The Last of Us Part II Announced

Gave the 60fps a try and to be honest it is fantastic, a game changer. Even though I did not like the Story, for what they did to a certain character and how the story ended, BUT I will replay it as I loved the gameplay and the exploration! :D
 
Picked up TLOU2 in my local library for free. I Youtubed it originally,so I know the story, but I want to see what the gameplay's like in person. My Youtube impressions were that it was a very average game with needlessly high production values, and the gameplay seemed super dull. Interesting to see if anything changes.
 
Apologies for potential repetition of my watchtthrough, and I'm open to a 'shut the fuck up' if this annoys anyone by spamming.

We get off on the wrong foot because the only application big enough to make room for this game is FF7 remake. Oh well.

Honestly, it's more engaging than I expected. The acting overall is excellent, and the gameplay is engaging so far.Joel and Tommy's performances are amazing in that opening scene.

I remember the main story beats, but I don't remember the solution to any puzzles or anything. (except to break the window of Eugenes). Not the most secure hidey hole.

But we've yet to meet any human enemies, which is where my suspension of disbelief usually starts to crack. Gameplay is surprisingly easy. I'm still dying, but partly that's because I had to get over my impulse to literally die rather than expend ammunition. That said, we're still in the warmup. The first of many 'we went two yards off our scheduled patrol route, here is a large nest of infected we somehow never noticed before.'

Owen could not look more like a serial killer if he was trying. 'Hey ex, want to wander off with me alone without informing the rest of our party in hostile countryside for reasons I refuse to explain. Also I'm just going to leave you here alone on this cliff, person afraid of heights'

The premise is undeniably pretty flimsy, with the randomly spawning mob of infected being exactly where it needs to be to force Joel and Tommy into the one possible position where they would be vulnerable, because Owen fucked off and left Abby alone with one gun and a brick so she got lost and bumped into them randomly. Also Ellie finding them so easily, although it probably helps that they lit the fire in the ski lodge. No plume of smoke when Ellie was watching through binoculars earlier.

And that they were wearing jackets with branded logos.

I still can't quite buy Dina being on board with going on this crazy revenge mission. Tommy and Ellie, sure, but it doesn't seem to fit her character and it doesn't seem like she could possibly be that close to Ellie yet. They're still at the 'teenager crush' stage, the 'suicidal vengeance quest' stage of a relationship is a bit later usually .

We get a lot of snippets about Dina while wandering the ruins. She wasn't born in a QZ, she lived in New Mexico with her Mom and sister, under the thumb of a gang called the Ravens. She also went to synagogue somehow. And wants to live on a farm, but doesn't sound like she's lived on one before. Has been in Jackson longer than Ellie, possibly not by much. Regarded Jackson a big town on arriving, (it has what, a thousand people?) so where she was was smaller. I'm trying to make her characterisation fit together, I'm not sure it does.

Oddly no option to close the Torah cabinet, so we just left it exposed to the elements. They're weirdly calm and relaxed, almost doing tourism , talking about watching for lookouts but not really acting like concerned people. It's fun and relaxing, but also odd.
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Sightseer trophy helpfully lets me know I've explored everything relevant, and on to the gate.
 
Still working for me so far. My cowardly playstyle is very cinematic, but my RPG instincts and my 'I don't want to kill everyone' instincts are fighting it out, because I want to get as much lore as I can, while not wanting to have to kill everything that moves. My 'sneak as close to the exit as possible, then book it when that inevitably fails' strategy has mixed results, but is helping me stay engaged, I'm not playing pacifist, but shooting people that are actually in my way and fleeing from the rest is good for me, but not really how this is meant to be played.

'These infected just wandered in'...through high walls and locked gates...somehow. Ack, accidentally advancing the story before looting enough is painful.

The sewer sequence is pretty good. Got a very lucky shot on a on a clicker sneaking up behind me while pulling the door to escape, my 'let the infected distract the WLF while engaging as little as possible strategy was pretty. Did clear out the two Shamblers to see what they had, went down to my shotgun easy enough.

Infected are a lot more fun to deal with than stupidly huge numbers of WLF.

Dina report: She was friendly with Ellie at least three years before the game starts, so they do have a relationship, but I only know that by checking her diary. She's shocked that the Wolves attacked immediately...hang on, aren't you a hardened survivor of that Raven gang? Also, Ellie has done farming duty and hated it. Hmm.

