By Roman He
“Bist du deppad” – As we would say in Austria to express our excitement.“
Please be warned, that the following part contains major spoiler for the Last Of Us Part II. So leave this page if you haven’t had the opportunity to put your hands on the game yet.
I have to admit, I avoided every single spoiler before I could play the game, and I was thankful because that is why I could experience the game at its fullest.
Ok what wasn’t a surprise was, that Ellie grew up, as we already saw it in the trailers. We knew that she was about to go on a hardcore killing spree for unknown reasons. But for everyone that can count 1+1 together knows, that she might have lost someone – someone important. Since the only person she really had a relationship to (or at least the closest to a relationship) was Joel, we already could think about what happend to him beforehands.
As we saw at the end of Part I, both Ellie and Joel escaped well and alive from the Fireflies hospital and lived more or less happy at Jackson (the city run by Joels brother Tommy and his wife Maria.) Part II starts approximately 4 years after that, but will always give us short flashbacks from time to time, to see what happend during this period.
Parallel to this we find out that a group of young people, lead by Abby was about to search for Joel. These guys belong to the Washington Liberation Front (WLF), called wolves. We find out, that Abby is up to revenge her father, a former firefly, whom was killed by Joel. Her father was the surgeon in charge and was stopped from Joel, before he could kill Ellie in that hospital 4 years ago in order to find an antidote for the virus.
Needless to say, Abby was able to catch, both Tommy and Joel. When Ellie tried to rescue them, she was also captured and was forced to watch Abby brutally murder Joel – and with that, I mean really brutally. Seeing one of my favourite characters getting beaten to death wasn’t that easy to swallow. Tommy and Ellie were left behind, once the wolves finished their job and went back to Seattle. As you can imagine, this was a mistake, all of them will regret sooner or later.
What I didn’t expected was that, besides Ellie, one could also play as Abby. Personally, I think this was one of the best decisions Naughty Dog made. Why? Because with this feature you also have the possibility to see the whole story paralell from Abbys point of view. With this we gladly get away from the typical bad guy, good guy gameplay, where we play the good guy all the time and will eventually end up killing the bad guy and everyone lived happily until the end of their days.
I have to admit I got mixed feelings when I played Abby for the first time, since I didn’t want to play the one responsible for killing one of my favourite characters in gaming history. Honestly I enjoyed watchting her die the first time, I got killed by an infected. After a while and knowing her backstory and what she actually went through, I got more and more into playing her.
What happend then?
Ellie, Dina (Ellies BFF and future girlfriend), Tommy and Jesse (Dina’s ex BF) travel to Seattle on a killing spree in order to find Joels murderers. After we found out, that Dina is pregnant and that Jesse is the father, things get a little bit like a teen romance, where Dina’s torn between Ellie and Jesse, but still decided to stay with Ellie. Abby on the other hand has also a romatic side and we learned that she’s still into Owen, who also helped killing Joel. Owen on the other hand impregnated Mel, another wolve, who hates Abby for still loving him. Then there are Lev and Yara, two Scars children (Scars are the ones fighting against the Wolves over Seattle), who ran away from their people. They saved Abby, when she was captured by the Scars, then Abby saved them and helped them escape in return. Abby gets motherly feelings for them and so on and so on. I have to admit this felt a little like a cheap teenage romance or soap opera at first, but it surley added some extra spice to the story, when one of them got killed from the other party.
Finally, after three days in Seattle (playable with both sides Team Ellie and Team Abby) and a lot of dead NPCs later, we got our long awaited clash between Ellie and Abby. Ellie killed all of Abbys WLF friends and Yara was also killed during a shootout between Scars and Wolves. What felt weird is, that in this part we play as Abby trying to defend ourselves from a raging Ellie. Since Abby was a trained soldier she easily defeated Ellie, killed Jesse, almost killed Dina and wounded Tommy significantly. Abby spared Ellie after Lev gave her the “wtf are you doing, are you insane?” stare and both left Seattle for good.
After some time passed, we found ourselves back on the countryside, where Ellie and Dina were running their own farm. Dina gave birth to Jesse Junior and both, Ellie and her are taking care for him. Ellie still has some flashbacks, where she sees Joel getting killed over and over again. This is when she decided, that she has to face Abby again to close this chapter once and for all.
