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Girlfriend Reviews: Understanding Last of Us 2

bishopcruz

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You ignore the fact that Marlene tried to take Ellie from Joel because she thought he was going to make the "right choice" by giving back Ellie, but Joel killed her.

There's nothing magical about it. Joel had the upper-hand because he had Ellie. You guys are free to say what would happened if Joel turned the truck back to give up Ellie, but somehow it's impossible for Joel to wait and take people hostage.

Right. lol.
What?

Ok, so he is outnumbered, Marlene is in front of him trying to negotiate, with a gun still in her hand. Below him there are at least a dozen pissed off heavily armed fireflies who will be out for blood. Are you honestly saying that Joel stop, tell Marlene to wait however long it is for Ellie to wake up. Aske her if she is ok with dying for a procedure that is no longer possible, and then the Fireflies will just let Joel walk? And let's say that we are wrong and faced with actual death, Ellie says no. Do you think the Fireflies will what, let them walk? When they already proved that her consent is of zero value to them?

You're not thinking this through. I will state it again, from the second that Marlene said "Shoot him if he tries anything." The die was cast. The massacre could have been avoided, but not by Joel. If the fireflies had handled the situation with the slightest bit of human decency maybe Ellie could have convinced Joel. But they didn't. And once they set the events into motion, there was no stopping them.
 
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What?

Ok, so he is outnumbered, Marlene is in front of him trying to negotiate, with a gun still in her hand. Below him there are at least a dozen pissed off heavily armed fireflies who will be out for blood. Are you honestly saying that Joel stop, tell Marlene to wait however long it is for Ellie to wake up. Aske her if she is ok with dying for a procedure that is no longer possible, and then the Fireflies will just let Joel walk? And let's say that we are wrong and faced with actual death, Ellie says no. Do you think the Fireflies will what, let them walk? When they already proved that her consent is of zero value to them?

You're not thinking this through. I will state it again, from the second that Marlene said "Shoot him if he tries anything." The die was cast. The massacre could have been avoided, but not by Joel. If the fireflies had handled the situation with the slightest bit of human decency maybe Ellie could have convinced Joel. But they didn't. And once they set the events into motion, there was no stopping them.
You actually believe Ellie could convince Joel?
 

DForce

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What?

Ok, so he is outnumbered,
Same person who was out numbered trying to rescue Ellie?

Marlene is in front of him trying to negotiate, with a gun still in her hand. Below him there are at least a dozen pissed off heavily armed fireflies who will be out for blood. Are you honestly saying that Joel stop, tell Marlene to wait however long it is for Ellie to wake up. Aske her if she is ok with dying for a procedure that is no longer possible, and then the Fireflies will just let Joel walk? And let's say that we are wrong and faced with actual death, Ellie says no. Do you think the Fireflies will what, let them walk? When they already proved that her consent is of zero value to them?

You're not thinking this through. I will state it again, from the second that Marlene said "Shoot him if he tries anything." The die was cast. The massacre could have been avoided, but not by Joel. If the fireflies had handled the situation with the slightest bit of human decency maybe Ellie could have convinced Joel. But they didn't. And once they set the events into motion, there was no stopping them.
She lowered the gun because she didn't want to kill Joel. She gave him an option.

Think about that.

But for a second, lets say Joel DID give up Ellie, do you think Marlene was going to shoot Joel in the back?

Why didn't Marlene just shoot Joel as soon as he got off the elevator?

He hid the gun from Marlene's sight. Marlene could have easily shot Joel, but she didn't. Marlene thought he was defenseless and that's why she thought it was safe to grab Joel.

But you're still missing the point.

You said he didn't have the opportunity, which he did. Ellie could walk back on her own. We know she's capable of surviving, but you think Joel had to bring back Ellie to the fireflies.


No matter what you say, there were opportunities. This is of course a fictional story, and having Joel take Marlene hostage is totally believable.
 

bishopcruz

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You actually believe Ellie could convince Joel?
Not particularly likely, hence the maybe. I think though that given a chance to actually say goodbye and if he had time to come to terms with it it was a possibility. Though honestly with her being only 14 and the hellish pressuse being put on her and her survivor's guilt there is a real questrion on whether or not it would be right thing to let her go through with it even IF she said yes. But again, that would have been an actual situation without a right or wrong answer. But that isn't what we got. We needed an explanation for why the fireflies had to do it IMMEDIATELY, we never got it. We needed a reason that the fireflies didn't even bother asking Ellie, we never got it. We needed a reason the fireflies never tried any other options before killing the only immune person on the planet, we never got that either. What we did get was the fireflies acting in a way that would make anyone with a conscience try to stop them. It was just abject stupidity, no two ways about it.
 
