While I think Abby Anderson, portrayed to some acclaim by Laura Bailey, allowed the team to subvert expectations and take some risks with the sequel’s narrative, to say the results were divisive would be an understatement.
Something Neil and the team sought to do was demonstrate the game world’s cycle of violence. One thing they did was retcon the fact that the surgeon gowned up to operate on Ellie in an effort to rescue humanity from its living nightmare was none other than Jerry Anderson, Abby’s father. Obviously, his brutal demise at the hands of a selfish Joel serves as the catalyst for Abby’s revenge plot.
Given that the original doctor asset looks nothing like Jerry, and source files suggest his name was at one point Bruce, it’s a plot point that was conceived in writing the sequel.
If there was still any doubt following the dramatic hospital suite rescue, Part I includes a model viewer, and players are able to unlock and view Jerry’s character model in all its glory.
With all that said, one thing I believe Part I does do in scaling up its production values and fixing up systems where it can is create a game that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its sequel as a unified product. The fact that Naughty Dog took the time to feature Jerry in the scene and respect their own continuity, I feel, speaks to this.