The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II is a 2020 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. Set five years after The Last of Us (2013), the player controls two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States whose lives intertwine: Ellie, who sets out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby, a soldier who becomes involved in a conflict with a cult. The game is played from the third-person perspective. The player can use firearms, improvised weapons, and stealth to fight human enemies and cannibalistic creatures.

The Last of Us Part II
Block text with the words "The Last of Us Part II" beside the bloody, angry face of Ellie, who has brown hair.
Developer(s)Naughty Dog
Publisher(s)Sony Interactive Entertainment
Director(s)
Designer(s)
  • Emilia Schatz
  • Richard Cambier
Programmer(s)
  • Travis McIntosh
  • Christian Gyrling
Artist(s)
  • Erick Pangilinan
  • John Sweeney
  • Christian Nakata
Writer(s)
Composer(s)Gustavo Santaolalla
Platform(s)PlayStation 4
ReleaseJune 19, 2020
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Development of The Last of Us Part II began in 2014, soon after the release of The Last of Us Remastered. Neil Druckmann returned as creative director, co-writing the story with Halley Gross. The game's themes of revenge and retribution were inspired by Druckmann's experiences growing up in Israel. Ashley Johnson reprises her role as Ellie, while Laura Bailey was cast as Abby. Their performances included the simultaneous recording of motion and voice. The developers pushed the technical capabilities of the PlayStation 4 during development. Gustavo Santaolalla returned to compose and perform the score. Development reportedly included a crunch schedule of 12-hour workdays.

Following some delays, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Last of Us Part II was released on June 19, 2020. It was praised for its performances, characters, visual fidelity, and gameplay, though the narrative and the representation of a transgender character polarized critics and players. It was the subject of review bombing on Metacritic. Part II is one of the best-selling PlayStation 4 games and the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive, with over four million units sold in its release weekend. It has received ten nominations at The Game Awards 2020, and won Ultimate Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards.

GameplayEdit

 
In a change from its predecessor, The Last of Us Part II allows the player to crawl in a prone position to evade enemies

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective featuring elements of the survival horror genre.[1][2] The player traverses post-apocalyptic environments such as buildings and forests to advance the story. The player can use firearms, improvised weapons, and stealth to defend against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus.[3] Control intermittently switches between Ellie and Abby;[1] the player also briefly controls Joel in the opening sequence.[4] The nimble nature of the player character introduces platforming elements to the game, allowing the player to jump and climb to traverse environments and gain advantages during combat.[5] The player can break glass objects such as windows to access certain areas or obtain supplies.[6] Some areas in the game are navigated by horse or boat.[3][7]

In combat, the player can use long-range weapons such as rifles and bows,[3][8] and short-range weapons such as pistols and revolvers.[5] The player is able to scavenge limited-use melee weapons such as machetes and hammers,[9] and throw bricks and bottles to distract or attack enemies.[10] Collected items can be used to upgrade weapons at workbenches[11] or craft equipment such as health kits, Molotov cocktails, and makeshift silencers.[1] The player can collect supplements to upgrade skills in a skill tree; training manuals found throughout the environment unlock additional skill tree branches, allowing upgrades to attributes such as the health meter, crafting speed, and ammunition types.[12]

Though the player can attack enemies directly, they can also use stealth to attack undetected or sneak past them.[1] "Listen Mode" allows the player to locate enemies through a heightened sense of hearing and spatial awareness, indicated as outlines visible through walls and objects.[10] In the cover system, the player can crouch behind obstacles to gain advantages in combat, and can also crawl in a prone position to evade enemies.[13] Hostile enemies use artificial intelligence; they may take cover or call for assistance, and can take advantage when the player is distracted, out of ammunition, or in a fight.[14] The player may be impaled by an arrow, which will progressively decrease their health meter and disables Listen Mode until removed when in cover.[15] Player companions, such as Dina, assist in combat by killing enemies or announcing their location.[16] The game also introduces guard dogs that track the player's scent, which can be visualized in Listen Mode.[1]