In the meantime, Abby and Lev travelled to California, because they wanted to find a small group, which seemed to be whats left of the fireflies. Instead finding them they got captured by the Rattlers, a group of extremists. Ellie followed their track and finally found both, Lev and Abby, in captivity of the Rattlers. Ellie released Lev and an exhausted and debilitated Abby from their certain death. After leading them to the docks, both parties were trying to escape from the scene. Ellie did a last minute turn around to fight Abby once and for all. After Abby refused to fight, Ellie threatened Lev, the only person left, that Abby got some kind of relationship to. Therefore Abby forced herself to fight Ellie again. After a short skirmish between the both, Abby bit off two of Ellies fingers and Ellie managed to almost drown her. Just a second before Abby passes away, Ellie remembered a scene of Joel and her, where he telled her that she’s a good person and that he always would have saved her from the fireflies and wouldn’t change a thing even if he could change the past. Ellie then releases Abby and let them both drive away.
Back home to the farm, Dina and Jesse Junior were both gone and the farm house was left behind empty, which tells us that Dina probably went back to Jackson and left Ellie on purpose. Now with her fingers bitten off, Ellie is no longer able to play the guitar. Playing was one of the last things Joel taught to her. After she left the guitar and the farm behind, Ellie closed this chapter once and for all.
I mean, I was used to brutality and blood in the previous game but geez, everything was topped in that game. The fights were so intense, that you felt sorry everytime your character got hurt or has to remove an arrowhead from their shoulder under pain. The fact that you could blow up your enemies with an explosive arrow and have all the shattered limbs lying arround after you finished everyone was just intense, yet so realistic that it gave some sinister vibes to the entire game. You could literally feel the intensity of the fights in this game. Once you hear the screams in vain from your victims and there friends crying for them once they got killed was so brutal. The infected where also re-worked and way more intelligent than in the previous game. TLOU2 also introduced us to the Stalker, the Shambler and the Rat King. All of them where horrific new creatures, that lure in the dark.
The looting and grinding is that, what we loved from the previous game and it was even more enhanced than before. You really want to find that piece of clothing or that extra round of ammo, because you know, that those are rare goods and have to be used very carefully. Both ladies have different playstyles, weapons and technical skills which makes both story arcs more variable. The graphics are even more polished and the game adds features like tall grass, where one can hide from enemies (known from Uncharted) and shattering windows and other glass, which is a neat little thing that adds more realism to the game.
After completing the 30hrs of gameplay on the hardest difficulty, the game left me speechless. The story was really good and very deep. Surely there was still more potential in this game, especially when it comes to the Seattle parties Scars and Wolves. Maybe this could’ve been a little more explored, but that is just my two cents. What I really don’t get is the hate for Abby. She has a really good character development, but I understand that people don’t like her for killing Joel. But hey, didn’t he killed her father first? It is a tough world to live in.
One big question, that will keep us up all night is, will there be another Last Of Us? Let us quickly summarize, what we know. What are potential scenarios for a Last Of Us part III?
Ellies next steps are not really foreseeable. She’s a lone wolf and maybe needs some time, because she knows, that she has hurt Dina. She loves both, her an Jesse Junior, but has no deep realtionship to Dina’s son whatsoever. Maybe she will walk away to live alone for a while, or maybe she will end up apologizing to Dina. Anyway, I am sure, that if a part III will happen, we will see her again, because her story could not be left like this.
Abby went away with Lev and they are on a search for the fireflies. Lev also teased, that he would love to go somewhere else in the world someday. Maybe this could be another potential scenario, we will see some day. Maybe even beyond the american borders, since we know little about what the rest of the world looks like after the global cordyceps infection.
What could also be an interesting scenario, is that we skip the next 10-14 years or even more to have a teenage Jesse Junior as a main character, maybe in search of an even older Ellie? Who knows?
All of the above options, are of course nothing but pure speculations. But in my holy opinion one thing is for sure: Due to the sucess of the Last Of Us Part II, Naughty Dog would be really dumb for not continuing the story at least for a third chapter.