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Girlfriend Reviews: Understanding Last of Us 2

Keihart

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No there isn't the scenes you are talking about ar ambiguous at best. You are putting your own impressions of her into the game and there is nothing there that backs it up. You want the fireflies to be right so you are reading into it. Again if I am forgetting a cut scene then let me know, and I will reconsider, but flat out the "It can't all be for nothing" scene does not mean she is cool to die in the surgery room without knowledge of shit.

Fact is we can never know and that is the point. And the fact that you are so cool with them not asking her pretty much cements this view. If Marlene KNEW with certainty that she was ok with it, then there's no harm in asking her. Listen to the lines from all of the fireflies. Each and every single one is a rationalization. Marlene's journal is another one, she basically says that she did her job in looking after Ellie even as she is about to kill her. These are fanatics who have gone over the deep end, and the game cannot be clearer about it.

And that is the difference here, in the ethics I am putting forward here we don't have to make a nebulous guess as to whether or not Ellie is alright with dying for the cure in the way that they are doing it. We ask her, and if you don't ask her, well then you sir have just become an attempted murderer. This isn't something that is far out of left field, this isn't something that we can only really work with now because of how our world it. This is as close to universal morality as it gets. If you don't think the killing of an innocent is wrong, then well those hunters throughout the game aren't that bad, they are just doing it for their greater good. The Fedra agents? Well they do what they have to do to keep order. David and his cannibals? Well a man's gotta eat, and it gets lonely up in those mountains, and I'm sure he'll treat Ellie right over time.

So no, no matter how much you equivocate, no matter how much you try to figure out what is in someone's head, what they did was wrong, and you know it is, you are just trying to rationalize your way out of it, just like the fireflies did.
that's the point mate, even the hunters are on the right, Joel was a hunter at some point.
Everyone, maybe not the cannibal pedophile Nolan North, are in the right to some degree here.

Killing in particular, it's something that everyone does here in a daily basis, so killing an "innocent girl" after killing so many people can be very justifiable if it means saving the world somehow.
Doctor super good was very conflicted as well, but he obviously thought that as long as it's not his daughter, killing a girl to save the world was ok.

Even today we justify killing to save lifes as something ok, as long as it doesn't involve humans. But if human life had less value as in the game, it wouldn't be that out of the ordinary.
 
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Balducci30

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so no moral absolutes in your world? No Natural law? Atheist?
I am an atheist, yes. I have my own moral compass on what I believe are right and wrong. I don’t think Joel was wrong in saving Ellie at the end of the first game. According to my morals and values - due to several factors. 1. She was not consulted prior 2. She’s a kid who can’t make that decision anyway 3. In actual reality killing her likely would not actually create a cure or vaccine - either way it’s a huge risk 4. I don’t believe in murdering children for the greater good - I personally feel there is something fundamentally wrong with it
 

Balducci30

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Everything you keep saying is from the perspective of Joel. And if we use his perspective, what you say is true, it was the right moral choice to make in his mind. It was a selfish decision but it was right.

Coming from the Fireflies perspective, they were just as selfish but just as right in their actions as Joel. They didn't want to give Ellie a choice in case she said no. If she created a cure, it justifies all the horrible things they have done for 20 years or so.

In Joels mind, he justifies his actions of murdering 20+ Fireflies because he saved his "daughter".




Sorry kadayi, forgot to reply to you.
I think you may be a bit confused what a redemption arc is.

redemption
the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.


.
"At its core, a redemption arc is a storytelling device where a character who is evil and destructive—or embodies evil, destructive traits—atones for their flaws and overcomes them, transforming from villain to hero."

