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News Spoilers All The Last of Us 2 leaks/spoilers in here and nowhere else.

Zimmy68

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I guess it's easier to have all of that when you ship without a multiplayer.

Also, I really loved the Uncharted 4 "cheats" such as bullet time, infinite ammo, choosing any weapon and things like that. I would have loved to have those options in this game too after finish it.
Yes, those accessibility "cheats" made combat go from frustrating to enjoyable with a click of a setting.
In regards to your multiplayer comment.
Days Gone - NG+ much later
AC: Odyssey - the same
Control - Still no NG+ and not expected.

I don't remember God of War and Spider-Man PS4, did those have NG+ at launch?
 
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Dick Jones

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Yes, those accessibility "cheats" made combat go from frustrating to enjoyable with a click of a setting.
In regards to your multiplayer comment.
Days Gone - NG+ much later
AC: Odyssey - the same
Control - Still no NG+ and not expected.

I don't remember God of War and Spider-Man PS4, did those have NG+ at launch?
I don't think Spider-Man or GOW had it either. I prefer it that way as when it comes a month later it pulls you in to do a second playthrough and makes it feel fresher.
 
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bishopcruz

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This shit it's not rocket science but so many people seem to be blind to the obvious points made by the game. The WHOLE game it's about the last night before Joel dies. Everything that happens helps Ellie frame her conflict and come to terms with it. The world in TLoU1 and 2 it's only a background, both games are very much focused on the characters of Ellie and Joel.
Abby sections of the game are very much only there to make the player understand what Ellie can't until the end so the final scene it's framed correctly as something futile.
That's adorable.
it would almost be accurate if Seattle didn;t exist. NOTHING OF VALUE happens in Seatte for Ellie's story. Not one single thing. She is not affected by it, she doesn't flash back to it. Nothing. Her story only actually moves in the flash forward. It was a waste of time. Abby's events do not effect Ellie in any way at all. You're right, it isn't rocket science, that actually requires a bit of logic and moving from one point to another. Ellie's murdering of the WLF crew influences Abby's story, that's the entire reason that Seattle exists, it's to move Abby's plot forward. Every bit of the game that is about Ellie and Joel is separated from the actual events in Seattle. All of it. It is all flashbacks, as if they took the opening acts of the game and threw them into a blender.

This game is a powerful ending preceded by a mediocre story that is told in the most pretentious way possible. It has no sense of narrative flow, no sense of building well to a climax and has many signs of a story that was consistently tinkered with until it was just a mess of scenes and ideas.
 

ZZZZ

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what did i just watch?
 
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sainraja

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You're meant to question their moral superiority, in the same way you're meant to question Joel's and finally Ellie's. No one is RIGHT to seek revenge in the game, Joel wasn't right to kill the surgeon when he could have pulled a gun and made them give her up, heck even taking her from there wasn't necessarily right, I could see Joel forcing them to awaken her and let her know the risks but Joel wouldn't do that because he didn't want her to choose this.

Thing is, people say Joel acted selfishly and in some ways ended up being the villain of the story, but what everyone forgets is that, Joel tried to separate himself from getting to that point by asking Tommy to take Ellie to the hospital. Ellie wasn't okay with that and ran off. Joel ultimately agreed to be the one to take her to the hospital but, I think, he knew at that point he wouldn't be able to go through with it.

Moving on to the question of revenge from Abby's perspective, given how they positioned everything, did she really need to kill him with a golf club and make it painfully slow for Joel's character to die? Once I saw that happen, I was thinking Joel must have done something really, really terrible if she feels like he needs to die like this. They made it out to be or it seemed to me like, that Joel did something soooo bad, that he deserved to tortured? They failed to convince me of that. Yes, he caused Abby a lot of pain and I am not denying that, I mean, she lost her father and all but she just needed to shoot him. That's it. This is why I think she's a shitty character and I felt nothing towards her which perhaps was the point.
 
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bishopcruz

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Thing is, people say Joel acted selfishly and in some ways ended up being the villain of the story, but what everyone forgets is that, Joel tried to separate himself from getting to that point by asking Tommy to take Ellie to the hospital. Ellie wasn't okay with that and ran off. Joel ultimately agreed to be the one to take her to the hospital but, I think, he knew at that point he wouldn't be able to go through with it.

What, Joel never knew that her dying for the cure was on the table, no one did? He didn't want to get attached, but that was him trying to avoid future pain. No one knew the cure would kill Ellie until the end of the game.
 

A.Romero

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I'm loving these discussions. I'm glad they are focused on the writing and the consistency of the characters and story instead of all the other initial outrage that came with the game.

There are many good points being made. Personally, I liked the game. Not a master piece of story telling maybe but lest remember we are talking about video games still. AAA video games on top of that. It's way above the average of the medium and it is pushing the genre forward.

I think the main flaw of the game is the way it's structured. I believe it would have been more enjoyable if Abby's and Ellie's parts were intercalated instead of taking us all the way to the climax and then back. It made Abby's section so difficult to actually enjoy. I just wanted to get over it and get back to the theater section just to see what happened.

Overall I think the argument makes sense. Ellie is filled of guilt, both because of her survival (and any happiness she might have experienced since SLC) came at the cost of not exploring the possibility of a cure and because she took it all out on Joel. I feel this is clearly shown on all their interactions during the flashbacks. I recently watched TLOU ending again and since the first moment Ellie is suspicious Joel is lying and asks him directly about it. Joel lies to her face. She wanted to sacrifice herself. Maybe as a tribute to Riley or maybe just to finally rest.

On the other side Joel was an animal since Sara died and until she adopted Ellie. He was a smuggler and thief who didn't really care about other people's lives (except maybe Tess). When escaping the hospital he killed 2 of the medics at the surgery room without real reason. He could have had knocked them down or even shoot them in a non lethal way but he doesn't. He also executes Marlene with a bullet in the head while she is lying on the ground. The only justification that I can think of is that he did it so nobody would look for them again. All those years living comfortably in Jackson together with Ellie made him soft and careless. It's been 4 years or relative calm. The fireflies are disbanded, nobody came for him before. He had no reason to think Abby's group was coming for him. He was careless and he paid for it. Could the scene been written better? Maybe. However, it doesn't mean it's not bad onto itself.

Ellie loved Joel despite the things he done but still feels guilty.

Same with Abby. Her father might have been a potential child murderer but from their point of view there was a justification. In their mind it was the key to save the world and start the recovery process. When Joel kills him it doesn't matter if it was in self-defense, Abby was hurt and angry. She never stopped looking for Joel (which is to me one of the main plot holes, they were 300 miles apart. I bet many former fireflies ended up in Jackson) and when she finally found him she decided to kill him. However, once she does it she regrets it. She shows remorse for killing Joel and that's the main reason she decides to help Yara and Lev (it helps that they spared her life too). She is so remorseful that she spares Ellie. She understands the revenge cycle and knows there is no point in killing her despite Ellie being the murderer of all of her friends, including the person she loved and his partner and child. During those 3 days in Seattle we get to play with her she slowly humanizes the Seraphites and even seems to decide to leave with Owen.

