A generation defining sequel that held the gaming world in immense anticipation.
The Last of Us will forever be Naughty Dog’s Magnum Opus. Yes, an arguable statement but after the commercial success the Uncharted franchise had obtained, the Sony owned Studio had bigger plans than to keep returning to their favourite treasure hunter. Exploring an R-Rated title was something that the developer had teased for sometime before its reveal, way back in 2011. The series pit the studio against its own IP’s with Uncharted seating itself beside Naughty Dog’s newest, and remarkably innovative creation. Its blood-soaked overlay had Uncharted 2’s game engine hard coded into every facet, but its delivery screamed original.
That mainly comes from its incredible writing team that were able encapsulate every human emotion into the cinematic experience. This led to the PlayStation 3 title having major-league clown sized shoes to fill with its potential sequel on then “next-gen” hardware. The Last of Us Part II came at one of the most unique periods humanity has every existed, the COVID-19 pandemic. The contrasts of livelihood and isolation cut deep, and was something humanity was experiencing in real-time, omitting the Brain dead flesh-hungry infected runners of course, but hey… that almost happened too.
While its narrative still sets a polarising precedence for those who may love the original, The Last of Us Part II improved on every facet designed and delivered. Once again, developing on-top of an already built engine in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, The Last of Us Part II was certainly ready to once again dominate and attain the exact mainstream acclaim it was awarded with its original. And again, it could be argued that its sequel may not have packed such an impactful blow that its predecessor managed to deliver, but the title was still a technical marvel for the PlayStation 4 hardware. But again, there are so many graphically exhilarating experiences available, that it’s now become the norm for many Triple-A developers to follow suit from the master.
Its still a definitive masterpiece that plays on every emotion delivered by amazing performances. VO Royalty pushes the envelope, and truly enriches this entire experience, enhancing every detail within each personality and their resolve. Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, Laura Bailey, Ashly Burch. Travis Willingham, and yes… world renowned Rapper and billboard artist Logic (Bobby Hall) makes a cameo appearance – not that he puts on a musical act here, definitely not the game for that. But the diverse narrative that tells the tale of two, certainly plays with the audience and their perspective on reasoning and resolve. It still remains one of the most fascinating narratives in an established universe, with their own creators doing their best to make you feel conflicted. One of the best of all time, for sure.