Seven years is the time we had to wait to finally discover what Joël and Ellie’s life was made of after the atrocities they lived and endured. Seven years to imagine how Naughty Dog was going to be able to materialize (or not) the fantasies of millions of players who were stunned by this final shot of The Last of Us, full of intense emotion, but above all full of questions. The answer is finally there and as we could have expected, it will be synonymous with tenderness, wonder, but also a lot of suffering.
To bring out Joël’s lost emotions towards Ellie, going from a simple “parcel” to a substitute for his lost daughter.
From then on, director Neil Druckmann, with the help of screenwriter Halley Gross, will never cease to play on this sensitive chord, confronting his duo with the atrocities of a world where omnipresent barbarity has led to a crucial notion of survival that has long since changed human behaviour. Moving and bloody, The Last of Us 2 Mobile will have marked the players by the accuracy of its situations and the subtlety of its narration. Resuming the story four years after the end of the first part, The Last of Us 2 Mobile will, throughout its plot, attempt to describe what happened during this temporal ellipse in order to give us a better understanding of Ellie and Joël’s journey, while introducing the fantastic character of Abby, the new antagonist of this second part.
Humanising Your Enemy
In the image of this post-apocalyptic world that has redefined the very foundations of relationships between individuals, the various protagonists in this sequel have had to adapt and change, sometimes beyond their own convictions, in order to survive. While the first The Last of Us revolved around the confrontation between the Lucioles militia and the FEDRA military forces, The Last of Us 2 Mobile turns the cards upside down by integrating two other small groups, the Washington Liberation Front (WLF) and the Scars led by a mysterious prophet. Setting a wider backdrop, this second episode will continue to feed our reflections by creating a play of mirrors between the lives of Ellie and Abby. While Druckmann and Gross do not always manage to offer true legitimacy to certain secondary characters by digging them out sufficiently, they once again manage to humanise our enemies by not presenting them as vulgar targets to be shot down but, on the contrary, by offering them a real depth, a past, convictions and a raison d’être. Like David in The Last of Us, Abby is not just a simple warrior driven by an unthinking desire for violence. Thus, throughout the adventure, we will get to know her, to appreciate her even, this being undoubtedly the greatest strength of the game, constantly putting into perspective what her characters have lived through to better lead us to reflect on the meaning of our actions.
Once again with a road movie aspect, The Last of Us 2 Mobile uses the genre’s own springs to develop a love story while preserving what cemented the first episode: the relationship between Ellie and Joel. Like DLC Left Behind, The Last of Us 2 Mobile will take us back into the past several times through various flashbacks. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes moving, these passages serve the narration perfectly by posing as so many moments of life having (de)built a relationship based on the love of a father who will go as far as to turn into a lie, into selfishness, in order to prolong this happiness even if it means sacrificing humanity once again.
While evoking the past, The Last of Us 2 Mobile also offers a present to its cast, Ellie in particular, in love with Dina, a beautiful female character portrayed by Shannon Woodward (Raising Hope, Westworld), always right in her interpretation. The relationship between the two young women thus serves as a counterweight to a much harsher reality synonymous with the brutal confrontations that will enamel the young women’s journey from Jackson to Seattle.
The Last of Us 2 Mobile Painful World
The opportunity for Naughty Dog to offer us one of the most beautiful games of the PS4, through cleanly majestic semi-open decors and more claustrophobic scenes drowned in darkness loaded with spores and the most anxiety-provoking reddish hues. Much more eclectic than the first part, The Last of Us 2 Mobile accumulates places depicting with mastery a world bled dry through devastated cities, ruined buildings or oozing basements. Taking advantage of the magnificent play of light, the title delights in an astonishing environmental variety, prompting us to stop constantly to admire the artists’ work.
If from a macro point of view, The Last of Us 2 Mobile suffers from almost no flaws, it is also astonishing in terms of facial animations. The expressions, shouting with realism, simulate the effort, the joy but also the suffering that can be read on the faces of the protagonists, whether they are central or not, and this as much through dialogue as through a stealth kill. The technique thus serves the narration by offering the intimate moments, or the excesses of rage, the credibility of each moment that perfectly reinforces the immersion. On this point, let’s also mention damage management, as enemies can be dismembered or lose half their faces depending on the impact of the bullets. Body animations are not to be outdone, and although some imperfections are detected (too mechanical “reverse gear” or jumps lacking in amplitude), the vast majority show real flexibility, making grappling or gestures more common (stepping over a low wall, reloading a weapon) perfectly realistic.
The Sense Of Detail
From a strict construction point of view, The Last of Us 2 Mobile does not really innovate and a feeling of déjà vu will inevitably be felt all the more so that during the thirty hours or so that will be necessary for you to complete the adventure, the layout will remain identical. You will therefore constantly navigate between sequences that make the story evolve and cross a given place, the objective to be reached automatically passing through the discovery of innumerable places favourable to skirmishes with infected people, Scars or Wolfs. As seven years ago, the way of operating will be significantly different depending on the enemies, although the game enjoins us to use infiltration rather than the direct approach as we will soon be quickly overwhelmed.
If everything worked rather well in The Last of Us, despite a true classicism, the enemy AI was not in tune and our companion, invisible to our enemies, sometimes provoked the most comical situations. Although still imperfect, The Last of Us 2 Mobile makes things change. For example, when we are supported by a partner, the latter will place himself in a more realistic position and will be much more useful in hurting or killing our opponents at the right moment. It sounds like nothing, but believe me, this adds a more convincing dimension to these gameplay phases. It should also be understood that Naughty Dog has worked on almost every aspect of these sequences in order to instil a constant tension in them, aided in this by Santaolalla’s compositions serving as a regular pulse to the action.
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