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Last of Us: Part 2 Retrospective Review (Spoilers!)

Jesse Hoyt

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Almost a year later, I want to talk about the Last of Us 2 again and revisit it to see if I’ve softened up on it or maybe even changed my mind. I was heavily critical of the Naughty Dog title when it was first released citing a somewhat weak story that featured obnoxiously hamfisted themes. The story and characters were disappointing and didn’t do much to make me attached to them except out of spite for other characters like Abby. Of course, I was in love with the gameplay and the graphics which is why I still regarded it as a decent game, but nothing special outside of graphical capability. Now I’ve played through another time, without all the hype and toxicity between diehard fans and those who hated it. What do I think now? Find out in my (re)review of The Last of Us: Part 2!

The Bloater in the Room: Story

I have almost definitely softened up a little bit on the story aspects of the game and I can see what they were going for, but the story arcs don’t quite stick the landing for me. It’s dark and depressing with characters almost constantly moping about, aside from flashback sequences (which are very well done). The mood of the game can get pretty grating after a little while; you just get a little exhausted after dealing with it for a few hours. Don’t forget the Last of Us 2 can last over 25 hours for a single playthrough! That’s over a full day of unbridled violence and brutality paired with gruesome character deaths and scores of highly traumatic emotional damage to characters. 


On my first playthrough, I was upset by Joel’s death, playing as Abby then Ellie again, fighting nearly to the death and subsequently letting Abby go free. This time I just didn’t really care that much about it. Joel’s death was unsettling, but I wasn’t surprised; I was just disappointed. Ellie and Dina’s relationship was mediocre and I wasn’t sure if I ever really “bought it.” After seeing Ellie’s relationship with Riley from Left Behind, I was left wanting something more genuine and maybe a little bit slower-paced. I mean who tells someone they love them after 3 days? Dina almost seemed like a plot device whose sole purpose was to be the parallel of Mel. Aside from that, I kind of like Dina, Jesse, and Tommy. 

The most surprising thing was that I didn’t mind Abby too much on my playthrough this time, at least during the second half of the game. She came off as relatively personable and likable if you’re able to separate her from the fact that she murdered Joel at the beginning of the game. Her relationship with Lev still isn’t at Ellie/Joel levels, but I didn’t hate having Lev around. The fact that I found Abby less awful this time made the game much more bearable. I still really disliked her friends though. They seem pretty cookie-cutter, aside from Owen who is still kind of like a “free-spirit template,” and a cheater. Their deaths were lacking in any impact except a very pregnant Mel. It was disturbing and used as a kind of gross plot device for Abby to mirror later. 

Overall the story still really misses the mark for me. Ellie letting Abby go was a huge misstep in my opinion, and not because I wanted her to die. If Naughty Dog wanted to tell a compelling story about revenge, then they should have followed through and made Ellie a true villain by following in Joel’s footsteps from the first game. Make Ellie go through with her plan and solidify the effects of a murderous rampage and revenge. She didn’t kill Abby and still suffered severe consequences. There’s definitely a bunch of different ways for the story the build and conclude, but Naughty Dog made their decisions. It worked for some people, but not for me.

Thinking critically about it brings out a lot of the negatives, but while playing through it again I didn’t perceive these as terrible choices, just different than I would have preferred. The basis works for me; I just didn’t love the execution. The previous score for the story was a 3.5/10 for me, but I’m upgrading it to 5/10 since I’m able to see past my own initial outrage now and find Abby semi-likable as well.

Gameplay and Graphics

I won’t spend too much time here because we all know that The Last of Us: Part 2 has incredible graphics and lush, detailed environments that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. This game is like a treasure trove for screenshots. Facial animations were great and characters were beautifully rendered. Although mildly uncomfortable to talk about, the gore was pretty brutal but skillfully animated and detailed which just layered on that dark atmosphere. 


The combat is smooth, simple, and pretty basic. It’s just your run-of-the-mill third-person shooter with exceptional animations and graphics. The shooting was satisfying as was melee combat. Stealth is definitely improved from the last game but is still a little bit lackluster. The worst part about the gameplay was the looting. I just hated doing it. It was boring and time-consuming. I’d wager that thoroughly looting all areas of the game tacks on at least a few hours to the total playtime

The New Verdict

The Last of Us: Part 2 has some great moments with beautiful environments, brutal combat, and wonderfully rendered characters, but suffers from lackluster storylines and characters that serve almost entirely as plot devices instead of being fleshed-out like real people. 

6.5/10

After turning away from professional cooking, I refocused my efforts on something I love: writing. I can’t get enough of it. Copywriting, content writing, novels? Count me in. I have quite an array of writing interests, but right now I’m loving gaming and virtual reality, and I can’t wait to do more.

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Overwatch is Finally Getting Crossplay

Brandon Marcus

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Crossplay, the ability for video game players to compete or participate with one another across multiple different platforms, is a major selling point for many customers. People love having the option to kick back and enjoy a rowdy game with their friends no matter how they are playing. Over the last few years, crossplay has become more popular and has been employed by multiple major franchises, including Fortnite.

