I want to start with the basic and in the area where most people seem to agree - the work put into the details of this game is out of this world.
From a graphics standpoint is stunning, the movement of the characters (although the gaming industry still has work to do) is smooth and from the most part highly realistic, the dialogues and the transitions made between cinematic scenes and gameplay is outstanding, in a similar fashion as the first installment - technically speaking is a great achievement, hats off to the creators for being so detail oriented.
It felt like a natural transition between the setup of the first game and the current events even though some time has passed, but I have to say I was invested in the story throughout the entire experience, and even though if you take a look at it as a whole it might have a simpler plot compared to the first, it actually navigates more into the characters, so this makes the game have this movie like quality, exploring the edges of human condition.
Now into the controversial part - some small spoilers ahead (!!!):
I get it, bringing a new character and make it the protagonist and playing with her for half of the game is a bit strange to accept at first, but the reason for it is made clear right from the start and I actually think it was an original approach I've never seen in any other game before.
And with that in mind I do feel it was a breathe of fresh air, revenge stories are so over used and in the world of gaming it is usually so polarized, there are clear good and bad guys, almost no navigating through that grey area.
Sure Abby is not the most likable character, and even though I was always rooting for Ellie, I did enjoy playing Abby and understanding what she went through - I believe the criticism just goes to show that humans are indeed complicated and there's rarely black and white situations no matter how hard we want them to be.
I can understand the differences of opinions on the plot, that's legitimate but I've seen tons and tons of reviews that seem to have a problem with the characters being mostly women, discussing their race, their sexual orientation.... Folks can we please get over ourselves and enjoy a damn game without overthinking these stuff, it was the creators decision to make the characters as they are what does race, sexuality or gender have to do with the story and the game itself, it has 0 impact, the gaming community being so young should lead by example and stop with this kind behavior.