The story is both on an internal and external level, which seamlessly develops together over time. The drama of the virus outbreak in the beginning of the game is mirrored by the internal drama, which Joel experience by the loss of his child. As the story progresses, we encounter characters who have found personal reasons to continue to live in the world of despair. However, Joel has not yet found his reason. As his relationship develops with Ellie, he finds a new purpose to live. However, this internal revelation comes in conflict with the external world. He is unwilling to sacrifice Ellie to save the world.