The discourse around this game is toxic on both sides.

I do understand why fans of the original would hate what Naughty Dog did in terms of the narrative, but personally the story was pretty engaging, and I appreciate ND taking such a bold risk with the direction. Honestly, if this game was a new IP, or even a different story with different characters, I feel like this narrative twist would generally be well received. We got two sides of the same story, filled with moments that humanize Ellie/Abby as well as their motivations, challenging our perspective of hero and villain, our empathy towards others, and ultimately reinforces the bleak reality of the TLOU universe, in how we as the player have to cope with death.

Despite enjoying the overall plot, the pacing sort of dragged in certain parts, and I can see how someone who didn't enjoy the narrative would have been disengaged. I feel like some of the flashbacks were out of place and would have served better as part of the prologue. The character interactions weren't as strong as the original (a pretty high bar to match) but the world building is great. While this game is certainly no walk in the park, with its eerily accurate depiction of violence, it isn't as bleak as most reviewers made it out to be. I might just be too desensitized to violence lol.