Full spoilers ahead, so be warned. I think anyone in this thread probably doesn't care, but a warning never hurt anyone!
Finally finished the game. I definitely did like it, but I'm torn on the ending. While I think Ellie did the right thing in letting Abby live (as I was desperately hoping that she would to the point that I failled the QTE the first time), I can't help feeling that the ending would have been more poignant had she gone through with it. By the end of the game she's lost everything, even her abilty to play the guitaur, which was her sole remaining connection to Joel, has been severed. It seems unbelievably grim, considering that she did ultimately "end the circle of violence."
I guess the idea is that Ellie has finally let go of her feelings of remorse/rage both at Abby and, to an extent, at Joel for his lie. She can finally move on and find some kind of meaning to her life. It's a nice ending when I think of it that way, but the game was just such a...slog through the absolute worst of humanity that I almost feel like I would have appreciated it more had she actually murdered Abby, and the ending had been identical beyond that. Ellie loses everything. Killing Abby brings her no peace. Abby loses everything, dying helpless and alone, with full knowledge that Lev is doomed. Lev, this poor kid who just wanted to live his life, would doubtlessly have died there (or magically survived and then himself pursued vengeance on Ellie, works either way.) All this as a direct result of Abby and Ellie's relentless pursuits of vengeance. I think, while bleak as all hell, that might've worked better and brought all the themes of the game together around the basic "revenge bad" premise.
As it is, I appreciate what the game did for Ellie's character, but I don't really get how Abby's entire 10hr storyline fits in as a sort of "other side of the coin" to Ellie's. I mean, I don't feel like the game really delved into how killing Joel impacted Abby. Was she relieved? Empty inside? Disgusted? The game doesn't dwell on it. She just kind of...moves on to the next thing. I think they wasted the chance to really explore that whole issue from Abby's perspective, as a person who's sort of on the other side of the revenge plot that's driving Ellie so powerfully. Instead they spend too much time dwelling on her relationship with Owen, which feels totally tangential to what I thought was the main point of the game.
I would've written her entire story differently, but,with things exactly as they were, had she died at the end, bringing all her noble actions up to this point to waste, all as a result of her revenge... I wouldn't have liked it, but I think it would've fit a little better.