If you read my previous post in which I interviewed my dad to get his thoughts on A Way Out, you already know he’s a bit of a video game lover. He knows his stuff. He grew up with video games and continues to play them as much as he can in his everyday life. I was fortunate enough to grow up with an affinity for video games as well and we tend to have similar tastes.
I finished The Last of Us Part II a few months ago, but it just finished. I was so excited to finally be able to talk to him and get his opinion on the game. I sat down with him in a totally professional, interview-like manner to talk about his final thoughts and feelings on the title.
Me: Let’s start with your initial thoughts. What did you think of the game?
Dad: I found the first one to be a little more scary and stimulating. The infected were more difficult to kill. This one didn’t have the same vibe. A lot of times when I play a game I can tell right from the start if I’m going to like it and if I’m going to go back and play it again. For The Last of Us Part II, I might try to go back to a harder difficulty just to see if it’s a little harder, but only because the game lets you come back with your upgraded weapons.
Me: I looked at you for a bit and there were a few parts when you quit smoking. The part with the huge Infected in the hospital with Abby, and the part where you sneak into the theater trying to take Ellie down.
Dad: Yeah. So here’s the thing – if you remember in the first game there is a part where the characters are trapped in a gym inside a school with one of the big ones infected. I don’t know if it was bloat, but whatever it was, it was big. You have to run and avoid it. What made this game so challenging and fun to play is that you would go into battle and most likely only had three pistol bullets and a shotgun shell with you. You really had to be careful and think quickly. You could run to a corner of the gym and grab a brick to throw it, shoot it once, then run again, but you have time to prepare for another attack. It was very difficult.
I don’t like games where there is an enemy chasing you constantly and you run around blindly. The hospital was dark and cramped, and those infected were killed in one fell swoop. I’m sure for some people it’s scary, but I find it boring. It reminds me of characters like Mr. X or Nemesis from the Resident Evil series.
Me: So you don’t really like Mr. X type characters that you can’t really defend yourself from?
Papa: They harass you more than anything. They are different from a boss who can have several different stages. If you think about it in games like Far Cry, in a boss battle one of your opponents might attack you with a knife and you have to defend yourself and avoid attacks. It’s kind of like your fight with Abby at the very end of the game in the water, or like a fight with Wesker or Krauser in Resident Evil where you have to do some quick events. I don’t mind, but with creatures like the one in the hospital, it just gets frustrating and it gets a lot less scary and more boring than anything.
Me: What did you think of all the flashbacks? There were quite a few in this one, but they can be a bit slow.
Dad: They help flesh out the story which is always good. The biggest problem is the slow movement of the characters. You have to walk with the AI, which almost always walks slower than you so as not to speed it up. It can be a bit boring.
Me: I liked it, because Joel died early on, the flashbacks gave the players a little more time to spend with him.
Dad: Yeah, that’s right. It didn’t bother me most of the time. They had to add some flashbacks to get Abby to definitely tell the player more about her. They must have decided early on, “Okay, here’s our story. This girl Abby comes to the Jackson area to get revenge on Joel for what he did at the end of the first game. I now understand why they did this, but at the moment I didn’t really care about those slow Abby flashbacks.
The overall story has been pretty well done. It’s just disappointing that when there is a game with multiple characters, you often fail to level them up before moving on to the next one. And some of the looting, especially at the end when you play as Abby right before she and Lev were kidnapped by the Rattlers, felt unnecessary and like a waste of time.