PlotEdit

After the events of the first game, Joel Miller (Troy Baker) confesses to his brother Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) his responsibility in preventing the Fireflies attempting to find a cure for the Cordyceps fungus pandemic by saving Ellie (Ashley Johnson). Four years later, Joel and Ellie have built a life in Jackson, Wyoming, though their relationship has become strained. While on patrol, Joel and Tommy rescue a stranger, Abby Anderson (Laura Bailey), from an Infected horde. They return to an outpost run by Abby's group, former Fireflies who are now part of the Washington Liberation Front (WLF), a militia group based in Seattle, Washington. They attack Joel and Tommy; Abby seeks revenge against Joel for murdering her father, a Firefly surgeon (Derek Phillips). Meanwhile, Ellie and her girlfriend Dina (Shannon Woodward) leave Jackson in search of the brothers. Ellie enters the WLF camp to witness Abby beat Joel to death, and swears revenge.

Tommy sets out for Seattle to hunt Abby, and Ellie and Dina follow him. After escaping a WLF ambush, Ellie reveals her immunity to Dina, who in turn reveals she is pregnant. The next day, Ellie pursues Tommy alone and encounters Jesse (Stephen Chang), Dina's ex-boyfriend, who followed them to Seattle. While searching for Abby's friend, Nora Harris (Chelsea Tavares), Ellie encounters the Seraphites, a cult locked in a battle with the WLF over control of Seattle. Ellie tracks down Nora and tortures her for information on Abby's location, which traumatizes Ellie. The following day, she kills two more members of Abby's group, the pregnant Mel (Ashly Burch) and her boyfriend Owen Moore (Patrick Fugit). A flashback reveals that, years earlier, Ellie traveled to the Firefly hospital in Salt Lake City and learned the truth. Devastated, she cut ties with Joel. In the present, Ellie's group is ambushed by Abby, who kills Jesse and holds Tommy hostage.

Three days earlier, Abby learns that Owen, her ex-boyfriend, has gone missing while investigating Seraphite activity. Abby searches for Owen and is captured by the Seraphites. She is rescued by Yara (Victoria Grace) and Lev (Ian Alexander), Seraphite siblings who have been branded apostates after Lev defied Seraphite traditions. Though Yara suffers a broken arm, Abby leaves them to find Owen who, disillusioned with the war, plans to sail to Santa Barbara, California, where the Fireflies may be regrouping. Abby returns to rescue Yara and Lev, and travels across Seattle with Lev to retrieve medical supplies from the WLF hospital so Mel can amputate Yara's arm. After the surgery, Lev runs away to convince his devout mother to leave the Seraphite cult, forcing Abby and Yara to pursue him. They find him in the Seraphite settlement, where Lev has accidentally killed his mother in self-defense. The trio flee as the WLF begins an assault on the Seraphites. Abby betrays the WLF to save Lev, and Yara sacrifices herself to allow Abby and Lev to escape. The pair return to find Owen and Mel dead and a map left by Ellie leading to her hideout. Abby shoots Tommy, impairing him, and brawls with Ellie and Dina, overpowering them. At Lev's insistence, Abby spares them and tells them to leave Seattle.

A year later, Ellie and Dina are living on a farm, raising Dina and Jesse's son, though Ellie suffers from post-traumatic stress. When Tommy arrives with information on Abby's whereabouts, Ellie leaves to find her, despite Dina's pleas to stay. Abby and Lev arrive in Santa Barbara searching for the Fireflies, who they find are regrouping at Catalina Island, California, but are captured, tortured, and left to die by the slave-keeping Rattlers. Ellie arrives at Santa Barbara and rescues the pair. Threatening to kill Lev, Ellie forces Abby to fight her, during which Abby bites off two of Ellie's fingers. Ellie overpowers her but has a change of heart and lets her live. Abby and Lev sail to the Fireflies. Ellie returns to the farmhouse and finds it empty. She tries to play Joel's guitar with her damaged hand, recalls her last conversation with Joel in which she expressed her willingness to try and forgive him, and leaves.

DevelopmentEdit

Anthony Newman
Kurt Margenau
Druckmann returned as creative director for The Last of Us Part II, co-writing the story with Gross, while Newman and Margenau were co-game directors.

