The Last of Us Part II Review (Part I – Chapter 1)
Welcome back to the DustyPosts Last of Us reviews! As I progress further into the game I will be uploading my thoughts, descriptions, and hints for each chapter. Currently, I’m thinking that I will be able to cover all The Last of Us: Part II in four review guides, but who knows how in depth some of these may get! There will 1,000% be spoilers within the content below, so proceed with caution. And without further ado, let The Last of Us Part II review begin.
Chapter 1 – Jackson
Prologue & Waking Up
The reason I paired these two sub-chapter sections together is because the prologue is essentially the opening cutscene for the game. I’m not taking anything away from the prologue either, it was magnificent, but there was very minimal interaction so it doesn’t deserve an entire section. Anyways, the game opens with Joel explaining to Tommy what exactly went down at the firefly hospital at the end of the first game. As the two brothers talk this out, we still have no clue as to when exactly this is going down (It is later revealed that this was in fact taking place four years prior to the events in TLOUP2, which means the meeting between Tommy and Joel was more than likely directly following their arrival to Jackson).
Now we finally get our first gameplay interaction as Tommy and Joel head back down to Jackson. We take on Joel’s character as the two brothers hop on their horses and make their way downhill towards the safety of their city. I was pretty impressed by the graphics during the cutscene so far, but this was where it jumped up a notch. The sunrise that was peeking through the trees as Joel and his horse slowly made their way down to Jackson was breathtaking. And I’m running TLOUP2 on an original PS4 with a seven or eight year old LG basic TV… I can’t even imagine how this would look on a PS4 Pro or what it will look like on PS5! The horse ride is over before you know it though and the two arrive at Jackson’s gates (FYI, there are not any collectables in the prologue so don’t spend any time searching for them).
Joel and Tommy make their way through the city to where Ellie is staying (which I’m assuming is also where Joel was staying at this point lol). Joel has a surprise for Ellie (a guitar), but before he gives it to her he decides to shred. This whole scene was fantastic and the addition of the actual guitar playing with the touch pad was so fun (be on the lookout for a handful more of these guitar playing scenes throughout the game). Joel does eventually hand the Guitar over to Ellie, and she then strums us out of the prologue and into the game.
Ellie is now 18 and late for her patrol. Jesse, Dina’s Ex, gives Ellie a hard time for sleeping in and for kissing Dina the night before. Ellie seems extremely embarrassed by the latter, but Jesse tells her she has nothing to worry about. As you make your way into town you should be on the lookout for some collectable items (Rather than explain where exactly these are, I’ll just link you to the fabulous location guide that IGN has put together). I did miss these on my first play through, and I was searching high and low for any and all things collectable related, so be on the lookout as you make your way through the town and the bar with Ellie.
After your run in with Maria at the Tipsy Bison (killer name too by the way, right!?), Ellie makes her way down to meet Dina. Here is where we get the first game play dynamics started as Ellie and Dina challenge a group of younger kids to a snowball battle. This was honestly an extremely fun way to introduce some mechanics other than just having us head to a gun range or something. Once the first team gets 8 or 12 hits (which should be you by the way), the epic snowball royale ends and the two female leads make their way to the stable to begin their patrol.
I’ll be honest with you all, this chapter threw me the dirtiest curveball as I was playing opening night. I did my damnedest to avoid anything TLOUP2 related prior to release, so I had no idea we would be getting to play as another character other than Ellie, Joel, or potentially one of the new Jackson members. This sub-chapter was used to introduce us to one of the main antagonists (or at least who I believe to be on of the main antagonists), Abby, while also letting us learn some combat and stealth mechanics. FYI, there are also collectable items throughout this chapter (IGN Guide here), which I yet again missed because I thought the first two chapters were just going to be tutorial/story based.
Abby’s adventure begins in the snowy mountaintops above Jackson. She is with a small group of people who is searching for Jackson, and more specifically Joel. She is discussing what the groups next steps should be with Owen, who also is a former fling I believe, before the two get into an argument. Owen doesn’t think it’s in the groups best interest to head to Jackson to search for Joel because its much, much larger than they anticipated. As he’s walking off, Abby decides that she doesn’t care what Owen thinks and decides to head down to the outpost outside of Jackson by herself. As she descends the mountain we finally get our first undead encounter. Abby must sneak by or take care of all the runners in a few areas all while one of the most intense blizzards is raging around her. Once through, she comes to a main road and notices some horse tracks, yet she can’t help but wonder where the patrol those tracks belong to is.