The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that a cure wouldn't have made much of a difference for humanity overall. Infected are a threat but they have learned to manage it. Humans were the real threat. I'm not convinced the Fireflies wouldn't have misused the cure for their own benefit.

At least for me, the things that don't make sense are:

- I know that there was no point in going after Ellie because the Doctor was dead but I'm surprised nobody else thought of avenging Marlene or any of the other people Joel decided to kill.
- How come nobody knew Joel was living 300 miles from where everything happened. I would have thought that Joel would at least change his name. Specially considering he is brother in law of Jackson's leader (highly visible figure).
- I don't get is how is it possible that Ellie couldn't stay away from Abby although she spared her life (and Tommy's!) twice. I think it would have been better if something happened at the theater so the fight wouldn't have finished and then once she heard where Abby was decided to go after her. Ellie sacrificed everything and everyone so she could have her revenge and try to come to terms with her guilt. She got to see that Abby wasn't really a bad person and still decided to go after her one more time. Either she is full fledged psychopath or just wanted to die by Abby's hands and, again, give her own death some meaning. Still, once she got to her, she could have just killed her while she was hanging on the post or even leave her to die but no, she wanted to fight.

Other than that I don't have any problems with the theme of the game regarding gender identity and sexual preference. It doesn't really add anything (IMO) but it doesn't detract from it either. Lev could have be ostracized from the Seraphites by not wanting to participate in the fight, not believing in the prophet or because he decided to spare a WLF's soldiers life and the result would have been exactly the same for the main story.

I don't see myself playing the game again because it is just too long but I enjoyed it for what it is. Would probably still get a sequel on day one (again).
 

Sub_Level

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I believe it would have been more enjoyable if Abby's and Ellie's parts were intercalated instead of taking us all the way to the climax and then back.

Trying to think of how this could work. I do think it could have.

Abby - Hospital Flashback. Transition into~
Joel - Intro
Jackson Prologue (already spliced)
Ellie - Day 1 up to where she gets knocked out.
Abby - Day 1 up to where she gets knocked out.
Ellie - Day 1 up to Theatre. Transition into~
Ellie - Museum Flashback
Abby - Day 1 up to uh that scene.
Ellie - Day 2 up to return with Jesse back to the theatre.
Ellie - Bloater Flashback
Abby - Day 2
Ellie - Day 2 up to Nora kill.
Ellie - Joel Confrontation Flashback
Abby - Day 3 up to Acquisition of Boat
Ellie - Day 3
Abby - Day 3 up to Ellie boss fight
California Epilogue (already spliced)

Cut out the Aquariam flashbacks I recknon. You already spend a lot of time there in the present day. The nature of Abby & Owen's relationship is already implied (and eventually explicitly shown)

Such a crazily structured game lol
 
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bishopcruz

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That’s not true at all.

She is sad that killing Joel brings too much shit unto her and her friends lives. She is basically sad of the consequences, of getting caught, but not of the act.
Yup. She is sad their her friends are dead, but she never once even considered that she might have been wrong in bringing it on them. To be fair it isn't like she has a lot of chances to realize what her torture and murder wrought, She only finds out someone is after them on Day 3, that is unforgivably bad pacing. Seriously how you can have 20 hours of two characters whose stories DEPEND on the other and they have about 12 lines of dialog shared between them. Seattle is just such bad storytelling.
 

bishopcruz

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Trying to think of how this could work. I do think it could have.

Abby - Hospital Flashback. Transition into~
Joel - Intro
Jackson Prologue (already spliced)
Ellie - Day 1 up to where she gets knocked out.
Abby - Day 1 up to where she gets knocked out.
Ellie - Day 1 up to Theatre. Transition into~
Ellie - Museum Flashback
Abby - Day 1 up to uh that scene.
Ellie - Day 2 up to return with Jesse back to the theatre.
Ellie - Bloater Flashback
Abby - Day 2
Ellie - Day 2 up to Nora kill.
Ellie - Joel Confrontation Flashback
Abby - Day 3 up to Acquisition of Boat
Ellie - Day 3
Abby - Day 3 up to Ellie boss fight
California Epilogue (already spliced)

Cut out the Aquariam flashbacks I recknon. You already spend a lot of time there in the present day. The nature of Abby & Owen's relationship is already implied (and eventually explicitly shown)

Such a crazily structured game lol

Not bad. I would put most of the flashbacks early on though. I think they were intended to be the intro to the game, run the guitar to Ellie into the museum, into the Joel confrontation, then follow that up with the dance. You can cut most of Ellie in Jackson, maybe have it be Abby instead, and run that until the game of putt putt.
 

A.Romero

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That’s not true at all.

She is sad that killing Joel brings too much shit unto her and her friends lives. She is basically sad of the consequences, of getting caught, but not of the act.

I remember both Yara and Lev asking her why is she helping them and she says guilt. I took it as she felt guilty for killing Joel. The rest of the people that went there feel shaken by it, the one that shows it the most is Mel, followed by Owen.

There was no reason for Abby to feel guilty for Yara and Lev.

The fact that she decides to spare Tommy and Ellie for a second time despite all that happened drives the point home, IMO. I felt she killed Jesse as a reflex and shot Tommy in self defense. She could have killed Ellie right away and continue with Tommy next. There was 0 risk for her once Ellie had her hands up but she chose not to.
 

Jon Neu

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I remember both Yara and Lev asking her why is she helping them and she says guilt. I took it as she felt guilty for killing Joel. The rest of the people that went there feel shaken by it, the one that shows it the most is Mel, followed by Owen.

There was no reason for Abby to feel guilty for Yara and Lev.

The fact that she decides to spare Tommy and Ellie for a second time despite all that happened drives the point home, IMO. I felt she killed Jesse as a reflex and shot Tommy in self defense. She could have killed Ellie right away and continue with Tommy next. There was 0 risk for her once Ellie had her hands up but she chose not to.

Guilt for what she brought unto her friends, not for killing Joel.

And she spares Ellie and Tommy because reasons, there’s no logic in there the same way the first time she spared their lives didn’t had any logic whatsoever.

Her friends would be alive if she didn’t spare their lives.
 

A.Romero

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Guilt for what she brought unto her friends, not for killing Joel.

And she spares Ellie and Tommy because reasons, there’s no logic in there the same way the first time she spared their lives didn’t had any logic whatsoever.

Her friends would be alive if she didn’t spare their lives.

