Just wrapped this up. Well, that was certainly a thing.
I thought the original Last of Us was fantastic. Not the biggest fan of the gameplay, but I felt the story and characters were solid. And I thought the game ended on just the right note. To me, the central theme of the first game was “making the wrong decision for all the right reasons.” And if they had ended the game with Joel and Ellie driving away in the car, I would have been happy. I don’t think the final scene just outside of town was needed.
I also don’t think TLOU2 was needed. While the gameplay was improved (still hated the boss battles) the narrative was a scattered mess. Switching perspective to Abby mid-game killed my motivation to play. Not because I hated Abby. I just didn’t care. In fact, by the time the mid-game theater scene unfolded I stopped really caring about Ellie, or Dina, or Tommy. Fuck 'em all. A pox on all houses.
Spending all that time with Abby to evoke a sense of empathy for that character felt grossly manipulative. I saw what they were doing and wanted no part of it. When Abby finally got back to the theater to have it out with Ellie, I fucked up the battle and Ellie killed Abby. I honestly thought that was how it was supposed to play out. Then I realized the story had other plans. I finish all that and get to what I thought was the denouement on the farm.
I was so disappointed when the game just kept going. Ugh. I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t want to spend any more time with these horrible people. So I dutifully finished it, put the controller down, and shrugged. Yuck.