It’s been a 7 year wait but fans have finally got the chance to experience the sequel to the masterpiece of a game The Last of Us and opinions have been divisive to say the least. Critics and fans alike seem to be impressed with the gameplay, graphics and overall atmosphere of the game but the story and the fate of certain characters has many people upset. Some of the reason people give for being disappointed in the game are very valid, others…well not so much…As a huge fan of the first game I really wanted to go in depth and talk about why, although not a perfect game by any means, The Last of Us 2 is not the total shit show everyone is making it out to be.
I suppose I’ll start with the aspect of the game that most people were relatively happy with, that being the game-play, graphics and overall look and feel of the game. The graphics are top notch and a testament to the PS4’s capabilities and will only get nicer with the PS5 release of the game. The amount of small details Naughty Dog goes out of their way to include is amazing. The animations upon killing an enemy are just plain brutal and practically have you feeling the pain of it and the controls are basically the same great controls from the first game with a few updates to make things even more seamless. There are plenty of good things to be said about the game but most of the attention the game is getting is for things people don’t like about the game, so let’s get into that aspect now.
The story is where many feel the game fell short and I can certainly agree with that to some degree. The main plot point that is upsetting fans is the horribly brutal death of Joel, not only do a lot of people feel they shouldn’t have killed Joel but many also feel they didn’t have to kill him off in the way they did, many people feel they disrespected not only Joel but the fans that fell in love with him and Ellie from playing through the first game. I personally feel his death gave players a reason to play again, before that point in the game you have no clear goal, nothing really driving the story forward, I however don’t agree with how they killed Joel off, he should have gone out fighting as that was the Joel we all knew, a fighter and survivor but Naughty Dog chose to kill him off in a way that very much was disrespectful to the character. I can fully understand people being upset about this but I don’t agree that this ruined the story, not all good stories have happy endings and Joel’s fate doesn’t change the fact that this story was an emotional rollercoaster, it evoked real emotions from us, whether good or bad that is what a good story should do.
Another aspect of the story a lot of people hated was the ending, Ellie with revenge within her grasp, after everything she’s gone through and everyone she’s lost, just decides to let Abby live and walks away from it all. As much as I was looking forward to killing Abby after what she did to Joel, once you play through her part of the game and understand her side of things it’s pretty clear to see she isn’t the bad guy, sure everyone is upset she killed Joel, but if we hadn’t all played as him in the original game he would obviously have been the antagonist, it’s our attachment to Joel and Ellie that has blinded some people and made them miss the fact that this is actually an amazing story, you have two sides to the story, two people that start out motivated by revenge alone, as we play through their respective stories and watch them each lose one person after another because of their obsession with vengeance an ending where they both realize it will never stop unless they stop it makes total sense to me, they each learned that killing won’t bring anyone back and violence only begets violence. I also feel that Naughty Dog left room for another sequel, which I’m cautiously excited for already, maybe this isn’t the end to the story…and that fact gives this ending even more hope.
One other complaint people have about the game is that it’s too focused on LGBT stuff and that Naughty dog went overboard trying to make it an inclusive game, I don’t feel this is a valid complaint at all and therefor won’t be giving it much thought here, you want realism in your games? guess what? Gay people exist in the real world…get over it, there is one gay couple in the whole fucking game and if that bothers you for some reason then the problem lies with you not with the game…grow up or go play Fortnite…so in the end is it a perfect game? not in the slightest and it’s by no means as great as the original but it doesn’t deserve even a fraction of the hate that it’s getting…I’d give it a 7/10 which these days we’re lucky to get, most games that come out these days are incomplete and full of bugs, The Last of Us 2 was well worth the $60 price tag and honestly , you can’t say that about many games these days, so give it the credit it deserves at least.