By the time she is helping Yara and Lev and says those lines she doesn't know Ellie is killing her friends so she doesn't have any reason for her to feel guilty about her friends. Maybe because they all thought it was fucked up and were shaken by it but I think it's more likely it was related to Joel's death.

She spared Ellie and Tommy the first time because her revenge was against Joel exclusively. They argue about it, there is people in their group that think they should be killed and people who think they shouldn't. You could argue, however, that as a soldier and experienced killer she shouldn't have an issue killing without discrimination. I think that in their minds they believe they are not just killers and are only defending themselves against the scars. They had no knowledge of who Ellie is and some of them idealized the fireflies and knew Tommy was a former Firefly. It was a bad idea from the possibility of consequences point of view but it makes sense that they at least considered killing them was worth discussing.

I mean, if you rather think that her actions have no reason instead of considering the possibility the writers intended to show her remorseful (if they succeeded or not is another discussion), there is no point talking about it.
 

sainraja

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What, Joel never knew that her dying for the cure was on the table, no one did? He didn't want to get attached, but that was him trying to avoid future pain. No one knew the cure would kill Ellie until the end of the game.

Yes but that is what I am getting at. He tried to separate himself from Ellie at that point since he was getting attached. Yes, he didn't know the cost to Ellie would be her death but does it matter? I think he was conflicted then, and sure enough that is why it influenced him to rescue her knowing Ellie would die. All I am trying to say is Joel, at that point, knew he needed to separate himself from her since he was letting himself get too close.
 
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PanzerAzel

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Gods honest truth, the first time I played it, It didn't ring in my head "oh Joel, what are you doing? This isn't what you'r character would do"............. I know Joel from one game, a game which he had much development, but I only know him from the first game circumstances. Everyone is settled in Jackson - there's even a note in the hotel flashback scene (finding strings chapter) which drives this home:



I'm on my second playthrough now - and I still didn't question his choice. We're talking about deep characters with established traits and realistic emotions and feelings...... but it's still a fictional character. It's still a polygon character being written by another human being on what they think this written character would do, would say, would act, how they'd evolve and change. But I guess I could have someone argue "No that's just poor writing and an oversight on his character" .................. but after 6 years of living in Jackson and well I guess getting older, Joel seemed softer to me anyway.

edit: Okay so I just went back to that level, I'm sorry, I don't buy that it's inconstant characterisation or even an oversight. They are overrun badly with infected. And they take a massive risk either way - getting back to Jackson - risky, getting to the lodge with Abby - risky. Trust or not, there's only 2 choices, and choosing to ditch Abby and go back to Jackson sounds true to Joel's character right? Because, "he doesn't trust people, he knows better"
Keep in mind, there are just people trying to survive. Not everyone is in factions. They saw a lone woman on her own being attacked by infected.

Joel - "That (door) ain't gonna hold, we gotta go back"
Tommy - "We ain't gonna outrun them all the way to Jackson, we need to barricade that door"
Joel - "Tommy we can not stay here"
Tommy - "The horses ain't making it all that way!"
Abby - "My friends! My friends are in a mansion just north of here. It's fenced in. The perimeters are secure"

Sounds like Joel wants to get back to Jackson. But they wont make it. So.....what's the options?

That's enough for me. I can't figure out why everyone needs more characterisation to understand why they go along with Abby.

People saying it would have made more sense for Abby to save Joel and Tommy because it would give them a reason to trust Abby and her group is ridiculous. Joel and Tommy chose to save her. "Merciless world" or not, you wouldn't think saving a lone stranger would lead them to shooting a gun at your leg.

I dunno, we could go back and forth dissecting how a character should act, or be or how things should have been told :messenger_grinning_sweat:
Your initial post was citing a YT comment inquiring how anyone who took issue with it would re-write it, yet your entire defense of Joel and Tommy's actions insists on restricting it and ascertaining and judging the logic of their choice to within the context of how it was initially written. Well yeah, in that context, you can make a strong defense because that's how it was written, but that's not what you were initially asking. Why is it ridiculous to turn the tables and have Abby rescue Joel and Tommy instead? They chose to save her, yes, AS WAS WRITTEN, which I reject in the answer to that YT comment's question as to how "I'd re-write it". I would completely scrap that entire scenario and make it so Joel and Tommy got themselves into a situation where they were over their heads, near death, and had others come to their aid. That would be far more inline with what we understand of their characters in allowing themselves to get into such an untenable situation.

Really, why did you even make note of that YT comment and the question it posited as to how others would write it to begin with if you're simply going to brush it aside when people answer it and continue to defend it as it was written? You could've done that without bringing up that comment at all.
 
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pixelation

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Finished the game and even though I hated Abby with a passion after what she did... I ended up caring for her (even though I knew that's what ND wanted me to feel) I couldn't help it in the end. And after all was said and done... I think I like it more than the first game.
 

ZZZZ

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I think that in their minds they believe they are not just killers and are only defending themselves against the scars.
She tortures Scars, it's one of her ways to let off steam when she has a bad day.
 

Gods&Monsters

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Beat the game off of a gamefly rental, gonna send it back. This may be one of the most frustrating games I have ever played. It is a narrative mess, and absolute mish mash of ideas and themes, with moments of genuine narrative brilliance. Those moments are all lost behind a game that is both too long for the basic plot beats that it drives home, while simultaneously being too short for the story that needed to be told to be satisfying.

Opening

The opening seems like it was cut together by a 1990s music video editor on meth. We cut between:
1. Prevously on the Last of Us and the guitar intro
2. Ellie in Jackson, four years later, but after the actual intro to these characters, which will be in 25 hours
3. Abby later that night, waking up before a blizzard and running from zombies
4. Ellie's tutorial section, in the hours before Abby wakes up
5. Abby again in real time, saves by Joel leading to the golf game
6. Ellie again, who has somehow been caught up to by Jessie despite the vanishing blizzard. Running into Abby and crew.

That is six major cuts, several of them out of order, no good introduction to any new characters, practically no Joel, the person who we are about to lose, and all done in the name of making Joel's death SHOCKING. Joel is killed by people we don't know, is backed up by people we don't know., and it is hard to get any feel narratively for what is happening. The entire situation is our contrivance. The goal was a reenactment of Caddyshack, and every bit of plot timing and story was twisted to get it to happen.

Why are Joel and Tommy so far ahead of everyone else? We know that just the night before Ellie and Joel had a conversation about forgiveness, they set up a movie night even. They were scheduled to go out of patrol, as Jessie said, so why did Joel and Tommy go out on their own first. The game seems to hint that they had been out for a while, but that CANNOT be the case. Doesn't matter, we need Joel there to save Abby to die. Why are Tommy and Joel unarmed when meeting the wolves? HOW does Tommy not see Abby pull out a SHOTGUN in plain view?