In my mind, this is where the game truly begins. Ellie and Dina have arrived to the first stop on their patrol. We get some more amazing horseback scenery and views before the two girls make their way up to the sign-in book. There are also a lot of hidden supplies here for the first time in the game, and I highly suggest snagging them. And of course there are loads of collectables and playing cards in this chapter, so check IGN out for more details on all of that.
After signing in, Ellie and Dina make their way back down to their horses and head off for the next checkpoint on their patrol. They find themselves at an abandoned town which is ripe with more gear, but ultimately this is not the final destination. The two make their way around the corner and find a massive moose completely torn apart by infected right outside a group of stores. Guess what… yupp, all those infected that killed the moose are inside the stores waiting for you to kill them. Ellie and Dina make a solid little duo as they sneak in and kill a few pairs of runners together. After you make it through a few buildings like this, you find your way to a spore-filled supermarket/pharmacy. I want to point out that there is a safe located here, and the combo is related to a very good boy.
Ellie has her first run in with clickers here as well as she and Dina try to get out of the infected supermarket, which is a fairly simple task. The two then climb up a rope attached to an a/c duct (which, the rope throwing concept is also a nice little added feature added of the game) before making their way through the blizzard and to a library, which actually ends up being the hideout of one of Jackson’s recently deceased (Eugene). Dina and Ellie are sure to take advantage of his pot-filled hangout before we cut to the next sub-chapter.
We pick back up with Abby right where we left off. She’s following the horse tracks that she found, which we now know belong to Dina and Ellie, when a horde discovers her. There is nothing you can do but run here, so take off and do your best to not run into a dead end or you’ll find yourself dead very quickly. After sprinting through a storage container site, the woods, and then another storage container site, Abby runs into none other than Joel himself. Tommy is with him, and the three frantically run towards the safe house Tommy and Joel were probably heading for already. You barricade the door, but this won’t hold forever. The three continue pushing through the safe house until they get to a dead end room. But wait, it’s not a dead end! You just need to buy Tommy some time to get a gondola pushed over to a window for you all to jump out of. It doesn’t end here though as the second you are outside again the horde arrives. Luckily Abby’s people and their secure cabin is nearby, so they make that their next destination.
A Dina and Ellie cutscene triggers, and we find them indisposed as Jesse comes barreling into Eugen’s hideout. He is not thrilled that the two of them are not taking their patrol seriously as “there are people counting on them.” As annoyed (and embarrassed) as Dina, Ellie, and Jesse are with one another, they find common ground when Jesse explains that Joel and Tommy never checked in to the next stop on their patrol. Ellie immediately throws her clothes back on and makes her way back out into the blizzard.
We cut back for a quick cutscene with Tommy, Joel, and Abby as they arrive at her groups cabin that has a massive iron fence around the entire property. Abby’s crew takes care of the horde that is building up at the gate before the cutscene turns very dark. It’s confirmed that Joel was the man Abby was looking for, and she shoots him in the leg before we cut back to Ellie, who is tear-assing through the forest in search of Joel. She finds the cabin and sneaks her way in, but as she attempts to sneak into basement where she hears shouting, she is taken by surprise and ends up pinned to the ground by one of Abby’s men. Ellie is shocked to see Joel lying on the ground beaten to a bloody pulp, but she is even more shocked when Abby plants the blade side of what probably was a 4-iron right into the side of Joel’s Skull.
I was so shocked by this I had to pause the game. I had a feeling something bad was going to happen to Joel eventually, but I did not think he would be killed off within the first hour of the game. Abby’s crew knocks Ellie and Tommy out, and thank god Jesse and Dina find them before the infected make their way into the cabin. The four escape back to Jackson, and we get another cutscene with Ellie and Tommy in which they begin planning their revenge on Abby.
With a heart full of grief, Ellie plans on sticking to her plan of revenge against Abby. There is not a lot that happens in this final sub-chapter of the first section of the game, but what happens sparks the plot for the upcoming chapters. As Ellie and Dina make their way to Joel’s house for Ellie to pack up the last few things she needs, Maria makes an appearance and lets the girls know that Tommy has taken off by himself to seek revenge. Maria is clearly pissed, but she also knows that keeping Dina and Ellie in Jackson doesn’t help Tommy out any. She grants the two girls permission to leave and tells them to stock up before they do, and then we find ourselves off to Seattle.
Wow, what an explosively entertaining first chapter! The highs were so high and the lows couldn’t be any lower, but all in all it’s a great way to kick of TLOUP2. I will continue to explore this magnificent game and break down the following chapters as I do, so be sure to check back into DustyPosts often. Thanks for stopping by, and if you have any theories or comments about anything I discussed in this first review, leave it down in the comments for me to see!