The following contains spoilers for The Last of Us series.
Some video games are full-on emotional rollercoasters that affect players in ways that few other mediums can. There's a special relationship that's built between player and on-screen avatar, a shared journey and struggle that's been developed over hours and hours (when it's done right), so whenever tragedy befalls a character they're playing as in the game, it can certainly feel more pronounced than it would when compared to another artistic medium.
These deaths can leave fans with a bunch of "what ifs" and lingering questions, like when Abby kills Joel in The Last of Us — but why did she do it?
Why did Abby kill Joel in 'The Last of Us'?
Naughty Dog is one of those game developers that has a high standard for their titles that they always seem to crush. But even for ND's standards, The Last of Us sets the bar extremely high. The gameplay modes are variegated with a ton of fun and frightening enemies to fight, the in-constructed in-game universe is intricate and engaging, the voice acting is second to none, and the plot is absolutely heartbreaking.
The first Last of Us game was such a critical and commercial success that it was only a matter of time before a sequel was announced, and like most follow-up titles, it received a ton of backlash for specific narrative element choices.
Namely, the choice to have Abby kill Joel, which according to the game, is retribution for Joel killing her father.
At the end of the first Last of Us, Joel has a difficult choice to make. Does he allow a bunch of doctors to operate on Ellie as she is immune to the virus that's wiping out humanity in the hopes of deriving a cure? Or does he save Ellie after developing a protective relationship with the young girl while living in a post-apocalyptic, monster-ridden world?
If you played the first game, then it's difficult to not sympathize with Joel. We discover early on in the title that his daughter died in his arms once crap hit the fan, which is why he's so hellbent on making sure that the same thing doesn't happen to Ellie. He cannot live in a world where she dies, even if it's for a chance to save the rest of humanity.
So he has a decision to make, and that's to bust her out of the medical compound. He bursts in balls to the wall and ends up killing a bunch of the soldiers and doctors that held her captive.
Abby's father was one of those doctors who was tasked with saving humanity. Once Abby has Joel captured, she beats him to death with a golf club in front of Ellie.
You can check out the brutal scene from the game below (warning, it's pretty bad).
So, why does Abby kill Joel? Straight up revenge.
Which seems to be a recurring theme of the game, as Ellie goes on a revenge mission to find Abby and kill her, but not before killing Abby's boyfriend, her pregnant friend, and her dog in the process. Although how everything goes down, however, kind of puts Ellie's conscience in the clear.
When is 'The Last of Us' coming to HBO?
The video games were so popular, HBO decided to greenlight a series based on the uber-popular titles. The Last of Us began filming in July of 2021 in Calgary, and filming is expected to keep going until 2022. Which means that we'll probably see the first season of the show in late 2022. Are you excited to check it out?