Thanks for all the replies. I avoided all information about Pt2 that could contain spoilers until I had finished it which wasn't until Nov 20th 2021. I started the game a week after release yet took a long break to continue and finish it on PS5 (including a second play-through), which took a while to find one. It was worth the wait, plays great with dualsense controller.
Of course the negative reception still leaked through my media boycott and while it was shocking to have the main protaganist from the first game killed off quite early, I couldn't see anything else in the game to warrant such a strong reaction. Makes more sense now, a perfect storm of some influencers taking lots of 'little; things and blowing it out of proportion.
Gameplay wise it is Tlou1 with a few enhancements. Levels were bigger, more detailed, longer game, more varied. So if you liked Tlou1, it could only be the story I figured. Of course if you don't like Tlou1, Pt2 won't change your mind. I'm just glad they didn't cop out and do an origin story. Left Behind already addressed that.
@the-pi-guy It made perfect sense to me that Joel was done fighting. Same for Abby being buff. Actually finally a character that matches all the shit they do in game. What's unbelievable is how Ellie pulls off all that running, climbing, jumping, fighting lol.
But yeah I can see how the inclusion of gender and sexual orientation can trigger certain groups. I guess it's more the gender thing than sexual orientation since Left Behind didn't seem to have that kind of reception. Anyway Lev's back story came across more as Mulan to me than pushing transgender 'issues'. I guess its the world we live in nowadays.
I hope there will be a next game continuing Lev's and Abby's story. Ellie seems to have reached closure, but could of course still decide to actually do what she set out to do in the first place. But maybe there is higher demand for an origin story on Joel and Ellie, or a between Pt1 and Pt2 'Joel and Ellie's adventures'. They could also easily leave it here.
What I am not waiting for is a multiplayer Tlou, but it seems the market wants that :/