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The Last of Us Part 2 review – post-apocalyptic game is groundbreaking and powerful

PlayStation 4; Naughty Dog/Sony
This intense game set in a post-disaster world poses moral questions about the motivations for violence and is brilliantly acted by its human contributors. (Spoiler free)

‘Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” So goes the saying popularly (if spuriously) attributed to Confucius – a proverbial truth that The Last of Us Part II explores, unflinchingly and sometimes gruesomely, for 30 hours. It is difficult to explain how exactly it does this without robbing players of the chance to experience it for themselves, but I will say this: no video game has ever gone to these lengths to humanise the enemy, or to interrogate the violence that it asks the player to perform.

We play as Ellie, a 19-year-old born a few years after a fungal illness devastated human civilisation, turning the afflicted into shambling, deformed husks and the world’s cities into overgrown relics. Since the events of The Last of Us (2013), she has been living in a stable community of survivors, making friends, learning the guitar, kissing girls at dances. But a traumatic event drives her to leave the relative safety of Jackson on a revenge mission that takes her to the remains of Seattle.

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