Microsoft’s internal review of Naughty Dog’s PlayStation-exclusive The Last Of Us Part II has come to light.

The alleged confidential internal review was revealed as part of court documents provided for the ongoing legal battles between Epic Games and Apple, during which Microsoft’s vice president of business development Lori Wright was asked to testify. The competitive analysis of The Last Of Us Part II was done by Microsoft’s Global Gaming Partnership & Development (GGPD) team, according to VGC.

In its review of the flagship Sony game, the tech giant said that The Last Of Us Part II had “set a new bar for what [Microsoft] should hope to be able to achieve going into a new generation of consoles”. The analysis gave particular praise to the game’s “visual quality and attention to detail” and noted that its “overall presentation is significantly ahead of anything that other teams have been producing on console and PC”.

However, the Microsoft review also criticised the gameplay in The Last Of Us Part II, saying that “Naughty Dog still can’t seem to make decent gun combat in any of their games”. It also listed the game’s inventory as the “one big gripe about the moment-to-moment gameplay”, alongside the lack of n input to “’quick switch’ between “current and previous weapons”.

But ultimately, the analysis called The Last Of Us Part II an “exceedingly rare video game where what it accomplishes in moving forward the art of narrative storytelling in video games as a medium ultimately outweighs whether or not everyone ‘likes’ it or even if everyone has ‘fun’ playing it.

“That said we loved it, had a great time playing it, and find ourselves still thinking about its characters and stories even after finishing the playthrough.”

The Last Of Us Part II was released in June last year following a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The game received a glowing five-star review from NME’s Jordan Oloman, who called it a gripping tale of love and mercy [that] is the ultimate swan song for the PS4″. It also clinched the top spot in NME’s 20 Best Games of 2020 list and walked away with the Game Of The Year award at The Game Awards in December of the same year.

Last month, Naughty Dog vice president and The Last of Us Part II director Neil Druckmann confirmed that there is a plot outline for a third part in the series. He said that he hopes it can “see the light of day” in the future, but added that the studio is not currently working on it.





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