Loved it. The game does what it sets out to be. Felt sad , wanted revenge, felt miserable while playing as Abby etc etc but where it really got me is when it looked like the game will end at the farmhouse chapter with dina and baby and yet I wanted revenge but 2 hours later when you finally get to meet and fight her again i didn't mind letting her go. The cycle of violence is broken not only just in the game but also in the player's playing it. Even if a few playing it fell the same way, I think they achieved what they set out too. And that guitar scene at the end, I thought I was strumming the ds4 touchpad incorrectly only to realise what the game was trying to do.
Gameplay wise too I think this is the strongest ND game yet. Abby's chapter imo is much better than Ellie's and has some phenomenal sequences like the sniper, hotel descent, hospital etc. Huge props to ND's level and assest designers, every single section or even encounter has multiple ways to approach even if they all later coverage and flush you into a single path. While it is all smoke and mirrors, no other game gives you this illusion of freedom unless they go full open world.every single room, every single encounter, every building etc feels different. These guys truly are wizards.
As for the characters, I really didn't like Ellie's character arc in this game. From being pissed off on Joel to being in revenge mode & then feeling jealous when Jesse meets dina. She looks like the confused teenager who doesn't know what she wants. Her issue with Joel is also something I fail to understand. You're the one who came close to him in the first part and when he started caring again you expect him to let you die. Loved the scene where he flatly says to her that if he gets that chance to go through it again, he would save her again. Dina, I didn't like her either. Jesse, Tommy were ok.
Abby on the other hand will grow on you by the time the game ends. This part also has much more likable characters like lev, yara, Owen etc. Her charcter also shows no regret for what she did. Would have been easy for ND to ease it out and gain fake sympathy for the character but they avoid it.
And finally Joel, Troy Baker puts in an incredible performance everytime he appears on screen. You can feel the pain in him in his scenes with Ellie or the lighter moments he shares with her in the zoo. His whole death scene and the scene which follows is also so well done. Goodbye friend you'll be missed.
Tbh I would've preferred if they had bumped off Ellie and had Joel go on the path of revenge, this would have felt even more personal for us as we had played as Joel for the majority in the first game.