Video games are supposed to be challenging. They are supposed to be fun, and sometimes divisive. But divisive in a good way, talking about graphics, the length of the campaign. Maybe even the lack of DLC, but “The last of us 2” is different. Even before it came out leaked images started a fire storm that the developer could not even imagined. They say no publicity is bad publicity and in many ways that is true. But this was something else, this was ugly and a lot of it was uncalled for.
This is Supposed to be Fun, Right?
The first installment was a financial and critical success. The story told and showed every human emotion possible. From desperation, to anger, to selfishness. This would bleed over into the second part of this story. We pick up the story years after the first game left off. Each of our main characters are in completely different places. Ellie is friends with an ex-couple Dina and Jesse. Dina reveals she s pregnant to Ellie and they begin to have a relationship with each other.
This relationship was a big part of the problem people have had with this. Like “Wonder Woman” and “Captain Marvel” people were feeling like a gay relationship was being thrown in their faces. In the same way in those movie cases, they felt like being woke or pro-woman was being thrown in their face instead of telling a good story. The same way ‘Black Panther” was a good movie. but some feel like it was supposed to be a comic book movie, not a pro-black film.
Are You “Woke”?
Let us get back to the story, Joel. The star of the first story returns but not for long. He saves Abby and her crew from the infected and brings them to safety in one of his stash houses. Abby and her crew begin to beat him, and she ask him “Do you know who I am?” Joel says defiantly back “You will have to be more specific.” Abby loses control and beats him with a baseball bat. Ellie comes in to see Abby finish off Joel and kill him with a few more brutal shots to Joel’s head.
This is Ellie’s story arch for the rest of the game. She wants revenge and she wants Abby to die. For some reason Abby let’s Ellie live, maybe because she was not the one that she wanted. But we never truly figure that out. So, we play with Ellie for the first part of the game as she goes on her killing tour. She has a map that helps her locate where Abby has been staying. Once we get to the middle of the game there are a couple of things that happen. Owen who is a love interest of Abby, but we do not know that yet.
Is in a room with his pregnant ex, a lot of ex’s and pregnancy’s in this game for some reason. The two are arguing about something when Ellie comes in and puts them both at gun point. She ask’s them both where Abby is and that they need to point it on the map. As the woman is doing this, Owen decided to play captain save em and forces Ellie to shoots them both. Owen before he dies tells Ellie that the woman is pregnant which Ellie confirms.
This shocks Ellie but no time for regrets, as Abby shows up and the first fight/ encounter happens between the two. Now, this is where we get switched up and begin playing from Abby’s point of view. Here is a big problem, we as the audience know Ellie, we are already invested in her. Now we are getting the point of view from a character that we saw kill off perhaps the best character in the story at the very start of the game.
We do not know her, and we already hate her. Now we get this story that is supposed to make us understand and sympathize with her. She is petting animals and we see how complicated Owen’s and her relationship is. We also find out the reason she left to find Joel to kill him. Her father was the doctor that Joel killed at the end of the first campaign to save Ellie. We see a flashback of Abby walking into the room and seeing the dead body of her father.
Once again this would have meant more to fans if they would have seen this before she killed Joel. As we travel with Abby we get back to the confrontation with Ellie. Abby sees the dead bodies and a fight ensues between the two where Abby gets the upper hand until Dina shows up. Abby gets the upper hand on her and is about to slit her throat until Ellie who is down, and hurt reveals Dina is pregnant. This means nothing to Abby who is still about to kill her until she has second thoughts.
She leaves Ellie but giving her a warning that if she sees her again, she will kill her. From here we fast forward to a bit later and Ellie and Dina are living in peace in a house in the middle of nowhere. It is just the three of them, Dina, the baby, and Ellie. Tommy, Joel’s brother comes and tells Ellie that he knows where Abby is and that she must avenge Joel’s death. Ellie finds Abby and her friend Lim, who was captured by a new rebel group. One that I am sure if there is a part three, we will learn about.
She kills a bunch of the groups men and frees Abby and Lim who are badly sunburned and weakened from their captivity. Before Abby can leave with Lim, Ellie says that they must fight. When Abby refuses, Ellie puts a knife to the throat of Lim and gives Abby an ultimatum. The fight ensues and Ellie gets the upper hand and has a flashback of the last conversation that she had with Joel. Where she told him that she will try to forgive him for lying to her.
With that she lets Abby go and tells her he never wants to see her again. that is end of the campaign portion of the game. To me there was no force-feeding of pro woman or pro-gay in this film. It was simply young people finding themselves in a post-apocalyptic world. Also, the tease that Ellie was gay happened in the first game so this should not have been a surprise. Was some of the logic dumb, sure. Why would Abby let Ellie go twice, especially after the second time when she killed her love interest?
It is clear she will keep coming for you. Also, the flashback of Ellie with Joel made no sense of why she would let the person that killed him go. I mean Joel did some pretty bad things himself so it is not like he would look down on her for taking a life. I mean he took at least ten lives in the process of saving her life. I do believe it was bad storytelling to tell Abby’s story after you show Ellie’s side of the story. But these problems are all problems that happen in a video game sometimes.
A Little Too Cute at Times
Developers get too cute and it bites them in the butt. This is still a good game and did not deserve the backlash it got from people that cannot get past their own personal issues and beliefs. Nothing was thrown in the face of the consumer except for concerning storytelling and maybe killing off the best character too soon in the series and in this game. But to see some of the hate and vitriol was uncalled for and most importantly stupid. This is a video game and not real and the funniest part of this entire thing is. When part three comes out, those people that we’re complaining about. Will be first in line to buy it.