And all of that is almost forgiven by the just amazing performance of Ashley Johnson as she begs Abby not to kill Joel. It is HEARTBREAKING, it is haunting, and it is enraging. It's jut a shame that it is also lazy and let;s be honest predictable (you want to shock the Audience? Have Joel survive this game, no one would have seen that coming.)

Act 1 - Seattle (Elly)
I wish I could say that the pacing and editing work better as the game goes on. they don't. Everyone in Elly's group has a severe case of the stupids. Tommy runs off on his own (though canonically, by himself he would have done better than Ellie, chew on that one) and Ellie and Dina ride cross country to catch him ASAP on ONE HORSE! Maria must not give a fuck about Tommy because a single person riding on one horse is going to make FAR better time than a pair going double. Tommy could have been there DAYS head of them, if not longer. Either way we get to Seattle, Day 1, and it is gorgeous. Dina is fine, a little bland but exploring the city is nice at first, it gets old fast, and honestly the open world section does nothing but slow down pacing when we should get a feel for what is happening in the city.

And what is happening is nothing, but we will get to that later. Day 1 is a mess, nothing of value actually happens story wise. We have a few nice moments between Ellie and Dina, but I do not understand what happens day 1 that requires that much narrative space. The wolves are fairly generic as enemies, though all th artifacts that talk about them paint them in a very scary light, one that more or less gets ignored when we play as them as Abby. Anyhow, Dina gets sick, one of Abby's friends dies, whee.

Day 2 is the height of the gameplay with Ellie. It's not amazing, but it does have the best pacing and moves forward towards an acceptable climax. Story wise nothing of note happens other than Jessie showing up, which again is done solely to have that "You think I'd let you do this on your own." scene as there is NO good story reason he didn't just leave with Ellie and Dina in the first place. Hell, had they just brought Tommy along too, all of Seattle could have been handled in about a day and that time used for more interesting locations and stories, but I digress. The day ends with another strong scene, Ellie and Nora. The scene taken on its own is powerful, showing just how much Ellie is losing herself and understanding what she is willing to do to gain closure. In actual context it kind of fails. Nora means nothing to us at this point, and it is hard to feel for Ellie going dark when there are piles of bodies left behind her everywhere she goes. Just watch the scene and ignore the context, you'll be better for it.

I should talk about the flashbacks here. These are generally good to amazing. Starting at amazing, going to good, then the last one was just pain. This is THE revelation we have been waiting for. The scene where the Lie comes out. And what is it, about a minute and a half long. Insane. We NEEDED a longer conversation there. More had to be said, bring out both arguments. Have Ellie angry but also a little relieved in not being dead but unable to say it because she is angry. ANYTHING. What a missed opportunity. Museum was amazing, and the other one was fine, and I am almost certain it was meant to be a tutorial for Ellie at some point in development. It had that feel to it.

Day 3 - The worst day of the game. A few mediocre combat arenas, a rushed change of heart for Ellie, that both comes out of nowhere and yet is the most predictable thing yet. And then the Aquarium, an amazing set that is used for fuck all. The act climaxes on a wet fart with the deaths of Owen and Mel. We needed a whole day for this? We also have the miraculous disappearing reappearing storm. But more on that later. And I am trying to avoid nitpicking here, I really am. But the leftover map is the most contrived bit of plot in a game filled with contrivances. The taking o stupid pills continues, not even the barest precautions taken to secure their hidden base in ENEMY TERRETORY with two factions at war all around you who are both shoot on sight. Oh yeah, and leave the lights on. BRILLIANT. Anyhow, Abby smash, then flashback.

Act 2 Seattle (Abby)
Abby's day one is better in that it isn't supremely slow. But it does introduce us to the narrative coneit of TLoU2, the humanization of Abby. I'll state this up front I find this to be an almost complete failure, not only because she killed Joel, but because it is handled horribly. I can think of three times that I felt any sort of sympathy for Abby, one on day 3, and two in the epilogue. That is not good.

Abby's flashbacks mirror Ellie's cue "It's like Poetry, it rhymes.". The problem is that I'm sorry Doctor Jerry, the final "Decision" at the end of TLoU1 was always the weakest bit of plot in that game. It didn't matter much back then because the ending didn't hinge on the Fireflies being right, it hinged on being a situation in which Joel would kill for her, consequences be damned, and one in which he would lie to her. That is all it needed to do. Now in the sequel, we need to feel that Dr. Jerry was a good guy, or at least not a bad one, but sorry, he is planning on murdering a 14 year old girl on the off chance of providing a cure. Sorry, this will not work. Save all the Zebras you want guy, you still deserved the scalpel in the neck, the world is a better place with you not in it. I understand Abby's pain, but it isn't enough to even come close to feeling justified. The other flashbacks are about how much she Luuuuuurves Owen, but honestly while he is my favorite wolf, he's about as interesting as carboard.

We then move on to her Day 1. It's fine. Mel going out on the front lines is the dumbest shit ever, Manny is a tool, as are most of the Wolves. Somehow she Mel and Manny are ambushed SECONDS outside of their base, and no one comes to provide backup? No wonder the wolves have lost the city, they suck! It you can allow the people you are at war with to have DOZENS of foot soldiers and cavalry spitting distance from the ENTRANCE to your base, you need to fix that shit. Either way, we eventually find out that Owen has gone Awol, and Abby to the rescue. In what takes all together too long she makes her way across Seattle, is captured, then saved by Yara and Lev. Inoffensive but ultimately bland characters. Lev doesn't even HAVE the personality of cardboard, and Yara has no personality outside of "protective older sister" After that it's time for drunk Owen. He whines, and they talk about everything BUT the horrific murder that set him on his downward spiral, because that might be revealing about character.

After the worst sex scene this side of Ride to Hell: Retribution the day thankfully ends.

Day 2 is Abby's weakest. Hope you like wandering through boring building after boring building. On the bright side, it has a boss fight. And yeah, that's the entire bright side. Mel is back, she somehow went AWOL and by herself with no trouble at all despite being preggers as fuck. And that is about it. It really is a waste of a day. What drives me nuts is that with Tommy and Ellie on a rampage we should be getting more of a feel for how what they are doing is affecting Abby and crew, have some clue that their sins are coming back to bite them in the ass, but we don't get that at all until day 3, and even then it is almost completely forgotten till the end.

I will take a moment to single out Owen, the only member of the wolves who seems to have a conscience. He is tired of the killing, the horrible shit we know via log entires that the wolves have to do, Joel's death appears to have been a turning point for him, but we can't capitalize or dwell on that, because that would require actual dialog between characters, and we can't have that. The ENTIRE hospital quest was nothing but filler, hell Day 2 just had no real reason to exist. It isn't like Abby finds Nora dead. Her being at the hospital changed nothing, meant nothing. Are we sensing a theme here?

