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The Last of Us Part 2 is arguably PlayStation’s most divisive exclusive since the PS4. Fans either love it or hate it with very little wiggle room on either side of the fence. TLOU2 Remastered is now out for players to enjoy, and a really good bonus is the addition of commentary while playing the game. This commentary talks about scenes and the development process, and it actually reveals an original ending for The Last of Us Part 2 that is better than what we actually got.
If you own a digital copy of The Last of Us Part 2 on PS4, you can get the PS5 upgrade for $10. As pointed out by others, the ‘Remastered’ term should’ve been replaced by Director’s Cut. And, as a Director’s Cut, the 10$ upgrade fee is justifiable as it adds bonuses, slightly improves the visuals, and it adds a whole new mode. The new mode, No Return, is lots of fun as gameplay in TLOU2 is the least divisive part of the harrowing experience as it’s completely stellar from the exhilarating and intense combat to the flawless and realistic animations.
While the game’s combat and presentation are an absolute masterclass, the story is where the game falters for many. It was always going to be divisive after what happened in the very first two hours, but the original ending would have been better.
**Full spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2**
Original The Last of Us Part 2 ending
In The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered director’s commentary, narrative lead Halley Gross and director Neil Druckmann talk about one of the original endings they had in mind for the game’s conclusion. This original ending involved Ellie accomplishing her goal of killing Abby. In short, rather than relenting, Ellie would’ve drowned Abby in their infamous final battle at Santa Barbara.
Following the death of Abby, Ellie would’ve headed back to Jackson. On the road back to where the game began, she would’ve encountered a random stranger who was a parent of one of the characters Ellie killed in combat. This is where she would’ve lost her two fingers instead of her fight with Abby.
As for why this ending didn’t happen, Druckmann says it’s because “Joel wouldn’t have wanted Ellie to kill Abby”. Joel realized his death was inevitable, and he accepted it because of the damage he had done to countless innocents since the start of the post-apocalypse. In addition, Ellie relenting was to show she still has humanity in her.
Why the original TLOU2 ending was better
The original The Last of Us Part 2 ending we never got was better because a large portion of players still wanted to kill Abby at the game’s climax. It doesn’t matter how she and Lev became a bootleg version of Joel and Ellie, many players still despised Abby and, whether logically or just out of pure emotion, still see her as nothing more than Joel’s killer. If there was the choice to keep drowning Abby or let her go, the safe bet would be more players smashing square to keep throttling Abby’s neck until it snapped.
For all the players who loathe Abby’s existence, couldn’t stomach her worse than Twilight love story with Owen, and saw beyond the manipulation of her stroking dogs while Ellie kills them, murdering Abby would’ve provided satisfaction and compensation for Joel’s infuriating death. Also, despite letting Abby go, Ellie is still a monster at the end of the game. She killed countless NPCs, she killed a dozen dogs, and she killed a pregnant woman and the baby’s father. Now, at the end of The Last of Us 2, she’s just a sad, lonely woman with crippling PTSD who can no longer even play the guitar in Joel’s honor. Letting Abby go doesn’t make her any less of a monster, and there’s absolutely no desire to see any more of her nor is there any craving to see more of Abby in the surely inevitable Part 3.
Finally, away from just the player’s lust for blood and revenge, Abby’s death would’ve made more sense to the game’s theme. The obvious theme is that revenge is a never-ending cycle and, in Arthur Morgan’s words, a ‘fool’s game’. Yet Abby gets to commit her revenge on Joel and escape the consequences, meanwhile, Ellie loses everything and so does Tommy. Abby gets revenge and wins, Ellie doesn’t get revenge and loses. And, seeing as Ellie already slaughtered hundreds, not killing Abby shouldn’t stop the cycle of revenge as there should be an army of grieving friends, lovers, and relatives chasing her every move. So, with that in mind, not killing Abby is completely pointless on Ellie’s part and she may as well have just done it.
Ellie also encountering a random parent of one of the many characters the player killed would’ve further reinforced the idea that all the massacred NPCs are actually human beings with real lives. This was attempted through the NPCs having names, but any empathy or sympathy towards NPCs on the player’s part was lost in translation because shooting, beating, and bludgeoning all the cannon fodder goons was just fun regardless of the wailing screams of bloody murder.
Of course, while many have previously made the argument for Ellie killing Abby, there are just as many people completely happy with the story and its characters. Again, it’s a game with a very divisive narrative, and its ending is not a climax you either understand or don’t depending on your brain power to put two-and-two together, it’s instead an ending that works or doesn’t work based on feelings and emotions. Neither side of the fence is wrong, but after all these years the urge to jump off a building while controlling Abby still persists.
In other PlayStation news, the first PS4 and PS5 State of Play 2024 is rumored to be happening soon. The release date for the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC has also possibly leaked.