I’d be remiss to not include The Last of Us: Part II in our 31 Days of Halloween series. Sure, you have plenty of militia members to take down along the way, but the scares in The Last of Us: Part II don’t let up from the first game as you guide Abby and Ellie down their respective paths, through the Infected-laden corridors, en route to a final encounter that could arguably be labeled as one of the most devastating moments in gaming.
The Last of Us: Part II picks up a few years after the events of the original game, with Joel and Ellie set up in a encampment in Jackson, Wyoming. However, while a focus on Joel (as a character) definitely plays a major role in the game itself, you won’t really be playing as him. At least, not in anywhere near the same capacity as the first game. Besides Ellie, Part II introduces a new character for players to control, Abby. All three characters are connected in some way, and while I was more or less indifferent with Abby at first, she quickly became one of my favorite characters in the entire franchise.
The Last of Us: Part II is easily a 25+ hour endeavor. This is due to the fact that you’ll be playing both Ellie’s and Abby’s storylines that take place concurrently. This was admittedly a bit exhausting for me, primarily when it came to Abby’s portion of the game, but by the end, I was hooked. The experience is almost like two separate games that converge for a final act that will have you holding your breath, possibly with your hand over your mouth in utter disbelief.
There are plenty of battles that take place throughout the game. That is, if you so choose. “Fight or flight” is definitely a major part of the playthrough experience, and was one that I appreciated in a game with limited resources. Of course, as a linear narrative-driven game, there are certain moments that are unavoidable, such as boss fights, but each one is well-executed, fun, and intense.
I guess that’s the word I would choose to most accurately describe The Last of Us: Part II: intense. The game’s stealth mechanics are sound in the midsts of chaos, combat encounters are fast-paced, and the audio design while creeping through Infected-infested areas just adds to the intensity, all of which leads up to the most intense (and honestly, nearly indescribable) moment that I think I’ve ever experienced in a game.