The Last of Us Part 2 Review Roundup

The Last of Us Part 2 reviews are in, and they're overwhelmingly positive

The Last of Us Part 2
Photo: Sony

Seven years after Naughty Dog brought us the story of smuggler Joel and survivor Ellie trekking across a post-apocalyptic United States and ended up with a critically-acclaimed smash hit on its hands, the developer is set to bring its long-awaited sequel, The Last of Us Part 2, to the PlayStation 4 on June 19.

This week, the reviews are in. Here’s what people are saying about Naughty Dog’s new action-adventure epic, which picks up Ellie’s story quite some time after the final events of the first game, as she embarks on an ultra-violent mission of revenge…

Alex Avard, GamesRadar:

“I’ve spent hours just trying to process everything I’ve played, coming to terms with its densely packed story, and discovering new avenues of appreciation for its craft. What I’m trying to say is that The Last of Us Part 2 is exceptional, and quite possibly the best game I’ve played this generation.”

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Jonathan Dornbush, IGN:

“It delivers a layered, emotionally shattering story on top of stealth and action gameplay that improves the first game’s mechanics while integrating a bit more of Uncharted’s greater mobility and action. But while Part 2 is a thrilling adventure, it still makes time for a stunning, nuanced exploration of the strength and fragility of the human spirit.”

Kirk McKeand, VG247:

“When the credits rolled on The Last of Us Part 2 I was still buzzing from the excitement of the final few hours. My loyalty shifted between characters. I grew to love who I hated and dislike who I loved. I laughed, I teared up. I felt anger and elation. It’s the new high water mark for video game characters and I can’t wait for everyone to see just how special it is.”

Oli Welsh, Eurogamer:

“Druckmann and his team have a grand plan that rests on a radical structure for the game which isn’t initially apparent. Once you finally understand it, it’s still a slow burn, as the writers’ delicate character-building – the dialogue is wonderfully understated and naturalistic – needs time to do its work. So it isn’t until the game’s final stretches that it gathers its true power, as you approach a point that is all the more horrifying for its total inevitability.”

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Brittany Vincent, THR:

“Beautifully and even gruesomely crafted, The Last of Us Part II represents the pinnacle of what video games can be. It’s an unflinching, impeccable example of how the medium can be used to propel the art form forward by employing the same visceral storytelling techniques and disturbing imagery you’d see from Oscar-nominated films. Critics have been asking when video games would “grow up” for years. The real question is this: when will films catch up with video games like The Last of Us Part II?”

Dom Peppiatt, Daily Star:

“This is a game that’s going to be talked about for a long time to come, and with good reason. A masterpiece.”

Daniel Van Boom, Cnet:

“Clocking in at just under 30 hours, it’s twice the length of the original. But length isn’t the only thing magnified in The Last of Us Part 2. It’s more challenging, harrowing and thoughtful than its predecessor. As the final scene fades to black, you’ll feel the satisfying fatigue that follows from having your emotions well and truly stirred.”

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Kallie Plagge, GameSpot:

“It’s all messy and bleak and made me profoundly sad for myriad reasons, but the more I reflect on it, the more I appreciate the story and characters at its core. I wanted almost none of it to happen the way it did, and that’s what’s both beautiful and devastating about it.”

Andrew Webster, The Verge:

“Violence in games isn’t anything new. There are plenty of titles that try to use brutality as a way to make players feel something, anything, in a game, whether it’s Hotline Miami or Call of Duty. Much of what I’ve described could be said of the original The Last of Us. What makes the sequel different is the way it makes you question your actions. You don’t just kill people; you see the repercussions.”

Not everyone is gushing about The Last of Us Part 2, though, with some reviewers finding the experience just too bleak and relentless.

Riley MacLeod, Kotaku:

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“It’s a visually beautiful game that feels distinct to play, and the story it tells and how it tells it, at the most basic level, certainly pushes the edges of what games have done before. None of those accomplishments elevated or redeemed it for me. Like the nature consuming Seattle, or the outbreak consuming humanity, its ugliness overshadowed everything else.”

Maddy Myers, Polygon:

The Last of Us Part 2 depicts individual people who are instead ruthless, capable, yet self-absorbed, and whose perception of violence is limited to how it affects them and their chosen family members. They are almost unbelievably unable to see the bigger picture. Part 2 ends up feeling needlessly bleak, at a time when a nihilistic worldview has perhaps never been less attractive. Its characters are surviving, but they’re not learning, and they’re certainly not making anything better.”