This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t played the game yet or are still playing the game, then please leave and finish the game first.
I’ve finished playing the sequel of the Last of Us this weekend and I have mixed feelings about it.
It took me about two weeks to finish the game or roughly 25 to 30 hours in total. The game is MASSIVE. Much bigger than I anticipated.
Was the game good? Yes! Absolutely. AM I happy with ending. Not really! In fact I was kind of disappointed. It’s the first time in my life that I started hating a main character (one that I and many others loved so much) and started rooting for the ‘antagonist’.
The game starts where the previous game sort of left off. Joel and Ellie have settled in the new community in Jackson, a lovely town btw and new characters are introduced, Dina, Jessie and Maria the town’s mayor?
No one in Jackson is yet aware that Ellie is immune to the virus, Joel and Ellie are trying to keep it that way. Dina is introduced as a love interest of Ellie. Ellie is still not sure about the whole situation as Jessie a mutual friend is Dina’s ex-boyfriend, which leads to some some interesting conversations. The story evolves from there.
Ellie and Dina are sent on a scouting mission, and while on the mission you’re suddenly introduced to a new playable character called Abby. Abby and her gang seem to have hold up a place called the overlook. Abby is a scary looking, mean massive muscled masculine macho chick and is on a mission to hunt down someone from Jackson.
While playing as Abby, she runs into a horde of infected and you have escape and outrun the horde. While escaping she is pinned down but eventually gets help from Tommy and Joel who happen to be in the area. The three of them have to escape together. After they managed to escape things go bad. Joel is actually the person Abby was looking for and it wasn’t for his autograph. A cutscene reveals that Joel killed her father (a surgeon who was planning to ‘kill’ Ellie) in the first game, so naturally she wants revenge. In the meantime Ellie is outside looking for Joel. Unfortunately Ellie runs into the group while Abby is already introducing Joel to her new friend ‘Mr Golfclub’.
It gets gritty from there.
Joel is killed. Brutally.
For me, up until this point, I wasn’t really surprised or shocked that Joel was going to die and I’m quite disappointed about that. If you had seen the trailers, Ellie mentioned something about revenge so that immediately made me and other people online think that Joel was not going to make it.
After the grueling scene, the gang has some inner discussions and next thing we know Dina rushes in and saves Ellie and Tommy, who were luckily being left alive. Couple of days later after Joel is buried, Tommy and Ellie naturally want revenge.
At this point I got little more excited. “Lets hunt those motherfuckers that killed Joel down. One by one. Let’s Kill ABBY, that bitch!”.
The game continues with Ellie and Dina traveling from Jackson to Seattle to find Abby. This part of the game becomes pretty straightforward. Hide from the baddies, kill them, find items, craft stuff, find codes to safes, explore, learn new skills, upgrade guns, etc etc etc.
During the game some new cool tricks are introduced:
- Using ropes and/or cables in the environment to climb over objects or rappel down. Very nice!
- The gun upgrades are a huge plus. I love seeing how the characters actually take the guns apart and adding, replacing or upgrading parts.
- Using the environment to hide from enemies. Laying down in grass or undeep water.
- Shooting from a proned position.
Other than that you are on your way to kill Abby and any of her friends. So again, pretty straightforward.
While playing the game you are in awe of the details. You notice how the environment and weather changes, how night becomes day and vice versa. It’s amazing to watch.
When it rains or when Ellie dives in the water you see her get wet. The clothes, her hair.
The NPC’s now also have dogs that can sniff you out. Which adds a level of difficulty to stay in stealth mode. And even though its just a game it sometimes is hard to put the dogs down, the realistic animations don’t make it easier either.
And in part 2 we are introduced to new enemies called Shamblers, a stronger version of infected that launch acid bombs and explode in acid when taken down. They are a pain in the ass and recommended to avoid at all cost. I also liked how you can make infected attack other npc’s. A good example of that is in the subway, where some WLF soldiers are hunting down Ellie are scouting an area filled with infected. Throw a glass bottle and see them fight each other. Fun!
After a couple of days into the game, you finally reach the point with the stand off between Ellie and Abby. Up to this point we already covered a pretty large swathe of land and you upgraded almost everything for Ellie so I was already expecting the ending.
AND. HERE. THE. GAME. BECAME. REALLY. INTERESTING.
This is the part where the game/story blew me away. The moment Abby meets Ellie and they are about to kill each other, the story switches to Abby and goes back to 4 years earlier to a scene with a younger, skinnier Abby and her father. Leaving a huge cliffhanger.
It shows Abby’s timeline when Ellie was handed over to the fireflies for the surgery in the first game and explains more about Abby’s father and his involvement with the surgery. How he was the only person in the world who could perform the surgery on Ellie to get a cure and again how Joel shot him.
From this point on, Abby will be your main playable character and you start to realize that this is an ENTIRE new storyline that travels parallel to Ellies timeline. Which means the game is FAR from finished.
Both Ellie and Abby have different sets of skills and use different weapons so with Abby you have to start upgrading her own skills from the start as well.
While playing you slowly come to realize that this mean massive muscled masculine macho chick isn’t actually that mean. In fact, the story shows you the other side of the coin. You will learn more Abby and her friends’ side of the story. The people you hated so much after the scene with Joel are all….well..human. They all have their own lives and while playing with Abby you start to realize that Abby actually ain’t the bitch. It’s ELLIE!
You get to see the human side of Abby and her friends. Manny who angrily spits on Joel in the horrible death scene is actually a charming Spanish playboy, who has love-dens for his girls allover town. Abby’s love interest Owen is also a normal and kind person. Then there is Owen’s current girlfriend Mel who is just an ordinary person but is pregnant with Owens baby, YET she goes off to fight the scars. And then there are the cute Yev and Yara, two friendly seraphites.