As you said Joel is not evil, he is just a guy trying to survive. At the beginning of TLOU1 he has not moved on from his past deeds. Unless you call smashing Robert in the face with a boot heel and snapping his arm good deeds. He may not be as terrible as he used to be but he is still a terrible person. Ellie is a job at the beginning but it's a job he didn't even want to take, he only took it because Tess told him to.
At the end of the game, absolutely none of the actions he takes are redeemable. Killing 1-3 unarmed (I'd argue that someone holding a scalpel is not armed for Joel) surgeons, killing god knows how many Fireflies, shooting Marlene point blank in the face and lying to Ellie. Nothing redeemable.
Yes, Joel is a changed man because he has something in his life that he cares about but he has not been redeemed for everything he has done for the last 20 years.
that’s not quite redemption arc even the link you have goes more into it:


“A normal positive arc character is flawed, but is still on mostly stable moral ground. A character who undergoes a full redemption arc, on the other hand, starts from a much worse place. Their actions at the start of their story are likely awful or borderline unforgivable, meaning they have much more work ahead of them to truly overcome these problems.

Don’t get me wrong, a normal positive arc character can be redeemed, such as Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast or Thor from Marvel’s Avengers universe. Still, when I talk about redemption arcs, I’m thinking of something even more transformative—specifically, something that fulfills two core requirements.”

and a failed redemption arc is a redemption arc that ultimately ends in failure.
 

bishopcruz

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that’s not quite redemption arc even the link you have goes more into it:


“A normal positive arc character is flawed, but is still on mostly stable moral ground. A character who undergoes a full redemption arc, on the other hand, starts from a much worse place. Their actions at the start of their story are likely awful or borderline unforgivable, meaning they have much more work ahead of them to truly overcome these problems.

Don’t get me wrong, a normal positive arc character can be redeemed, such as Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast or Thor from Marvel’s Avengers universe. Still, when I talk about redemption arcs, I’m thinking of something even more transformative—specifically, something that fulfills two core requirements.”

and a failed redemption arc is a redemption arc that ultimately ends in failure.
So would you say that Abby was an attempted redemption arc?It seems that that was intended, but was an abject failure in most people's eyes. Mine included if I am honest.
 
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Dr Bass

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Was reading comments under some Tlou 2 video and someone pointed out how pregnant Mel was sitting on the bench in an open trunk, while a dog was sitting in front of her in the passenger seat lol

Another example of a nuanced writing. Bravo Druckmann
I once saw an older couple in a car. The husband was driving and in the passenger seat was a pile of wood. The wife was in the back.

She did not look happy.
 

Balducci30

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So would you say that Abby was an attempted redemption arc?It seems that that was intended, but was an abject failure in most people's eyes. Mine included if I am honest.
Yes they both had it, I’m pretty sure it was specifically designed to mirror Joel’s
 

Kadayi

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I think you may be a bit confused what a redemption arc is.

redemption
the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.


.
"At its core, a redemption arc is a storytelling device where a character who is evil and destructive—or embodies evil, destructive traits—atones for their flaws and overcomes them, transforming from villain to hero."

As you said Joel is not evil, he is just a guy trying to survive. At the beginning of TLOU1 he has not moved on from his past deeds. Unless you call smashing Robert in the face with a boot heel and snapping his arm good deeds. He may not be as terrible as he used to be but he is still a terrible person. Ellie is a job at the beginning but it's a job he didn't even want to take, he only took it because Tess told him to.
At the end of the game, absolutely none of the actions he takes are redeemable. Killing 1-3 unarmed (I'd argue that someone holding a scalpel is not armed for Joel) surgeons, killing god knows how many Fireflies, shooting Marlene point blank in the face and lying to Ellie. Nothing redeemable.
Yes, Joel is a changed man because he has something in his life that he cares about but he has not been redeemed for everything he has done for the last 20 years.
Again with the confusion. A redemption arc is not some balancing account of 'these good actions outweigh these bad actions' as if the person is finally being judged at the gates of Heaven or hell, it's about positive character growth pure and simple. Jamie Lannister and Theon Greyjoy are both great examples of characters who commit truly despicable acts early on in ASOIAF/GOT, yet as the story-line progresses they choose to change their ways for the better as a result of positive influences in their life (Brienne in the case of Jamie and Sansa in the case of Theon) and albeit they can't ever wash away their deeds of the past, they can and are at least trying to be better people.

