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The day is finally upon us. Reviews for The Last Of Us Part II - arguably the most-anticipated title of this generation - are here. While the game won't be available to everyone until next week, a number of outlets got their hands on the Naughty Dog adventure early and have been able to share their full thoughts with us.
So, the big question - does the game live up the massive hype that preceded it? According to the vast majority of critics, it absolutely does. At the time of writing, The Last Of Us Part II has enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive reception on Metacritic. It currently has an average score of 96, with 76 positives reviews and three mixed reviews.
Before we take a look at what everyone else had to say, you can read our thoughts on The Last Of Us Part II here. In our 7/10 review, we argued that its superb story is let down by poor pacing - and that it's often just a little bit too bleak and violent for its own good. But hey, that's just, like, our opinion man. That's also not to say we didn't think it was a Very Good game.
Others were a lot more positive. It was pretty much full marks across the board, with Daily Star describing it as a "cinematic masterpiece" in a five-star review. VG247 was similarly glowing, hailing it as "generation-defining". Similar wording was thrown around by IGN, Trusted Reviews, and Game Informer - all of which awarded The Last Of Us Part II 100%.
"The Last of Us Part II is a remorseless epic delivering in its masterful storytelling, nail-biting gameplay and unrivalled production values," TheSixthAxis wrote in a 10/10 review. "Naughty Dog have truly surpassed themselves yet again, crafting a heartfelt sequel that will leave you gasping as they continue to raise the bar for the video game industry."
"The Last of Us Part II's power is wholly unique to it being a video game," Eurogamer wrote in an "Essential" review. "There is a special kind of empathy that develops between a player and a game protagonist that no other medium can reproduce. It's this bond that Druckmann and his team have exploited to such devastating effect. It is a sad and timely reminder of the simultaneous importance and impossibility of living someone else's experience. Play it, and listen."
Meanwhile, GamesRadar+ hailed the game as "absurdly ambitious" and praised its "fiercely reactive combat" and "ingenious level design" in yet another full-marks review. I mean, you get it. People really loved this game.
But it's not all praise for the Naughty Dog epic. Mostly, but not all. Polygon argued that the game is too ruthless - and that the "ridiculous levels of virtual violence" are kind of at odds with the message of the game.
"This story seems to think I need to experience ridiculous levels of virtual violence in order to believe that maybe, just maybe, Ellie should have learned a little more about her enemies' personal situations and motivations before slamming a baseball bat into their skulls," Polygon wrote in a un-scored review.
Kotaku agreed in its review, and also suggested that the game be really, tediously slow at times. "Everything in The Last of Us II takes work," reads the first line of the review.
"Every weapon reload, killing blow, and crafted item takes time and button presses. At times the game is painfully slow; even in the most action-packed sections you put in effort to move things forward. You're paid for this work in a grim story and explicit violence. It can be exciting and beautiful, but mostly I just felt like shit."
For now then, The Last Of Us Part II seems to be going down a treat. With that said, I think we'd be foolish not to expect a lot of arguments and division over the story, characters, and themes when the game launches next week and the rest of us are able to get our hands on it. I can't wait.
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