so overall i really enjoyed the game, although there were a few parts that dragged it down for me. what i liked: the gameplay is so much better than the first game, everything flows really well and that intensity in every encounter makes you really value your resources. easily the best part of the game was "The Seraphites" chapter on seattle day 2, where you have to use all the tactics you've learned up to that point and apply them to a new environment with new enemies and new combat techniques. the level design in the game (especially seattle day 2) was outstanding, with large open areas full of different pathways and ways to hide. the story during the first half of the game is also fucking great, joel dying is honestly fine with me and everything really clicked story-wise in that first half. one of the most powerful moments in the game for me is when abby beats nora with a pipe to make her talk, the game even making you press the button prompt to swing the pipe, then we see her hands shaking and she's clearly shaken by what happened. another pretty powerful moment was when abby kills mel, who she then finds out was pregnant, and you can see ellie hyperventilating and panicking because i imagine she was thinking of dina, who is also pregnant. this really had a profound effect on how i thought of the wolves, as it made me understand that they're people too, and abby's section of the game also helped in creating this sense of no one in this world being truly in the right or the wrong.
the overall production value of the game is out of this world too. the music, level and sound design, graphics and gameplay all exceeded my expectations by a mile - it's an amazing technical feat for the playstation 4 and a great swansong for naughty dog's ps4 era
abby's section was really great... to a point. i feel like the writing really dropped down a notch in quality after abby goes to the seraphite's island, and also jesse's death? no one ever talks about him or even mentions him except for one note after he dies. isaac, who is built up from cutscenes and from notes as being this terrifying and imposing figure (who really should have been pitted against abby more in my opinion), gets killed by one bullet from another character who had already been stabbed. it just felt... cheap for both of these deaths and i didn't find it very dramatic. i was upset when jesse died, but the game doesn't do a very good job making it feel truly meaningful to the story in my opinion. however, abby's story really does humanise her and made me sympathise not just with her, but the scars/seraphites too. lev is a really good character who i empathised with a lot too.
joel's death is the main motivator for the entire story, it's what makes ellie want revenge on abby and it makes sense in the context of the story in the way that it's set up. abby tracks down joel, only to be saved from a horde of zombies by him, and abby leads him back to her lodge, where joel obviously chooses to go because who would want to fight a horde of zombies instead of keeping safe with a bunch of survivors? of course, what joel doesn't know is that abby is the daughter of the doctor he killed near the end of the first game when he saves ellie. joel's actions have had consequences in this world, and abby decides to exact her revenge in a rather over-the-top way, but i think it's still a very powerful moment. joel was not a good person, nor is abby, they were just humans trying to survive, one of whoms father was killed by joel because of selfish reasons.
oh so you wanna know what i think of the ending? well... i thought it was pretty good actually. ellie understands the relationship between lev and abby, and spares abby's life because she knows what it was like losing a parental figure to her (joel), and i believe she didn't want lev to go through the same thing, so she ended that cycle of violence that is ever-present throughout the game. when ellie returns home, she finds that her quest for revenge has cost her almost everything, including her girlfriend and her surrogate son. she also lost two of her fingers, meaning she can't even play guitar properly anymore. the final shot of the game is so depressing to me, as we know that ellie has lost everything but she may go looking for dina? who knows, but the damage going back for abby has caused to her and her relationships will be near-irreparable.
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»