So this one did take me a bit to stop think about everything, take in everything that happened vs immeadeatly saying how i felt. I won’t lie, at first I thought to myself this game is trash, along with many other gamers, and understood their frustration. But I also understood there will be games where outcome is not what you were expecting. However, though I do not agree with how things turned out or how the story developed or the fact that you really didnt get to play as Ellie the whole time, it was a little over 50%. There still so many things that were great about this game, which led me to possibly beleive, did Naughty Dog once again create greatness?
More Spoilers ahead…
How I originally felt, well I definitely did not like how they killed of Joel the way they did. It was brutal, and out of nowhere, in this case happening in the beginning of the game. Even though i had an idea this would happen to Joel, I did not think it would happen so early in the game and how he died too. A group of people formerly part of the Fireflies (from the first game), now turned to a new group known as the “Wolves”, show up and kill Joel while they make Ellie watch. But it wasn’t just her watching it was the fan in me that had to watch that too. Seeing Joel, the father figure he had become in Ellie’s life and protector of her in the first game, meet his end. This was definitely a motivation to get vengeance and continue to play the game to see how Ellie would get her revenge. I initially thought I’d get to play as Joel one last time before he met his end, but not in this game.
Next, to summarize what really and literally almost made me stop playing. Was having to play as the character who ended our beloved Joel’s life…Abby. Please note I avoided all spoilers, and other “theories” to what the game may be about and how it was going to play. I simply only relied on the trailers released by Naughty Dog and Sony. The one that threw me off was the one where you see, who we now know as the scars, dragging a girl to a noose. Now we know that girl is Abby. At the time I thought okay a new character we may play as or someone that helps Ellie. Nope! The complete opposite of what i thought. Finding out I had to play as Abby I dreaded but pushed through thinking I’m only playing for a period of time, to help us understand her point of view. But the thought of her with the golf club was still in the back of my mind as I continued to play as her. I started to realize they gave her weapons and manuals similar to Ellie’s play but i thought well maybe I’m just going to play a fast paced version of the days compared to playing as Ellie. Nope, basically played the game as Abby half of the whole game. I continued to push through figuring “well then I hope the end will be worth it”. Then I got to the end of Day 3 as Abby. I thought this is where we switch back and I can play as Ellie. Nope. I realized I had to fight Ellie as Abby. I literally threw up my controller, like i can’t do this. Took me some time, but I picked up my controller and played. I died several times, because I really did not want to hurt Ellie, maybe it was the Joel in me but I could not do it. Til finally, I took a deep breath and chased did what I needed to do to continue the story. The next cut scene you can see the dark side of Abby again. She was about to cut the throat of the pregnant Nina with no hesitation if it wasn’t for Lev, a young teenage kid “Scar” she helped escape earlier in her story. Prior to that Dina comes in to save Ellie, but Dina is overpowered. Seeing this Abby has a dark soul, could be since the passing of her father, but it seemed she enjoyed killing. Had no problem with how she killed Joel, or how she spoke of other people that were not part of the “W.O.F” (Wolves). She briefly speaks about how “Scars” do the things they do the killing and looting, but Owen (her lover) breaks it to her that “how is that different than what we did as Fireflies”. Abby says its different, but Owen continues with examples of setting up cars to explode and assassinations. They too had a cause. I know people will say well that’s what Ellie was going to do or what Ellie would have done too. Except when Abby was about to kill Dina she was wiling to do it knowing that she was pregnant. Ellie did kill Mel who was pregnant, but onlly knew she was pregnant after the matter. When Ellie did find out she was distraught, deeply bothered, showed empathy and remorse. I know if Ellie knew she was pregnant before killing Mel Ellie would not have done it, no matter how much she really wanted to, she may have just let her go, and Owen knowing they were both soon to be parents. Maybe lock them up, to give her time to escape, and made some bargain Ellie lets them live, they won’t go after her maybe. Who knows. Back to Abby however she was a killing machine and though the story tries to show Abby in new light and someone with empathy that scene threw it out the window for me.
Towards the end you get to play as Ellie and finish the game, but not until you play Abby for a short period. You Ellie and Dina living a peaceful life out in the country on farm, with Dina’s baby boy name “JJ”. Maybe I missed it, but I believe that stands for “Jesse Joel” or “Joel Jesse”. You witness Ellie having PTSD from her watching Joel’s death. Soon after Tommy shows up and says he found out where Abby was, but Dina and Ellie, at first, say they are done with that. Eventuallly Ellie packs up and leaves saying she has to do this, while Dina catches her right before she leaves and basically tells her if you leave her and JJ will not be there. Ellie leaves.
Finally the final boss battle, Ellie basically saves Abby and Lev from another group posing as “Fireflies”, known as the “Rattlers”. Ellie’s fights her way to find Abby and Lev strung up on a pier post by the beach. She cuts them off the post, and Abby leads Ellie to boats to escape the havoc or the Rattlers being attacked by the prisoners Ellie just released. Then Ellie and Abby fight only after Ellie forces Abby to fight since Abby was done and did not want to fight any more. They fight in the water, until eventually Ellie gets the upper hand and begins to drown Abby, until she stops. Lets Abby go. I realized this scene reminded me so much of the movie ending to “Looper”. Where its a never ending cycle of chaos and vengeance and never stops. Until the main character sees he has to stop it himself, by not acting on his will to get vengeance. I think thats what happened here in the final boss fight. Ellie realized she kills Abby, Lev would go after Ellie, and Dina would go after Lev possibly. So Ellie lets Abby be. Unfortunately she realized this too late, because when Ellie heads back she loses everything. Comes home to an empty house, no one…alone. On top of that she lost two of her fingers and won’t be able to play guitar again. Guitar that Joel thought her to play, it was something that she could always look at and remember him of. This one hurt the gamer and fan of TLOU. She’s last seen leaving the house and on her own heading into the woods. Back Jackson, maybe until we see TLOU 3 maybe we won’t know what happened to Ellie, just assume that she is once again alone it a very lonely world.
Overall even though i did not like the story, its outcome, or having to play the person who kills a beloved character, it does not take away from everything else about the game. The graphics, level design, voice acting, game play mechanics, the fighting system, the AI of your foes, the tactics they used against you, but most of all how Naughty Dog thinks you know what will happen, or whats next, but in truth you have no idea. So you just keep playing. The extras in the game of finding the notes laid all throughout the game learning more and more of the story behind the story. It still was an amazing game. With that I give this game 8 out of 10. Because even perfect scored games, don’t always get perfect scores from us everyday gamers. The Unsung Gamers – Fe