shoot way too much of the scarce ammunition. The Last of Us 2 in the test

In addition, it is not always immediately apparent how to get into a building undetected. Do you really have to throw in the window pane or is there maybe a hidden entrance somewhere? Sometimes you even have to climb, jump over precipices or swing to the other side with a rope. These new possibilities of movement compared to the predecessor appreciably enhance the exploration of the surroundings. Relatively at the beginning of the game there is even a small open world section in which we can freely explore an entire area of ​​Seattle. Of course, you shouldn’t expect a map like a GTA, but the section skillfully conveys the feeling of moving through a large, wide instead of a narrowly defined world.

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The Last of Us 2 in the test: A game that gets under your skin and a milestone in the medium
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