I got in 4 - 5 hours last night. Playing on hard difficulty.
On a technical level, TLOU: Part II has no rivals, the detail and polish is unmatched. The animations set industry standards. The facial expressions are incredible. Even squeezing through crevices feels next gen lol. Graphically it is the best console game I have ever seen. It really makes you think what ND can accomplish with 10TF.
The gameplay has absolutely been taken to another level. There's more vertically, with the ability to jump, adding a dimension of platforming which enhances exploration/scavenging. The guitar mini game is surprisingly fun. It makes great use of the touchpad! Gunplay feels tight and melee combat is a lot more engaging with the dodge mechanic. Although it took me a while to get used to it. Stealth is a lot better, with more variety, and you can also prone. The world design is great. Its still semi linear but it is more open with branching pathways. There is an open world level and it is impressive. There are collectibles, weapons, gear, side stories, rather than just items you can use to craft. Also, the encounters and set pieces are much improved too.
It feels like ND took everything they learned from UC4/TLOU/TLL and put it all together for TLOU: Part II.
Removed a portion of your excellent view on the start of the game. Please also edit your original since that could be considered spoiler.
I got you. Just edited my comment.