In my Last of Us Part II review, I was mentioning that it was a little hard to talk about the game in the way I wanted because I need to keep it spoiler free there. So i’ve created this article just to add some points to that review and the story in the game as I feel I cannot address it properly there. Note: This article is intended for people who have already finished the game and want to join a discussion about it. Please do not read this spoiler discussion if you haven’t played the game and finished it yet.
If you haven’t played the game yet, read our spoiler free review of the game here.
I’ll just leave a couple of my thoughts on each of the characters and then some final words on the story in general. Hopefully people find this interesting.
Everyone who has finished the game know what happened to Joel. He was killed quite brutally early on in the game by Abby and it is the primary event that sets of Ellie on a revenge mission. My thoughts on this event in the game was basically that it was just done to shock us. It shocked me as a player early on and still shocks me even now. The first game spent so much time getting the player attached to Joel and a lot of people are probably wanting to buy The Last Of Us Part II because they want to see how Joel’s story continues, it’s quite shocking to see that it doesn’t. It’s also quite shocking to see a character who we grew to love get bashed so brutally. For a while it made me not want to play the game and it was some hours before I came back to it.
That is not the end of Joel however, he does appear through flashbacks where as a play you are constantly reminded how much of a good person he was. I think these flash backs are there to act as a reminder to get you as a player motivated to keep moving forward with Ellie to get your revenge. They do also however, give the player a glimpse at how Joel and Ellie’s relationship has been developing since the first game. The two are very close, but they’ve also had their issues and arguments. The flash backs were all very well done and were all very emotional experiences.
I wished we got more from Joel in this game, but I understand that he’s being used as more of something to shock us so that a story can be created more than anything else.
This is going to sound a little strange. But Abby was actually my favourite character in The Last Of Us Part II. As a player you are meant to hate this character, she killed Joel and you’re supposed to hate her. However the game lets you play as Abby and get to know her perspective. As a game all about hate and revenge, the developers I think put a lot of effort in, to make you not hate this character. I know some people I’ve seen online do hate this character, but I actually love Abby. She’s one of the best characters I’ve seen in gaming for a long time.
Abby’s father was killed by Joel at the hospital in the first game and she’s spent a significant amount of time plotting her revenge against Joel, a person she doesn’t really know. Much like all the unknown people you go along killing all throughout the game, I guess she just sees Joel as just another bad guy, it is after all, her perspective.
You learn as you play Abby, that she’s not really that bad of a person. She’s had her own experiences, just like Ellie has and the two are just trying to survive in a world of bad people. Abby has her own flashbacks where you will learn about her relationship with her father and how nice of a person he was. There is the awkward discussion about operating on Ellie and the ethics behind going ahead with it, even though it means her death. But in general, these people are presented to us as not that bad. In the end, I really wanted Abby to succeed.
Ellie is a character that I am not sure that I really like after playing the game all the way to the end. She’s on a revenge mission against Abby for killing Joel. There’s a lot of back and forth with this that lasts for the entire game. But for the most part she cannot let it go, so she keeps coming at Abby multiple times. In the end, once I finished the game, I feel like her character is done. I have no interest in playing a sequel and experiencing a third part to Ellie’s story.
What’s the problem with the story?
Well, I think many things. One thing that is odd about it, is that because you play as each of the main characters, there’s no villain really. Joel is a good, Ellie is good, Abby is good. Throughout the series we’ve gotten to know all three of them and generally they’re all good people. However, due to some incidents and different perspectives on events, Joel killed Abby’s father, Abby Killed Joel, Ellie pursues Abby and we learn that Abby is basically good?
My problem with learning that Abby is basically good is when it comes to the end of the game. At the end of the game Abby is kidnapped, she’s tortured and she’s almost about to die. You play as Ellie in the end and you are still trying to find her so you can kill her and the game game makes you fist fight Abby, who is very weakened because Ellie still wants her revenge. To be honest, I don’t like it. I hated this part of the game. At this point, I enjoy the Abby character, I don’t want to continue bashing her, but I have no choice but to do it. I just wish I could have an alternate ending where Ellie just forgives her and leaves, it would have been a much nicer message. Instead I have to bash her first, try drown her and do many bad things I don’t agree with. As a player of this game, at this point in the game I have bother perspectives and would like to intervene, however Ellie only has her own perspective on Abby and doesn’t even know all the good things I know about Abby and it just felt very awkward to me. I kept thinking why am I doing this??
In the end I do like the story of The Last Of Us Part II. Despite my gripes with it, it’s a story all about perspective. From Ellie’s perspective, if you were to play as just her, then of course Abby is a villain. She randomly just appeared and brutally killed Joel and left. She’s a total villain! We gotta get her! But when you play as Abby, things are not so clear, she’s not 100% bad, she was getting revenge against someone who killed her father, a good person, she’s a good person too. She even allows Ellie to live twice. Either we have a game here where everyone is a villain or we have a game where everyone is a hero and the only way you can change your mind about who is a villain and hero is by changing your perspective on the events. This is what I love about the game and for me, it made it very interesting. Neil Druckmann made something quite special here and I appreciate what he created. He had a story to tell and although he gave me no control as a player to change the story in the end which is super frustrating, Druckmann was quite effective in drawing out emotional moments. In the end, The Last Of Us Part II was excellent.
What did you think about the game? Let us know in the comments below.