Interesting facts about the original campaign of The Last of Us: Part II surfaced recently. Apparently, Naughty Dog went on a different route than their original plan for the story. Thinking back to how the campaign unfolds, the original plan might have averted the criticism. What was the original plan? Note that this story includes major spoilers about The Last of Us 2. If you haven’t played the game yet, you might want to stop reading now.
In a recent IGN Podcast Beyond!, Neil Druckmann, creative director for The Last of Us 2 talked about its campaign and how it was supposed to unfold initially.
According to him, the game would start with Abby as a playable character and would follow her in an open-world map of Jackson while she interacted with characters.
During this opening, we’d see Abby getting second thoughts about her plan of killing Joel, she would go on with that nonetheless. We would find who she is and why she did that later on in the game. After Joel’s death, we’d go back to Ellie as a playable character. We would follow her to Seattle on her revenge journey.
Would this route be better for fans? One thing that fans didn’t like about TLOU2 was the amount of attention Abby got while being “the villain”. Getting to start the game as Abby would make the player have a stronger relationship with her before Joel’s death. In general, The Last of Us 2 isn’t a story about heroes and villains. It’s a game of basic instincts, of human nature and the burning need for revenge.
The fact that we see Joel die so early in the game while seeing Abby as a villain for almost half of the game is one big reason for its criticism. If you, instead, had to play as Abby and unfold her story before you find out what she did, it might offer some reconciliation. This would, however, stripe the player of his/her “rage” for going after Abby. Each scenario has its pro and cons.
For what it’s worth, The Last of Us 2 campaign is as raw and misunderstood as it can get. If it didn’t carry the “stigma” of being a sequel to a masterpiece it wouldn’t get as much criticism as it did. Hopefully, players’ opinions will stabilize in the next few months.
The Last of Us: Part II has been a huge success for Sony Interactive entertainment despite all the controversies and leaks. The game has managed to sell more copies than all the top 10 games of week combined in UK.