The Last of Us Part II
- The sex scenes are hilariously bad, entirely forced, completely out of place and ruins the purpose of the first game (a game where women aren't sex objects) It also shows Sony's hypocrisy as the PS4 version of Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal had its Intimacy Mode (which had players dressing characters up in various outfits, including bathing suits and other intimate attire, and using their hands and other objects to massage or caress them) removed.
- Some people even thought that Neil Druckmann (Naughty Dog's Vice President) added himself in one of the scenes. To be exact, the talk is about the character Manny Alvarez, who bears resemblance to Druckmann, even having one of the haircuts Druckmann is usually seen having.
- Aside from a few moments, the story feels poorly paced as it constantly shifts from one scene to another without any breathing room. This causes the issues in BQ #3, #5, & #6.
- To add to that, they try to make you feel sorry for Abby but she comes off as a really unlikable character, especially given that she kills Joel at the beginning of the game, which only makes the player hate her. Instead of enjoying the segments where you play as Abby, the player is more likely to just want to get them done so they can switch back to Ellie. This comes off as jarring. It would have worked if the shifts between Ellie and Abby would have been done properly.
- While Abby and Dina have at least some character development, the other new characters feel really underdeveloped and act really nonsensible and stupid at times.
- False advertising: In the early trailers, it appeared as if Joel and Ellie were going to journey together with Joel saying "think I'd let you do this on your own?". But in the actual game, it was actually Jesse who said that and wanted to journey with Ellie. This may have been intentional and may have in turn unintentionally mislead many in order to cover up the next point...
- Joel, the main character that grew heavily on players from the previous game, is killed by Abby. This is the most controversial part of the game for various reasons:
- It happens only a few hours into the game which makes it feel very rushed and poorly executed.
- In the previous game, Joel knew that he made a lot of enemies and would rarely if not trust anyone and do things by his own will. But in this game, Joel and Tommy come off as way too confident in themselves and act as if the WLF are very trustworthy.
- It also feels contrived. Not helping matters is that the player takes control of Abby immediately after Ellie's segment is done to show why she did it rather then show her flashback at the beginning of the game before she kills Joel. Doing this would make Abby's situation more understandable.
- In fact, the game should have start with Abby, then switch to Joel explain his actions to Tommy, then lead to Joel about to be killed but the whole story should be kept under wraps, revealing piece by piece as the game moves on.
- It's also an example of the "stuffed into the fridge" trope, whereby an important character is killed early in a story just to provide the motive for another character. Usually this is considered sexist when it's done with a female character, proving that the developers are hypocrites for not seeing any problem in doing it to a male character.
- The game goes through a time-skip to where Ellie and Dina are at a peaceful refuge with Jesse's child. This wouldn't be so bad if this would have had been exactly how the game ended, but instead, the game ends on a really bitter and harsh note (see below).
- Ellie, despite being the character that also grew heavily on players from the previous game, becomes a very unlikable and detestable protagonist in this game who was dumbed down from what she once was. Whilst this is understandable due to the mental health issues she suffered from and what happened to Joel, it made it much harder for players to be invested in her journey.
- The story tries too hard to beat the player over the head with the message that Joel's actions in the first game's ending were wrong. However, because it doesn't bother addressing a critical plot hole from that game - the fact that it's impossible to create a vaccine for a fungal infection like cordyceps - everything still indicates that Joel was completely in the right to do what he did, making Abby even less sympathetic than she already was, and making Ellie come across as incredibly ungrateful to the man who saved her life.
- Stupid ending: After finally having the chance to kill Abby and avenge Joel, Ellie just lets Abby walk away. She is now left wandering on her own again and her hand is damaged beyond repair which prevents her from playing the guitar anymore. This basically makes all of Ellie's efforts and everything she put herself through almost pointless.
- Tommy comes off as a massive jerk who berated Ellie when she said she can't go after Abby, not caring about the trauma she went through, rather than understand her situation and go after Abby herself or send someone in Jackson to go after Abby. It makes him unlikable and selfish. If you think more about it, his brother's death was actually his fault too and the situation in the game would not had happened if he kept his mouth shut.
- When Ellie came back after failing to kill Abby, Dina disappeared with the farm being empty and did not leave behind a note to say where she and her baby went. Not only this makes her a jerk, this also makes everything they went through in Seattle look completely pointless. They always look out for each other no matter what, here it flanderized everything, making Dina uncaring and selfish.
- The ending was meant to be sad and sympathetic but with points being shown above, the ending comes off as poorly executed and dumb. It would have been at least a little better, have Ellie and Abby came to somewhat of an understatement between each other.
- The game constantly tries to make a point on how bad and destructive revenge is, however, this is really poorly done due to the poor plot and Abby and her companions being unsympathetic characters.
- Made even worse is when the game criticizes you for being violent, but doesn't do a good job at making you think about your actions like Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater or Spec Ops: The Line and instead is more like Bioshock Infinite, because you don't have a choice in whether or not to kill someone, which would've been interesting. Not helping is the amount of grotesque ways in which you can kill people and their dog companions.
- The sections where you play as Abby are meant to make you feel bad for killing her friends when you were playing as Ellie, and make Abby look better by comparison. Yet going by that logic, Abby kills dozens of cultists who were just minding their own business, meaning that she still comes off as worse than the already-unsympathetic Ellie, thanks to Abby killing Joel as well.