Day 3 - The day of the unchecked stupidity. Welp, Lev is an idiot. So we have to save him. People die. The end.

Oh right, more. Soooo. we run into Manny, he dies because Tommy learned how to IDKFA. Mel calls Abby a piece of shit, and I agree with her, but have no idea why she said it now and how it was supposed to have an impact. Owen is mopey and sad, so business as per us. Abby decides NOT to warn the love of her life and his baby mama that there is a crazed Texan on the loose out for their blood. Not like they can just take a five minute detour into the aquarium... oh wait. Anyway, some great action during these scenes on Scar Island, Yara and Issac die. Who is Issac, the single most wasted character this side of Joel. He just kinda exists to spout cliche evil commander speak, and get shot.

Ok sidebar. Yeah we have all heard the jokes that Abby is large, AND SHE IS, but what the fuck do the scars feed their people? Those sledgehammer weilders make Abby look tiny, and there are dozens of them? One as a boss fight? Ok sure whatever, but a veritable army of goliaths than can crack walnuts with their rock hard buttocks? FUCK THAT!

So Abby loses her gear and escapes with Lev, saving him for the THIRD fucking time in as many days, but whatever. She gets back to the aquarium, and Owen Mel and Alice are dead. And she is broken.

Ok all jokes aside. Know how I mentioned I actually felt empathy for Abby at three different points? This was the first. I mean story wise again, it was a mess, but the acting and direction sell that scene. Everything she cares about is dead, Lev is the only person she has left, and it is devastating. Imagine how effective it might have been if the aftermath of them killing Joel was a theme that was discussed more than just in passing. Imagine of Abby had felt actual guilt for how it went down. Maybe she sees Ellie in her sleep, crying for Joel's life, maybe she tries to lie to herself, and say its ok. Maybe different people in the wolves feel differently. I think all of these ideas ARE in the game, but they aren't executed. But that is the problem with all of Seattle.

So we get to the fight. The one that every single fucking person lost on purpose at least once. The fight was an amazing concept, stalking Ellie as she unts you at the same time. doding her traps and trying desperately to gain the upper hand. Or it would have been if it didn't end up being, grab bottle auto aim at her head, beat the young girl into the pavement. Repeat two more times.

The climax, if you can call it that, of Seattle lands like a juicy fart. We had a chance for Abby to reflect on her actions, see how everything led to this, how her friends are dead, in part because of her. How this girl is just like her, how everyone suffers. Nah fuck that, instead, let's have Lev's puppy dog eyes stop Abby from murdering a pregnant woman. The end.

Looking back at Seattle
So yeah, Seattle sucks. It sucks hard and it sucks long. We do have brief pockets of fun gameplay and the scenes I have mentioned above, but Abby's time in Seattle barely needed to exist, and Ellie's time there absolutely didn't need to exist. Honestly, remove Seattle from the narrative for Ellie, and what changes. Jessie is alive, and Tommy is less fucked up. Ellie isn't haunted byt the events of Seattle, she is haunted by the death of Joel, which she was before. Nothing changed. The revenge narrative just got more and more muddled. If Seattle was going to be a thing for Ellie, then it needed to be 1 to 2 days at most. Day 1 could have been about an actual hour of content, maybe two, Day 2 was fine as it was, and Day 3... well that actually needed a climax of some sort for Ellie.

Abby needs Seattle, her entire story revolves around it, but even then Ellie plays such a small role in it, if you killed her friends in other ways not a lot would change going into the endgame. LEv and Yara were fine ideas, but Abby becomes attached way too quickly, eventually being able to murder her own comrades without a second thought. She ends in a decent place story wise but how she got there was not worth the trip. And she, and her crew never actually got interesting or likable. Too many characters, not enough actual drama.

The endgame, aka the best part of TLoU2
So now we move on to the most controversial part of the game, the endgame. I will say this, taken on its own. I think it works well. Far better than I expected it to. Ellie is broken, she is unable to move on and give herself closure. She is living a happy life on a farm that seems like it exists only to lure out hunters to steal their shit, but it is just a sham. She loves JJ and Dina, but she can't move on. People say they don't get why Ellie made the choice she did. She never had another choice. She was BROKEN. It's sad and it's powerful, and it has nothing to actually do with the rest of the game.

So again, do a thought experiment. Cut the story at Joel's grave, then cut to the Epilogue. What changes? What have we learned about Ellie in Seattle that is evident here? Nothing, in fact all of her actual character development is handled better in about 10 minutes of this epilogue on the farm than in 10 fucking hours running down one way corridors in Seattle. Hell, just say Jessie died, and Tommy lost an eye from the beatings of the wolves and it even would make perfect story sense. The ending shows just how pointless the last 20 hours have been.

We also get the introduction to Dina and Jessie, 25 hours too late. I am a fan of non linear storytelling but this was just awful. The scene has NO REASON to be here. And it is clearly designed to be at the beginning of the story. Or do you think Naughty Dog is in the habits of showing part of their endings as the first real reveal of the game? Great scene, but needed to be back where it belonged in the goddamed intro.

Moving on, Ellie leaves, Dina gives an ultimatum, and again an actual conversation would be interesting here, so fuck that, we're moving on. We see Abby and Lev explore, then our hero, Fat Geralt comes in and elevates the ending to amazing.

Santa barbara is awesome. It, more than any other location, felt like Last of Us 1. Smaller, but well designed fun to explore and gank people in. A narrative told not through a ton of journals, but by the layout of the town. You learn more about these rattlers in under an hour than you did about the WLF in the first day. Ellie is full on Girl on Fire, and it is glorious. She is acting like the smart and capable person we know she is. One side note, literally, the second place I felt empathy for Abby was finding one of the letters she writes to Owen. You can tell how deeply it affected her. Again,, it would have been nice to see this more in the actual game, but I'll takes what I can get. And seeing Abby broken, I get my third actual bit of empathy for her. Karma is a bitch, but you almost feel it might be enough.

Anyhow, the final showdown is a straight rip off of Kojima, and it's glorious. I mean, Abby should be dead halfway across the shore from all the cuts she has, but whatever. It's desperate, it is brutal and you can see every bit of complex emotion on Ellie's face. If the rest of the game was this high quality in its storytelling, it would be my game of the year most likely. But it isn't. The scene is almost completely ruinged buy the one second flash of Jeol with his guitar. IF you wanted to do flashes, why not show the flashes of all the people Ellie has murdered? SHow how tired she is of the death, show her looking at Lev, show lev begging for her to stop so she sees herself. Show ANYTHING.