Early story concepts for The Last of Us Part II were conceived during the development of The Last of Us in 2013.[17][18] Naughty Dog began development in 2014, soon after the release of The Last of Us Remastered.[19] By August 2017, with the release of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, the entire 350-person team at Naughty Dog had shifted to develop Part II.[20][21] Neil Druckmann led development as creative director and writer, reprising his role from The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016).[22][23] Anthony Newman and Kurt Margenau were selected to be co-game directors for Part II,[24] overseeing gameplay elements such as level design and mechanics.[25] For the final months of development, the team was forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[21]

Druckmann wrote the story with Halley Gross.[21] The team experimented with different plot structures and considered scrapping the game entirely until they settled on an idea that mirrored the first game;[26] Druckmann said that The Last of Us is about the extreme measures one would take for love, whereas Part II is more about how far one would go to bring justice for those they love.[27] The themes of revenge and retribution were inspired by Druckmann's experiences growing up in Israel, where violence was a frequent topic.[21] He recalled watching footage of the 2000 Ramallah lynching, and how, after hearing the cheering crowds, his mind turned to violent thoughts about bringing the perpetrators to justice.[28][29] He wanted the player to feel a "thirst for revenge" before making them realize the reality of their actions.[21] Druckmann said other themes include tribalism, trauma, and the pursuit of justice.[27] Artists at Naughty Dog traveled to Seattle to analyze the architecture, vegetation, materials, topography, lighting, and capture photorealistic textures.[30][26]

 
The game was recorded at a motion capture studio in Playa Vista, Los Angeles.

Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker reprise their roles as Ellie and Joel, respectively, while Laura Bailey was cast as Abby.[31][32] The actors' performance were recorded at a studio in Playa Vista, Los Angeles using performance capture, recording motion and voice simultaneously.[33] Gross noted that a goal of the writers was to "create the most multifaceted characters you've seen in games".[30] She particularly wanted to explore the multifaceted behavior of Ellie, showing her power as well as her insecurities.[34] The change of player character from Ellie to Abby was inspired by the change from Joel to Ellie in the first game, though emphasized in Part II due to its focus on empathy.[35] Druckmann wanted the player to hate Abby early in the game, but later empathize with her.[36]

The developers pushed the technical capabilities of the PlayStation 4 when creating Part II, adding more enemies and larger environments than in previous games.[18] Druckmann noted that any drops in detail would ruin the sense of authenticity, which required consistent optimization of the technology.[26] Improved artificial intelligence (AI) allowed for deeper connections with characters and the creation of bonds through gameplay.[37] The Last of Us Part II was originally planned as an open world game with hub worlds, but later game transferred to a more linear style as it better served the narrative.[38] Naughty Dog wanted to increase the accessibility options introduced in Uncharted 4 to ensure that all players could complete the story, and the developers attended conferences and worked with advocates.[39]

Gustavo Santaolalla returned to compose and perform the score, as he had done with the first game,[40] while Mac Quayle contributed to combat music.[21] The developers received permission to use the songs "Future Days" by Pearl Jam and "Take On Me" by A-ha.[41] To achieve the sound of the Shamblers, the team hired voice actors Raul Ceballos and Steve Blum, and used items such as grapefruits to create the explosion sounds. The dialogue team referenced whistled languages such as Sfryria and Silbo Gomero for the Seraphites' whistling, and hired actors Stevie Mack and Lisa Marie to provide the whistles in three styles.[42]

The development, according to a report by Kotaku's Jason Schreier, included a crunch schedule of 12-hour work days owing to the studio culture; after the game's delay, developers continued under this schedule for the additional months. Schreier suggested that development was affected and slowed due to the enormous turnover of employees following the development of Uncharted 4, with few veterans left on the team. Some of the developers working on the game allegedly hoped that the game would fail to prove that the working conditions they are under are not viable. Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment granted the developer an additional two weeks of development for bug fixes.[43] Druckmann felt that he failed to find the correct balance for employees on Part II, and said the studio would receive external assistance for future projects.[44]

Release and promotionEdit

 
Marketing for the game on a train in Santa Monica, California.

