So PlayStation has held another State of Play completely dedicated to Last of Us Part 2, this follows the very well received State of Play focusing on Ghost of Tsushima. Again, Sony have stressed that this State of Play is ONLY about the game and will not feature any news about the PS5 console….so after delay’s and leaks, its time for the final opportunity to sell fans on the sequel, which at this point I have to be honest and despite loving the first game, has yet to make me hit that preorder button!
First I have to say I am really liking the deep dives into the games the last two State of Play, this new focused style from the developer teams themselves really help bring fans into the thinking behind the new elements that are showcased rather than just a short trailer or preview video, definitely something I hope PlayStation continue to do with their own first part studio titles going forward.
Story wise, this preview kept to only talking about what we already know from previous trailers which is we know that Part 2 picks up with Joel and Ellie having found a home with a human settlement and have some relative peace for a while until something tragic happens which then sends Ellie on a mission for vengeance and retribution, which if we are honest is all we need to know about the story before we get to play the full game and it was wise, especially after the recent supposed leaks of the plot, to focus completely on the new gameplay mechanics and this is where this State of Play had my attention.
Some of the elements of the original game such as crafting and cumbersome melee combat have all been refined for Part and I am so happy for this. Crafting has expanded to how you can customise weapons at work tables with a rifle shown to be fitted with a sniper scope which also served as a great way for Ellie to view the horizon for enemies when scouting a location. Crafting on the move has also been expanded but also sped up making it much faster for Ellie to craft things during combat for use such as throwables and even silencers for pistols. The speed at which you can now craft items keeps the fluidity of the combat far better now which is a great thing.
Speaking of the combat, I love how it has completely adapted to Ellie’s skills and quickness now with stealth a key component to her arsenal. But the way you can adapt your tactics on the fly such as going from being seen and in combat to quickly getting away and returning to stealth is a great use of Ellie’s smaller size and quickness. The preview concluded with an 8 minute gameplay demo which showed Ellie scouting an area before engaging in a fight with the MLF and it was impressive to see Ellie not only going from stealth to direct confrontation but to craft smoke bombs quickly to use as well as switching up different styles and weapon choices such as a silences pistol to bow and arrow to melee was just so fast and fluid and I got to admit, I do like the more action based encounters this suggests Ellie will have as she goes on her mission for revenge.
This State of Play gave insight into everything I was kind of wanting to know without spoilers, something that has had me avoid and pretty much mute any words linked to the game on social media in recent weeks. I like the sound of the story and the improvements to the crafting and combat systems are exactly what I needed to hear. The world Ellie explores is bigger and more diverse with seasonal weather not playing a factor and getting to ride a horse to help navigate the far larger areas just makes the whole world sound much bigger than the original. Not to mention how ‘The Infected’ still plays a factor in the world with new more deadly types bringing more threats to exploring than just Clickers who for me, were more annoying than imposing in the original.
I am definitely more excited to play The Last of Us Part 2 and this preview and deep dive actually has me considering buying it for launch instead of waiting as before this I got to admit, I was not feeling the need to buy and play day one despite loving the first game.