But even with that, I can't say I didn't feel that I kind of understood her stopping. In that scene, in that desperation, in that moment, she felt empty, and I did too. It worked more or less as intended. But that's the problem. The ending worked. even as she gets home and has the best flashback in the game, the best acting of Troy Baker's career is in just a half dozen or so lines, and it is touching, and heartbreaking. It's beautiful. But the journey to get there was so uneven that the game as a whole still fails. And it's a damn shame.

Final thoughts
I understand why some people like the game, even love it. The highs are exceptionally high. The only performances that have come close to this are late game Death stranding, and those didn't have the actual writing to back them up. If LoTU was paced better, it would have been a masterpiece. If Seattle had a reason to exist narratively, if the emotional journey of Ellie was a journey and not just a half dozen pit stops, this would have been something special. But it's not. 90% of this story is either nonsensical or worse unnecessary. Taken on their own the dozen or so amazing scenes can be shown as effective storytelling. But a game is more than the sum of its parts. And sometimes, it is even less.

I wish TLoU2 was a better game than it was, but all we are left with is unfulfilled potential.

TL;DR TLoU2 is a mess. It is at the same time the most impressive narrative I have seen and the worst. Ending is the best part. But the game is 90% filler.

Wow I agree with all your points. You should send this to Neil. The way he handled Abby, Lev and his new characters is just awful. I felt nothing but hate for Abby, even at the end while they were fighting I was hoping they would both die so I could get it over with.

No more TLOU3 please unless it's a prequel with Joel and Tommy. Bury all these shit characters forever.

The Fireflies though? I'm not as impressed with how part 2 portrays them. I felt like I was meant to see them as some noble, organised group that were a kind of inspiration, or something along those lines. That's not how I remember them in part 1. I remember incompetent domestic terrorists who were almost completely wiped out before Joel even met Ellie. I remember monsters who were ready to murder a child in a desperate Hail Mary. I feel like part 2 really wanted to make them into something they never were, for some reason.

Because of ABBY, the fat pig they retconned in the sequel. They were so desperate to make it fit, they had to go back and do fake flashbacks when anyone with a brain knows that's not what happened.
 
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A.Romero

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She tortures Scars, it's one of her ways to let off steam when she has a bad day.

I think I missed that part. In that case that's a serious lack of congruence for the character.

One thing is to kill in an exaggerated sense of self-defense and another thing is blowing off steam by torturing.
 

ZZZZ

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I think I missed that part. In that case that's a serious lack of congruence for the character.

One thing is to kill in an exaggerated sense of self-defense and another thing is blowing off steam by torturing.
It's one of her dialogues when they are walking through the prison.
 
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Woggleman

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In their eyes the Scars are the enemy. They see them the same way American troops view Isis and Al Qaeda so they have dehumanized them. When we first start as Abby she has that war mentality where the other side is dehumanized. It is only when two Scars save her from being gutted and disemboweled does she change her perspective.
 
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Jesus93

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They tried to tell a story of revenge in a different way...It didn't work for me but maybe because I don't see the point in telling another story about violence and the consecuences of violence, the new characters don't have any good development, Abby starts to care about Lev and Yara too quickly, she has a nightmare and suddendly now she is willing to put her life at risk to go back to where the kids are and help them, and later even starts to kill her own people, everything in less than 3 days, I felt pity for Abby not because she was a good character, I felt pity because by the end of the game she gets fucking slaved and tortured but Ellie could have finish the job by just shooting her with a gun, leaving her guns on the boat was stupidly convinient, just as the many times that Abby gets saved.

Ellie's and Dina's relation was already stablished by the begining of the game so there isn't much to say about that, Ellie shows remorse about killing a pregnant women but she already killed dozens of people before that, and later she continuous to kill more in santa barbara, I guess she forgives Abby because of that flashback with Joel but honestly that doesn't make sense to me, by Ellies point of view Joel did something terrible but she still loves him, for Ellie Abby is just a murderer, she killed Joel and Jessie and almost killed Dina and Tommy, I don't see why she would forgive her by remembering that she forgives Joel, and again she could have killed her with a gun, that fight in the water was dramaticaly stupid.

The game is not bad but the story is far from great
 

sainraja

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She tortures Scars, it's one of her ways to let off steam when she has a bad day.

Hmm, interesting. I missed this too. But they didn't really focus heavily on this so I am a little confused now. If they had shown this aspect to Abby I would understand why she chose to take her revenge in such a twisted way (she's a psycho) and that's how they should have shown her even when we played as her. I think they missed that opportunity if what you say is something they mention somewhere.

My main problem has been how they chose to end Joel's life at the hands of Abby with a golf club/being tortured. She wanted revenge and they tried to show us her perspective of why (her father) but she did not need to torture him. Not sure if this matters but I will say it, before the leaks and the controversy, when they first showed the trailer and from what I saw everyone saying of the first trailer, I figured Joel was going to die in the game or had died off-screen and we'd start with Ellie so this much I knew from the get go. The scene they showed, which everyone says was used to mislead us (it was), I thought was either Ellie imagining Joel being there, or was from a previous time within the 5 years time gap.
 
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sainraja

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They tried to tell a story of revenge in a different way...It didn't work for me but maybe because I don't see the point in telling another story about violence and the consecuences of violence, the new characters don't have any good development, Abby starts to care about Lev and Yara too quickly, she has a nightmare and suddendly now she is willing to put her life at risk to go back to where the kids are and help them, and later even starts to kill her own people, everything in less than 3 days, I felt pity for Abby not because she was a good character, I felt pity because by the end of the game she gets fucking slaved and tortured but Ellie could have finish the job by just shooting her with a gun, leaving her guns on the boat was stupidly convinient, just as the many times that Abby gets saved.

Ellie's and Dina's relation was already stablished by the begining of the game so there isn't much to say about that, Ellie shows remorse about killing a pregnant women but she already killed dozens of people before that, and later she continuous to kill more in santa barbara, I guess she forgives Abby because of that flashback with Joel but honestly that doesn't make sense to me, by Ellies point of view Joel did something terrible but she still loves him, for Ellie Abby is just a murderer, she killed Joel and Jessie and almost killed Dina and Tommy, I don't see why she would forgive her by remembering that she forgives Joel, and again she could have killed her with a gun, that fight in the water was dramaticaly stupid.

The game is not bad but the story is far from great

Yeah, agreed 100%, I mean, I really don't understand how the writers didn't catch all those issues.
 
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Just finished the game. Loved the second part. It had more horror elements and more interesting characters. Hated it when Manny died like that and Abs left his corpse there. Lev and Abs are the superior duo

Hoping to see the continue of their story in part3

Was an absolute joy to play it
 

bishopcruz

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Ellie and Dina

Ah, they were barely a duo. I thought you meant Joel and Ellie and my brain was about to explode. Honestly I didn't find any of the duos particularly great. They also never stuck around as duos long enough for them to really leave much of an impression. Dina vanishes after Day1 , Jessie isn't really around for that long either. Abby and Lev are only really a duo for part of Day 2, and it's the most boring section of the game, so it never stuck with me.
 

