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Opinion Auteur Theory and TLOU2

tsumake

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Dec 3, 2019
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It's fine if he considers himself an auteur, and writes stories he finds challenging or otherwise interesting. I'm just not sure it's smart to entirely transform existing franchises to fit this new vision. The problem is, that he probably considered that aspect to be one of the most important ones. Subverting expectations and doing something entirely different to shock fans was all by design. That's why (some) people are angry at the game, because they didn't get the vanilla ice cream that was clearlry promised on the packet. And can you really blame them? It's an interesting experiment (to him anyway) but the player ends up feeling betrayed. It's also kinda cheap.

I think that’s the most concise summary of the negative reaction to the game.
 

tsumake

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I think you're way overthinking a video game. If you don't like it, don't play it. 's what I did.

EDIT: I will say this though; Druckmann, to his credit, did NOT go after people as fake fans or inherently racist/sexist for not liking it. I saw a lot of his fans and defenders take that road, but Neill himself didn't, at least based on what I've seen. In fact, he was wholly prepared for people to hate it and made peace with it. That's... not something I can say for Lucasfilm or Rian Johnson.

Druckmann played that situation well.
 
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It's fine if he considers himself an auteur, and writes stories he finds challenging or otherwise interesting. I'm just not sure it's smart to entirely transform existing franchises to fit this new vision. The problem is, that he probably considered that aspect to be one of the most important ones. Subverting expectations and doing something entirely different to shock fans was all by design. That's why (some) people are angry at the game, because they didn't get the vanilla ice cream that was clearlry promised on the packet. And can you really blame them? It's an interesting experiment (to him anyway) but the player ends up feeling betrayed. It's also kinda cheap.
Yes, a writer / director should understand that he has creative freedom when he makes something original, but that freedom becomes very limited when he builds a sequel within existing franchise. That's the problem with Druckmann, he treated TLOU2 as if the original didn't exist. He only used the last 5 minutes of the original game to build and entirely new franchies within a sequel 😅. Not only that, but he also put a gun on your head for 10 hours wanting you to love certain charecter.
 

Bryank75

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Jan 12, 2018
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Depends on where the story goes...

I'll certainly be waiting and reading spoilers and reviews to see if it's worth it. If it follows Abby, I have no interest.
 

EruditeHobo

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The biggest lesson from TLJ & TLoU2 is that there are big, vocal groups within a particular category of consumer that do not want their beloved properties to run counter to a comfortable and "expected" experience, especially if that is inclusive of more modern perspective informing the story's plot, characterization, & subtext. Star Wars had the additional problem of flooding the market with multiple movies, all of which varied in both quality and, perhaps more importantly, seemed to suffer from a real lack of overarching executive vision.

But it's not really about "quality"... that falls apart when looking at some of the arguments which constantly come up in these comparisons (anyone claiming the prequels are better than TLJ aren't talking about quality even if they think they are, for instance). No, it's the presence of these kinds of elements which inform the stories -- the very existence of specific ideas and character decisions --- which point to why these respective "outrages" happened. That's about what people like and don't like, not good vs bad.

As far Druckmann as auteur, I don't think that kind of label really applies to game design and development as much as it does/can in film. Games, even cinematic narrative games, are much different than films, and that means the director is going to have less impact on the overall experience than a film director will have in dictating the audience's experience in a 2/3 hour film. But regardless of that, the idea that you could just plug and play a new director in a ND project, as if he's so replaceable on these games, to me that's a really limited view on the reality of the job of game director. Their fingerprints are all over every single element of their game/s.

Games being what they are the as a medium, the department directors/leads are probably more impactful than in film, at least in terms of having an impact on the audience's experience with the final product... but if that applies to Druckmann it applies to everyone else in the medium too. Possible exceptions could be "smaller" games, like Braid or Inside, which are two examples in which the label of "auteur" could possible apply in a more understandable way. IMO.
 
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Azurro

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You are getting too ahead of yourself by calling TLOU2 a financial success. The first game sold 20 million copies, I'd be very surprised if this one sold half of that, even with a remaster on PS5, the word of mouth of this game is horrid.

To answer your question, no, I won't buy any game directed by Neil Druckmann in the future. His games aren't directed at my demographic, he makes lgbt/sjw games now.

