The Last of Us Part 2 didn’t need to exist. The first game was close to perfect and wrapped up on such an apt note that I don't think many would have been clamouring for a sequel. And yet, I’m so glad that Naughty Dog took the risk. The Last of Us Part 2 is PlayStation's new high watermark, and the developer’s best work yet. Forget the leaks, delays, and drama: if you can stomach its unwavering commitment to violence and desperation, it’s likely to be the best thing you'll play all year.
With a refined matchmaking system (and rewards to go with it), as well as a balanced set of character classes and improved monster control, it could be a sleeper hit for many. For now, though, it feels like a missed opportunity. The fact it's bundled with a fantastic 5-star game in the form of Resident Evil 3 Remake, certainly helps. But as a standalone product, it's a fun but ultimately flawed experience; albeit one we hope improves in time.
Just as the 1999 original was a more action-focused Resident Evil game that arguably helped pivot the franchise towards the iconic fourth instalment, this 2020 reimagining feels like last year’s game in many ways, only sped up and thirstier for zombie blood. It treads the line between tension and action impressively, and Nemesis cements his legacy as one of the series’ most enduring creatures.