With The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered out in the wild, many steely survivors are likely reliving the game’s most heartbreaking cutscene. But one modder has now made that scene playable in a clip that’s both cathartic and even more brutal. (Spoilers ahead.)
Modder Speclizer posted the YouTube video below on January 19 – titled “TLOU 2 but you can save Joel” – showing a playable version of that brutal scene where Ellie gets her revenge much sooner. The name is somewhat misleading since Joel’s golf club accident remains intact throughout, but you can now at least attempt to save him.
The Last of Us Part 2’s dual storyline can take up to 32 hours to fully complete, as Ellie treks across the apocalyptic country to enact her revenge. In a more convenient turn for the character, the fan fiction above instead imagines a future where she avenges Joel in about two minutes. As bloody as it is, the remixed scene actually leads to less bloodshed than the full game.
The modded level certainly gave some still-grieving commenters some needed catharsis. But it’s amusing to me how it highlights the disconnect between the human, vulnerable Ellie we see in cutscenes versus the John Wick-type action heroine that she is when stalking through levels. That’s always been a quirk in Naughty Dog’s catalog, though, as these games struggle to present dramatic, grounded stories while still making the stabathon kind of fun.
Speaking of alternate scenarios that never came to be, the recently-released remastered edition features cut content from the original, one of which features a particularly harrowing flashback for Ellie. Should you want to avoid more in-game trauma, the new No Return mode plants the tense combat into a fun roguelike structure.
Check out how to unlock every playable character in No Return.