E EruditeHobo , that's a long winded and convoluted way of calling anyone that disliked the game as an -ist. :p
 
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EruditeHobo

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...that's a long winded and convoluted way of calling anyone that disliked the game as an -ist. :p

What do you mean? I used broad terms because it's a broad issue.

Some people who are bigoted have had the issues with regard to these stories, no doubt... that should be obvious by a quick twitter search or two. But the outrage in both these cases is much, much more varied than just that.
 
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Azurro

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What do you mean? I used broad terms because it's a broad issue.

Some people who are bigoted have had the issues with regard to these stories, no doubt... that should be obvious by a quick twitter search or two. But the outrage in both these cases is much, much more varied than just that.

Again, a lazy criticism of "if you hate TLOU2 you are just a bigot". It's lazy and to characterize a large number of the people having complaints as -ists deligitimizes your point. I would tell you a tiny, tiny percent of the people that disliked the game had an issue with that. Most people dislike woke stuff, there's a reason why "get woke, go broke" exists.
 

Azurro

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I literally never said that. You can't even summarize someone's POV when it's right in front of you... doesn't get much more "lazy" than that.

You have been speaking as if the people disliking the game as bigots is a significant part of the criticism of this game, you just conceded other things might also be pissing people off.

It's a dishonest view and it fails to understand why people dislike the story and characters in this game.
 

EruditeHobo

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It's really easy to point to though... I'm just taking people at their own words here, go do a twitter search and yes, you're going to find pretty objectively bigoted, negative statements about the game and about TLJ.

BUT I didn't in any way suggest that's why "everyone" doesn't like the game... I've been talking to multiple people in these TLoU2 threads who don't like the game, but don't have bigoted POVs/arguments. That's why I never said that. So either understand and acknowledge that, or don't.

I was pretty clearly not saying that from the start, and you've mischaracterized my view multiple times in the last 25 minutes.
 
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webber

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Jan 5, 2020
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Considering he cocreated the game and its basically his to do whatever he wants with it and that he doesn't own any of us anything...
... I don't get why people think they're entitled to decide what's best or not in something that aren't theirs.
You can like it or not but you have to respect it and accept it considering it's just a videogame, you don't need to be a bitch about it.
I found it BOLD as fuck the concept of destroying the first game in order for you to like the second one. It kinda worked for me this whole switch, but it wasn't easy at first.
Anyways, the guy is smart and he's surrounded by smart people so I think Naughty Dog is going to do just fine.
Can't wait to see what they come up with next on PS5.
 
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Vanitymachine

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Aug 24, 2019
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I don't agree with this though. I think there's enough of Druckmann's talent on show to demonstrate his value as a director. He's by far the best director ND has ever had due to his games representing the best of their output. Like I said though, he's no auteur because he simply doesn't have enough of a strong, stand-out signature.
Perhaps, I think he's a decent writer that has a better understanding of the subtleties of drama than most videogame writers. BUT, and it's a big but, the political activist side of him really gets in the way of his games. This crept into Uncharted 4 and was unignorable in TLOU 2. His trendy progressive politics, that he insists in shoehorning into his games, are just so at odds with the worlds he creates. I think that they will undoubtedly date the game and make their stories age poorly. His politics are perhaps his biggest hurdle to overcome if he ever wants to be considered an auteur, because they are so ubiquitous and conformist amongst the industry that I don't think you can really create a truly unique vision with those elements present.
 
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I highly doubt that considering you totally think that Luke's arc was discarded as if he became a messiah by renouncing the dark side once after actually succimbing to it...

Finn's story is actually a double arc: to go from running away and hiding and not caring to standing up and fighting for positive cause and going from deriving drive from hatred to deriving drive from loving something (i.e. fighting for something not just against something). At the end of episode 7 he doesn't care about anyone but Poe and Ray, his goal was to run from First Order which he hates and he only helps the Resistance basically because their goals align in the moment as he wanted to save Rey. After that he is in a coma. He never had friends outside of his stormtrooper brainwashing so Poe and Rey are his first genuine connections and only people he cares about. Seeing as First Order is about to wipe out the Resistance at the beginning of TLJ he doesn't care to help instead willing to just run off and find Rey whom he presumably has strong feelings for but he is too naive to understand. Finn is extremely naive because all his life was basically an indocrination. So after being busted by Rose at the escape pod and trying to help Poe and Rey he agrees to a hail Mary mission to save everyone because it would help his friends and he has not much other choice anyway.

