Having Ellie come out as gay is not a reflection on her abilities; a straight Ellie and a gay Ellie are one and the same where humanistic drive and behaviour is concerned. That Naughty Dog wrote her as a gay character also has nothing to do with pandering to an audience requiring such diversity be represented. She’s just gay. It’s honestly not that hard to wrap your head around...Click here for our helpful guide to getting the most enjoyment out of The Last of Us Part II as you can.
In part due to the challenge of reviewing the game as clearly as possible without breaking the rules in place, I decided to tackle it on Survival for the ultimate The Road-like experience. In the game’s opening menu, Survivor is described as “an intense, demanding challenge”, where “resources are extremely scarce and enemies are deadly”. Tonally, it’s no spoiler that the world of The Last of Us is brutal, as was established in the first game. While we’re all used to post-apocalyptic settings, more often than not enemies like zombies or mutated beasties are what’s referred to as ‘toys’ within these spaces; grindy fodder for combat, points or resource gathering -- moving, groaning imediements, often slow and easy to dispatch, despite large numbers. Especially if we’re in open-worlds or sandboxes.Click here for our full The Last of Us Part II review.
This also usually means there’s at least *some* lightheartedness sprinkled throughout, but with The Last of Us as a franchise and, in particular, Part II, there’s little-to-no-room for joviality. Make no mistake, the brake lines are well and truly cut where in-your-face violence and brutality is concerned here.
And there are certainly no ‘toys’ in sight.
The available section of narrative we’re allowed to talk about here took -- on Survival -- roughly two hours for me to punch through, and without a heavy arsenal of gear, fully clearing areas of all baddies was a 50/50 affair, which left some stones unturned. There are collectibles in the game, as well as important gear and ingredients, and there’s an upgrade system tied to multiple facets of Ellie’s basic requirements for successful survival, married alongside scavenging, but we don’t want to spoil how any of this works, because the very nature of the game is a moment-to-moment experience. You’ll learn early on that Naughty Dog has a clear idea of what you should be doing, when, how and why. “Wide linear” is what Hally referred to it as, but that doesn’t mean the game is locked down to a corridor experience. Agency comes in how you tackle the stealth sandbox moments, all while ensuring the carrot on the string is what drives you, and Ellie, forward.Click here for our full hands-on preview.
The last few weeks have been eventful, and with our new release date confirmed and development of The Last of Us Part II complete, we’re now just over a month away from launch on June 19, 2020. It’s a surreal feeling, to say the least. This project represents not only years of hard work and passion from everyone here at Naughty Dog, but the continuation of a journey that began with Ellie, Joel, and each of you about seven years ago. There have been some twists and turns, but we’re so lucky to have had you with us every step of the way.
Thorough understanding of current GPU architectures (AMD GCN, NVIDIA CUDA) Experience with DirectX12, Vulkan or other modern graphics or compute APIs
An update regarding multiplayer: pic.twitter.com/CUd98LgJGC— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) September 27, 2019
I'm one of the few in the world who can tell you how this game feels. How it reacts in the hands of a player who has done his homework and had his mettle tested many times in multiple Grounded difficulty playthroughs. I'm also the guy who can tell you that, wow, this game is harrowing.
Now I figured I was completely desensitized to violence after 35 years of gaming (and that years of TV radiation had left my genitals withered and useless). However, sections of Part II still floored me like I'd been hit by a Joel Special – that's a thrown brick to the face. Naughty Dog has somehow managed to cranky up the intensity and violence even further than last time. And they've done it with one of the simplest things, naming AI enemies.