Again, Spoiler warning, read at your own risk.
First time posting here, and I thought it best to bring this topic here because I figured we could have a level headed discussion instead of
r/playstation where the circlejerk has a higher chance of toxicity regarding this.
I just finished TLoU2 and honestly it was everything the first game had and then some, very much the same and there isn't anything wrong with that because TLoU was a really good game to begin with.
The main gripe I have with people discussing this game is the topic of Joel's death and how it was for "shock value" or whatever you would like to call it.
Yes, it was shocking to say the least but it's not like the rest of the game didn't do anything to justify the act.
Let's be honest with Joel for a second, he was a broken man who had his life taken from him once before with his own daughter and he made the selfish decision to damn the whole world to save Ellie. To anyone else from the outside who isn't Joel, yeah he's a giant dick who singlehandedly ensured the infection can never be cured.
The only reason why it hit us so hard was because we saw his motivation and his actions from primarily playing as him for an entire game beforehand, and we know exactly all he as done and all he has lost.
Believe me, we all get it but there are always two sides to a story and that's why Abby's story is brilliant for this plot.
As Ellie, we leave countless bodies behind with not even a second thought to who these guys are or what their pasts were. Who gives a shit, we're a woman on a mission! Fuck all these guys, kill the damn dogs, everyone deserves to die.
Then we get to play as Abby and as many eye-rolls and exasperated sighs I had during her initial gameplay sections, I slowly began to see the importance of her story. I had an inkling that she was the daughter of the surgeon before it was revealed, because that was the only thing that made sense, but it was still heartbreaking to see it realized.
At that point, all bets were off for me because I knew by the end of this story no one was going to win. Again, let's be honest with ourselves, the sole reason why Joel and Ellie are seen as the "good guys" is because we played as them and got to know their stories first.
If there was an alternate universe where The Last of Us was made entirely though Abby's point of view, Joel would be depicted as the most vile person on the face of the Earth and we wouldn't give two shits about him because it would be an all out revenge story against the man who doomed an entire planet over one girl.
Then we had the boss fights against Ellie and at that point I was just torn directly down the middle, because I didn't want either of them to die.
By the end of the game where Ellie hunts down Abby for the last time, leaving her newfound family behind, and inadvertently saving Abby from her fate before one last brawl I stared tearing up when Abby almost drowned. Killing her wouldn't have brought Joel back and I know damn well it wouldn't have made the nightmares stop.
Ellie proved her point and they both get to live the rest of their lives…at the cost of two fingers and being unable to complete chords to play the guitar again.
Poetic cruelty at it's finest.
I'm not going to say 10/10 MastaPIECE but it's still a damn good game that I believe everyone should play until the end before giving their final judgement.
When I saw Joel die that early into the game, I knew NaughtyDog had a bigger picture in mind. I had faith in their ability to tell a story and I can say it did pay off and subverted my expectations very well.
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