The Last of Us Part II.

Above: You can also fight at a long range in The Last of Us Part II.

Image Credit: Naughty Dog/Sony

Too often, that brings death. But if Ellie runs and takes out enemies with clubs with spiked scissors attached to them, she can dispatch enemies in melee combat, look for cover, and escape from the enclosing circle of enemies. That happens quite a bit in this scene as Ellie makes her way through multi-story buildings and woods.

To make progress through the city, you have to take detours into almost every available building, looking for supplies, Infected, or WLF soldiers to take out. You often find last notes from long ago, next to skeletons on the floor, where people describe their last moments and wishes for their loved ones. That brings home the gravity of the pandemic.

You have plenty of puzzles to solve. You can use vertical thinking, like going to an upper floor to find a bridge across buildings or a window ledge where you can step out, throw a rope over a balcony rail, and swing to another platform. There, you can shatter glass and get to a room behind a closed door. You have to figure out how to get a dumpster outside of a locked garage so you can use it to vault over a fence. This is how you spend much of the time in the Nora mission. The action scenes are few and far between.

Above: Climbing in the ducts in The Last of Us Part II.

Image Credit: Naughty Dog/Sony

You can get lulled into complacency. When Ellie finds a workbench, you can upgrade a gun. But while you’re doing that, a WLF soldier sneaks up on you and tries to take you out. A gunfight with multiple soldiers takes place. I pulled out a shotgun to take each one down with one shot, and if I wounded one, I brought them down with a melee strike with a spiked club to the head.


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When you find the Infected, you have to deal with multiple types. The Clickers are fast, but they can only “see” via echolocation. The Runners can see, but they aren’t as strong. The Stalkers are weak but surprisingly fast, and they spring out at you from the darkness. If you make too much noise taking out one, many will come running at you. As Ellie emerges from one of these fights, she says, “Fuck Seattle.”

On the way to the hospital, Ellie comes to a forest with tall trees and ferns covering the ground. She encounters a new type of human enemy, from a religious faction called “Seraphites,” or derisively called “Scars” by the WLF. They use stealth and rely on bows and melee weapons. Ellie has to fight inside a broken parking garage, hiding among the cars and the grass growing on the concrete. If you’re lucky, you can get through this section with knife work. But it requires a lot of patience and crawling around.

Cornering Nora

Above: The disturbing death of the woman with the PlayStation Vita in The Last of Us Part II.

Image Credit: Naughty Dog/Sony

When you finally swim your way into the hospital area, you come upon an unsuspecting Asian female from the WLF. She’s taking a break, playing a game on a PlayStation Vita (perhaps one of the last surviving in the world), and she can’t hear Ellie sneak up on her. Ellie interrogates her and loosens her grip. The woman turns and tries to stab Ellie, who blocks it and stabs the woman in the throat. It’s yet another disturbing death among many in this game. After that, I went loud and took out the guards in the building.

When Ellie opens doors, they’re often locked. She has to find a way around them. Once inside the hospital, she climbs up into the ducts to avoid the heavily guarded corridors. In the trailer, Ellie passes by a resource in the form of a roll of tape and keeps going. In the game, I would never do that, as these resources are precious for crafting. So I clear a section and I look all over the place for resources. Only when I am done do I move on, and that stretches out my gameplay sessions.

Finally, Ellie drops out of the ducts, corners Nora alone, and points a gun at her.

As Ellie finds Nora, she asks, “Do you remember me?” It’s as tense and intimate a moment as you’ll find throughout the game.

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