You slowly fall in love with Abby and her storyline and slowly you start to resent Ellie more. This development was extremely well done and I hate naughty dog for it.
At one point in Abby’s storyline you get harassed by a really annoying sniper. Together with Manny you have to try to get closer to the sniper’s position while ducking behind objects and fight off a horde of infected. The part where they move through a parking garage and you have to hide as well as fight off a horde of infected is especially frustrating because fighting the infected makes you unable to hide and you get shot continuously. I had to do this part (on very easy mode might I add) a dozen times. Trying to make all shots count and try to not get my health depleted too much, but it made me so annoyed that in the end I just rushed forward throwing pipebombs and shooting around me wildly.
Then, once the sniper starts running and you chase him he also manages to kill your dear friend Manny. At that point you are so aggravated and upset, chasing him with bloodshot eyes: “DIE you motherfucker!”.
In the next cutscene you find out its actually the ‘good’ guy Tommy who was shooting at you. “Tommy? Grrrr, fuck him!”
It really puts everything in perspective. Every conflict has two sides.
Eventually after some dark turn of events the Abby story line meets Ellie’s storyline at the climax. At this point you are Abby and have to kill Ellie. It’s a weird feeling, having to hunt and kill the main character but after following Abby’s storyline and understanding what Abby must7ve gone through I resented Ellie and didn’t care if that was the end of it. Although, of course I was still hoping that both would survive.
To my relief, my hope was answered. “YES! Thank god! A ‘HAPPY’ ending!” as Abby warns Ellie not to look for her again or she will kill her. Then leaves. The go separate ways.
In a final scene you will see Ellie living together with Dina and her baby at a farmhouse. It’s a beautiful ending. “Yes! All ends well.”
…..But not really.
Naughty Dog couldn’t just end the story here. Ellie still has flashbacks and nightmares about Joel and still wants to take revenge. “No! WHY?” “Why are you so fucking stubborn Ellie?”.
We then get taken to a scene with Abby and Yev are exploring a residential area in Santa Barbara. They are anxiously looking for fireflies. Apparently Abby wants to join the remaining fireflies again. All goes well until Abby and Yev are caught by some rattlers.
Ellie who is searching for Abby also falls into a rattler trap that injures her badly. She still manages to escape and find out where Abby is held. She manages to reach the final rattler’s hideout while injured, kills everyone and learns that Abby is at the beach.
The game turns dark when Ellie finds a malnourished Abby with short hair, strung up to a pole on the beach. Yev doesn’t look any better. She cuts them down and the 3 of them go to the beach where boats are located.
In my head i’m going: “Please, for the love of god, let this be a happy ending where they forgive each other. PLEASE!”
But no! Ellie must have a final fight with Abby who actually doesn’t want to fight anymore. They both stab and bite each other pretty bad. In reality neither of them would be able to survive the injuries they had. Ellie almost drowns Abby in the end but hesitates in the last moment and let’s her go. She forgives her and the finally both part ways.
The final cutscene shows Ellie returning to an empty farmhouse that Dina left behind. She plays some final guitar and then leaves the house.
“No! Just no!”. I was really hoping for a happier more beautiful ending. Especially for Abby. Even IF Abby survived, she deserved something better for all the shit that she got. She lost EVERYONE. Her dad, Manny, Nora, Mel, Whitney, Jordan, Alice the dog, Yara and of course Owen.
Naughty Dog made me fall in love with a new unexpected character and then gives her a dark ending.
Actually the more I think about it, the more I want a spin off with Abby, because she definitely became my favorite character. Sorry Ellie.
- The scenery, WOW. The environments look absolutely AMAZING!
- Facial animation. The facial animation was FANTASTIC. 100% realistic. (besides for the kissing scene with Dina and Ellie at the party. I understand that its extremely difficult to animate lips, but seeing the kiss I was really seeing/imagining a ‘push’ brush moving around the lips making them curl together).
- Conversations between characters was really entertaining, many good chuckles.
- The second story line with Abby. Such a great ‘plottwist?’ and storyline.
- Using ropes and/or cables in the environment to climb over objects or rappel down.
- The gun upgrades are a huge plus. I love how you can see the characters actually taking the guns apart and adding, replacing or upgrading parts.
- Getting attacked during gun upgrading. HOLY SHIT! This shocked me. Annoying but I loved it.
- Using the environment to hide from enemies in prone, even in un-deep water.
- Shooting from a proned position.
- Amazing details in everything: Environment, facial expressions (when you kill someone you can see their facial expressions), the sound fx, wow everything was so detailed.
- Even on very light mode, enemies are still pretty difficult to handle. Very light mode should make it a breeze to get through them. Or i’m getting old and unskilled at gaming. Haven’t tried normal mode yet.
- The last boss for Abby’s timeline is a beotch! That took me a couple of tries and there was not enough ammo, even on very light mode, brings us back at #2.
- Dpressing ending. Abby deserved a better ending. She lost EVERYONE. Her dad, Manny, Nora, Mel, Whitney, Jordan, Alice the dog, Yara and of course Owen.
- Not Naughty Dogs fault persee but in the epilogue when Joel plays guitar for the first time, I was unable to continue because my touchbad was broken. I tried to remap the guitar keys but that was impossible. I had to buy a new controller before I could continue the story, that kinda sucked.
Oh and one last thing I want to add. This type of game needs a ginormous TV or VR mode. The amazing graphics are wasted even if you have a big TV because you’re scouring for items in drawers and cabinets and hardly take a proper look at the amazing scenery. Shame really.