This image features official promotional art for The Last of Us Part II showcasing the awards won at The Video Game Awards.  According to PlayStation’s website under the article, “The Last of Us Part II”, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC states that “The Last of Us Part II belong to Naughty Dog LLC and Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC who publishes this game” (11).  This image is on Naughty Dog LLC’s official Facebook page under the section “Photos”.

Major Spoiler Warning and Note For This Review:

Hello fellow Geek Street Society Members. I hope everyone is doing good and staying safe during these uncertain times. So, I want to post this little warning before we start this analysis of how The Last of Us Part II won so many awards at The Video Game Awards. I tried to talk about this game without spoiling too much. However, as I’m writing this article, being spoiler-free is getting progressively harder.  So, this review does have a major spoiler warning for The Last of Us Part II.  If you have yet or are playing this game and don’t want spoilers, feel free to save this article.  Then, come back once you’ve finished.

The Last of Us Part II can be bought from retail stores that sell video games and also on the PlayStation Store. Defiantly give this game a look if you haven’t already.  With that said, I also want to address something.  Now, I know the internet is very divided about this game.  Also, The Video Game Awards has made an even more of a division with the winners this year. I want discussions to be open-minded and civil. Please keep conversations civil and respectful.  Thank you for reading this note and warning.  Please enjoy this article.  

The Last of Us Part II Divided the Video Game Industry

Seven years ago, there was one game that came out that pull the heart of gamers.  Winning a ton of recognition as well as awards.  Even to the point of getting gamers to come to the PlayStation to play it. This game is none other than The Last of Us. Made by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us is a cinematic masterpiece of the video game industry.  So, there was a lot of expectation when Naughty Dog announce The Last of Us Part II.  After this game came out, the feelings were incredibly mixed.  Some were sending death threats to people at Naughty Dog.  While others like the game but not as much as the original.  Safe to say, The Last of Us Part II made a division within the video game industry. 

Then on December 10, 2020, The Video Game Awards showcase how much The Last of Us Part II influences the video game industry.  Whether you like it or not, this game won seven awards at The Video Game Awards.  How did this triple a game that got so many mix reviews win so many awards? Let’s find out together. In this review, we’re analyzing how The Last of Us Part II Won so many different categories at The Video Game Awards. 

The Last of Us Part II Wins for Best Action/Adventure Category at The Video Game Awards

The winner of Best Action/Adventure category at The Video Game Awards is The Last of Us Part II.  Within 2020, the video game industry had a lot of groundbreaking action/adventure games.  Honestly, I had no idea who would win this category.  Some of the games include Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and Ghost of Tsushima to name just a few.  So, this category is full shop of Triple A game titles.  With that said, The Last of Us Part II shows within its gameplay, story, and characters that this game deserves this win.  As Ellie goes on her journey, Naughty Dog is able to capture so much action as well as adventure.  As the audience, we get to learn more about the world and was been happening.  Plus, there are several points that are engaging and fun.

Naughty Dog has always been one for making puzzle challenges engaging and fun.  Just look at the Uncharted series and all of the different puzzle that game has.  Regardless, The Last of Us Part II follows such a powerful narrative that leads this game to winning this category. While The Last of Us wins for Best Action/Adventure, this game shows its power in performances. 

The “Best Performance” Category Winner Goes to Laura Bailey With The Last of Us Part II

This image contains Abby Anderson from The Last of Us Part II.  According to PlayStation’s website under the article, “The Last of Us Part II”, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC states that “The Last of Us Part II belong to Naughty Dog LLC and Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC who publishes this game” (11).  This image is on PlayStation’s official YouTube page under the video, The Last of Us Part II – Abby Story Trailer | PS4 at 2:16.  

