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Ask anyone who is passionate about games, and they'd likely tell you that The Last Of Us Part 2 is an exceptional example of the medium through its storytelling and its technical achievements. It turns out that it turned heads at Xbox, too, and that the company has taken notes on how to create a game like it for its own platforms.
Though it is exciting to get the goss, this Xbox review of The Last Of Us Part 2 is pretty pedestrian stuff. Oftentimes, companies will conduct internal reviews of their competitors' products in order to learn from their approaches. It's like a rugby team studying the tactics and performance of the rival they'll be playing against so that they are as prepared as they can be for a match. It'd be a bit silly not to, if I'm honest, since understanding multiple points of view on one singular subject increases your own appreciation of your craft and how to improve the medium as a whole. It's just science, mate. As we are aware, The Last Of Us Part 2 has broken the record for the highest number of Game Of The Year Awards bestowed upon it, and it was in our own top ten for 2020.
What did we think of the one of the most polarising games in recent memory? Well, I'm glad you asked. Check out our video review below.
As per Mike and Jon of the Xbox Portfolio Team, The Last Of Us Part 2 impresses them with its "detail and believability of the character interaction and dialogue." The character models in the game are an absolute testament to what Naughty Dog is able to achieve, from the tiniest of frowns to the minutest of freckles seen on the survivors' faces. This dedication extends to its world, too; did you know that the tonearms on record players were animated to actually move as the song continues? The pair states that telling this sort of story in this sort of space is what other developers "should be aspiring to accomplish with their character dialogue, presentation, and voice acting." High praise, certainly. "Not every game's designs can support the level of visual detail they produce, and not every team has the money or talent needed to produce it, but this game sets a new bar for what we should hope to be able to achieve going into a new generation of consoles," read the review.
However, there were things that irked them. "Naughty Dog still can't seem to make decent gun combat in any of their games, and this is no exception," argued Mike and Jon. "Luckily for them it fits in with the game's theme and pushes the player towards using stealth head-on." They also mentioned that the game doesn't allow much room for choice, which might irritate players who would like to embody the role of Ellie or Abby more universally. And, weapon switching is a faff according to the team and led to some "notably frustrating" moments in dynamic combat encounters. Well, you can't win them all. You can just win most of them, if you're Naughty Dog.
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