Earlier this week, Sony drummed up a whole lot of hype by announcing that they'd be holding yet another State of Play demonstration on Wednesday. A lot of the hype was due to the game it would be focusing on: The Last of Us Part 2. Now that everything's said-and-done, the state of play having aired, what all have we learned? Quite a few things, though they're more technical in nature. The big highlight of the state of play included a gameplay deep-dive that focused on a nine-minute segment from the full game, showing off TLOU Part 2's impressive mechanics, graphics, and sound design. Stick around, and let's take a look at what's probably the final preview for The Last of Us Part 2 before it releases next month.

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The first half of the State of Play focused on setting up the world and story of TLOU Part 2. For those who haven't kept up with it, the game is set several years after the events of the first. The big change this time around is that you'll be taking the role of an older Ellie, rather than Joel, this time around. The two of them have taken shelter in a community located in Jackson, Wyoming, remaining there for many years. Despite the hardships and horror of the outside world, the community has stayed relatively safe and thriving up until the sequel's events. Following a tragic event, Ellie sets out to get revenge on those who have wronged her. The human enemies of the game are split into two factions: The Washington Liberation Front (WLF) and the Seraphites. The former is an armed militia consisting of citizens who protested the police and official government response against the initial cordeyceps outbreak. They don't take kindly to trespassers. As for the latter, the Seraphites are a Christian cult that has taken root within society; a tribalistic group that can be identified by the cuts on their faces.

The second half of the presentation focuses on the aforementioned gameplay overview. Ellie is much more agile than Joel was, providing all-new means of traversing the environments, as well as quickly dodging enemy attacks. Developer Naughty Dog focused heavily on realism for TLOU Part 2, traversing in real life to the locations the game takes place to ensure accuracy. This realism extends to the gameplay; enemies are treated more like actual entities in the world this time around, reacting realistically to changes in the environment and deaths of their companions. Combat is just as swift and brutal as ever, with new mechanics thrown in such as hostage-taking. The staples from the first game are still here too, such as brick distractions, an extensive crafting system, and the 'punch lazers' melee combat that made the first feel so dynamic. Naturally, all of that doesn't even touch on the graphics, which are some of the most realistic looking on the PS4 to-date. Environments are lush with detail, and the game will take place over the course of the four seasons.

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As you might expect, TLOU Part 2 keeps everything that made the original survival horror game so engrossing: Well-written characters, intense enemy encounters between infected and non-alike, and polished gameplay. You can catch the State of Play in full down below, though you might want to grab some popcorn; it's nearly 25 minutes long. The Last of Us Part 2 is set to release on June 19th exclusively on PlayStation 4. This is the new date set after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also pushed the release date of Ghost of Tsushima back to July. Both TLOU Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima mark the final entries to the PS4's exclusive catalog. It's rather fitting that this happened too; the original TLOU was notable for coming out near the end of the PS3's life cycle, serving as one of the most technically impressive games on the console. It looks as if the sequel is set to do the exact same thing for the PS4. It will definitely end the console out on a bang, with Sony set and ready to release the PlayStation 5 on time this holiday season.

Tanner
Tanner

Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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