Joel isn't a villain, he's a product of 20 years of them or us, as humanity desperately clings to whatever it can in order to stay alive. However in doing so Joel lost a part of himself, and Ellie through her influence changes him. Case in point he'd have likely gunned down Henry and Sam for betraying him as he saw it, but for the fact that Ellie stays his hand and points out that Henry saved both of them from the river. Joel comes to realise over time that Ellie makes him a better person, so when he is faced with the choice of giving her over like cargo (something the old Joel would have easily done) or not, he chooses the not, in large part because Ellie is apparently oblivious to the fact that the procedure will kill her. Just as Ellie brings out the humanity in Joel, Joel sees the humanity in Ellie and places a value on that.

Was reading comments under some Tlou 2 video and someone pointed out how pregnant Mel was sitting on the bench in an open trunk, while a dog was sitting in front of her in the passenger seat lol

Another example of a nuanced writing. Bravo Druckmann
Indeed, that whole aspect was pretty cringe. I think there's a real failure of grounded world-building running throughout TLOU2 that is just hard to ignore, not the least of which is that with Humanity barely scraping by after the infection these small splinter societies as a whole would place a lot more value on the welfare of pregnant women for starters. Still, when you're dealing with people who think that it's sensible for characters to be running around bare armed in a time when a single bite from an infected means certain death, you're not exactly dealing with the the brightest types.
 
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joe_zazen

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I am an atheist, yes. I have my own moral compass on what I believe are right and wrong. I don’t think Joel was wrong in saving Ellie at the end of the first game. According to my morals and values - due to several factors. 1. She was not consulted prior 2. She’s a kid who can’t make that decision anyway 3. In actual reality killing her likely would not actually create a cure or vaccine - either way it’s a huge risk 4. I don’t believe in murdering children for the greater good - I personally feel there is something fundamentally wrong with it
If there is something fundamentally wrong with killing children for science,, can it really be just a personal choice?
 

sol_bad

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Again with the confusion. A redemption arc is not some balancing account of 'these good actions outweigh these bad actions' as if the person is finally being judged at the gates of Heaven or hell, it's about positive character growth pure and simple. Jamie Lannister and Theon Greyjoy are both great examples of characters who commit truly despicable acts early on in ASOIAF/GOT, yet as the story-line progresses they choose to change their ways for the better as a result of positive influences in their life (Brienne in the case of Jamie and Sansa in the case of Theon) and albeit they can't ever wash away their deeds of the past, they can and are at least trying to be better people.

Joel isn't a villain, he's a product of 20 years of them or us, as humanity desperately clings to whatever it can in order to stay alive. However in doing so Joel lost a part of himself, and Ellie through her influence changes him. Case in point he'd have likely gunned down Henry and Sam for betraying him as he saw it, but for the fact that Ellie stays his hand and points out that Henry saved both of them from the river. Joel comes to realise over time that Ellie makes him a better person, so when he is faced with the choice of giving her over like cargo (something the old Joel would have easily done) or not, he chooses the not, in large part because Ellie is apparently oblivious to the fact that the procedure will kill her. Just as Ellie brings out the humanity in Joel, Joel sees the humanity in Ellie and places a value on that.
I can't get on board with this sorry. To be truly redeemed you need to be selfless but Joel was selfish in his actions. If he had let the Fireflies keep Ellie and he walked away, that would have been a selfless act and an extremely redeemable thing to do.
 
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Kadayi

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I can't get on board with this sorry. To be truly redeemed you need to be selfless but Joel was selfish in his actions. If he had let the Fireflies keep Ellie and he walked away, that would have been a selfless act and an extremely redeemable thing to do.
Feel free to march to the beat of your own drum then. There's no requirement that a persons actions have to accord with some broader greater good to count as one, despite your repeated protestations to the contrary. Ultimately it's a story about those two characters and their relationship and how it changes Joel. The ending is the way it is deliberately. If Druckmann had any sense TLOU2 would been less about demonstrating his woke bona-fides to the Twitterati and instead have been a tale or revenge that then then mid-way flips into a tale of self-sacrifice as Ellie having finally outed herself as the child Joel rescued willingly leaves behind all that she has in the form of Dina and Jackson to head out with Abby and seek out the remaining fireflies and submit to the surgery.
 