- The character designs and expressions come off as pretty odd at times, they even use the same models for some characters as if the the crew that worked on this game was too lazy. It's especially noticeable with Infected, who had a nice variety of physical appearances in the previous game, while in this one of many models get reused over and over again to the point that during some fights, most Infected will consist of 2-3 models.
- A lot of tasteless shock content made in an attempt to make the game even darker and grittier than the first one.
- The cover art of the game is pretty forced and lazy, because it has Ellie's bloody face all over the picture, as if the developers were trying way too hard to make this game look as edgy as it can be. Luckily, there is a reversible cover that's more reminiscent of its predecessor.
- There are character plot points in the game that don't make any sense.
- At the beginning of the game, Abby almost got killed by the infected, but was saved by Tommy and Joel. Abby never thanked them and once Tommy and Joel revealed themselves, Abby goes on to kill Joel without any hesitation or sympathy.
- As mentioned in BQ #5, why would Joel immediately trust complete strangers and even reveal his name to them!?
- Mel's pregnancy. You'd think in a world where the human race is endangered, she would be kept somewhere safe for her and her baby, but no. This was obviously done to traumatize Ellie and guilt-trip the player, but just like everything else, it's done really poorly.
- Since the WLF is at war with the cult, the leader of the WLF, Issac Dixon, comes off as oblivious as he plans to invade the cult's island, but with the arrival of Tommy and later Ellie and Dina, first two of whom kept killing off a great number of the WLF soldiers with Tommy wiping out an entire platoon. This results the WLF losing the war at the end. It makes everything look inconvenient.
- Towards the end, you have to fight as Abby against Ellie instead of the other way around. After the fight, the game poorly tries to get you to sympathize with Abby-who was about to cut Dina's throat, was told she was pregnant, but ends up saying "good" and was just about to cut her throat, only for Lev to call her out-by showing her grief over her dad's death. That does not make her likeable.
- Abby's father is supposed to be a good man who was unjustly killed by Joel, despite the fact that he was willing to cut open a 14-year-old girl's brain on the slim chance that it would provide a cure to the cordyceps plague.
- Related to the above, we see in a cutscene that her father was having second thoughts about operating on Ellie until Abby talked him into it. This could have actually made for a good plot point by having Abby eventually realize that she had spent years blaming and eventually killed Joel for something that was actually her own fault. Instead, the game passes this up in favor of demonizing Joel.
- Lev and Yara can come off annoying at times. In fact, Abby would travel with Lev which heavily mirrors Joel/Ellie combo from the last game. The problem is Joel/Ellie combo actually worked better then Abby/Lev combo.
- A lot of the scenes are very rushed, and somewhat not fully complete.
- The graphics are incredible that's pushing the limits of the PS4. The environments are particularly beautiful and detailed.
- The gameplay is still good with some enhancements to the previous game like the addition of some combat moves such as a dedicated jump button and prone are available for the player to use. Despite this, the gameplay is a bit repetitive.
- The voice acting is great.
- The flashbacks between Joel and Ellie are also pretty memorable and heartwarming, easily being the most fleshed out parts of the story.
- The game has tons of accessible features for people that are blind, deaf, and handicapped.
- The AI is pretty unique and complex as they will cooperate with other NPCs or dogs to hunt you down, beg for mercy, cry out for their allies, etc.
- You can play the guitar, which has actual chords to play and is pretty fun.
- Just about every building can be explored and almost everything can be interacted with.
- On top, Photo Mode is slightly better than the first game.
- The soundtrack is great and the Theme Song sung by Joel is amazing.
Reception & Controversy
Because the game's script got leaked early and sparked controversy, combined with a lot of critics and journalists giving the game perfect scores, the game itself got huge negative reception from users worldwide with many considering it to be vastly inferior to the original. To make matters worse, the guy from IGN who gave this a perfect score, gave for SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated a mere 5/10, and received backlash for that. It received even more backlash when it won many awards in GOTY 2020 along with the aforementioned biased IGN review was shown as well.
TLOU Part II has become the most polarizing game in the entire franchise as some people enjoyed it, while others hated it. One could say this is the Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi of gaming in terms of its sheer division, leading to the nickname The Last Jedi Part II.
Despite the backlash, the game (somehow) won lots of rewards including GOTY 2020.
- The game's unreleased original cut was described as "more open-world" than the final cut, and in there, we get to see more of Abby's backstory being fleshed out. However, it was culled because it would conflict with the linear theme that the franchise had conveyed.
- The game was review bombed by numerous individuals after its release due to its bad qualities. This led to Sony censoring them with unspecified actions, made evident on Wikipedia and after the review bombing, Metacritic created a timer where users have to wait for 36 hours before being able to review a recently released game.
- The leaks spawned some internet memes, like comparing Abby to the GameStop ma'am or Senator Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, as well as Ellie getting choked by Abby and Lev being punched by a hunter.
- Abby (as the character in the game) was controversial enough that her voice actor, Laura Bailey, was sent various death threats and hate mail. Bailey herself said it's best to play the game first, and she was defended against the death threats and hate mail by fellow VAs Sam Riegel and Ashley Johnson (Ellie's voice actress), fans of the game, and fans of other franchises she had involvement in (Marvel, Persona, Halo, etc.)
- The game credits include a tribute to Jerry Lavelle (programmer of Naughty Dog) and Andrea Arruti (Mexican voice actor who voiced Lev in the latin-spanish dub of the game).