The Last of Us Part II – Do I need to play the first game?

To some it may sound like a bizarre question, but do you really need to have played The Last of Us in order to enjoy the sequel?

There will be plenty of PlayStation 4 owners who have been exposed to the hype surrounding The Last of Us Part II via social media, television ads, or through talking with friends. Even if they haven’t touched the original game, there will still be that temptation to pick up Part II regardless after seeing the game in action – not to mention the 10/10 review scores.

We tend to forget that, for some gamers, having that extensive backstory and insight into the characters isn’t all that important. They want to see the flashy new PlayStation game everyone is talking about and there’s honestly nothing wrong with that.

In a nutshell, you don’t need to have played The Last of Us to enjoy Part II or understand what’s happening in the game’s story. We won’t be going into story spoilers here though the sequel does a good job of recounting what happened in the previous game while also re-establishing the relationship between characters.

The opening cinematic offers up a quick refresher before the game’s first act eases players back into this brutal, post-apocalyptic world. Most of the characters you encounter are newcomers as well, so you don’t need to worry that you’ve missed vital plot points from the past game.

That said, those who have played through The Last of Us and its DLC, Left Behind, will certainly get more enjoyment from the sequel. You will have already spent hours with Joel and Ellie, therefore having more of an investment in them as characters having witnessed their journey from the Boston quarantine zone to Jackson, Wyoming.

Story and characters aside, you’ll also appreciate the improvements Naughty Dog have made to the survival horror gameplay since 2012. There have been plenty of changes and refinements in that time, some undoubtedly lifted from Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, such as Ellie’s more versatile movement and the amount of versatility now found in level designs.

So, overall, you don’t need to have played The Last of Us, but if you have it will definitely help enrich your experience with the sequel. The Last of Us Remastered is available on PS4 and if you’ve been hoovering up the free games offered via PlayStation Plus you will find it ready to download in your library.

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Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualSense at this point.