Finished early this morning.
I absolutely fucking loved it. It’s genuinely the most powerful and emotional experience I’ve had in a game. The gameplay loop is just perfect IMO too, it has some of the most intense stealth, horror and action which is nicely book ended by more quiet exploration, flashback and story sequences which just always made me want to see more and just gave me enough time to breathe. Enough whereby even though I’d feel exhausted by a certain section to the point where I’d feel I need to turn it off (in a good way), the immediate part afterwards would always relax me just enough to go “I’ll just do one more encounter” or “explore this next part” & keep playing far longer than intended.
Speaking of that, it’s a very long game for a linear story experience. Personally I enjoyed every minute though, I never felt bored. It probably could have had 5-10 or so hours trimmed out without losing too much but I was enjoying the gameplay and story so much that the length of it never bothered me and I enjoyed getting new parts and locations to experience throughout. Near 30 hours of this felt far shorter and was far more interesting to me than your average 20+ hour open world game.
I will say though, I think I may prefer the Joel and Ellie’s story in the first. There was just something so fresh, unique and new with that experience. It was also the first time a game ever to make me so invested in it’s world and its characters that I don’t think any other game will be able to match it. One of those 1st time experiences which is unfair to everything after it. I’m thinking of returning to it to see if it’s my memory playing tricks on me but I’m also scared of ruining that memory so may not... The gameplay is vastly superior in this too which may make it even harder to go back to..
After saying originally I didn’t want TLOU to have a sequel, I’m so fucking glad they did. Which speaks volumes as far as I’m concerned.
If you’ve not played the original, I strongly recommend playing it before this. I very much doubt it’d have the same resonance with you otherwise.
Similar to playing FFVIIR, I think playing the original adds a huge amount to your enjoyment of these games.
Just as a little footnote - I hate people. Ive managed to avoid all spoilers and discourse around this game while I’ve been playing it. So I went on a bit of a dive watching videos and reading stuff regarding it this morning. WTF is wrong with people?
There’s some good criticism out there, a lot I understand completely, if it doesn’t click with you there is some things I can see why you’d dislike it. But the amount of whining seems to be on another level.