The Last of Us Part 2: And why the ending would have served as a better ending (for both Ellie and Abby in terms of Neil's 'message')
So... where do I start with this game. The Last of Us Part 2 created by Naughty Dog made a sequel to The Last of Us (Part One) and it had great praise. A simple story of a dystopian world with zombies. Nothing new but TLOU had beautiful graphics, great characters/arcs, and a relationship between a surrogate father and daughter. Showing how a veteran, harsh guy named Joel survived and learned to be happy again after the death of his daughter and what the world had done to him after meeting the Brash but often sarcastic Ellie.
The main point of TLOUS was "A light at the end of the tunnel" it even specifies that but Neil decided to go with "The cycle of Revenge" (mind you he had this idea for the first game but was stopped). Now let's be honest - in a dystopian world there would be blood, gore, death, revenge, etc. Sure, to show the 'cycle violence' should end but that would regardless and for a game that preached that sure showed the EXACT OPPOSITE what the message was saying. It will always continue no matter what but in order to counteract that would be to "add light" in the darkness.
Before I get to the ending, the TLOUS2 in no way was "terrible" and Neil and Naughty Dog (and their consultant Anita) should not get death threats, but for their constant and inconsistent: plot holes, plot armor, bad character arcs, inconsistencies both plotwise, gamewise, and medical wise. I mean, you have to ask yourself in TLOUS the "cure" was such a big thing but it gets dropped so fast and only named dropped for drama purposes.
So. . . That way this doesn't become a full fledge article. The Ending. Neil had an interview that said "Ellie was supposed to kill Abby but they thought it would destroy her humanity" Let's not forget how she had a flashback mid-drowning Abby AFTER her fingers were bit off. So let's go into Ellie's "humanity" 1. through the flashback, when Ellie had found out Joel lied and she could have been a "possible cure" she felt basically "useless" that her life could have meant something (even if that would have meant her death). So she might have been feeling a minor bit of depression and self-worth AND she had a distanced relationship with her adoptive father. 2. Ellie had kllled over THOUSANDS of people before even meeting Abby (first why would she stop to kill Abby then? She already killed so many without stopping. Wouldn't her humanity already be tarnished?) AND 3. You took her LAST REMAINING FAMILY her girlfriend and baby, who she's probably spent the better year or two with them and they end up leaving (and she has possible PTSD).
Now for the ending: Why couldn't after the time skip, Ellie settle down at the farm with the love of her life? Would this have not shown "the end end to the cycle of violence"? And then showing Tommy come back and to say (after he explicable told Ellie don't take on these people and left without her) NOW wants her to go after Joel and guilt her. Hmmm. . . Not instead, say "Joel would want you to be happy" (especially if she wasn't going to go with revenge. Which by the way, Abby did the EXACT SAME THING killing her people to save Lev's life, the exact same thing Joel did to save Ellie and YET Abby was never once sorry - which I do understand her point - but maybe at some point, Abby could have said "I'm sorry". So that if Ellie did go after Abby and did lose everything, she would have SOMETHING.)
So far, Ellie has NOTHING and Abby gets away scot free. INSTEAD, they should have ended Ellie's story and thus STOPPED the cycle violence. And then JUMP TO Abby and Lev, where they were finding a FIREFLY OUTPOST. That sounds exciting and sounds like a good DLC or a good TLOUS3. because when they bump into the rattlers (and they are defeated so easily, their introduction felt so forced, and then have Ellie jump in there). INSTEAD, start up "new enemies" for Abby and Lev. I watched someone on YouTube who came up with ending their capture on a cliffhanger.
Now show ABBY (who should now be the new focus) and she starts the prison riot and she has to find Lev. No this is not revenge, this is survival and it focuses on Abby and Lev (the new prison people who we can have a character bond with throughout the 1-3 hours of Abby growing a bond and trying to escape). And these people could be going with them to find THE FIREFLY OUTPOST, an objective. So you end Ellie's story happy with the end of revenge and you start Abby's story with Lev with survival.
This would have also been a good ending of "Three" or the DLC to show Abby, Lev (and whoever they are traveling with) they made it safely. And the amount of times Abby was around spores WITHOUT a mask or when Ellie bit her and maybe Abby is immune? She could have been the cure WITHOUT KILLING HER (because there was a way through the spinal cord where the virus was attributed).
Overall, the game for the most part was pretty but it had TOO MANY FLAWS and for the most part disrespected a Trans character by dead naming them and using their sexuality as a a PLOT DEVICE (as if we should be better and far from that) and how this game is kind of racist to Black people. Because (like the TLOUS DLC) they are either used as device (the DLC used Ellie's friend to show that Ellie is a lesbian and then being killed off) and several Black people were brutally killed. Even Issac, someone who was supposed to be a major player, was blasted immediately.
That being said, it wasn't terrible, but it was by far "brave" or the greatest game ever. No one should be backlashed or be called out BUT I feel the Naughty Dog team needs to take a step back and review their writing. Learn that "Shock Value" does not make a good story (like how Joel's death was portrayed - him dying was not why people were mad, it was HOW it was done. Even though it CAN be justified from Abby's perspective, but everything still went well for Abby in the end).
Overall, I hope people take a closer look at the game and see the flaws (but to not attack anyone) but realize (that like Uncharted 4: A Thief's End) Naughty Dog isn't as good as they say and their agenda's will continue to compromise a story.
Sorry for the rant guys, but if you made this far I hope you know I am not attacking ANYONE or doing shitpost but expresses why something wasn't a great game and how it could have gone better and still tell a meaningful story without forcing an agenda or what have you. People can like what they want and shouldn't be attacked, if they didn't like it. But like how Sony (letting an NSFW scene slide when they will never accept scenes like that from anyone else) and other reviewers are talking trash or being paid under the table isn't cool and this game should be treated like anything else.
Let people have opinions, good or bad, and let's just enjoy ourselves again.
There's a few things you need to know about me: I love to read, I love to write, have fun and I'm very passionate while doing it.