Suddenly an arrow. It happens without delay, by surprise, because everything happens in a world where violence is part of everyday life, where death is another traveling companion. What seemed like a leisurely stroll among the remnants of a Seattle green carpet that has little to do with hope suddenly shatters with a whistle, the one climbing trees, and with one more step high that is nailed to us. in the flesh and makes us kiss the ground. Ellie is alone, tired, lost, or at least wishes she had always been. They found her.

 

They are numerous. Too much. A row of hooded figures comb every inch of the swamp that now occupies much of the boulevard, turning the air red with their torches and making it clear who is now the prey. They are wrong. Like a wounded animal, like that predator who is always more dangerous when cornered and must fight for his life, Ellie tears the shards of metal from his shoulder and throws his body to the ground, making her pay dearly for the hunting party. . A stab in the throat, two, three. Sheltered from the ferns, moving like a ghost and sending stragglers like the cruelty of a child playing with food, we allow ourselves a moment to be optimistic. It doesn’t last. One misstep, the flash of a flashlight, and shit finally hits the fan. We barely remember how we got to the street, although we do know that the boy whose head was smashed with a broken pipe was too young to die like this. We reach the door, the bullets continue to whistle too close to our backs. We breathe.

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After improvising a few bandages and shattering the glass in the backyard, it’s time to get back on the attack; Our target is nearby, through the parking lot, and also beyond that clearing where a patrol of fanatics executes a poor devil without moving a finger. We did not know him, it was not our problem, others will come to avenge him. We reach the building, and this time we do it well: plant after plant, looking for gaps between stone jumps and burnt iron or crouching behind the remains of a delivery truck, we eliminate objective after goal without those goddamn fans knowing what they’re doing. hit. We use our razor, the bow, the broken bottles, even a little rag gun silencer and what looks like a can of Coke, and then the error returns. A blow to the head from a seemingly secure position and a scream from a little gatehouse that we had forgotten to comb. “Chris is dead. They killed him, damn it. Maybe it was John, Sandra or Eva. To this day, Ellie has murdered too many people who mattered to her to remember the details.

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Of the rushed robbery that happened later, we couldn’t count much either – it was dirty, awkward, and violent, and at one point they caught up with us. Another arrow nailed to his shoulder, and Ellie once again seeking refuge in the mud, this time under the wheels of a truck. But Chris is dead, and this time we won’t escape that easily. Soon a sea of ​​boots begins to surround the vehicle, and after making sure a pair of them never return, a bald, beefy guy drags us out of our hiding place. This time he seems to have been through his, so cutting our neck with a chisel attached to a bat makes us feel a little less guilty.

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We will run. We continue to run. Bullets are whistling everywhere. We reach what appears to have been a record store, perhaps the most painful memory of the ancient world you can think of, and crouch behind the counter in the pop-rock section Ellie finishes the job. One by one, like the Persians of Thermopylae, the suffering friends of Chris, or John, or Sandra, find their partner, and once again we dream of escaping from a song. Until the doors creak and it came. A huge son of a bitch with a big beak looking us straight in the eye.

 

It is possible that the scene will seem familiar to you, because with its pros and cons, with a shiny brick, head changes and exploration interludes removed in favor of the show, it is an almost exact reproduction of the events with which Naughty Dog scolded E3 2018, raising a bunch of accusing fingers along the way, because it just wasn’t possible. Because it was too good to be true, an accusation that I personally think is usually an indication that you did your job well. It was a funny controversy, I don’t deny it, but I think it’s time to let her die. Because it doesn’t all belong to a video. All of this, all this angst, this urgency, this unhealthy calm that was suddenly chaos and hatred and blood clumsily flowing from a half-cut artery, all of it, I experienced.

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Naturally I did not experience it in the same way, and who aspires to compare the framing, the cadences and the number of corpses can wait seated. In The Last of Us Part II, I doubt there are two equal games, two clashes that are resolved the same way, and of all the possibilities, neither will remember a demo from Angelina’s Fair. . Nobody plays like he plays at E3, nobody talks to their teammates about the pretenses of the sea that are spent at E3, and as for the camera movements, I don’t know about you, but when I ‘arrives in a new place, I tend to spin around like crazy looking for something to tap into before trying a majestic panorama with the sticks. That this is a choreography calculated to the millimeter will surprise only those of always, but the other mortals will be happy to know that all the stages of the dance are there, and that it is up to us to learn how to use them.

