When I reviewed my favourite video game of all time, The Last of Us, I said that, whether I loved, hated, or had mixed feelings about the sequel, I would always find myself returning to the original game because of how incredible it is.
While that is still true, whenever I do replay the game I will have to pretend that The Last of Us Part 2 never happened.
Seriously, what the hell happened with this game?
The graphics and gameplay are amazing, as expected, but the story is absolutely god awful, literally spitting in the face of Joel (Troy Baker) and Ellie’s (Ashley Johnson) relationship.
Before I get into the onslaught of terrible things about this game’s story, I’ll mention the great stuff first.
As I said, graphics and gameplay are near perfect.
There were numerous times where I was hating the story and was thankfully distracted by beautiful scenery or an amazing action sequence.
Crafting was well handled once more and I liked the more personal touch to enemies that made them feel like real people when I fought them.
The new kinds of infected are great to fight, especially the one that was teased but not revealed in the State of Play presentation.
Other amazing set pieces sees you fighting through a burning village and a car chase, both of which are thrilling.
Along with this, Gustavao Santaolalla’s score is amazing, again as expected.
As for the story, there are a couple things I like about it.
Some of the new characters like Dina (Shannon Woodward), Jesse (Stephen Chang), Yara (Victoria Grace) and Lev (Ian Alexander) are likeable.
Not to the extent that the characters from the first game are but they are enjoyable for the most part.
Also, some of the scenes during Ellie’s initial revenge quest are very compelling.
Then there are the flashbacks to Ellie and Joel’s time in Jackson, which are the best parts of the game by far.
However, the rest of the story is absolutely horrible.
Written by Neil Druckmann and Haley Gross, the story sees Joel and Ellie living in the town of Jackson.
After an act of extreme violence, Ellie leave for Seattle to seek her revenge, as the writers try to create a message about the cycle of violence.
Sadly, this is a message that falls flat over on its face.
The ending to this game makes no sense whatsoever and completely derails any notion of vengeance being a bad idea, which is what the story was trying to say.
The build up to this ending is just as bad, with the inciting incident that causes Ellie to seek vengeance being driven by poor character decisions and feels like it was done for shock value.
A large part of why The Last of Us Part 2’s story is so bad though comes down to one, individual word.
Played by Laura Bailey, she is the mystery woman from the trailer that introduced the Seraphites and she is, in my opinion, the worst video game character of all time.
She is completely unlikable in every sense of the word.
Naughty Dog tries to make you sympathize with her but every attempt fails spectacularly.
The story follows both her and Ellie’s struggles with revenge and the damage it causes but Abby never shows any remorse or regret for her actions, unlike Ellie.
She came across as a complete psychopath who I had no reason to care for, yet the writers try so hard to make you do so, which fails entirely.
Given that she is the most important character in the game next to Ellie, this is a huge problem and that problem culminates in a boss fight before the third act of the game that left me feeling insulted.
Not to mention that the game’s trailers misled and lied to us on multiple occasions.
The Last of Us Part 2’s story is just atrocious.
The game spits in the face of Ellie and Joel’s bond, the characters’ decisions make no sense, the inciting incident is not justified, Abby is an unbelievably terrible character, and the ending completely undoes any message they were trying to create.
The graphics and gameplay may have been amazing, and some story elements may have been good, but the majority of the story is so bad to the point that I never want to play this game again.