The following article is based in the spoilers found over at Resetera. There has been a variety of reactions to the leaks, some being optimistic with other beings downright negative. The following article will tell you of the history of the leak as well as the spoilers themselves at the second half. You will be warned when it comes.
A couple of days ago, a disgrunted employee leaked the entirety of the The Last of Us Part II storyline due to a pay disparity, which was previously responsible for the 70% turnover of the employees:
Of the 20 non-lead designers in the credits of 2016’s Uncharted 4, a whopping 14– 70 percent — are no longer at the studio, which has had wide-ranging effects on the development of The Last of Us II and led to questions about the continued viability of the Naughty Dog approach. -Jason Schreier
Treatment of Employees
In general, most of the employees were unable to bear the long hours due to the financial crunch, which is what Naughty Dog does in general practice. This results in less experienced developers joining the organisation with a lot more added pressure to meet the requirement of the previous developers. Most did not like how the company was treating them:
This can’t be something that’s continuing over and over for each game, because it is unsustainable. At a certain point you realize, ‘I can’t keep doing this. I’m getting older. I can’t stay and work all night.- An Anonymous Last of Us Part II Developer.
Also, Naughty Dog typically underpays employees prior to the release, only to give big bonuses upon the actual release. Due to the pandemic, Naughty Dog decided to indefinitely postpone the release. This means the employees do not know when they will actually get paid. As a result, the employees requested an advance of their pay, but they were flat-out refused. On the other hand, the head of Naughty Dog, Neil Druckmann, requested an advance and he was paid. However, this is based on an unconfirmed source.
Social and Political Agenda
This is in combination with the identity politics which are quite prevalent in the video game. Judging by the trailer and leaks, it appears to suggest that the game is more focused on a diversity agenda as opposed to producing a good storytelling product. This should not be surprising given the involvement with Anita Sarkeesian, whom Neil Druckmann is a big supporter of. She was also involved in Uncharted 4:
When I’m introducing and describing a new character to our lead character concept artist, constantly she will ask, “What if it was a girl?” And I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t think about that. Let me think, does that affect or change anything? No? Cool, that’s different. Yeah, let’s do it.” — Neil Druckmann
In fact, the expected backlash prompted the voice of Joel, Troy Baker to say:
I want people to go in open-minded to this story, and allow Joel and Ellie to tell their story — not the story that people think that they want to be told… If people go in open-minded to this thing, I think they will have a completely different experience than if they go in close-minded. -Troy Baker
THE LEAKED STORYLINE
WARNING. SPOILERS INCOMING.
The following will outline the leaks. Without further ado, here is leaked storyline so far:
Ellie and Abby
It appears that for the first half of the game, you play as Ellie. For the second half, you play as Abby.
Who is Abby?
Abby is the character who is responsible for the death of Joel. After killing him, you reportedly play as her for the remainder of the game.
After this, she attempts to kill Dina. The dialogue is as followed:
(Abby is about to slit Dina’s throat)
Ellie: Stop…Stop…she had nothing to do with it.
Abby turns to Ellie.
Ellie: She is pregnant.
Abby: Good. (Wants to kill her)
Abby: If you let me catch sight of you again… (Literal german translation: Never come under my eyes again)
Ellie decides to butcher the Christian cult and kill Abby as a revenge.
Dina: So what? I’m just supposed to sit here and wait for you? For god knows how long, just thinking you’re f*cking dead the entire time!?
Ellie: I don’t plan on dying.
Dina: Yeah? Well neither did Jesse, or Joel.
Abby Vs Ellie
This will eventually lead to a fight between Abby and Ellie. Over here, the player will fight as Abby and will eventually kill Ellie.
According to a separate leak:
One of the surgeons Joel killed had a son/daughter called Abby
The Firefly massacre destroyed her whole life, she’s been looking for revenge ever since
Knew who Ellie was because of her dad talking about their shot at a cure, figured out Joel from Firefly records
Cult attacks Ellie’s settlement and she, Jesse, and Dinah are part of the group sent to track down and attack it — Jesse is killed during this
Ellie is now violently angry and goes to Seattle looking for the cults home to wipe it out, meets Joel there because he heard about Jesse and came back to help her
Abby finds Ellie because she’s been in conflict with the cult too, so when Ellie hunts them to Seattle and is set to attack them with Joel her group find them and attack
She kills Joel herself, takes Ellie back to camp debating what to do with her since for all her hate she doesn’t blame her for the massacre
Ellie butchers her group to escape and Abby is now motivated to hunt her down
Second half of the game is spent as Abby chasing Ellie
Ellie continues hunting the cult while you chase her down
Ending is Ellie and Abby fighting to the death
You kill Ellie as Abby, and she leaves while realizing she’s not really “won” in any meaningful way since all she’s done is get more of her loved ones killed for the sake of her killing Joel and then Ellie
Ending is “cycle of revenge” with the loose implication Ellie’s friends will hunt Abby now in return
I will still be looking forward for the game. After all, the first video game was one of the best. On paper, the first game can also appear bland, but on its execution, it was a masterpiece. I am hoping that a similar scenario will play out in the sequel, despite the obvious politics being pushed into the game. Outside of the agenda, it looks like it can be an interesting story waving into the circle of revenge. Time to free 100GB on my PS4. We’ll see how it goes. Here’s hoping for the best!