No Return may not live up to Factions, but The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered offers enough reason for a revisit

January 16, 2024
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I don’t replay games as much as I used to. I don’t replay games as much as I’d like to. Like most things in my life – and yours, I suspect – I always intend to carve out extra time for them, but other things always seem to get in the way. Work. Kids. Partners. Kids again. By the time I get to the end of the working week, I barely have half-hour left to tackle one of the brand new games sitting expectantly in my To-Be-Played pile, let alone indulge in a little nostalgia.

The games that do get an encore, then, are particularly special. The Last of Us – both instalments – fall firmly under that category because every playthrough feels a little different depending upon how you approach it. My natural inclination, for instance, is to stealth my way through as much of the game as possible, only resorting to all out warfare when I’ve messed up a stealth takedown, perhaps, or chickened out of killing a dog that is neither my own furry child nor, indeed, actually real. And because I’m not a particularly confident stealther, this means it can take literal hours to get through, say, a hospital complex because I’m forever creeping around and doubling back on myself just in case there’s a single bullet lying in that debris pile three and a half miles away.

Replays, though? Replays let you embrace the chaos. Replays allow you to relax and indulge in the gameplay as much as the storyline, unleashing your renegade side. Like the rest of the world, I was knee-deep in lockdown when the original version dropped and, thirsty for a world beyond my office and bedroom, I booked three days off work and binged it. The first time around I was so engrossed in Ellie and Joel’s tale – so caught up in their blood-soaked story of love and loss and revenge – I galloped through combat sequences, desperate to reach the next cut-scene or clue as to how this story would end. This time, I sank back and enjoyed the ride.

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