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They will be happy to know that such a game is indeed possible, as neither the human shields, nor the bricks, nor the underside of this car, nor that shot in the face that we still remember uncomfortably today. was not overdone. Because mechanically, in the playable, in this third great pillar that makes up the cathedral which is this sequel with a crazy technical section and a class to develop characters, dialogues and punches in the pit of the stomach which continues to ridiculing everyone in the industry, everything that was promised was true. There were stray arrows that, if they hit us, gradually undermined a limp and squeaky Ellie’s health meter (animations, by the way, are something from another planet) to what she found. a moment to tear, because the gesture is heavy and two seconds can mean leaving a beautiful corpse; It was also true that a button, the R2, was put in place to throw at the carefree face any bottle or brick we hit in the middle of a robbery without further consideration, although it was up to us to decide whether we are taking advantage of the period of confusion that causes losses without playing a counterattack or, in fact, grabbing the neck of the victim and protecting ourselves from the shots.

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Everything is possibility, everything is mechanical that interacts and rolls and gets dirty, and as for the execution, the plasticity of each knife fight and those absurd organic dodges that at the time even caused the strange pull between studies, well, wait and see you. I haven’t stopped to check out what exactly happens if we’re approaching a car or in a high position, but I know I’ve rarely felt the grime of combat so real, with death dropping two millimeters from my body. neck and the need to end the life of the one in front of me before he kills me. I also don’t think he ever forgets Ellie’s expression when she stabs the dagger in a neck, twists it and finally manages to cut the meat, or whatever her eyes say then. The Last of Us Part II is spectacular like few others, but it’s tough like none.

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And I sincerely believe that is good news, that we should be happy that this particular sequence is not reproduced with complete precision. What we will have in its place are hundreds, thousands of alternatives, equally intense and just fucking scenarios, built on the most optimistic certainty left by the real game: that it was choreography, but the combat in The Last of Us Part II He could not go no further. In a way, it never was, but as you progress strongly through abandoned mansions and garages filled with spores from the original, you can sometimes identify the routine. A routine that’s gone here, in part because of the technology itself (the aforementioned dodge animations and their effects on melee, for example, or the bad behavior of human opponents who are now constantly communicating with us and us. ambush like jackals), and above all by following a set of mechanics and scenarios that include each confrontation, each arena, each parking lot, like a space of possibilities.

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It’s never the same to face two guys armed with bows like a patrol taking dogs, and it won’t be the same to deal with infected people, humans, or combinations of both (you you don’t have to be a lynx to know how to take advantage of the latter situation), and it all multiplies on the asphalt, tall grass, and furniture made of environments in which there is always a glass to break (without making noise, be careful), a space to cross or an alternative path to surprise on the contrary. There are possibilities, in short, and above all, tools to express oneself. And yes, it’s true that the vast majority of battles begin with the classical dance of silhouettes, clicks, rounds crouching behind a row of shelves and as many victims in the back as possible before getting caught, but the important is how they end. Improvise, always improvise. Run away where you can, defend yourself with what you have, stay alive a few more minutes. For combat to be so ductile, so malleable, so deliciously random and unexpected, it would already be celebrated in a Splinter Cell, Deus Ex, or some other punch and stab game, but it’s much more in a story, Ellie, of desperately running forward.

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And then everything else comes. Things that I can tell you about, which fall within the very strict limits of the preview sequence and which include confrontations with infected people as relentless as stalkers, extremely stealthy bastards who are again undetectable with listening in mode d and from which we now benefit from improved artificial intelligence to always seek our blind spot. I can also tell you about the perretes, some creatures as adorable as a bite in the jugular and the enemy with which you will least want to face: not because of killing them, who also, but for their stubbornness with us continue, continuing our way with sniffing and forcing Ellie to constantly scroll through each step (again, beautiful level design is paramount). I can even tell you about physics-based puzzles, wheeled containers, tilted planes, and the best ropes in video game history.

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I could tell you about all of this, but the important thing is what they don’t allow me to tell you. The reasons, the why, the reasons Ellie acts the way she does, and the times to remember a storyline that still knows how to tear us apart. Mechanically, The Last of Us Part II is a stellar video game, but I don’t think anyone will come just for it. You don’t know what’s happening to you. Please don’t let anyone mess it up for you.

 

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