So, for those beat the game, what are you final thoughts? I'm curious because, without going too deep, it sounds like there are some strong feels about this game. Even though I say this thread is for spoilers in its name, I'm still going to spoiler block my spoilers. Please do the same in the comments, just to be safe.
I went in to the game thinking that the story might just be a revenge story but was hoping they'd do something more with that concept. Well, to me, the story is more than just a revenge story. It's a character study of two characters, one of them Ellie, and revenge is the motivator. The short, non-spoiler reaction to the story is that it is really well done, especially for video games, and stands up there with one of the most well written and well acted games I've played. It has problems that can be nitpicked and depending on who you are those problems can be big, I suppose. Also, they hit on social topics that might make people feel uncomfortable for a lot of reasons and they don't really do a good job justifying why those small character stories are told, but also they may not need to be justified either. It's complicated, I guess. But, ultimately it's a really good game with a very good story and well worth playing. Or watching, if you'd rather.
It seemed to me that the overriding point of the game was that no matter beliefs, values, which group you belong to, or anything else at the end of the day all of the people in that world are just trying to get by. That the humans in that world have more in common than not and that our humanity should bring us together, rather than anger and vengeance should tear us apart. Abby gets there sooner than Ellie, but Ellie eventually understands and lets it go. I think it's a beautiful sentiment, even if it is a bit of a tired one, that is really well realized in this game. I think Abby and Ellie's actions are well justified and ending their stories as they do makes a lot of sense and is a positive take, though a bit mired in sadness, within a world that is brutal and unforgiving.
I think where the game has some problems is that they don't do a good job exploring the religious group in the game. It felt a bit half-baked to put that group in. As if they needed another faction, and wanted to do something with that faction, but there wasn't enough time or rationale to flesh them out. So you end up knowing just enough about them to be informed but not enough to make it clear why they were important to the story as a whole. But that's not a huge gripe for me, personally. Likewise, I think the ftm trans character was an interesting choice that they handle well, but they don't really justify why that particular tension for that character in that group was relevant to Abby's story. The kid could have been persecuted for any reason and his reason for being in the game could have been just as relevant. But, I also don't personally have a big gripe about that either.
The biggest bummer for me was that one of the trailers showed Joel in a scene, implying that he was going to team up with older Ellie, but a different character is in that scene in place of Joel. It's kind of fucked up. But, other than that, I don't have too many complaints. I'm really impressed overall.