Now Overwatch is getting into the act. After denying any plans for crossplay a few years ago, Blizzard just announced that a crossplay beta test for its massively popular game will launch soon and will allow players on all platforms – from PC to Switch to Playstation to XBox – to battle among each other. If someone wants to participate in the beta, all they need to do is download the latest Battle.net update, go to settings, and link their console accounts through it.


The beta will work out a lot of kinks that will surely be found during initial Overwatch crossplay. One of the biggest concerns about crossplay is that certain platforms and their styles can benefit players. For example, there are many who claim that a mouse and keyboard provide a much more accurate and effective experience than, say, a Nintendo Switch’s configuration. How does Blizzard balance the pros and cons of each system to make sure that every match is truly fair? The crossplay beta test will certainly raise – and answer – a few questions.

Blizzard changing its tune on crossplay is a major win for many gamers. Cries for crossplay persist for almost every major title released in the modern age. It’s a hard feat to achieve for many developers and Blizzard deciding to partake in it will only pressure other publishers to make it a mandatory part of upcoming releases.

The news also all but guarantees that Blizzard’s upcoming Overwatch 2, as well as their other in-development games, will feature crossplay. That’s another huge win for the crossplay community.

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Chivalry 2 First Impressions

Jesse Hoyt

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Nearly a decade after the first game’s release, Chivalry is back with loads of violence, screaming men, and plenty of fun to be had. The first title took the PC gaming community by storm. It was a YouTube sensation for a little while with popular channels having scores of videos featuring it. So how does the sequel stack up to its predecessor?

I don’t really know how I feel about this game yet and I definitely don’t feel confident reviewing a multiplayer game right on launch. Chivalry 2 still seems a little bit unrefined to me. The UI feels a little bit slow on a base PS4 and I had some problems with matchmaking, but that was short-lived. There was also a kind of weird technical glitch at the end of the tutorial where a black square popped up on my screen before starting a cutscene. I still retained control over my character as the video played. It’s a very minor glitch, but stuff like this leads me to believe that there’s more work to be done.


Gameplay is a completely different story. I had a great time playing as an archer and a knight. The minute-to-minute gameplay feels solid if a bit slow, but that just takes time to get used to. I’m very bad at this game, but that doesn’t detract from the brutal violence and absolute goofiness during huge 64-player melees. It does take some practice to really get a handle on the gameplay, but the core gameplay loop is satisfying and gets more fun as you learn the combat system. With that being said, it doesn’t really do anything particularly different gameplay-wise to make it stand out from other games of the same genre.

Visually, Chivalry 2 has pretty good graphics with the exception of some soul-killing texture pop-ins at the beginning of matches. Even on PS4, everything has a little bit of shine on it notably on swords and in puddles of water. The environments look well thought out and are downright cool. I can’t help but feel a little gleeful as I sprint through a siege while my entire team is using their battle cry.

Chivalry 2 at its core is a ton of fun and has the type of gameplay (and comedic timing) that’s going to have me coming back. This gameplay more than makes up for some of the bugginess that I experienced in those beginning hours. Still, I’m really hoping that some of it gets addressed soon. I don’t know if Chivalry will convert people into medieval combat fans, but I still had a lot of fun playing it and even now I’m itching to jump back in.

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God of War 2 is the Latest PS5 Game to be Delayed

Jesse Hoyt

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The long-awaited God of War(PS4) sequel was originally supposed to release this year, but there was a well-founded belief that the title would be delayed until next year. A post on the PlayStation Blog by Herman Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios,  has finally confirmed that the title won’t be coming out in 2021. Instead, it will come to PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 next year. The delay sucks, but releasing on PS4 may gain a little favor from fans who haven’t been able to get their hands on a PlayStation 5 just yet due to the worldwide chip shortage. 

The reason for delays across multiple titles is reportedly the same as the reason behind the ongoing PlayStation 5 shortage: pandemic-related production issues. It’s uncertain how widespread these development issues are since games like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart are arriving on the market right on schedule. 


This isn’t the first PS5 title that’s been on uncertain ground either. Gran Turismo, a long-standing racing series exclusive to PlayStation, has had its next title pushed back to 2022 as well. Horizon: Forbidden West has also entered the discussion since new gameplay has been released. The game is slated for a holiday release in 2021, but no release date has actually been nailed down despite the fact that we’re almost halfway through the year now. Fans believe that Horizon may end up in the same camp as God of War 2 and Grand Turismo 7 by being shoved into next year. 

Players are certainly disappointed by PS5 games being delayed, but there might be a silver lining in all this. These delays will end up giving developer studios more time to polish up their games so the player base can receive a complete and non-buggy game (as long as it’s not a repeat of the Cyberpunk 2077 debacle). The delays will also make more time for players to get their hands on PS5s so they’ll be able to play these new games on launch. Hopefully, we won’t be constantly running into these issues next year as the pandemic continues to clear up.

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