The Last of Us Part II was announced at the PlayStation Experience event on December 3, 2016.[31] At E3 2018, Druckmann said that Naughty Dog was refusing to announce a release date until the game was "very close to release", to avoid disappointing fans.[45] During Sony's State of Play presentation on September 24, 2019, Naughty Dog revealed that the game would be released on February 21, 2020.[46] A month later, on October 25, Druckmann announced that the game was delayed to May 29, 2020, to "bring the entire game up to a level of polish we would call Naughty Dog quality".[47] On April 2, 2020, Sony announced that the game was almost complete but had been indefinitely delayed to due to logistical problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[48] In late April, several videos leaked online, showing cutscenes, gameplay, and significant plot details. Druckmann tweeted that he was "heartbroken" for fans and for the team, who had devoted years to development.[49] On April 27, Sony announced a new release date of June 19, 2020.[50]

The first trailer was released alongside the announcement, showcasing the return of Ellie and Joel.[51] The second trailer, released in October 2017 as a part of Paris Games Week, revealed Abby, Yara, and Lev.[52][53] Dina and Jesse were first shown in a presentation at E3 2018.[54] A trailer was featured in Sony's State of Play presentation in September 2019,[55] which preceded additional marketing to celebrate Outbreak Week—the week in which the fictional outbreak occurred in the original game.[56] A story trailer was released on May 6,[57] followed by an animated commercial on June 3,[58] and the final pre-launch trailer on June 10.[59] Naughty Dog replaced and altered characters in the trailers to conceal story events; Druckmann cited the marketing of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, which concealed its protagonist in trailers, as an influence.[60]

Naughty Dog announced the special edition versions in September 2019.[61] The game was featured in its own standalone State of Play presentation on May 27.[62] From May 13 to June 3, Naughty Dog released a series of videos about the development.[63] The game was banned in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, attributed to the countries' conservative traditions regarding homosexuality.[64] An update to the game on August 13 added a permadeath mode, a new difficulty level, and gameplay modifiers.[65] For The Last of Us Day[a] in September 2020, Naughty Dog announced new merchandise for the game, including a vinyl soundtrack, board game, statues, and posters.[67]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic93/100[68][b]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid8.5/10[69]
Game Informer10/10[16]
GameRevolution     [70]
GameSpot8/10[1]
GamesRadar+     [2]
IGN10/10[5]
Push Square10/10[71]
USgamer     [8]
VentureBeat95/100[14]
VG247     [7]

The Last of Us Part II was praised for its improved gameplay, graphical fidelity, characterization, cast performances, audio design, and music, though critics were polarized on the narrative and themes. Jonathon Dornbush of IGN called it "a masterpiece worthy of its predecessor" and wrote that "it delivers a layered, emotionally shattering story on top of stealth and action gameplay that improves the first game's mechanics [... and] still makes time for a stunning, nuanced exploration of the strength and fragility of the human spirit".[5] Game Informer's Andy McNamara concurred, calling it "the best narrative game I have played" and "a sequel unlike any other, taking video game storytelling to new heights."[16] Kaity Kline of NPR wrote that the game "made me very aware of the little things in my life that I take for granted, the kinds of things you don't appreciate until they're ripped away forever".[72] GameSpot's Kallie Plagge called it "beautiful and devastating", and wrote that "the more I reflect on it, the more I appreciate the story and characters at its core".[1]

The narrative and writing polarized critics. Game Informer's McNamara felt that the writers conveyed the themes "with careful nuance and unflinching emotion".[16] Destructoid's Chris Carter and VG247's Kirk McKeand applauded the use of minor dialogue to echo the game's themes.[7][69] Sammy Barker of Push Square particularly praised the use of flashback and overlapping stories;[71] The Guardian's Keza MacDonald concurred, describing the narrative as "emotionally effective".[73] Conversely, GameRevolution's Michael Leri thought that the flashbacks were evidence of pacing problems.[70] Alex Avard of GamesRadar+ felt that the narrative lost its momentum during its need to finalize every story thread.[2] USgamer's Kat Bailey found the latter half to be noticeably slow, noting that the game was five hours "too long".[8] Bailey also criticized the dissonance between the game's statement against violence while also necessitating it during gameplay.[8] Polygon's Maddy Myers and Kotaku's Riley MacLeod opined that the game repeatedly delivered its themes without allowing the player any agency in their decisions.[3][13] Rob Zacny of Vice wrote that, despite the amount of narrative moments in the game, "it doesn't have much to say".[74] Also writing for Vice, Emanuel Maiberg opined that the attempts to parallel the Israeli–Palestinian conflict through the WLF and Seraphites were poor, particularly in its allegorical representation of two equal sides.[75]