The Last of Us Part II wins the category for Best Performance with Laura Bailey.  Now, many people on the internet are going to be upset about this win.  The reason for this is that Laura Bailey voices Abby Anderson. For anyone who doesn’t quite understand, Abby is one of the main characters of The Last of Us Part II.  In fact, Abby does a lot of things within this game that make a lot of gamers hate her.  However, I think this win shows how powerful of a performance Laura Bailey does as Abby.  Personally, I think Abby is an incredibly deep character.  Yes, the player does have to warm up to her.  Especially after what she does in the first act of The Last of Us Part II

Abby is a character who pushes herself for revenge.  Laura Bailey shows this emotion in her acting which is where this game truly shines.  The number of emotions the characters show makes the experience of this game that more enjoyable.  Abby doesn’t feel like a voice actor playing a character.  Abby is her own character with strengths, weaknesses, and determinations.  While Laura Bailey wins for Best Performance, The Last of Us Part II also wins for Best Narrative.   

At The Video Game Awards, The Last of Us Part II Wins in the Category of “Best Narrative”

The next award that The Last of Us Part II wins is Best Narrative.  According to The Game Award’s website under the article “Best Narrative”, The Game Awards states that “the Best Narrative award goes to a video game with a compelling story” (1).  Essentially, this award selects video games that have a compelling story.  The Last of Us Part II does have a very compelling story.  Ellie goes on a very dark path within this game to avenge Joel.  So much that several characters and her own psyche question what Ellie’s doing.  Ellie’s psyche comes in the form of Joel asking her if this is what she wants.  Which anyone who has lost someone incredibly close can relate.  Maybe not in the same instance as Ellie. However, losing a love one suddenly is incredibly painful.

Honestly, I’ve been in that situation.  In such a dark place that you have moments that you don’t know how to get out of it.  That’s one of the reasons why it took me so long to play this game.  So, I can understand why this game won this category for “Best Narrative”.  While The Last of Us Part II wins for Best Narrative, this game also wins for “Innovation in Accessibility”. 

The Last of Us Part II Wins the New Category of Innovation in Accessibility By Including Modifications for Individuals With Disabilities

This image includes one of the accessibility feature The Last of Us Part II has which is High Contrast Mode.  According to PlayStation’s website under the article, “The Last of Us Part II”, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC states that “The Last of Us Part II belong to Naughty Dog LLC and Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC who publishes this game” (11).  This screenshot is on PlayStation’s official YouTube page under the video The Last of Us Part II: Accessibility Features – High Contrast Mode Comparison and Audio Cues at 0:20

Another category at The Video Game Awards The Last of Us Part II wins is “Innovation for Accessibility”.  For the first time at The Video Game Awards, there’s a category about helping everyone enjoy video games.  By making modifications to their projects, video games can be open to everyone who may have mobile, visual, or other disabilities.  With that, The Last of Us Part II includes a lot of different mechanics to help all gamers.  According to PlayStation’s website under the article “Accessibility Options for The Last of Us Part II”, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC explains that “The Last of Us Part II contains the following Accessibility Features including HUD scale, various subtitles, audio assistance, and vibration cues” (2).  This game puts in extra modifications to ensure that everyone can play this game.

Honestly, this is something that video games should have.  Being able to accommodate for gamers with all different types of disabilities.  Which is undoubtedly why The Last of Us Part II wins in this category for all of the different modifications.  Additionally, this game also wins for Best Audio Design at The Video Game Awards.

Naughty Dog’s Sound Design Team Blow Away the Competition by Winning Best Audio Design

Within The Video Game Awards, The Last of Us Part II wins for the category of “Best Audio Design”.  Now, this game has some phenomenal audio design.  This game has audio cues to listen to where enemies are.  If the player doesn’t know where the enemies are, the player has to listen.  This is where The Last of Us Part II truly shines.  This game’s audio transports players into the world of The Last of Us.  A cruel, post-apocalyptic world with unique sound effects.  The sound designers at Naughty Dog did a phenomenal job transporting the gamers into this universe.  This is why this game deserves the win of Best Audio Design at The Video Game Awards.  While The Last of Us Part II wins for Best Audio Design, this game also wins for “Best Game Direction”. 