Ulysses 31

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Ah, they were barely a duo. I thought you meant Joel and Ellie and my brain was about to explode. Honestly I didn't find any of the duos particularly great. They also never stuck around as duos long enough for them to really leave much of an impression. Dina vanishes after Day1 , Jessie isn't really around for that long either. Abby and Lev are only really a duo for part of Day 2, and it's the most boring section of the game, so it never stuck with me.
The game also tried too hard in a lame manipulative way by giving Abby better weapons, mobility and her sections most of the set pieces and have her play with dogs and helping other people in need.
 
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Thabass

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Even tho I loved the game, the writing and pacing of the game is pretty bad. It's not at all consistent. At the ending, even though I'm happy that Ellie let Abby live (I actually liked Abby), it just went against her character and why she even left Dina to begin with. Why go through all she did, get bad injury only to NOT accomplish her goal.

In the end, I liked Abby more because I thought she was a complete character and was pretty consistent in her own right. Ellie should have killed Abby in the end, but at the same time, I'm happy she can live.

It's a weird thing with me I guess. But I didn't hate the story at all and really liked it. But in the end, there's really nothing that happens in this game that shows why revenge is a dish served cold sometimes. Other than both characters lose their love interest (Abby's Owen dies by Ellie, and Dina leaves Ellie). I feel like it would have been better to kill one of them off.

Now it just leaves a hole in the story. Where does it go now? I dunno. Maybe I need more time with it. I did just finish it yesterday.
 

Woo-Fu

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Just finished, great game.

I kept expecting a bit of backstory on why Abby is a gym rat. That, coupled with a diet that probably isn't even possible in a post-apocalyptic world is the only way you'd achieve and maintain a physique like that, man or woman.
 

Woggleman

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I am replaying it on NGplus and this game really needs some sort of arcade mode where you can just go into combat situations for the heck of it. The combat and gameplay is that good. Going into a house booby trapping it with mines then coaxing them to run in their after Ellie and then they blow to shreds is so satisfying. I didn't appreciate the mines as much on my first playthrough, No matter what Neil Druckmann said this game as fun as hell.
 
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SkylineRKR

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I think Abby's side should've been the game honestly.. The game is almost twice as big as part 1. The whole game suffers from extensive padding but Ellie probably even worse as her story and motivations are really straightforward.

I can understand Joel being offed. He made a choice that doomed humanity essentially, he killed prominent Fireflies. They were on his ass. He had it coming one way or another. But the way he was killed doesn't fit Abby as we know her in almost every other scene. Ofcourse, everyone in this world is a killer and battle hardened, but a shot through the head would've been a better fit.

But about Ellie. She goes on revenge, finds a member, kills, cut back to cinema. Rinse; repeat. It doesn't really go anywhere. I understand that ND wants you to feel bad in hindsight, those people are first seen as evil NPC, but during the second half they're actually rather okay and full of feelings and guilt. Less sympathy, however, I developed for the Jackson crew. Dina, Jesse etc hardly have any development and what they have is worse than that of the Wolves. Its like they put the first part in as an afterthought and because they wanted Ellie to be the lead despite not having much development for her.

The story is padded out and kind of pretentious. Ellie just goes on a revenge spree. Abby gets issues with her feelings for Owen, searches him and gets into trouble because of it. Gets a nightmare and suddenly risks everything to save 2 seraphites (natural enemies of the wolves). This is the gist of it pretty much. Its a missed chance that they never kind of cross.
 
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Cactuarman

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Finished the game and even though I hated Abby with a passion after what she did... I ended up caring for her (even though I knew that's what ND wanted me to feel) I couldn't help it in the end. And after all was said and done... I think I like it more than the first game.

Same here. The more I think about it the more it impresses me that they even tried something like this - making you hate Abby and then attempting to make you care about her. It definitely succeeded with me. Having to fight Abby was viscerally difficult. Similar to the end of the first game but this felt more personal.

Just finished, great game.

I kept expecting a bit of backstory on why Abby is a gym rat. That, coupled with a diet that probably isn't even possible in a post-apocalyptic world is the only way you'd achieve and maintain a physique like that, man or woman.

99% sure it's overtly stated but now I'm questioning myself - maybe I just inferred. Her obsession for revenge means she's probably in that giant gym for several hours a day, at least when she's not recovering from some skirmish or something. You also walk by A LOT of meat in the stadium.
 

TheTurboFD

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I think they should have done the story in a different way even though I enjoyed it the way it is now. I probably would have made these changes to the timeline

1. Abby flashbacks of dad and Joel killing him
2. Current day Abby with a bigger team near Jackson
3. Team attempts to attack Jackson to get to Joel and kill him
4. Dina and or other important people are killed in the attack but they're fought off due to the size of Jackson's force
5. Ellie wants revenge due to friends deaths and Joel assists as it was shown in the previous trailers
6. They make their way to Seattle and shoot shoot hide hide bang bang killing Abby's friends
7. Towards 3/4 mark kill Joel in whatever way that is good for the character leading to Ellie second guessing her revenge as its what got him killed
8. All events happen and we're at the end with the boats and the fight blah blah and Ellie has the thoughts on what she's lost trying to get here and if it was worth it thus letting Abby go.

again my opinion but it's also why I would never be a writer :messenger_tears_of_joy::messenger_tears_of_joy: Would have loved more Joel time.
 
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Woggleman

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I love the story as it is but having Joel get kidnapped and Ellie going after him could have worked. He gets kidnapped by the WLF on orders from Issac who wants to subject him to some sort of trial for his crimes since he was friends with Jerry which was something that was supposed to be explored in the game but was cut. Ellie eventually finds him then it cuts to you playing as Joel while him and Ellie escape the city that is a warzone. She finds out the reason that they kidnapped him which puts some tension between them but when she finds out that they actually tried this experiment in Seattle on some immune kids and they were killed for nothing she forgives him and is grateful that he didn't let her die for nothing. With the truth finally out they end up with a close relationship than before. In the meantime Tommy and Jesse get kidnapped by the Seraphites so Joel and Ellie have to go their island to rescue them and are able to use the chaos of the war to save them. After that scene it shows the group in a stolen WLF back on the way back to Jackson contemplating what the future holds.

I think that is the feel good story that would have made many people happy.
 

