The Last of Us: Part 2 Is a Controversial Game
And, arguably, no single character, plot point, or feature is as divisive as Laura Bailey’s character, Abby. Introduced early in the game when she (spoilers) tracks down, works briefly with, then murders Joel, Abby acts as the main antagonist for Ellie’s campaign, only for players to be forced into her shoes for a large chunk of the story – roughly the entire second act of the game.
Of course, this plays into the game’s lessons about the cycle of revenge. Abby is arguably no worse than Ellie – or even better than her as Ellie becomes more obsessed with revenge, but a lot of players hated the character to the point of sending Bailey death threats.
Baile admits that she knew that the role would prove controversial, stating “I knew I was going to get some hate.” However, she does say that she didn’t expect reactions to be so extreme – nobody deserves death threats, let alone people who are simply doing their jobs. She also states that the role was one of the most amazing she’s ever portrayed.
Speaking of the leaks, Bailey argues that they allowed players to make judgments about the character well before the release, leading to gamers “forming barriers and forming walls before they were able to understand Abby.” This is a valid point, as the leaks also led to a massive review-bombing campaign leading to The Last of Us: Part 2 receiving abysmal reviews from players within the first hours of its release.
She does admit, however, that she wasn’t a fan of the character at first. Part of the beauty of The Last of Us: Part 2 is that we slowly grow to empathize with Abby while playing her, going from seeing her purely as an antagonist to learning the reasoning behind her actions. Sadly, she found the work emotionally taxing: “It’s really hard after shooting scenes that are very heavy on loss and grief to shake it off at the end of the day… Those emotions stay with you.”
There’s still no word on a third game in the series, but there’s certainly scope for one: with Abby tracking down the fireflies, and knowing the location of the one hope for a cure, it’s possible that we’ll see part three in the future, pitting Ellie against Abby once more.