After spending hours in The Last of Us 2, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings towards the game. The first Last of Us game has been my all time favorite game for years, and The release of this one was exciting for me.
I think That the game doesn’t deserve all of the hate. The game has a lot of unique aspects and a lot to offer. There are obvious flaws and shortcomings, but In this article, I am going to be presenting my argument in favor of The Last of Us 2
Story Through Presentation
Before I get into the very meat of this argument, I want to mention that the game isn’t only made up of story. The game brings a lot of refinery to the gameplay and combat that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
The gameplay in the game is top notch. Regardless of how you feel about the story, The game is presented through a smooth, fun, and consistently interesting gameplay.
Again, Naughty Dog Gives us an incredible combat system. There are smarter AI, more realistic death animations, enhanced stealth, and so much more. The combat is the best I have ever seen in a game.
With that said, I think before anyone judges the story, the game should be appreciated for the in-depth crafting, combat, and gameplay aspects. I think it is sad that people reject the game before even experiences the other aspects aside from the story.
The Big Controversy
Yes, Joel is dead. As sad and, frankly, upset I am about this, it is the story we were given and we have to work with what we have.
I won’t go ahead and say that I would choose this story over one where Joel is alive, but I think there is some good to be taken from the story.
- The Hard Truth
The main “Kick” of the story is essentially, There are no bad guys, or everyone is the bad guy. Let’s face it, Joel is not a good person, or at least not until after the events of the first game.
Joel had a rough past in the years prior to the first Last of Us, but he isn’t exactly a saint during the events of it either. We can all agree that, morally, his decision at the end of the game was the wrong choice.
Yes, we all wanted him to make that choice, and we would want it that way because we are connected to Joel and Ellie. The big issue here is, there are massive consequences to these choices and just like Ellie, people are going to want revenge.
- The Purpose of The Death
So, why in the world did Naughty Dog kill Joel?
Well, to create an emotion. Just like a musician, whose goal is to invoke an emotion out of their audience, this story was intended to make you angry and make it hard to see things from the other side.
What would make you angrier than to kill a character that you deeply connected within the previous game? It is extremely bold, and it is something that you don’t expect developers of such a large title to do, but Naughty Dog went for it.
- Looking at The Good
So what is the good in having Joel die? Well, we get to have a story full of unique points of view and maybe an unconventional ending. Maybe we all would have preferred a story with Joel being alive, but the story really brings something different to the gaming industry.
Characters From The Other Side
If you can get passed the death of Joel, there are a few new and surprisingly likable characters. Naughty Dog has always been good at character building and You can really find some likable characters in this one.
Owen is probably my favorite character from Abby’s arc. There are a lot of reasons for this but I really think that he was one of the more impactful deaths from that group.
Owen was funny and down to earth. I found myself really interested in the sections where Owen was in, and the funny thing was that I didn’t even like him at the start of the game.
There was a point where I felt bad for him. He cared about Abby but she was obsessed with Joel. She couldn’t let go and at that point, I was routing for Owen more than anyone else in the story.
I actually think Owen was the most balanced character out of all the characters in the Last of Us 2. He is always seen trying to be the mediator and even seeing the enemy’s side of things. Owen was the best character from Abby’s arc, in my opinion.
Of Course I have to mention Jesse. Jesse, I think was an amazing and likable character that, unfortunately didn’t get enough time in the game. He is personally, my most liked character from Ellies arc.
He seems believable and relatable. Jesse was someone in the game I immediately connected with. His first scene with Ellie had me already liking his sarcasm and sense of humor.
He is shown actually caring for his friends “My friends’ problems are my problems”. Jesse was somewhat vague, yet you know his intentions. Even though I felt he needed more time, I think this character was a highlight for the story.
Tommy is a character i’ve heard is said to be “Joel’s catalyst”. I find this extremely deep and very true. Yes, Tommy is Joel’s catalyst for the emotions and humanity that Joel lacked.
I didn’t notice Tommy too much in the first game, I knew I liked him and I am happy to see him return and have more “screen time” in this one.
Tommy is always seen explaining, and even talking for Joel. He
Well, I’ll be upfront and say I never really liked Abby too much. For obvious reasons, most people won’t. That isn’t to say there aren’t things to like or sympathize with.
- Tragic Past
Now Obviously this is why she killed Joel. Joel killed everything she had left, and if you try and see it from that point of view, I think you would be looking fto kill Joel too.
Did we need this point of view? Not necessarily, but after it is all said and done, It is what we have to work with. I think it brings better understanding to Abby.
- More Loss
I don’t know if this is talked about much, but Abby lost more of her friends and loved ones, then Ellie did. Yes, we didn’t care for them as much, but she lost more than anyone else in this game.
Overall, I think most won’t like Abby, but Naughty Dog makes a pretty good argument for Abby. I would say, you may not like it, but she is justified in a lot of how she feels and acts.
Yes, Last of Us Part 2 is messy and unconventional, but they have a lot of good to offer. A different story with more points of view than your average story. New characters and a more balanced look, not to mention the amazing gameplay, combat, and graphics that the game has to offer. The Last of Us may not have been the story I wanted, but I think that there are good things about it that I would have to say that there is an argument for the Last of Us 2.
Check out my argument against The Last of Us 2