McKeand of VG247 described every character as "complex and human".[7] Destructoid's Carter felt empathetic to the main characters,[69] a sentiment echoed by IGN's Dornbush, who found Ellie's development particularly "riveting".[5] Kotaku's MacLeod appreciated the diversity of characters.[13] McNamara of Game Informer found the occasional absence of supporting characters alarming, having grown close to them.[16] Andrew Webster of The Verge praised the relationship between Ellie and Dina, though noted some dissonance in Ellie's behavior between gameplay and cutscenes.[76] Similarly, GameSpot's Plagge found Abby's character development incongruous with her "onslaught of combat against human enemies".[1] Polygon's Myers and Vice's Zacny criticized the characters' inability to learn from their mistakes.[3][74] Yannick Le Fur of Jeuxvideo.com wrote that supporting characters such as Jesse and Manny lacked development and were simply used to advance the narrative.[77]

The performances of (L to R) Ashley Johnson, Troy Baker, and Laura Bailey were widely praised by critics.

Critics praised the cast's performances, particularly that of Ashley Johnson, Troy Baker, and Laura Bailey.[7][69][71][73] Oli Welsh of Eurogamer found Johnson's performance as Ellie to be "standout" due to her depiction of "rawness, vulnerability, and rage".[78] GamesRadar+'s Avard considered Johnson's portrayal of suffering "nothing short of awards worthy", and found that Baker "steals some of Part 2's best scenes as Joel" by adding complexities that enrich the character and relationships.[2] Dornbush of IGN wrote that Johnson added nuance to every element of Ellie, and commended Woodward's performance as Dina, especially during quieter moments.[5] VG247's McKeand found that the performances made the narrative more powerful.[7]

Avard of GamesRadar+ felt that the new gameplay mechanics were added with a level of care to ensure an authenticity that Naughty Dog is known for.[2] GameRevolution's Leri lauded the cohesiveness between gameplay and narrative, and the former's ability to create empathy.[70] Plagge of GameSpot appreciated the intensity of combat and wrote that "Ellie's movements are smooth enough that they almost look scripted".[1] VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi found the combat more diverse than its predecessor's.[14] IGN's Dornbush similarly felt that the combat gameplay and puzzle elements had been improved, praising the intelligence and variation of enemies.[5] McKeand of VG247 considered the level design better than other Naughty Dog games,[7] and McNamara of Game Informer felt that it improved combat scenarios.[16] The Verge's Webster admired the game's action but noted some "awkward moments when [it] attempts to cover its video game-ness".[76] Polygon's Myers found the combat an unsubtle messenger for its statement on violence;[3] Kotaku's MacLeod wrote that the "pace of the combat sometimes felt like punishment".[13]

Many critics felt the graphics were among the best of any PlayStation 4 game.[5][16][70][2] Kotaku's MacLeod wrote that the nature in Seattle is "gorgeous and awe-inspiring",[13] and Push Square's Barker declared the art department "among the best in the industry".[71] The Guardian's MacDonald described the graphics as "meticulous and astounding".[73] Dornbush of IGN appreciated the world's ability to tell additional stories.[5] GameRevolution's Leri considered the environments more realistic than the first game's, and praised the technical elements, such as frame rate, lack of load times, and realistic lighting.[70] Carter of Destructoid felt that the seamless animation of minor facial expressions humanized the characters to a new level.[69] McNamara of Game Informer similarly lauded the realistic-looking characters.[16] Avard of GamesRadar described the enemy AI as "the most advanced" of any game.[2] VentureBeat's Takahashi commended the improvements to Naughty Dog's already impressive engine.[14] Zacny of Vice found Seattle too similar to Boston and Pittsburgh from the first game,[74] and Christopher Byrd of The Washington Post wondered if the detail was worth the "human cost" of Naughty Dog's crunch culture.[79]