The dinosaur exhibit was a nice interlude. Every time I put my hat on something, I'm desperately hoping that we get it back. Mr ex firefly helpfully wrote his confessions at dramatically appropriate intervals. Nice meta trickery in suddenly allowing Ellie access to her gun and salvage gear. No time paradoxes here.

Character I'm most engaged with is Tommy, which is probably not the plan.
 
I think it's probably more me than the game, but I just don't find the Scars/WLF interesting to fight, narratively or mechanically. I prefer bravely running away.

Found Jesse and also not sure why he's here. He just... shrugs off everything, but you need to have some intense emotions to buy in to a crazy revenge scheme. He's... mildly on board, but not particularly invested in it. He's just constantly calm and relaxed about everything.

And so we head to the hospital...because Nora is there. I initially wondered how Dina identified her presence via her extremely common first name, but I suppose it's possible someone on the radio said 'Nora from Abby's crew' or something.

Infected nests vary justificationwise, some of the are justified, others are pretty thin. Boris the archer is entertaining notewise.

I find it extremely implausible that the hospital hasn't already been looted in the last 25 years. Stalkers are good encounters.

The game is very responsive whenever I occasionally forget a button it very quickly figures it out and pops up a helpful window. A bit too quick with the hints though.

These sharpshooters are eagleyed when I'm in water.

Whoever I was youtubing plays on a higher difficulty setting, because I remember the encounter in the hotel in Ellie's flashback differently.

And now Abby.

That Zebra is in pain and has just given birth. She has never wanted to kill someone in her life more than right now.

Coins are more boring as collectables go, because there's no lore attached. Abby is more combat focused, and breaks necks rather than stabbing. Nice touch. I miss one safe combination.

Not five minutes out of HQ, we get ambushed. We later learn that the Scars are using skybridges, but horses are not the best at climbing ladders.

Then we've got to go find Owen. I feel like the game likes him more than I do. After lots of crazy athletics we make it. Meet Lev and Yara, and a dramatically appropriate infected horde.

Random sex scene, and then Mel shows up. How did you get here while pregnant and having been shot yesterday, and why didn't I take that route?

So we have to go get medical supplies, and everyone we meet knows Lev by sight as the apostate. Don't they have anything better to do?

Fall off the bridge because it's time for an infected nest. Then the hospital,which has nowhere near the infected numbers of 'Ground zero''.
 
Whatever revelatory moment I was hoping for never happened. Elements of the game are superb, especially the performances. Laura Bailey is an excellent actress. I guess there's a reason she is in every game ever written.

The justifications for the combat sequences get increasingly flimsy. Random infected nests show up whenever dramatically appropriate. The sewers I get. At least there's none on scar island.
Abby day 3 just feels like wasted time to me. Lev pull a Rinoa and charges off to visit his mom in a fortress full of enemies , and then for some reason I missed they decide to charge through a warzonee rather than return to the boats they arrived in. It's just 'we need to have a big dramatic confrontation'

The Tommy bossfight was a flash of excellence and I would have much preferred to see more of this kind of thing.Slow tensee stalking rather than giant hordes.

Jesse died as he lived, weirdly nonchalantly (and also weirdly unmourned?)

'(Dina's) not a part of this' Bullshit, she didn't come to Seattle to do tourism.

That farmhouse is not nearly secure enough. A Bloater could get through that fence without slowing down. Even a runner could climb it.(barbed wire doesn't work against things that don't feel pain), and bandits could just unlatch the gate.

Twitchy PTSD Ellie would never live there, at the very least they need a dog.

Against the rattlers I decided to engage with the combat system and abandon my cowardly playstyle, I can't say it made it more fun. I don't much like this gameplay style to begin with, it was pretty much a chore rather than something I wanted to do. may be just me.

This is a very strange game. Sometimes the attention to detail is off the charts, sometimes they just give up trying to make things make sense. Pregnant gunshot wounded Mel just appears at the Aquarium after Abby had to go to stupid levels of athletics and death defying to get there the day before. One armed Yara just appears next to Tommy after the others had to swim, sprint, and brave gunfire to get there. Very frequently I'm left wondering why characters are doing what they are doing or why this particular action scene is happening.

I'm going to have to go with my original judgement on this'n. Not much to love, not much to hate. It's okay. I wouldn't object to playing this again, but I wouldn't seek it out.
 
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