This post will be a review and discussion on the various mechanics, gameplay elements, and graphics in The Last Of Us Part 2. For a review of the story, refer to my previous post.
Dating back to the first Uncharted game, it seems Naughty Dog is using the same engine for all of their triple-A titles. Although, unlike Bethesda, their engine holds up with each entry. It helps that it was updated for Uncharted 4, and is used for The Last Of Us Part 2.
Between the first game and part 2, the gameplay is almost the exact same. It can be boiled down to story beat-climbing/platforming-looting/exploration-action sequence-story beat and so on. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. This time around, however, it really is more of the same. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but I would have liked to see some new elements besides a new character upgrade system. The new upgrade system is the same as the last game in some ways. You still need to get supplements to upgrade, but this time you need to get a previous upgrade to get later ones. This limits player choice in how you want to upgrade certain aspect. I do see the need for this as too not make you OP at the beginning of the game. Overall, the gameplay is the same as the last game, but isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
There are three big new mechanics featured; the ability to go prone, rope mechanics, and the new silencer craftable. The prone ability is similar to Metal Gear solid. You can lay flat and crawl, take enemies out while in tall grass, and when you get hit hard you fall on your back which gives you the ability to shoot an enemy quickly. This new improvement is a welcomed one and really changed the way I played the game. I hope this becomes a trend in future third-person action games. Moreover, on the topic of Metal Gear, the new craftable silencer essentially turns the game into light Metal Gear. It’s actually quite impressive how much it changes the gameplay. As for the last new mechanic, the rope physics, it replaces the overdone ladder sequences in the last game. These rope sequences are sparse, but fun when you have them.
This is probably obvious already, but the game is gorgeous. Seattle is intricately detailed with real-world locations spread through the game, with a grimy coat of post-apocalypse. Every building is detailed with vines, moss, broken walls and dilapidated structures. To accent these environments is an amazing lighting system that makes the reflections and overall feel of the game hyper-realistic. Truly a master class in what games can look like on a PS4 system. Naughty Dog has outdone themselves and will be hard to top in future games.
Animations also deserve a spotlight. This game has some of the best animations I have ever seen in a game. One particular animation stands out to me, the weapons customization. In the last game, when you upgraded your weapons, there was no animation involved. This time, Ellie will actually take that weapon, dismantle it, and add on new bits to the weapon. As an example, I upgraded the pistol’s accuracy and Ellie unscrewed the barrel, cleaned the inside, and attached a compensator. These animations are also unique to each weapon. Another standout animation are the enemies and when they get hit. Wherever you shoot at an enemy , they will react to that portion of their body instead of having a designated animation each time. These little animations further add to the realism this game is trying to convey. These are obviously mocapped, but impressive nonetheless.
Naughty Dog never fails to impress me with their graphics and animations in their games. While some mechanics are outdated and need some updating, it doesn’t take away from an overall outstanding crowing achievement for the PS4.
For this portion of the last of us, I give it 9.5 clickers out of 10.