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Balducci30

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If there is something fundamentally wrong with killing children for science,, can it really be just a personal choice?
These are only my personal values and ideals. I know that others feel different. I disagree with them whole heartedly but I also can see this situation is in a moral gray area and can be debated.
 

Tesseract

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I can't get on board with this sorry. To be truly redeemed you need to be selfless but Joel was selfish in his actions. If he had let the Fireflies keep Ellie and he walked away, that would have been a selfless act and an extremely redeemable thing to do.
if only it was ever so simple
 
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bishopcruz

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Yes they both had it, I’m pretty sure it was specifically designed to mirror Joel’s
If it was intended to mirror Joel's they did a worse job with her than I thought. Abby is set to mirror Ellie specifically. Her friends, the inciting incident, pretty much everything. The thing is none of that really works on a narrative level (it can at times work emotionally) and her and Lev is over too short a time for me to feel it has any of the nuance and depths that Joel and Ellie had.
 
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bishopcruz

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I can't get on board with this sorry. To be truly redeemed you need to be selfless but Joel was selfish in his actions. If he had let the Fireflies keep Ellie and he walked away, that would have been a selfless act and an extremely redeemable thing to do.
I just... what?

It is more redeeming to let a group of terrorists MURDER A CHILD without her knowledge or consent. Not even let her say her goodbyes and maybe make peace with her god if she has one. Not even try to give her a choice in the matter. THAT is redemption?

Are you fucking high?
 

Balducci30

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If it was intended to mirror Joel's they did a worse job with her than I thought. Abby is set to mirror Ellie specifically. Her friends, the inciting incident, pretty much everything. The thing is none of that really works on a narrative level (it can at times work emotionally) and her and Lev is over too short a time for me to feel it has any of the nuance and depths that Joel and Ellie had.
They mirror Ellie’s immediate story in terms of how they show her side of the story with her doing the sympathetic action in a situation - but the beats down to the play style seem almost transparently meant to drum up an altered version of Joel in an attempt to appeal to those emotions. It doesn’t quite work because of the short time span
 

tassletine

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After some thought I think the core problem with this game is that it genuinely tries to be one of those experiences where you hang out with the characters. Ie: Pulp Fiction, Withnail and I / Dazed and Confused. It takes great lengths to portray these characters as real people.

The big mistake is that you can’t actually do this sort of thing with a committee or multiple writers — it just doesn’t work. No amount of tinkering can fix this because the fundamental approach is wrong — And of course hanging out (like you would do in Red Dead) is forced here as you are always urged forwards — So you’re never actually relaxed.

For a hang out movie to work the characters have to be dialled up to 11 and deeply interconnected. You need to feel those bonds shrinking and growing. If they’re not you’re left with what we have here, just watching boring people, thinking why am I watching this?
The silly over the top drama is here for the soap opera tone, but the over the top acting, which is what makes those shows entertaining, is not. Here, we have this super serious tone jammed together with the soap — which is why the game veers into parody and unintentional humour by the end.
Sadly I think the reason the first game worked was because Druckmann was the single author — but the hiring of multiple writers for this has washed the characters out to the point they aren’t memorable at all, so we’re left staring at the screen.

Overall it feels like a game designed very much by a comittee that wanted to push an agenda, but singularly failed to realise that the majority don’t care about their social agenda, and crucially don’t find that agenda entertaining. So whilst the authors are clearly getting a great kick from creating what they see as some sort of groundbreaking social commentary (and have said as much) the rest of us actually playing the game are left thinking what the fuss is about.
There will be lots of young people who like this kickback and enjoy the punk aspect of spitting in your parents faces, but it’s all a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, and it’s a pity that Druckman didn’t realise that this is ultimately a regression of the first game.
 

Clear

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Overall it feels like a game designed very much by a comittee that wanted to push an agenda, but singularly failed to realise that the majority don’t care about their social agenda, and crucially don’t find that agenda entertaining. So whilst the authors are clearly getting a great kick from creating what they see as some sort of groundbreaking social commentary (and have said as much) the rest of us actually playing the game are left thinking what the fuss is about.
There will be lots of young people who like this kickback and enjoy the punk aspect of spitting in your parents faces, but it’s all a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, and it’s a pity that Druckman didn’t realise that this is ultimately a regression of the first game.
Still can't see what the agenda being pushed is, and why exactly its bad.

I mean what lifestyle choices are being promoted? None of the characters are especially virtuous, they act selfishly and impulsively, constantly falling into (self-)destructive patterns of behavior.

But that's the underlying point: Its not a feel-good story!
 
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Ellery

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Oh sweet they did a second video on TLOU2. It is even better than the first one and imho a must watch for everyone who played the game, especially those that think the game has poor writing.

It has a lot of humor, but it might rub/trigger some people the wrong way. The comparisons to Dark Knight and Lord of the Rings are just brilliant
 

Umbral

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I can't get on board with this sorry. To be truly redeemed you need to be selfless but Joel was selfish in his actions. If he had let the Fireflies keep Ellie and he walked away, that would have been a selfless act and an extremely redeemable thing to do.
Wait, trading Ellie’s life to spare his own by walking away would have been selfless?
 
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Umbral

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Best part is at 6:00.
The part where she constructs straw men in order to dismiss arguments? I’ll cut her some slack since she’s trying to be funny, but the ”who cares?”, she can cram it up her ass. “Turn off your brain and just enjoy it.” shouldn’t be required.

Batman’s character development was explained and shown in the writing and filming. Dark Knight Rises has plenty of other plot holes. We understood why he was that way because it was either shown or told.

We are left to assume things about Joel’s changes in order to justify what actions he and Tommy took. Again, poor writing/directing. You have to demonstrate these things. Don’t tell me to go read a fucking comic that fills in the story or make assumptions because the writer couldn’t be bothered to include it. Your work must stand on its own.
 
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sol_bad

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Wait, trading Ellie’s life to spare his own by walking away would have been selfless?
Yes, because he gave up what he truly wanted, a relationship with a daughter.
To potentially save millions/billions of people.
 

Woggleman

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This series in general is very morally grey and they do a good job of showing you both sides. It asks more questions than it answers and to me it is better off for it.
 
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bishopcruz

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Wait, trading Ellie’s life to spare his own by walking away would have been selfless?
Fucking THANK YOU! Man literally goes on a suicide mission to save a girl, that is a selfish act? Get the fuck out of here with that shit! His growth as a character and becoming a better person actually led to that moment. Joel at the beginning of the game wouldn't have given three shits. If you want to argue acting selfish it is the fireflies, they are constantly rationalizing a decision that they know is evil, each one of them Marlene first, and Jerry in the second is basically looking to someone else to absolve them of a decision that they know is wrong. Jerry NEEDS Marlene to give him the OK, so he can lie to himself about what he is doing. Marlene needs the same from Joel, someone who will agree with her, so she can pretend she isn't an accessory to child murder in order to keep her power within the organization.

The part where she constructs straw men in order to dismiss arguments? I’ll cut her some slack since she’s trying to be funny, but the ”who cares?”, she can cram it up her ass. “Turn off your brain and just enjoy it.” shouldn’t be required.

Batman’s character development was explained and shown in the writing and filming. Dark Knight Rises has plenty of other plot holes. We understood why he was that way because it was either shown or told.

We are left to assume things about Joel’s changes in order to justify what actions he and Tommy took. Again, poor writing/directing. You have to demonstrate these things. Don’t tell me to go read a fucking comic that fills in the story or make assumptions because the writer couldn’t be bothered to include it. Your work must stand on its own.
Her reviews are fun, but the straw men do get tiring. She also tries to make her arguments sound deeper than they actually are, so she is a perfect fit for a game that desperately wants to be more profound than it really is.
 

Umbral

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Yes, because he gave up what he truly wanted, a relationship with a daughter.
To potentially save millions/billions of people.
He risked his own life fighting through the Fireflies to save her. That’s not selfish.

Walking away to leave her to her death to save his own ass and get paid would have been selfish.

B bishopcruz said it better above.
 
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Amiga

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that's the point mate, even the hunters are on the right, Joel was a hunter at some point.
Everyone, maybe not the cannibal pedophile Nolan North, are in the right to some degree here.

Killing in particular, it's something that everyone does here in a daily basis, so killing an "innocent girl" after killing so many people can be very justifiable if it means saving the world somehow.
Doctor super good was very conflicted as well, but he obviously thought that as long as it's not his daughter, killing a girl to save the world was ok.

Even today we justify killing to save lifes as something ok, as long as it doesn't involve humans. But if human life had less value as in the game, it wouldn't be that out of the ordinary.
conflicted doesn't matter to the victim, ones own life is not for another to sacrifice, you have no right for sympathy if you infringe on that. this part made me dislike Abby even more
 
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Jesus93

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You know something that you always hear is that you have to play the game before doing a review but then this girl comes a does a review by just watching his boyfriend playing and people are ok with it? lol
 

Keihart

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conflicted doesn't matter to the victim, ones own life is not for another to sacrifice, you have no right for sympathy if you infringe on that. this part made me dislike Abby even more
Yeah, good thing the game doesn't tell you that Abby or the Doctor are on the right, it just gives you perspective and shows everyone as flawed, sometimes rational and sometimes emotional beings.
Obviously for the Doctor and Abby, there is a end that justifies the means, even if the doctor feels guilty about it, he has already taken the decision about what it's the right thing to do.
 

sol_bad

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He risked his own life fighting through the Fireflies to save her. That’s not selfish.

Walking away to leave her to her death to save his own ass and get paid would have been selfish.

You guys mentioning straw-man as your arguments are not presenting a good argument. If someone brings up a good point (like girlfriend reviews comparing TLOU2 to a bunch of movies with similar "plot holes") and you just say she is using a staw-man, it's not a good counterpoint, it doesn't disprove anything that she/he/they say.

B bishopcruz said it better above.
Just because it's a suicide act doesn't make it any less selfish. He isn't doing the suicide run to better the world or improve himself. He is still doing what he has been doing for 20 years, killing or hurting anyone that gets between him and what he wants.

conflicted doesn't matter to the victim, ones own life is not for another to sacrifice, you have no right for sympathy if you infringe on that. this part made me dislike Abby even more
But Joel has the right to sacrifice Marleen, 1-3 doctors and how many Fireflies?

You know something that you always hear is that you have to play the game before doing a review but then this girl comes a does a review by just watching his boyfriend playing and people are ok with it? lol
The boyfriend writes the scripts for the reviews.
 

bishopcruz

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Just because it's a suicide act doesn't make it any less selfish. He isn't doing the suicide run to better the world or improve himself. He is still doing what he has been doing for 20 years, killing or hurting anyone that gets between him and what he wants.



But Joel has the right to sacrifice Marleen, 1-3 doctors and how many Fireflies?



The boyfriend writes the scripts for the reviews.

OK, so let me get this straight. It is OK for the fireflies to kidnap Joel and Ellie, sedate her, run tests for literally weeks years days hours, and then decide to murder her for the cure without even the common decency to let them know about it, have a final meal at least, make their peace, maybe watch a movie. Shit we treat death row inmates better than that. Then they tell Joel what is going on, don't let him see the girl before she dies either, threaten his life if he doesn't go along with it, and decide to march him out sans equipment into an abandoned QZ filled with infected. He had two options, fight back and deal with everyone in his way in the same manner that they are you, or walk towards your own death like a coward. Safe in the knowledge that a bunch of psychopaths are murdering a 14 year old girl for the good of the world.

Somehow all of you people calling Joel selfish are missing the trees for the forest, didn't even know that was possible. The thing is, in order for you to consider Joel selfish, you have to think he is such a monster that he doesn't actually think Ellie's life is worth something on its own, that she doesn't have inherent value, and that all he cares about are his fee-fees and his replacement Sarah. To believe that requires just as much of an ignorance of the text of the game as believing that the fireflies aren't incompetent buffoons.
 
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Amiga

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Yeah, good thing the game doesn't tell you that Abby or the Doctor are on the right, it just gives you perspective and shows everyone as flawed, sometimes rational and sometimes emotional beings.
Obviously for the Doctor and Abby, there is a end that justifies the means, even if the doctor feels guilty about it, he has already taken the decision about what it's the right thing to do.
That's how the worst people in history are motivated, they think they are the good guys. but the game dose desperately try to get the player to sympathies with Abby.
 

sol_bad

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OK, so let me get this straight. It is OK for the fireflies to kidnap Joel and Ellie, sedate her, run tests for literally weeks years days hours, and then decide to murder her for the cure without even the common decency to let them know about it, have a final meal at least, make their peace, maybe watch a movie. Shit we treat death row inmates better than that. Then they tell Joel what is going on, don't let him see the girl before she dies either, threaten his life if he doesn't go along with it, and decide to march him out sans equipment into an abandoned QZ filled with infected. He had two options, fight back and deal with everyone in his way in the same manner that they are you, or walk towards your own death like a coward. Safe in the knowledge that a bunch of psychopaths are murdering a 14 year old girl for the good of the world.

Somehow all of you people calling Joel selfish are missing the trees for the forest, didn't even know that was possible. The thing is, in order for you to consider Joel selfish, you have to think he is such a monster that he doesn't actually think Ellie's life is worth something on its own, that she doesn't have inherent value, and that all he cares about are his fee-fees and his replacement Sarah. To believe that requires just as much of an ignorance of the text of the game as believing that the fireflies aren't incompetent buffoons.
I don't believe what the Fireflies are doing is right but I don't believe what Joel is doing is right either. I understand both perspectives and that they both believe they are doing the right thing.
Well, Joel obviously doesn't believe he is doing the right thing, hence the reason he lies to Ellie about what happened.
hmmmm

That's how the worst people in history are motivated, they think they are the good guys. but the game dose desperately try to get the player to sympathies with Abby.
Just like the first game desperately gets you to sympathise with Joel. They go so far as just glossing over the horrible things he has done in the past.
 
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DForce

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The part where she constructs straw men in order to dismiss arguments? I’ll cut her some slack since she’s trying to be funny, but the ”who cares?”, she can cram it up her ass. “Turn off your brain and just enjoy it.” shouldn’t be required.

Batman’s character development was explained and shown in the writing and filming. Dark Knight Rises has plenty of other plot holes. We understood why he was that way because it was either shown or told.

We are left to assume things about Joel’s changes in order to justify what actions he and Tommy took. Again, poor writing/directing. You have to demonstrate these things. Don’t tell me to go read a fucking comic that fills in the story or make assumptions because the writer couldn’t be bothered to include it. Your work must stand on its own.
It's not poor writing, it's more like people who have trouble understanding a the story.

You should also listen closely to what she says.


"How does Abby conveniently stumble upon Joel after literally following his tracks."
Tommy has been tracked for months. Owen spotted two people on patrol going to the ski resort. Abby wanted to get anyone from Jackson and force them to give up Joel. They just happened to be Joel and Tommy.

We are left to assume things about Joel’s changes in order to justify what actions he and Tommy took. Again, poor writing/directing.
No.

Listen to her words again.

Why does Joel cautiously agree to follow a young woman to safety instead of fighting a giant horde of monsters in a blizzard.
She doesn't say Joel agreed to follow a young woman, she said Joel cautiously agreed to follow a young woman.

We weren't left to assume Joel and Tommy changed to justify anything, all you have to to is see how they were put in that situation to begin with.

They were being chased by a horde all the way up to the gate where Abby and her friends were staying, a place and location Joel was familiar with as he called it the "Baldwin Place." As soon as those gates closed, they were captured.

Does Joel TRUST them?

No, he doesn't. All you have to do is listen to his dialog.

Nora: You wanna get those saddles off?
Joel: No, no. That's all right. We'll just ride out the storm and get out of your hair.


Tommy: How long you all been here?
Manny: Since yesterday.
Joel: Yesterday.
Manny: Yup
Joel: What are y'all doing out this way?
Joel was cautious the entire time and you're not made to believe he thought the situation was safe for him to be in.

