For about a year before The Last of Us Part II came out, I was looking for any type of information about the game and the developer, Naughty Dog. I joined Reddit and started to become more active in a community that I fell in love with.
When they initially announced that the game was going to be coming out in February 2020, I was through the roof. Then it was pushed back to May 2020. I was a little less happy but still excited about the game finally being out. Then COVID19 happened and it got pushed back indefinitely. Until it was announced that it would be released in June.
After waiting so long, June 19, 2020 couldn’t have come fast enough. Reader, just so you know, there will be spoilers for both games in this article. Continue with caution if you don’t want to be spoiled.
What is The Last of Us about?
The first one establishes a post-apocalyptic world where a fungus called cordyceps has infected a lot of people. It started early on September 27, 2013. Joel is a single dad and has a daughter named Sara. She was accidentally shot by a nearby soldier and died from her wounds. From there, fastforward to 20 years into the future.
Tess is Joel’s partner. She is the person that he confides in and trusts. The Fireflies are an organization that overthrew the quarantine zone military and Marlene is their leader, otherwise known as the Firefly Queen. Ellie is a 14-year-old girl that got bit three weeks prior to when she was dropped off with Joel and Tess. She is the only known person to be immune to the disease.
Tess ends up dying and it is up to Joel to take Ellie to the Fireflies so that they’re able to find a cure. Theirs is a year long, cross country trek in trying to find the Fireflies and a cure. In that trek, Joel and Ellie form a special bond where he no longer sees her as “the cargo” and more as his daughter. She sees him more like a father figure since she didn’t grow up with her parents. Joel saves her from a certain death after he finds out that in order to make a cure for the cordyceps, Ellie needs to die.
What is The Last of Us Part II about?
The second game picks up four years after where the first one left off. Joel told Ellie that she was no longer needed by the Fireflies since they had about a dozen immune people that they could test. Ellie is now 19 at the start of the game and she has assimilated in Jackson. Then, Joel is killed with gold clubs and she witnesses the whole thing. She is on a rampage to find Abby, and the people that helped her.
Dina accompanies her in the journey to find Abby. Throughout the journey, there is a lot of destruction and death. Ellie understands what it means to lose someone that she so desperately loves.
By the end of the game, Ellie finds Abby in California but she has left the life she had with Dina behind. She had a glimpse of what life could have been like had she decided to stay with Dina in the farmhouse but she loses it once she decides to go after Abby.
When Ellie finally finds her, they fight each other. Abby is just a shell of the woman she used to be. She is no longer the strong woman that she was at the beginning of the game. She is broken. During the fight, Abby bites off Ellie’s two fingers: her left ring finger and her left pinky. Ellie ends up letting her go. She, by all means, has broken the violent cycle.
After her encounter with Abby, Ellie goes back to the farm house to find Dina. There is nothing left there that belonged to the both of them except her paintings and her guitar. At the closing scene, we see her walking towards the fence that guards the perimeter of the house and then it fades to black.
Sharing my feelings on Reddit
With this game, I cried about three times but I definitely enjoyed it. When I finished the game, I went directly to Reddit and decided to post about my experience. The co-creator and co-writer of this game, Neil Druckmann, had said that this game would be divisive and that it would not be having a happy ending.
One of the people that replied was Mike Holdren, an avid fan of the game and the fandom.
“I just finished the game myself, and I still don’t see why this game is getting so much hate, and I can understand why people might be upset with some aspects but overall I thought it was a wonderful story start to finish,” Mike said.
I waited about a year for the game to come out while others waited several years.
“I’ve been waiting for it since I finished the first game roughly [five] years ago. I wasn’t sure if a sequel was coming out ever but when they announced it a few years back I was very much anticipating its release,” he said.
History of Leaks and Hacks
Throughout the history of The Last of Us part II, it experienced a leak. Some hackers had found a backdoor on old games (The Uncharted franchise) that the developers had created that gave them access to their servers. From there, they took some important plot twists to the game and uploaded them to YouTube. This happened around April of 2020, after Naughty Dog had revealed that they would be delaying the game indefinitely due to COVID19.
Personally, I decided to stay away from the internet, or at least anything that was remotely related to The Last of Us part II, because I didn’t want to be spoiled. For over 365 days, all I could think about was the sequel and what could happen if it was ruined for me.
“The only leak I heard about was Joel’s death, no details about it at all though, just that he died. When that scene came up in the game it still caught me off guard but not as much as it would have if I hadn’t heard anything,” Mike said.
What makes this game different?
Zombies and post apocalyptic worlds aren’t something that is totally new to the world of entertainment. Some examples include World War Z with Brad Pitt, The Walking Dead by AMC, and Zombieland.
The thing with The Last of Us franchise is that they push the envelope. They tell you a story with their characters and the world that the characters are living in. The music is as important as the graphics; the way the characters react is as important as the story you’re trying to tell. You also get to play your favorite character and you get attached to them. You wish them the best and hope that they do find the best in this post apocalyptic world that they’re living in.
In The Last of Us, Ellie is gay. She likes women and we get to see that in The Last of Us Part II. She gets to have a relationship with Dina and before that, with a girl named Cat. Ellie seems genuinely happy, or as happy as she can be in the world that she lives in. This was one of the topics that really polarized the community as well. The fact that Ellie was gay is not something that sat well with a lot of people. Also, Naughty Dog presented an openly trans character by the name of Lev who was played by a trans actor, Ian Alexander.
Because of this, Naughty Dog opens the door for other video games to include characters that are in the LGBTQ+ community that are well fleshed out and not just two dimensional.
“I think they hit the nail on the head with this as far as I can tell from my interactions with people of this community that I know and am friends with. None of it felt forced, I didn’t think Ellie or Lev felt tokenized in any way as it was just a part of their character and they weren’t given that characteristic just for the sake of it,” Mike said.
To end this on a good note…
So, to end this on a good note: this game is definitely worth the wait. It’s definitely worth the tears and hype that is surrounding it. The only thing I do have to say about it is, play it first and then form your opinions later.
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Featured image credit: Naughty Dog