Barker of Push Square described the sound design as "stunning", identifying the 3D audio as a technical feat he would not have expected until PlayStation 5.[71] Vice's Zacny found that the audio design made settings feel more lifelike in a way that the visuals occasionally failed to do.[74] IGN's Dornbush similarly felt that the sounds added realism, and praised Santaolalla's "moving" score.[5] McNamara of Game Informer found that the music added tension.[16] Kevin Dunsmore of Hardcore Gamer wrote that the "haunting and subtle melodies blend into the world seamlessly".[80] Eurogamer's Welsh praised the score for its combination of banjo and electronics.[78]

Some members of the transgender community objected to the representation of Lev, a transgender boy. Criticism focused on the use of Lev's dead name by villains, that he was created by cisgender writers, and the use of trans stories as tragedies.[81][82] Stacey Henley of VG247 commented that the deadnaming is sparing and that a transgender actor provides the voice and motion capture for Lev.[82] Writing for Paste, Waverly praised the choice to have Lev played by a transgender actor, but felt there was too much emphasis on his gender identity and the suffering he experienced for it. Waverly felt that "Lev's story isn't made for trans people, but to give cisgender players a space to connect with their guilt and pity for trans people".[83] In contrast, Henley wrote that, while Lev's story is imperfect, "it's a major step for trans characters in gaming, focuses on a highly charismatic and central character who is far more than this transness".[82] Kotaku's MacLeod saw Lev's character as simply a way of the game acknowledging trans people exist and wrote that it was up to the player to create their own meaning from the character.[84]

Review bombing and audience responseEdit

The game was the subject of review bombing on Metacritic, resulting in a user review score of 3.4/10 at its nadir.[85][86] Reporters noticed the review bombing occurred shortly after the game launched, too early for users to feasibly have finished it;[87] some suggested that the reviews were based on the incomplete plot leaks.[77][86] Many of the negative reviews criticized the characterization and plot;[85][87] some complained of "social justice warrior" politics, with vitriolic responses to LGBT characters.[77][85] CNET's Daniel Van Boom wrote that the review bombers did not represent the majority of players.[88] Kotaku's MacLeod wrote that Metacritic's opaque system, which emphasizes scores over critique, comprised only "a bunch of meaningless numbers and a lot of rage".[87]

The playable Abby chapters were controversial, as players had expected to control Ellie for the majority of the game.[89] Writing for Collider, Dave Trumbore felt that Abby had been unfairly maligned by audiences, feeling they had failed to understand the story's message.[90] Some players criticized Abby's muscular physique, and theories spread online that she was transgender; Polygon's Patricia Hernandez and The Independent's Amy Coles argued that this perception was a result of the lack of body diversity in games, and that the story showed Abby had the resources to achieve her physique.[91][92] Bailey, who played Abby, became the target of online death threats in response to the character.[93]

Developer responseEdit

Polygon's Hernandez observed that the discourse surrounding The Last of Us Part II had become adversarial, with "bigots" attacking the game for its diverse cast and Naughty Dog becoming defensive.[94] Vice's Zacny claimed that, in response to his critical review, Sony contacted him on behalf of Naughty Dog to discuss his criticisms, which they disagreed with; Zacny said the discussion, while cordial, was unusual from a large publisher. On Twitter, Druckmann expressed disapproval at journalist Jason Schreier after he mocked a comparison of The Last of Us Part II to the 1993 film Schindler's List. Baker responded to another comment from Schreier, that "video games are too long", with a quote from US president Theodore Roosevelt about critics being less valuable than creators.[94] Hernandez concluded that this was "not an environment that is conducive to encouraging honest reviews or critical discussion, which is ultimately a disservice to the game itself".[94] Bailey of USgamer wrote that the strict review embargo prevented meaningful discussion of the narrative.[95] Druckmann acknowledged that the embargo had been enforced as a result of the plot leaks, as he had felt that reviews discussing plot details would have become more harmful and widespread than the leaks themselves. Druckmann also addressed accusations that the trailers had been deceptive, stating that Naughty Dog's intention was to preserve the experience of the game.[60]

