** MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD **
Gamers are a lot extremely hard to satisfy these days. This is the first game where I've watched people not only shut the game down forever after a particular point early on, but also destroy their game disc. That's some pretty heavy disappointment, and that level of dissatisfaction seems to be echoing throughout the internet right now. But, I don't understand it, and here's why:
Major Contention 1: Joel is Killed
This is the deal-breaker for a lot of people, and it's one of the first events in the game. Joel ham-handedly gives up his identity to strangers, and without even asking his surname, they open fire. The level of confidence is what's astounding here, not the fact that he willingly gave himself up. But, in a time when forms of identification no longer exist, how exactly would you identify someone you don't know by appearance? The fact is, Joel has to die -- to pay for the decision he made, and to set the revenge story in motion. If there was no revenge story, this is just another zombie survival game. The only way this was going to happen is if he gave himself up. And yes, Ellie has to witness it. She has to know who she's fighting. And yes, Ellie has to be set free. Otherwise, no Ellie, and no game. The fact they were allowed to live says that his killers have a sense of morality, and that they had only one real intention. Possibly even more so than Joel himself...
Major Contention 2: Forced to Play as the Antagonist
As if watching her kill the beloved Joel weren't enough, players are forced to play as Abby throughout the game. Why is this? Why would you make me care about someone I now deeply despise, and against the games' protagonists? This game's message is to illustrate moral relativism, and being forced to take the side of the opposition is necessary in helping to realize that neither party is wrong. That is to say, between Abby and Ellie. Viewed in this light, we see the only true antagonist is the now-deceased Joel. At the moment of his death, the story could have ended with Ellie and Abby shaking hands, winking, and Ellie saying, "Fair play." But, again, no revenge story, no game.
Major Contention 3: She's a Man!
Some people have expressed their disdain for the game being so laden with SJW and PC politics, and before I came to a certain realization, I was on board with them. Without going into too much detail, in short, Abby is built like a fucking tank. The mind can't help but immediately start to speculate about certain preferences in her personal life, and we begin to assume. Eventually, our initial assumptions are proven wrong, and the mind recoils in disbelief once again. We just don't get it. I didn't either, until I thought about it, and that's when it made perfect sense. Abby's androgynous appearance is the literal representation of moral relativism. The point of all this relativism is to show us what it's like when we are literally made to walk in someone else's shoes, to see their point of view, to feel what they feel. This is an extremely important lesson to learn in life.
Major Contention 4: SHE LET HER GO?!?!
For those that stuck around for it, the game ends with an inevitable fight to the death between Abby and Ellie. Perhaps the only redeeming factor for the naysayers is that Ellie defeats Abby, albeit not in the most thorough way possible as many would have liked. For these people, the ending was a complete farce and let-down, along with the rest of the game. For me, I don't think it could have ended more wonderfully. Abby doesn't want to fight, but Ellie has to do something to avenge Joel. So, she takes pieces of her with a knife, stabs her, comes close to drowning her. She makes her pay, but only just enough. Had she actually killed her, Ellie would have joined the ranks of antagonist alongside Joel. But she doesn't, and therefore is awarded redemption, seals her rightful place as heroine, and gains enlightenment via the necessary existence of Abby. Ellie is immune to the diseases which plague the world, those of which are trapped in an immortal existence of being able to hear but not see, and that fact was beautifully represented here.
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." -- Mahatma Ghandi
The Last of Us II:
The universe is so large that, if life is not rare, a world much like Vanadiel probably exists out there somewhere.
Last edited by XooZQ on Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.