This week saw the release of a contender for game of the year 2020 in The Last of Us II. 8 hours in, it’s most certainly a deserving candidate already.
The Last of us: Part II
It’s hard to avoid the hype for this game. The review embargo was up shortly after the PS5 reveal event 2 weeks ago. From that point on max score after max score reviews came pouring in. I didn’t read any of them, I didn’t want any hint of what might happen story wise. Mainly as I was worried about fallout from the leaked spoilers. Something here must have pissed off people. But I’d go and find out what on my own and not from reading reviews or impressions.
So Saturday I grabbed my copy (and kept the display case that I took to the counter too as it was a nice cardboard one). I installed it in the afternoon and waited till my little boy was in bed and started the game at just gone 7pm.
I won’t go into spoilers, but the opening chapter before heading to Seattle is incredible. The initial introduction in Wyoming, playing in the snow, it’s amazing, and my goodness is the game beautiful. As this introductory chapter progresses and the intertwining stories playout between various protagonists the mood shifts, the pace picks up, the adrenaline pumps and then The Last of Us 2 really begins after a unbearably agonising and tense few minutes.
I’m exhausted and I’ve barely played, I’m just beat up from the turn this chapter took.
My next stint was last night, progressing through the city of Seattle for the fallout reasons from the first chapter. Once again absolutely mind blowing how good this game is visually. The initial descent into the overgrown city is gorgeous.
The puzzles to enter various parts of the city are interesting thus far, and there is so much to explore. The first game had a linear path to it. This game does if you choose to stick to it, but it’s equally a semi open world available to explore should you wish. You can get to your objective in the latter stages of day one across different paths in city that all have something for you to find.
One of the most incredible experiences I had last night was as I was trying to progress through an area, there was a patrol out on the lookout. I dropped from a roof after watching 2 members of the lookout walk reasonably out of sight, only to not realise 2 more members were in a doorway right where I dropped down. This resulted into manic gun fire from the lookout and the other 2 members who had wandered off, come charging back.
Now, I had not been in the area long, so it was not clear of runners or clickers, who had heard said gun shots. So in matter of seconds the shrieking of the infected is running behind me. I run out of a shop and take cover around a corner. The human patrol equally run away as the mini swarm of infected pursue. The patrol take cover at their road block and attempt to shoot this attacking infected swarm down. I’m sat in the beauty of cover watching this battle go on, and notice in the 2nd story of a building a patrol member shooting at the infected. This is where it got truly amazing as the patrol dwindled down on the street, a clicker had made a run into that building, and from my seat I could see plain as day the clicker rush through the room to the shooter from the window in which more gun fire occurred from that room until it was all quiet.
The patrol were dead, they valiantly took out the majority of the infected, but left me with one runner and one clicker who was now in that building to deal with.
The whole time the atmospheric music is blasting down my head set, my hearts pumping as I go to the building to take out the final clicker. It’s dealt with, and with that, this area is clear for me to explore.
Just such a chaotic moment all from a mishap of jumping down at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I picked up Erica on the PS Sale for £2. It’s a game I’d been keen to try after reading great things. It’s an interactive film essentially. You watch the film of Erica who witnessed her dad get murdered when she was young. It flash forwards x years to Erica who lives alone receiving a suspect parcel which triggers a series of events reminiscent to the murder of her father.
You play out investigative scenes with your smart phone making choices on reacting to people, choosing actions that happen, and responses. There are multiple different outcomes to the game. The story itself is also pretty captivating. Trying to read peoples emotions and determine who is right or wrong in their actions.
It isn’t long to beat, it’s the length of a film after all, about 2 hours. But having completed it once only unlocking 6 trophies, there is plenty of replay-ability to see how other decisions would come out. Very impressed with it, and would recommend to play with friends to all have input into the outcome of the story.