Hi hi, surprise. A gaming review.
Nick’s review made me want to write this so you know, provide another angle of the game.
I streamed the game for about 2 weeks, taking my time on the game. I played it on my PS4 Pro. Because you know, Pro graphics.
I will post spoilers, so don’t come any closer if you are going to play or trying to finish the game.
I think this is the most controversial aspect of the game.
Personally, all the momentum, values and plot from the first game is just, gone. It feels like a totally different game. The storytelling style as well felt extremely like a TV show.
I really open about the LGBTQ+ aspect of the story, I find the coupling of Ellie and Dinah a little rush. I mean we know Ellie is lesbian in the first game. But with the context coming in all the way to the end is really really late. For Lily/Lev, there is a buildup to her story so it sits well pretty fine.
A lot of plot lines felt extremely stretched, slowing down the pacing of the story. I feel like a lot of things could have shorten, and use that shortened time to expand other aspects of the story. Despite the “depth” and “grand” production, I personally feel that this game is pretty darn shallow. A lot of strings left untied.
Now, the Abby story… I personally think her part needs to be shortened. There is a lot of Ellie’s story left unattended. Essentially lost focus once they wrapped Ellie’s story too early. The Abby arc in general has been pretty great though, sometimes its even better than Ellie. They could have started off with Abby first, and then turn all the focus to Ellie. The random sex scene is totally out of nowhere, and kind of unnecessary.
But generally, I feel like Neil Druckmann has zero idea how to write or continue Ellie’s story.
The climax was rather weird, as the focus was on Abby again, instead of Ellie. Ending was a little weird as well, an ambiguous open ending without any indication of a sequel. I find it rather stupid. They could have redeemed themselves with the ending, but they just blew it.
So about the Joel’s early demise… I really don’t get it as well. That links to the trailers where Joel was talking to Ellie behind enemy lines, when in the game, it was Jessie. The fact that they used deceptive marketing really shows that they are not confident of their story. There are also evidence that they changed storylines and in-game locations a lot of times.
But that aside, I feel like the story wasn’t great, had zero link to the first game, used deceptive marketing and losing focus on the values really made this game experience probably my worst. I would rather see this game as a TV show than a game.
Graphics and Sound
It is probably one of the best looking games this console generation, I would give them that. Cutscene graphics quality is pretty much equivalent to gameplay graphics quality, something you don’t see everyday. Extremely polished, something I expect from an AAA game. Its a bar above Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
The animations were pretty well done. Gunshot impacts are nice, ragdolls can be hilarious at times. The game isn’t perfect as enemies can phase through walls, which I encounter quite a few times and also a few glitches with the AI and graphics.
I wish the game would be a little brighter as even during the day, the game can still look rather dark. Lighting in general is pretty solid.
Character designs are drastically different from the first game, Abby’s design is a little questionable, overall, its okay. The skin and pores looks wonderful. Hair strands standout really nicely as well.
The difference between the OG and the Pro is just resolution, the rest of the graphical presets are pretty much the same. It is really amazing even if the OG PS4 can handle this game at 1080p with that extremely old hardware.
Fan noise can be pretty loud at times, the amount of heat coming out of my PS4 Pro is comparable to Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but not Rise of The Tomb Raider/God of War levels of crazy noise levels.
Ambient sounds are also solid. Music was really great as well.
Gameplay and Mechanics
I would say in this aspect, it’s an improvement, not a MASSIVE improvement, but still a positive step.
Weapon switching isn’t a massive chore anymore, crafting is still a little tedious. The gunshots and combat is a massive improvement to the first game.
Stealth actions are great, it is actually pretty easy to do stealth, and when you can pull it off, you are in for some great action.
The waypointless style of transversing locations is pretty great. Gives me a lot of opportunities to find things to loot for items to craft and most importantly, ammo. But your route will differ everytime, you either take the shortest route or the longest one.
Back during the E3 trailers, I really love the fluidity of the combat, but this game lacks any of that fluidity. Maybe the fluid combat animations will take too much budget and manhours to pull off, or maybe the PS4 hardware couldn’t really pull this off as well, since it is ageing faster and faster. The close combat is pretty okay in the game, but I was expecting a lot since the trailers did showcase an amazing combat system.
For that I wouldn’t say its deceptive marketing, it was part of their plan but just unable to materialize. Just a little disappointed.
Recommended? I generally don’t know. I feel like people who like it just likes it for what it is. For people like me who have a hard time liking the game just looks beyond the studio reputation and actually questions the story writing.
I would probably not recommend this game. For me, it’s a massive disappointment after building up so much for so many years. But I guess play at your own risk.
That’s all for me, seasonal stuff tomorrow, so stay tuned.