During the mission he is accompanied by Rose (who is basically a low-level resistance member who embodies the traits of what the Resistance is). Finn finds out that Rose is highly ideological - she cares for the children, downtrodded, war profiteering, animal abuse. She shows Finn that the world is not what it seems on the surface (challenging his naivety) and that if you don't take a side, if you don't have a cause for fighting then it's not worth doing anything - meaning comes from cause. Moreover she tries to tell him that the cause is not just hatred and destruction - Finn was happy to trample the city after seeing how bad the people there were but Rose is not truly satisfied until animals are freed, a gesture of preservation. Shortly after they are joined by the alt-Codebreaker who tells Finn somewhat of a similar thing - that the world is complicated and more than what it looks like on the surface but the true freedom comes from not choosing sides and just profiteering - a completely different outlook. As Finn is literally a blank slate at the beginning, purposeless and without direction, he is presented with two conflicting ways of life that he can choose.

The codebreaker however betrays Finn and Rose because Finn is too naive to recognise that somebody who just doesn't fight for anything would go for people who will pay more. A lot of people die because of that, because Finn put his trust in an amoral man. Finn realises that not taking sides is not moral, he regains his sense of morality through these experiences which is more than his attachment to people. However in his newfound fervor he is still driven by hatred of First Order most of all, so when he is saved by Rose from pointless suicide because he doesn't want FO to win (pure antagonism) and reminded that the true cause is saving what they love (cause to fight for) is his arc complete and what Resistance is about. He realises that Rose would give her life as he would but while his death would be out of hatred and destruction hers is out of love and preservation and she's willing to give her life for that. That sacrifice and betrayal of codebreaker shows Finn the reason to fight for Resistance because they are morally in the right.

So, to cut it short, his arc is basically his induction into being a fully fledged Resistance fighter from just a rogue Stormtrooper on the run. He learned from his failure the value of morals and through his experience with Rose the value of building/preserving something vs destroying.
There's a bigger picture you're not seeing. To even give this trilogy serious validity is to betray one's own intelligence. The Disney films are a hit piece. If the new stormtroopers' Donald Duck bills don't raise an eyebrow, then you aren't paying attention. Finn's (meaning "the end") main purpose in the film is to be a joke against males. For instance, mostly beginning with the rathtar scene all the way through to Rise of SW, Finn kept thinking all the force-like events happening around him were coming from him. They weren't. In RoSW it got to the scene where he was convinced he may of had force powers and was trying to tell Rey. People asked why they abandoned that storyline, never to answer what Finn had to tell Rey... they didn't. The message was that Finn was just being another male and too ignorant to realize that Rey was helping him the whole time. Kathleen Kennedy was George Lucas's right hand. People think she didn't know what she was doing the whole time as the Disney films were destroying the brand. She did. Rosebud. It's really not worth discussing the films seriously any further when you start to see them for what they were.
 

sobaka770

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There's a bigger picture you're not seeing. To even give this trilogy serious validity is to betray one's own intelligence. The Disney films are a hit piece. If the new stormtroopers' Donald Duck bills don't raise an eyebrow, then you aren't paying attention. Finn's (meaning "the end") main purpose in the film is to be a joke against males. For instance, mostly beginning with the rathtar scene all the way through to Rise of SW, Finn kept thinking all the force-like events happening around him were coming from him. They weren't. In RoSW it got to the scene where he was convinced he may of had force powers and was trying to tell Rey. People asked why they abandoned that storyline, never to answer what Finn had to tell Rey... they didn't. The message was that Finn was just being another male and too ignorant to realize that Rey was helping him the whole time. Kathleen Kennedy was George Lucas's right hand. People think she didn't know what she was doing the whole time as the Disney films were destroying the brand. She did. Rosebud. It's really not worth discussing the films seriously any further when you start to see them for what they were.

Shifting goalposts is not an argument. You asked me what was Finn's arc and have no counterargument so you just ignore and spout nonsense about things that are not in the movies. E.g. Finn only thought he had force powers courtesy of Abrams/Terrio shitty writing outtakes for episode 9 and was cut because it was stupid. Headcanon is a hell of a drug.

The only thing that insults intelligence is following unproven arguments of an agenda against males or other conspiracies where there is none instead of thinking about what the movie actually tells you.
 
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