Joel’s death in The Last of Us Part 2 is easily one of the most controversial moments in recent gaming history.
However you feel about the decision to have this happen, though, the moment was earned by the way the game told its story and in particular the effective way it showed us the main beats that sealed Joel’s fate rather than simply telling them to us.
The Last of Us Part II is a 2020 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. Set five years after The Last of Us (2013), the game focuses on two playable characters in a post-apocalyptic United States whose lives intertwine: Ellie, who sets out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby, a soldier who becomes involved in a conflict between her militia and a religious cult.
This video contains spoilers for anyone who hasn’t played the game.