This video is made by one of the Sound Designers at Naughty Dog who worked on The Last of Us Part II. Essentially, this video demonstrates the various sound and audio effects that went into making this game.

The Last of Us Part 2 Wins for “Best Game Direction” for Its Phenomenal Graphics

Next, The Last of Us Part II wins in the category of “Best Game Direction”.  While the first game has a better game direction, The Last Us Part II does a great job with this category.  This game focuses more on Ellie’s revenge for Joel’s death.  Ellie turns incredibly dark within the context of this game.  One thing I will say is I wish Joel didn’t die early in the game.  There were rumors that he was going to die before the game even came out. With that, I think this game is the best design game Naughty Dog has ever made.  This even after Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Which many views as an incredible game Naughty Dog has made. The amount of detail that this game has is insane. 

From the new infection designs to learn more about the lore, this game has a ton of design aspects that expand this world.  Honestly, The Last of Us Part II gives a lot of design aspects that it deserves this spot.  Now, this doesn’t mean that this game is a masterpiece.  In fact, this game isn’t as good as the original game.  However, what this game does, it does it right.  Finally, The Last of Us Part II wins the ultimate award for Game of the Year.

Last but Not Least, the Game of the Year Goes to The Last of Us Part 2 

Last but not least, the ultimate award for Game of the Year.  Now, this award is an incredibly big deal.  Certain video games stand out from the rest of the video game releases throughout the year.  Ultimately, The Last of Us Part II wins this award.  This win alone is causing some mixed feelings.  Many feel that Ghost of Tsushima should have won Game of the Year.  Especially since Ghost of Tsushima won for Player’s Choice.  Personally, I thought either Final Fantasy VII: Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, or Animal Crossing: New Horizons was going to win.  However, The Last of Us Part II wins this category.  While not as good as the first game, The Last of Us Part II is a good game.  This game follows Ellie’s revenge as she has inner conflict about her revenge for Joel. 

This game builds a little bit on the lore of the universe.  With that said, this game isn’t perfect. There’s a lot of story elements I wish were different.  However, there are elements that The Last of Us Part II does have that it does deserve this win.   

While This Game Has Mix Reviews, The Last of Us Part II Has Made Its Mark on the Video Game Industry

Within this review, we’ve discuss how The Last of Us Part II wins seven different awards at The Video Game Awards. While some of the categories make sense. For example, The Last of Us Part II excels within the audio design. On the other hand, certain categories are a little harder to determine the winning behind them. Previously, I state several times that this game is not nearly as good as the original. Now, this isn’t saying that The Last of Us Part II is the worst game imaginable. I’m not going to criticize the game like this like some people have on the internet. Saying how this game holds no value to the original. In fact, this game has a lot of avenues that work. Like world-building as well as certain elements of character developments.

While not the perfect game, The Last of Us Part II is a powerful narrative that we should talk about. As this game goes into the much darker elements of Ellie’s character as she seeks revenge for Joel.

Open for Discussion

Thank you so much for reading this review. Now, we want to hear from you guys. Did you like The Last of Us Part II? Do you agree or perhaps disagree with these wins? Let’s discuss about this. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Also, if you want to learn more about this game, make sure to follow Naughty Dog’s social media accounts. This includes Naughty Dog’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.

Furthermore, if you want to watch the full live stream about The Video Game Awards, make sure to follow this link to watch The Video Game Awards.

If you like what you see here, make sure to check out this review I did about the other winners at The Video Game Awards. In this review, I discuss in detail all of the different winners and why they won there categories.

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Work Cited:

The Game Awards. “Best Narrative: Nominees: The Game Awards.” Best Narrative | Nominees | The Game Awards.

Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC. “Accessibility Options for The Last of Us Part II.” PlayStation.

Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC. “The Last of Us Part II.” PlayStation, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC.