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Girlfriend Reviews: Understanding Last of Us 2

Yoboman

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For all the "Schindlers List" and "Neil killed my dad" videos out there I think this is a nice and balanced perspective of why TLOU2 took brave and commendable story telling challenges which respect the challenges the original game took on - and addresses why its not a home run for some, but for others it is such a game worth praise

I get why its a disaster for some, I think it was always the risk. The huge amount of discourse on the story is like nothing I've seen in recent memory. I'll never accuse Druckmann of not being ballsy in his story telling
 

#Phonepunk#

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I usually like them but I couldn’t make this through this video. I’m not a fan of the condescending “we understood the game” narrative whenever a controversial piece of media comes out. As if the people who didn’t like it are morons who didn’t get it. No that’s a false narrative. Plenty of people understood what they were doing and thought it was shit. No need to bring in some cognitive snobbery to justify your like of a game.
 

Lanrutcon

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You know what would also have been ballsy?

If Ellie turned out to be a Decipticon and had to team up with Bruce Willis to stop a giant cheese meteorite from destroying the Earth using a ragtag team of characters from the Lion King.

Ballsy != good story telling. Ballsy just means it was a risk, not that it paid off. When you need your game "explained"? That's an indication it didn't pay off.
 
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Yoboman

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I usually like them but I couldn’t make this through this video. I’m not a fan of the condescending “we understood the game” narrative whenever a controversial piece of media comes out. As if the people who didn’t like it are morons who didn’t get it. No that’s a false narrative. Plenty of people understood what they were doing and thought it was shit. No need to bring in some cognitive snobbery to justify your like of a game.
I think that's fair. Its an issue for a lot of stories, where "I see what you're doing" affects the enjoyment. It was pretty obvious as soon as you switch r d to Abbie where that would lead. Personally it doesn't for me but I get it
 

Birdo

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When you understand the meaning of The Last of Us II:

 

Yoboman

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You know what would also have been ballsy?

If Ellie turned out to be a Decipticon and had to team up with Bruce Willis to stop a giant cheese meteorite from destroying earth using a ragtag team of characters from the Lion King.

Ballsy != good story telling. Ballsy just means it was a risk, not that it paid off. When you need your game "explained"? That's an indication it didn't pay off.
It paid off for myself and plenty others who have loved the game. I can accept my opinion isn't the only one held, why can't you?
 

Saruhashi

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I usually like them but I couldn’t make this through this video. I’m not a fan of the condescending “we understood the game” narrative whenever a controversial piece of media comes out. As if the people who didn’t like it are morons who didn’t get it. No that’s a false narrative. Plenty of people understood what they were doing and thought it was shit. No need to bring in some cognitive snobbery to justify your like of a game.

Maybe The Last of Us 2 is actually the Rick & Morty of videogames? :)
 
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Saruhashi

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You know what would also have been ballsy?

If Ellie turned out to be a Decipticon and had to team up with Bruce Willis to stop a giant cheese meteorite from destroying earth using a ragtag team of characters from the Lion King.

Ballsy != good story telling. Ballsy just means it was a risk, not that it paid off. When you need your game "explained"? That's an indication it didn't pay off.

 

JayK47

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Maybe TLOU2 threads should be in the politics forum. The game seems overly political and controversial on purpose to generate lots of publicity and it is working great. There seems to be a dozen threads at GAF alone and several other gaming sites can't seem to shut up about it, but not in a good way. Based on the amount of articles telling me how great the game is unless I am a bigot, makes me not want to ever play it. I thought it looked bad years ago when it was nothing more than torture porn, well before all of this Abby BS surfaced. Now it would be torture to be forced to play it.
 

Yoboman

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Maybe TLOU2 threads should be in the politics forum. The game seems overly political and controversial on purpose to generate lots of publicity and it is working great. There seems to be a dozen threads at GAF alone and several other gaming sites can't seem to shut up about it, but not in a good way. Based on the amount of articles telling me how great the game is unless I am a bigot, makes me not want to ever play it. I thought it looked bad years ago when it was nothing more than torture porn, well before all of this Abby BS surfaced. Now it would be torture to be forced to play it.
Nobody has mentioned anything political in this thread. In fact (beyond a few obsessive small dicks) the controversy of the games discussion has moved towards the deaths
the character change, the ending and whether it worked.
 

Sub_Level

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One of my favorite videos on the game thus far. The think pieces, be they positive or negative, will be coming for years to come. We've never really had a game quite like this. And it came out in an already contentious time so provocative doesn't even begin to describe it.

Maybe TLOU2 threads should be in the politics forum. The game seems overly political and controversial on purpose to generate lots of publicity and it is working great. There seems to be a dozen threads at GAF alone and several other gaming sites can't seem to shut up about it, but not in a good way. Based on the amount of articles telling me how great the game is unless I am a bigot, makes me not want to ever play it. I thought it looked bad years ago when it was nothing more than torture porn, well before all of this Abby BS surfaced. Now it would be torture to be forced to play it.

I like that phrase torture porn, as if having gore in your M-rated videogame is supposed to somehow be deviant. Slitting throats, blowing limbs off, gouging eyes, & knocking teeth out have all been accepted in vidya for decades, but this game comes out & its suddenly a problem. Also makes me think its a disingenuous critique with no logical basis. :pie_thinking:
 
Jun 28, 2013
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I usually like them but I couldn’t make this through this video. I’m not a fan of the condescending “we understood the game” narrative whenever a controversial piece of media comes out. As if the people who didn’t like it are morons who didn’t get it. No that’s a false narrative. Plenty of people understood what they were doing and thought it was shit. No need to bring in some cognitive snobbery to justify your like of a game.
I think youre confused. They explain the narrative but it doesnt mean you have to like it. For example, alot of people have no attachment to joel. And felt nothing going from Ellie to Abby. Which youre suppose to feel resentment for. There’s alot of people who seem to misunderstand the ending of the first game. Joel kidnapped Ellie. Personally I hated the game. But to say the game isnt solid is foolish. To say the game has horrible writing is funny. You can hate the plot. But I would love to know what video games are written better. Ill be surprised if this game doesnt get BAFTAs.

In the end. It doesnt matter. The game itself is extremely satisfactory. Most videogamers dont have a high bar for storytelling.
 

rob305

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Just finished the game yesterday. Its a good game with a good story (besides all the wokeness shoved down your throat) but its nothing special. At first I thought people were nuts for thinking reviewers gave it 10s because of the wokeness, know I know it. Again, its a great game but they made it sound like its the second coming of Jesus
 
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AV

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Maybe TLOU2 threads should be in the politics forum. The game seems overly political and controversial on purpose to generate lots of publicity and it is working great. There seems to be a dozen threads at GAF alone and several other gaming sites can't seem to shut up about it, but not in a good way. Based on the amount of articles telling me how great the game is unless I am a bigot, makes me not want to ever play it. I thought it looked bad years ago when it was nothing more than torture porn, well before all of this Abby BS surfaced. Now it would be torture to be forced to play it.

Thing is, there's a (large) camp of people who don't hate it for its politics whatsoever, we just understand the story (it'd be very hard not to) and think it's shit.

But because some people are overly emotionally attached to it, and can't possibly fathom how anyone could hate the thing they love, their defence often boils down to either "you just didn't understand it". It's embarrassing. We read deeper, more nuanced and thought-provoking books in high school at age 12. You (not you, the proverbial you) are very much welcome to enjoy it and I get why you might, just don't try and condescend others by pretending TLOU2 is the fucking Infinite Jest of video games or something.

Again, I'm not defending the people that hate it purely because Abby has muscles and it's "unrealistic" next to scrawny Ellie murdering hundreds and hundreds of men. That shit's retarded.

I like that phrase torture porn, as if having gore in your M-rated videogame is supposed to somehow be deviant. Slitting throats, blowing limbs off, gouging eyes, & knocking teeth out have all been accepted in vidya for decades, but this game comes out & its suddenly a problem. Also makes me think its a disingenuous critique with no logical basis. :pie_thinking:

I think the more suitable phrase would be misery porn. It's without a doubt one of the most viscerally violent games I've ever played, but video game players often revel in that stuff - here, the game revels in it and then takes a step back every half an hour to condemn it, as if we're somehow supposed to feel bad about it. The game's unrelentingly bleak tone hit a nerve with a lot of people; can't say I had the same issue, I'm all for excessively bleak if it's done well (The Road, Martyrs).
 

Yoboman

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Thing is, there's a (large) camp of people who don't hate it for its politics whatsoever, we just understand the story (it'd be very hard not to) and think it's shit.

But because some people are overly emotionally attached to it, and can't possibly fathom how anyone could hate the thing they love, their defence often boils down to either "you just didn't understand it". It's embarrassing. We read deeper, more nuanced and thought-provoking books in high school at age 12. You (not you, the proverbial you) are very much welcome to enjoy it and I get why you might, just don't try and condescend others by pretending TLOU2 is the fucking Infinite Jest of video games or something.

Again, I'm not defending the people that hate it purely because Abby has muscles and it's "unrealistic" next to scrawny Ellie murdering hundreds and hundreds of men. That shit's retarded.



I think the more suitable phrase would be misery porn. It's without a doubt one of the most viscerally violent games I've ever played, but video game players often revel in that stuff - here, the game revels in it and then takes a step back every half an hour to condemn it, as if we're somehow supposed to feel bad about it. The game's unrelentingly bleak tone hit a nerve with a lot of people; can't say I had the same issue, I'm all for excessively bleak if it's done well (The Road, Martyrs).
Problem is there are people who are

A) I love this because Naughty Dog and I love Naughty Dog
B) I love this because I believe it has a great story and here is why
C) I thought it was OK but I liked the gameplay
D) I didn't like it and I believe the story itself has issues and here is why
E) WTF JOEL IS DEAD? THATS MY DAD
F) SJW CULTURE WAR FUNDED BY SOROS THE END TIMES ARE NEAR!

So unless you are being explicit people will generalise. Fortunately it feels like E and F are going away so B through D can talk like humans
 

AV

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Problem is there are people who are

A) I love this because Naughty Dog and I love Naughty Dog
B) I love this because I believe it has a great story and here is why
C) I thought it was OK but I liked the gameplay
D) I didn't like it and I believe the story itself has issues and here is why
E) WTF JOEL IS DEAD? THATS MY DAD
F) SJW CULTURE WAR FUNDED BY SOROS THE END TIMES ARE NEAR!

So unless you are being explicit people will generalise. Fortunately it feels like E and F are going away so B through D can talk like humans

Fairly accurate, though missing a more extreme version of D, which is where I fall. I really, really didn't think the script was any good whatsoever. Not because of the direction they took, but because of the execution. It's a shame to see a game which excels in so many other areas get dragged down by what is absolutely the most vital component. TLOU lives and dies on its characters and story; without them, it's nothing but a generic survival shooter, and that's what Part Two felt like to me, dragged out for an unnecessarily long time.
 
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Maybe TLOU2 threads should be in the politics forum. The game seems overly political and controversial on purpose to generate lots of publicity and it is working great.

The reality is that it actually isn't so nearly so political as some people are making out. The only thing that plays a narrative role is Lev's transgender status, and that's handled with as much restraint and subtlety as you could hope for.

That aside, Ellie being in a lesbian relationship as opposed to a straight one is basically immaterial, and given her preference was established in Left Behind... I can't say I found it out of place. The one time it is brought into play is the "bigot sandwiches" tangent, which to me seem more about establishing Ellie as being in an unforgiving and angry place mentally, and even then its more about shading her and Joel's relationship status.

Beyond that... there's nothing apart from Abby's size and appearance, which again does have a narrative and character-illustrating purpose.
 

TissueBox

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It's okay to have different opinions, guys.

People who like the game aren't always being snobby.

People who dislike the game aren't necessarily narrow minded bigots.

And there's plenty of people who dislike and like different parts of the game at once.

If someone thinks something is 'complex', then open it for debate. If someone thinks something is trying too hard, then do it again. That's what sound reason is all about after all -- presenting supporting facts, instead of lashing out. Instead of attacking the person behind the opinion. I feel most perspectives are fine as long as the person holding them can support their argument and reasoning, instead of just saying, 'FAHK YOU SCUM, TLOUPII IS BEST GAME EVAR.'

Even though I myself do not think Mario Odyssey is a commentary on urban decay, sorry. 💅
 
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Yoboman

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Fairly accurate, though missing a more extreme version of D, which is where I fall. I really, really didn't think the script was any good whatsoever. Not because of the direction they took, but because of the execution. It's a shame to see a game which excels in so many other areas get dragged down by what is absolutely the most vital component. TLOU lives and dies on its characters and story; without them, it's nothing but a generic survival shooter, and that's what Part Two felt like to me, dragged out for an unnecessarily long time.
There is a whole different issue there though with the proliferation of expectation in game length though. I personally love solid 12-15 hour experience but it became heavily criticised as low value for the player

I mean has anyone really nailed the pacing of a 30-40 hour game? I don't think so.
 

AV

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I mean has anyone really nailed the pacing of a 30-40 hour game? I don't think so.

Yes, many, many, many times. The problem is that those games are usually RPGs with sprawling narratives that actually deserve the amount of time they're given.

You could have done TLOU2's story in 3/4 of the game's actual length (I would actually say 2/3 but let's be generous), still done the exact same story beats, and I think it would have greatly benefited from it. Not everything needs to be an epic, and the value doesn't necessarily come from the amount of hours something takes to finish as long as the experience is one worth having. The first game is significantly shorter and that definitely works to its advantage.
 
Sep 29, 2011
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I usually like them but I couldn’t make this through this video. I’m not a fan of the condescending “we understood the game” narrative whenever a controversial piece of media comes out. As if the people who didn’t like it are morons who didn’t get it. No that’s a false narrative. Plenty of people understood what they were doing and thought it was shit. No need to bring in some cognitive snobbery to justify your like of a game.
Pretty much my thoughts exactly.
 
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Yes, many, many, many times. The problem is that those games are usually RPGs with sprawling narratives that actually deserve the amount of time they're given.

You could have done TLOU2's story in 3/4 of the game's actual length (I would actually say 2/3 but let's be generous), still done the exact same story beats, and I think it would have greatly benefited from it. Not everything needs to be an epic, and the value doesn't necessarily come from the amount of hours something takes to finish as long as the experience is one worth having. The first game is significantly shorter and that definitely works to its advantage.

I finished it in 18 hours.
 

AV

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I finished it in 18 hours.

And you could probably do the first game in 12 rather than 16. The desire to clear a game faster than the average person doesn't change the average person's experience.

I really tried to give it a good run, to experience it as was "intended". Difficulty on whatever the default setting was, explore the world somewhat, read some notes. I did the same thing in the first game and overall, the shorter average playtime benefited the story they were telling in the way they were telling it. I could rush through both and the argument would be the same.
 

Business

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"You didn't like the story because you didn't really understand it."

 

StormCell

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Fairly accurate, though missing a more extreme version of D, which is where I fall. I really, really didn't think the script was any good whatsoever. Not because of the direction they took, but because of the execution. It's a shame to see a game which excels in so many other areas get dragged down by what is absolutely the most vital component. TLOU lives and dies on its characters and story; without them, it's nothing but a generic survival shooter, and that's what Part Two felt like to me, dragged out for an unnecessarily long time.

I'm gonna get crucified for this, but I'm going to draw a parallel from my reading and youtube watching.

TLOU2 sounds like it suffers from the same thing the Walking Dead tv series suffered from. After a while, it's just a bunch of killing and gore. The faces are changing so frequently that it's no longer worth caring about the protags. You begin to wonder why you should even be engaged in the story. All hope is lost anyway.
 

Raven117

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I do admire what they tried to do. They succeeded in some ways, weren’t so successful in others.

One can easily appreciate what they tried to do with narrative structure, but still not actually like it. Happens all the time.

The fact this is still so hotly debated in a very real critical way (like other art forms) does say something about the ambition and quality of the game.

I’m not sure TLOU really needed a sequel, but upon reflection, I like that we have this one done this way. It’s strikingly different. Nothing is safe. No sacred cows. So many developers could have just scooted on by with another similar tale, played some somber acounstic guitar music and rake in the cash. ND didn’t do that.

not saying one has to like it. There is a lot not to like. But it is “something” And we often don’t get “somethings” in video games
 

JayK47

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One of my favorite videos on the game thus far. The think pieces, be they positive or negative, will be coming for years to come. We've never really had a game quite like this. And it came out in an already contentious time so provocative doesn't even begin to describe it.



I like that phrase torture porn, as if having gore in your M-rated videogame is supposed to somehow be deviant. Slitting throats, blowing limbs off, gouging eyes, & knocking teeth out have all been accepted in vidya for decades, but this game comes out & its suddenly a problem. Also makes me think its a disingenuous critique with no logical basis. :pie_thinking:

Games today are close to photo realistic. It was one thing to shoot a character in a game 20 years ago and watching the low res limbs flying off, compared to today with up close and personal cutting, stabbing and eye gouging. No thanks. I don't need to see that. I avoid shows with that crap and games as well. If I play a game and it comes up, I am not enjoying watching it and luckily it is over soon. This game, every video I have seen, it is up close photo realistic grotesque violence. That may be art to someone, but I will pass.

If you like the game, you are welcome to enjoy it. I have not seen a single video or screenshot that has convinced me this game is worth my time. The first game was ok, but I did think it was too violent. It sounds like they doubled down on that in this game, now with better graphics.
 

Memorabilia

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I'm gonna get crucified for this, but I'm going to draw a parallel from my reading and youtube watching.

TLOU2 sounds like it suffers from the same thing the Walking Dead tv series suffered from. After a while, it's just a bunch of killing and gore. The faces are changing so frequently that it's no longer worth caring about the protags. You begin to wonder why you should even be engaged in the story. All hope is lost anyway.

Except...well...at least TWD was solid for several years and dozens of episodes before it self immolated. LOU2 did it in just one sequel.
 
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I had for the most part avoided the spoilers for TLOU2, mostly just because I want to stay fresh when I eventually get around to play it (for the record, I had not even really play through TLOU1 yet, and yes I know I should). I can still enjoy it even if I'm spoiled on the story so that not really it. I did ended up just watching that Girlfriend review video yesterday since for the most part I like their output. after learning the spoiler, I understand why people are upset. but I honestly don't feel it's really justify all the rage and anger towards the game and the dev. it's not the usual way of doing things sure, but it doesn't feel all that bad. plenty of media had done this whole "put you in the villant's shoes" kinda thing and if done right it can be pretty great. I had not play the game yet so I would stay away from any opinion about the gameplay, but just from the story and the presentation side of things, I see no problem. I know that killing off important characters that you have emotional investment in is hard, but it also seems like where they want the impact to come from. and if it makes sense and makes the game more memorable, I think I'm fine with that. that's just my opinion of course so feel free to disagree. as for the whole heavily feminist influence thing, I personally dislike whatever her name is who is suppose to have a hand in leading the game down this path. but let's be honest, if it's just another military dudebro as the bad guy, would you still be that upset? it all boils down to if that's actually important or not, and at least to me, it isn't. and they went with a more nontraditional look, which to be fair, it's the end of the world in terms of the story, I'm fine with people not being the same mentally and physically. anyway, just my 2 cents.
 
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Gp1

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I usually like them but I couldn’t make this through this video. I’m not a fan of the condescending “we understood the game” narrative whenever a controversial piece of media comes out. As if the people who didn’t like it are morons who didn’t get it. No that’s a false narrative. Plenty of people understood what they were doing and thought it was shit. No need to bring in some cognitive snobbery to justify your like of a game.


“Just because something is explained doesn’t mean it’s good” (Vargas, J., 2020)
 
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