In a recent story from IGN, The Last Of Us Part II co-director, Anthony Newman said: "In this game we've gone so far in making the level design open that there are actually entire story moments, entire combat encounters, full scripted sequences that you may completely miss,”
Now, as I dive into The Last Of Us Part II for my second playthrough, (spurred on following the recent announcement of the new DLC trophies), a particular moment during the first day of Seattle brings that quote from Newman to mind. As you enter the heart of Seattle, it’s hard not to be astonished by the sheer beauty of its post-apocalyptic landscape, from it’s long green grass to the decaying ruins of its architecture. It's also easy to miss so much considering the scale of the world at your feet.
Most notably, the dilapidated Westlake Bank skyscraper.
From this point on, it's all new to me. I'm about to delve into an area of the map I've never seen before. Beneath the building, through cavernous ruins, is the heart of the bank. It's relatively well-maintained, save for the decaying walls and vegetation on the floor. Following an encounter with infected, Ellie and Dina discover a safe, learning of an attempted armed bank heist on Outbreak Day, and stacks upon stacks of money within the vault.
The vault is a goldmine for loot, from weapons to supplies, but the most astounding aspect of all is the very fact that during my first playthrough, I’d missed all of this. Then again, it was for this very reason I decided to play The Last Of Us Part II again.
After leaving the bank, Ellie and Dina discover a tank, (charred skeleton inside, lovely), and a little later on, discover a cheeky shoutout to game director Neil Druckmann in the form of a trading game card. The villain goes by the name of Dr. Uckmann.
The Last Of Us Part II is available on PS4. For those already safe from spoilers, and want more from the game, check out the GameLuster review. And stay tuned for more Hidden Gems from The Last of Us Part II.