That lesson is that revenge isn’t the answer, and that’s what makes “The Last of Us: Part II” so powerful.
Prior to the debut of HBO’s “The Last of Us” in January, fans of the iconic survival horror game were eagerly anticipating its release, wondering if this adaptation would remain faithful to its source material. Fortunately, the show has been well-received by both fans of the game and newcomers to the franchise, resulting in a surge in sales for “The Last of Us: Part I” and a second season being greenlit. It is likely that the second season will cover the events of “The Last of Us: Part II”.
When “The Last of Us: Part II” was released in 2020, it won Game of the Year, praised for its progressive nature with multiple female leads and a lesbian protagonist, Ellie. However, the game was still met with controversy due to its plot. Players had expected to play as Joel again, but instead they were thrown into Ellie’s point of view. Within the first few hours of the game, Joel dies in a brutal and bloody fashion, leaving many fans angry and refusing to finish the game.
It is revealed that Abby Anderson, daughter of the doctor who wanted to kill Ellie in “The Last of Us”, has been hunting Joel ever since he saved Ellie from the Fireflies. The final fight in the first game saw Joel mowing down the entire hospital full of Fireflies, including Marlene, to save Ellie. This understandably angered people, including Abby who lost her father. Joel potentially cost the world a potential cure for cordyceps.
Ellie and Joel’s relationship is strained at the start of the game due to her finding out that he lied to her about her immunity not helping the Fireflies. She never gets a chance to patch things up before Abby kills him. This breaks something in her and she sets out with her pregnant girlfriend Dina to get revenge on Abby. During her pursuit, she crosses multiple lines, including murdering several of Abby’s friends, one of whom was pregnant at the time. When they finally face off at the end of the game, Ellie decides not to kill Abby and returns home to Dina and her baby.
The game shifts between Ellie and Abby’s stories to show how Abby’s life hasn’t improved since killing Joel and to offer a different perspective so fans could understand there are limits to being a good person in the world of “The Last of Us”. Abby serves as a cautionary tale for Ellie, teaching her (and the player) that revenge isn’t the answer. This is what makes “The Last of Us: Part II” so powerful.