*This post contains spoilers.
When I first heard that we would be playing as Ellie in The Last of Us Part 2, I was ecstatic. She was instantly lovable in the first game, but obviously struggling over Joel’s account of the events at the hospital, and I was interested in seeing how it would affect their relationship.
But it wasn’t Ellie’s part in the game that made me love it. Playing as Ellie often left me frustrated with her choices, and sorry for those around her. She was fun to play as, and I loved many of her interactions with Dina and Jesse, and with Joel in flashbacks, but I constantly found myself saying, “please, Ellie, no.” She continued to put those she loved at risk in order to carry out her revenge plot. Jesse died because of her, and Tommy and Dina nearly did too.
When I played as Abby, I was cheering for her, and often frustrated with her friends, particularly Mel and Owen (Nora, Manny, Lev, and Yara were great). She felt more relatable, tough, but kind, and with an endearing fear of heights (something we share). Abby’s story begins with her enacting revenge, and everything that follows (excluding flashbacks) shows her feelings of remorse, and attempts at atonement. She’s willing to lose her place with the Wolves to save two people she’s just met, and faces her fear of heights and the toughest infected yet to get medical supplies for one of them.
Abby loses almost everything. For doing the same thing Ellie does. And Ellie does so much worse, ruthlessly murdering everyone in her path in an attempt to get to Abby. Abby even stops the other wolves from killing Elie and Tommy. I’m not saying that Abby did the right thing in killing Joel, I’m just asking how some people can be so angry at her for it, while it’s okay that Ellie goes and kills every one of her friends. And that Joel kills Abby’s father.
Though they go through a very similar path, Abby realizes that the cycle of violence needs to end far sooner than Ellie does. I felt no sympathy for Ellie when she decides, at the farm, to pursue Abby once again. There’s no hope in Ellie’s story. The little moments of happiness and hope are what made the first game so great. It’s why the giraffe scene was so memorable. The Last of Us Part 2 has its space shuttle scene, but moments like that are left behind in flashbacks. Hope lives on with Abby and Lev, who may have actually found the fireflies. So thanks Abby, for giving me an incredible gaming experience. If there’s a The Last of Us Part 3, or any dlc, I hope we hear from you.