AccoladesEdit

In 2017, The Last of Us Part II was named Most Anticipated Game of the Year by readers of the PlayStation Blog,[96] Most Wanted Game at the Golden Joystick Awards,[97] and Most Anticipated Game at The Game Awards;[98] in 2018, it was awarded Most Anticipated Game at the Gamers' Choice Awards,[99] and nominated for Most Wanted Game at the Golden Joystick Awards.[100] It received Special Commendations for Graphics[c] and Sound at the Game Critics Awards in July 2018.[101] At the 38th Golden Joystick Awards in 2020, the game won all six awards for which it was nominated: Ultimate Game of the Year, Best Audio, Best Storytelling, Best Visual Design, PlayStation Game of the Year, and Studio of the Year for Naughty Dog.[102] The game led the nominees for The Game Awards 2020 with ten nominations, including Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, and Best Performer for Johnson and Bailey.[103]

In October 2020, Game Informer ranked The Last of Us Part II among the best games of the generation.[104]

Date Award Category Recipient(s) and Nominee(s) Result Ref.
November 17, 2017 Golden Joystick Awards Most Wanted Game The Last of Us Part II Won [97]
December 7, 2017 The Game Awards 2017 Most Anticipated Game The Last of Us Part II Won [98]
July 2, 2018 Game Critics Awards Special Commendation for Graphics The Last of Us Part II Won[c] [101]
Special Commendation for Sound The Last of Us Part II Won [101]
November 16, 2018 Golden Joystick Awards Most Wanted Game The Last of Us Part II Nominated [100]
November 24, 2020 Ultimate Game of the Year The Last of Us Part II Won [102]
PlayStation Game of the Year The Last of Us Part II Won
Best Audio The Last of Us Part II Won
Best Storytelling The Last of Us Part II Won
Best Visual Design The Last of Us Part II Won
Studio of the Year Naughty Dog Won
December 10, 2020 The Game Awards 2020 Game of the Year The Last of Us Part II Pending [103]
Best Game Direction The Last of Us Part II Pending
Best Narrative Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross Pending
Best Art Direction The Last of Us Part II Pending
Best Score and Music Gustavo Santaolala and Mac Quayle Pending
Best Audio Design The Last of Us Part II Pending
Best Performance Ashley Johnson as Ellie Pending
Laura Bailey as Abby Pending
Innovation in Accessibility The Last of Us Part II Pending
Best Action/Adventure The Last of Us Part II Pending

SalesEdit

In its release weekend, The Last of Us Part II sold over four million copies worldwide, becoming the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive, beating Marvel's Spider-Man's 3.3 million and God of War's 3.1 million in the same period.[105][106] It had the biggest launch of 2020 for both physical and digital sales.[107] On the PlayStation Store, it was the most-downloaded PlayStation 4 game in North America and Europe in June;[108] in July, it was the fifth-highest in North America and tenth-highest in Europe.[109] In the United States, it was the best-selling game of June 2020 and became the third-best-selling game of the year within two weeks, generating the highest first-month sales of the year.[110] By August 2020, it had become the third highest-grossing PlayStation game in the United States.[111] In the United Kingdom, it became the fastest-selling physical PlayStation 4 game, outselling previous record-holder Uncharted 4 by at least 1% and The Last of Us by 76%.[112] In Japan, it was the best-selling game during its first week, selling an estimated 178,696 physical copies.[113] In Germany, it sold over 200,000 copies in June 2020.[114]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Formerly known as Outbreak Day, but changed in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.[66]
  2. ^ Based on 121 scored reviews of 132 total reviews.[68]
  3. ^ a b Also awarded to Cyberpunk 2077 and Ghost of Tsushima.[101]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Plagge, Kallie (June 25, 2020). "The Last Of Us Part 2 Spoiler Review - Dog Eat Dog". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 26, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Avard, Alex (June 12, 2020). "The Last of Us Part 2 Review: "An Astonishing, Absurdly Ambitious Epic"". GamesRadar. Future plc. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Myers, Maddy (June 12, 2020). "The Last of Us Part 2 review: We're better than this". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  4. ^ Gill, Patrick (June 19, 2020). "The Last of Us Part 2 guide: Jackson collectibles". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 24, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dornbush, Jonathon (June 12, 2020). "The Last of Us Part 2 Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
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