Giving their names isn't a problem since they're from a large city. They're not living in secrecy. Former fireflies were picked up at the gate of Jackson and that's how Abby found out about Tommy's location.

Just because Jackson become a trusting community, doesn't mean Joel was never cautious about the situation.
 
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Amiga

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But Joel has the right to sacrifice Marleen, 1-3 doctors and how many Fireflies?
Marleen and the Fireflies started the fight, and they don't compromise. That flashback where she is conflicted is a retcon of the uncompromising zeal the Fireflies have and established in the 1st game.

He is still doing what he has been doing for 20 years, killing or hurting anyone that gets between him and what he wants.
That was never Joels character. you are making this up to cover for the writers bad narrative. He only fought to defend himself from aggressors. the Fireflies were serial aggressors that only accept submission.
 
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Umbral

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It's not poor writing, it's more like people who have trouble understanding a the story.

You should also listen closely to what she says.




Tommy has been tracked for months. Owen spotted two people on patrol going to the ski resort. Abby wanted to get anyone from Jackson and force them to give up Joel. They just happened to be Joel and Tommy.
You know why I didn’t address that specific example? Because I don’t have an issue with it. It makes sense, if a little too convenient.

No.

Listen to her words again.



She doesn't say Joel agreed to follow a young woman, she said Joel cautiously agreed to follow a young woman.

We weren't left to assume Joel and Tommy changed to justify anything, all you have to to is see how they were put in that situation to begin with.

They were being chased by a horde all the way up to the gate where Abby and her friends were staying, a place and location Joel was familiar with as he called it the "Baldwin Place." As soon as those gates closed, they were captured.

Does Joel TRUST them?

No, he doesn't. All you have to do is listen to his dialog.



Joel was cautious the entire time and you're not made to believe he thought the situation was safe for him to be in.

Giving their names isn't a problem since they're from a large city. They're not living in secrecy. Former fireflies were picked up at the gate of Jackson and that's how Abby found out about Tommy's location.

Just because Jackson become a trusting community, doesn't mean Joel was never cautious about the situation.
I’m addressing the argument that won’t seem to die, which is:
Joel and Tommy softened while in Jackson. This explains why they were so willing to help a stranger, give their names to her multiple times, and let their guard down in the chalet.

It is never demonstrated that Joel or Tommy have lost a step in their survival instincts. I’m not going to fill in the blanks for the writer/director. It’s their job to convey this to the audience.

When we first join Joel and Tommy and they leave the house, we see the dead they killed on their way in. That’s the only time we get to see them prior to this. It’s never established that they’ve lost any edge whatsoever. They were mildly cautious entering the chalet, I would say they’re relaxed, but some read it as you have. That’s splitting hairs.

The issue I have is that they are outnumbered 8:2, there is a camo-painted Humvee parked in the garage, they are all wearing some sort of tactical garb, some have patches on them that say WLF, an unknown group holed up just outside Jackson, only there a day, the only unholstered weapon is the shotgun held by Owen. Upon entering Tommy puts his back to a wall by the door, smart move and allows him to see everything in the room without having to turn his head. Joel walks dead center into the group. Somehow Owen transfers the shotgun to Abby and she readies it in full view of Tommy without Tommy reacting in any way until Joel has already been shot. If Joel had done the smart thing, he would have parked beside Tommy, but then the whole scene couldn’t play out in the same dramatic fashion. The scene wasn’t well executed and from the information inside the game itself, this was out of character for Joel to be so foolish around strangers.
 
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Keihart

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Seriously? It's not even honest then.
if you watch the content you would understand the difference.
The "reviews" take into account the difference between both POVs, which is why they write them together as they play the games together, sometimes they even flip roles.
with remarks like, this is boring as a spectator but not for the one playing, for example.
 

Amiga

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Just like the first game desperately gets you to sympathise with Joel. They go so far as just glossing over the horrible things he has done in the past.
these things are mentioned in the second game, another retcon. TLOU2 is full of alterations to characters established in the 1st game. Can't help but feel Niel was trying to erase the legacy of his senior Bruce Straley . some people are that petty.