I have a question for you, how can something so cruel, unforgiving heartbreakingly bleak and downright disturbing, be so utterly brilliant?

I don’t know how Naughty Dog have done it

Yet somehow they have. The Last of Us was my favourite game from the PlayStation 3 era and The Last of Us Part 2 is my game of the PlayStation 4 era . It is an utter masterpiece filled with three dimensional characters you can really find yourself caring for. The level are based on the semi-open world formula and I think this really helps the game as I don’t think the game could exist as well if it were open world . The Last of Us 2’s story needs to be constantly moving to keep the player involved in the story, constant side quests, probably involving too many fetch quests would have slowed the game down to a crawl, loosing its much needed momentum and affecting the real impact of the story. The semi open world levels are just big enough to give the player a choice of options in how to deal with any given situation, yes many of those situations involve fights with hostile enemies and options are open to the player in how they want to deal with these situations. but I think the best moments in the levels are when the player’s left alone in the world to pick over the bones of a city that has fallen apart, rotten and is in the midst of being forgotten. This is a world filled with the remanence of an old world, a world that is slowly being grown over and reclaimed by nature and I think whilst taking your time to go through each level slowly you can really feel the impact this has on the characters as they try to forget their past and the lives they once lived and try to carve out a new life for themselves in this world knowing that death could only be minutes away.

Does it help that its beautiful ?

It has to be in my opinion the best looking game on the console a technical achievement of the highest order. A masterpiece that game companies will be trying to get close too late into the next console’s life span. It is simply stunning to look at. If your a fan of the photo mode be prepared to spend hours working on your perfect shot as everything in the game looks beautiful. The rain makes you feel cold, the sun makes you reach out and grab that screen and the shots of the moon will have you worrying that you have some how stumbled into ancient Transylvania, with Dracula lurking around the next corner. Its a beauty to be hold. Once as I controlled Ellie as she walked through a corn field, I found myself wondering how the corn felt as her hands brushed across it – something I have never even considered before in a video game. Naughty Dog have made everything in the game look alive or in some cases very, very dead. Everything feels vital to the world and begs for you to interact with to see what the next corner has to offer.

It is because it’s filled with surprises? (spoilers)

In a world where anything could happen from a firefight with an troupe of cultists, to an unscheduled fight with a group of the infected as you were just looking for supplies. Things happen that you don’t expect and that happens quite a lot. Its a game that keeps you on your toes and it’s all the better for it.

It’s very Bleak

This isn’t so much a positive as just something the game does so well. The games world is dark and desolate place. A world that has been overrun with decay and hasn’t yet decided how to fight back. Sure there are moments of joy and happiness but these rare moments of joy have to be earned and enjoyed in the small window of time they exist in. The world of the Last of Us is ever changing and it is rarely changing for the better

The characters?

You would expect everybody you meet in the game to be full of dread, overcome with fears of death and what will become of them after that – they really don’t want to be bitten. But the characters seem to, for the most part be able to move on, push past the trauma and lead somewhat normal lives in this chaotic jungle. They may not be around for ever but they, for the most part seem to want to make the most of life while they can still cling to it.

This all seems to to add up to one of the complete gaming packages I have ever had the pleasure to play. Yes it may be bleak and left me feeling pretty crappy for a few hours after I finished but, I still cherish the time I spent with it. It’s almost the complete game and one I think most people will love.

How did you find it?