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    Fans Clash Over Concept Art Depicting Abby in The Last Of Us Part 2

    Photo credit: Hamara / Shutterstock

    Argument surrounding The Last of Us Part 2 is intense, dividing the fandom into those who adore it and those who vehemently oppose it. The debate is reignited, spurred on by word of the game’s PS5 Remastered edition. Abby is central to the love-hate relationship players have with the game, and now, fans are fiercely debating Abby’s initial concept art versus her actual in-game appearance.

    January 2024 heralds the arrival of The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered by Naughty Dog. At first glance, remastering a 2020 release might seem unnecessary, but this edition is sprinkled with new aspects and is a mere $10 upgrade for existing digital copy holders. This contrasts the remake of the original The Last of Us, which some defend as unnecessary, given the still striking 2014 Remastered version.

    The re-release invites us to reconsider our take on the sequel. Time has allowed emotions to simmer down, possibly opening a window to view Abby in a new light. Yet, some players bear an unwavering dislike toward her, swearing off a return to the game.

    The Last of Us Part 2 Abby Concept Illustration

    The internet has once again cast its attention to Abby’s concept sketches for The Last of Us Part 2. After criticism of her in-game model, the concept drawings were broadcast on Twitter by TacticalOchoa. The discourses purport that the early renderings are aesthetically superior to the final, muscular depiction by Naughty Dog. Such opinions have echoed on platforms like Reddit.

    Comments range from the concept art being ‘significantly more appealing’ to suggestions that Abby would have been less comical had earlier designs been adopted. Others appreciate the concept art’s vibe of ‘a brooding Ellie, an ideal foil,’ praising it as more believable while aligning with Naughty Dog’s intention to create a non-traditional beauty. Yet, there’s a set of fans defending the more athletic physique, with sentiments like ‘the sight of a fit woman drives gamers crazy.’

    Whether one prefers the preliminary art or the final form is highly subjective. Claims of it being unrealistic to maintain such fitness in an apocalyptic world might hold weight, but Abby’s distinctive appearance also provides a bold statement. The concept art, while strong, paints Abby as another everyday character, whereas extraordinarily fit women do exist, albeit in rarities under such dystopian conditions, just like for men.

    Debunking the Issue with Abby’s Visual Representation

    The backlash surrounding Abby’s physical stature often overlooks the root of discontent. The issue is less about her muscles and more about her actions. If Abby had been depicted differently, yet her actions remained the same, the disdain would likely persist. People’s issue with Abby springs from her abrupt introduction and vile acts against a beloved, transformed character.

    The Last Of Us Part 2’s narrative further sours opinions by painting Ellie in an unduly negative light to contrast with Abby’s portrayed innocence. The dichotomy feels artificial, a heavy-handed attempt to sway audience sympathies. Structuring the storytelling differently could have softened views on Abby, but as it stands, her character is vilified from the start.

    As such, the discourse around Abby’s design seems to miss the point; if Abby were a character to root for, her looks would be secondary. Abby’s imposition upon players, her replacement of Joel, and her association with unpleasant comrades feed the animosity towards her, quite separate from how she is physically portrayed. Regrettably for the character, even a less imposing physique wouldn’t have quelled the aversion towards someone who terminated a profoundly iconic figure—particularly as Ellie’s own portrayal is skewed to cast an even more favorable light on Abby.

    Photo credit: Hamara / Shutterstock

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