Cr1ptkeeper

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Finished it this week. My thoughts on the story (spoilers obviously):

First of all, when it was revealed the murder of Abby's dad was the reason for the whole story I immediatly thought of the henchman scene in Austin Powers.
I was dissapointed the story was about you, the player, killing a meaningless NPC in the first game.
The ending was not a good thing for me personally. To me, both Abby and Ellie are psychopats and just general scum so I hoped both would die... the world would be a better place without them. They obviously enjoy killing. Druckman made sure I didn't care about Ellie anymore when I got to the end.

That last shot of her walking of into the distance... I wonder what she's up to, how many people she'll kill if that person denies her something. I hope Abby stays as far away from Ellie as possible.

I did like the gameplay and graphics though, the production values were top notch!
 
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REE Machine

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Coming close to the end of the game, just got to Abbys boat as ellie

people will hate this but this game needed more Abby, now I know what you're thinking but hear me out. I dont mean grown up Abby I mean child Abby with her dad and it SHOULD have happened right at the beginning of the game, the first thing actually. The reason I care about Ellie and Joel so much is because of the dynamic they had and how close they were in the first game. Sure we got snippets of that with Abby and her dad but not enough for me to care as much. The game at the start should have had 3.5 hours of Abby as a kid and her and her dad surviving, much like Joel and Ellie. Defeating clickers together, seeing the dad make sacrifices for her which then makes their relationship not paper thin. Have them struggler and even fight off smugglers and give them hard moments where they have to come together. At some point have them be saved by the fireflies from a pack of hunters and just before they are killed by said fireflies have the doctor explain who he is, the help he can provide, his background etc and knowledge in the field. Then in comes Marlene and thus we see them initiated in the fireflies. Then it picks up months/year later where you see Abby trying to find her dad, save the Zebra together, get word that Ellie and Joel have arrived etc. To then end with her dads death, her crying then the title card finally appears "the last of us part 2" and cut to joel explaining to Tommy what happened while cleaning the guitar. As much as I like Joel this would have given me more time with Abby to understand her, grow a relationship with her and her dad and then watch Joel explain the situation to Tommy and be like "well....you fucked up bro" then we also have established motivation for her character and revenge early on. I feel this one change would have made the story flow just a little more better and overall set the pacing and tone very early.
 

bishopcruz

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Coming close to the end of the game, just got to Abbys boat as ellie

people will hate this but this game needed more Abby, now I know what you're thinking but hear me out. I dont mean grown up Abby I mean child Abby with her dad and it SHOULD have happened right at the beginning of the game, the first thing actually. The reason I care about Ellie and Joel so much is because of the dynamic they had and how close they were in the first game. Sure we got snippets of that with Abby and her dad but not enough for me to care as much. The game at the start should have had 3.5 hours of Abby as a kid and her and her dad surviving, much like Joel and Ellie. Defeating clickers together, seeing the dad make sacrifices for her which then makes their relationship not paper thin. Have them struggler and even fight off smugglers and give them hard moments where they have to come together. At some point have them be saved by the fireflies from a pack of hunters and just before they are killed by said fireflies have the doctor explain who he is, the help he can provide, his background etc and knowledge in the field. Then in comes Marlene and thus we see them initiated in the fireflies. Then it picks up months/year later where you see Abby trying to find her dad, save the Zebra together, get word that Ellie and Joel have arrived etc. To then end with her dads death, her crying then the title card finally appears "the last of us part 2" and cut to joel explaining to Tommy what happened while cleaning the guitar. As much as I like Joel this would have given me more time with Abby to understand her, grow a relationship with her and her dad and then watch Joel explain the situation to Tommy and be like "well....you fucked up bro" then we also have established motivation for her character and revenge early on. I feel this one change would have made the story flow just a little more better and overall set the pacing and tone very early.

The insurmountable problem with Abby is not JUST that, it's that the thing she wants revenge for is let's say... divisive at best. Had it been the original plan of her being the daughter of someone Joel killed in his hunter days, then she would by her nature be more relatable.

I have noticed a big correlation between people who think that Joel did the wrong thing at the end of TLoU1 and people who really end up liking the game. I do think that the game as a whole needed more Jackson, and more Santa Barbara and a fuckton less Seattle. Seattle needed MAYBE three days between the two of them, but it's insane... all of Abby's character development her relationship with Lev, how she was changed by the death of her friends, ALL of it happens off screen. We see her redemptive journey for about five minutes before cutting back to Ellie, who suffers from the same problem. The structure of this game is an absolute terror.
 
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Ellery

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Feb 17, 2019
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Coming close to the end of the game, just got to Abbys boat as ellie

people will hate this but this game needed more Abby, now I know what you're thinking but hear me out. I dont mean grown up Abby I mean child Abby with her dad and it SHOULD have happened right at the beginning of the game, the first thing actually. The reason I care about Ellie and Joel so much is because of the dynamic they had and how close they were in the first game. Sure we got snippets of that with Abby and her dad but not enough for me to care as much. The game at the start should have had 3.5 hours of Abby as a kid and her and her dad surviving, much like Joel and Ellie. Defeating clickers together, seeing the dad make sacrifices for her which then makes their relationship not paper thin. Have them struggler and even fight off smugglers and give them hard moments where they have to come together. At some point have them be saved by the fireflies from a pack of hunters and just before they are killed by said fireflies have the doctor explain who he is, the help he can provide, his background etc and knowledge in the field. Then in comes Marlene and thus we see them initiated in the fireflies. Then it picks up months/year later where you see Abby trying to find her dad, save the Zebra together, get word that Ellie and Joel have arrived etc. To then end with her dads death, her crying then the title card finally appears "the last of us part 2" and cut to joel explaining to Tommy what happened while cleaning the guitar. As much as I like Joel this would have given me more time with Abby to understand her, grow a relationship with her and her dad and then watch Joel explain the situation to Tommy and be like "well....you fucked up bro" then we also have established motivation for her character and revenge early on. I feel this one change would have made the story flow just a little more better and overall set the pacing and tone very early.

That would severly impact the player being able to make an emotional connection to what Ellie feels like during the end of the jackson chapter and her revenge trip through three days of Seattle. I think it is vital to hate Abby as much as possible when you start your journey.

The beginning of the game is less about important story developments but rather something like a "previously on" recap of the most important moment of TLOU1 and it gives player a last chance of playing Joel and connecting to him through the beauty of the scenery (and also the beauty of the graphics of the game). It makes what happens a couple hour laters (gameplay time) a lot harder to digest.

The more and deeper I think about the game (after finishing it) the better I find the structering. Even though it's a bit unclean it's still the best way to have the desired emotional impact. It is the best thing about the game. It breaks my heart every time I see it. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. After I finished the game I was lying in bed for an hour digesting the game and especially the very last scenes. The game consumed me and a game never made me feel that way and never impacted me as much as TLOU2 did and then it was clear to me I just played my favourite game of all time and I will do it all over again.