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Not particularly likely, hence the maybe. I think though that given a chance to actually say goodbye and if he had time to come to terms with it it was a possibility. Though honestly with her being only 14 and the hellish pressuse being put on her and her survivor's guilt there is a real questrion on whether or not it would be right thing to let her go through with it even IF she said yes. But again, that would have been an actual situation without a right or wrong answer. But that isn't what we got. We needed an explanation for why the fireflies had to do it IMMEDIATELY, we never got it. We needed a reason that the fireflies didn't even bother asking Ellie, we never got it. We needed a reason the fireflies never tried any other options before killing the only immune person on the planet, we never got that either. What we did get was the fireflies acting in a way that would make anyone with a conscience try to stop them. It was just abject stupidity, no two ways about it.
She was knocked out, they could be attacked and have Ellie taken at any time, there's your reasons. Joel wouldn't be convinced by what you're saying, believing he would is misunderstanding his character. He kills an injured, unarmed woman pleading for her life because there's a slight chance she might one day find them. The irony of Joel's relationship with Ellie is that she makes him human again but to protect her he's as monstrous as ever.
 

bishopcruz

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Same person who was out numbered trying to rescue Ellie?
Yes, that same person. There is a difference between hiding through bits of an office and winning a firefight and walking into what would be a room filled with fireflies looking to wax him.


She lowered the gun because she didn't want to kill Joel. She gave him an option.

Think about that.
I have, she also never lowered her gun. She raised it up, but she could pretty much turn and shoot him in a second.

But for a second, lets say Joel DID give up Ellie, do you think Marlene was going to shoot Joel in the back?
Yes. Absolutely. Ellie was the only leverage Joel had in the situation. Marlene had not five minutes prior told her people to shoot Joel if he tried anything. Do you honestly think that him killing a bunch of her people made her more sympathetic to his aims?

Why didn't Marlene just shoot Joel as soon as he got off the elevator?
Because Ellie was between her and Joel?

He hid the gun from Marlene's sight. Marlene could have easily shot Joel, but she didn't. Marlene thought he was defenseless and that's why she thought it was safe to grab Joel.
He didn't hide the gun from her, she just couldn't see it. You could argue that she held her gun up because she didn't think she was at a persona risk in that second. And rushing him would risk killing Ellie.

But you're still missing the point.

You said he didn't have the opportunity, which he did. Ellie could walk back on her own. We know she's capable of surviving, but you think Joel had to bring back Ellie to the fireflies.


No matter what you say, there were opportunities. This is of course a fictional story, and having Joel take Marlene hostage is totally believable.
You're grasping at straws here. Even IF he told Ellie the fireflies would be dead and it wouldn't matter. You argue that the lie was wrong. OK, sure that's your argument. But by that point the ship had sailed. Ellie's consent was no longer relevant in regards to her being around for the cure because well, everyone who could have done shit about it was dead. And any attempt to get her consent would have necessitated chilling a whole bunch of fireflies and then waiting for however long until she wakes up, and then expecting things to continue on their merry way.

The text doesn't back you up. In order for your scenario to work the ending would have to be more contrived than it already is.
 
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bishopcruz

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She was knocked out, they could be attacked and have Ellie taken at any time, there's your reasons. Joel wouldn't be convinced by what you're saying, believing he would is misunderstanding his character. He kills an injured, unarmed woman pleading for her life because there's a slight chance she might one day find them. The irony of Joel's relationship with Ellie is that she makes him human again but to protect her he's as monstrous as ever.
Well that is a reason. That is a shitty fucking reason if I eve r heard one. COuld be attacked at any time? I dunno, they seemed pretty chill in their base. Fucking Dr. Jerry was running around saving zebras and shit. None of the recorders or dialog in the game indicates that they thought they were at risk or that the operation needed to be done then and there. They have no excuses, though you seem to be quite willing to come up with a reason to make child murder ok.

Did I say he WOULD have been convinced? No, but if there was ANY chance of it happening, it would have to come from Ellie.

You DO know who Marlene is right? The head of the fireflies, the one who has a direct link to Tommy, Joel's brother, the one who five minutes ago told the fireflies to shoot him if he tried anything after preparing to kidnap a girl. Damn right he shot her pathetic, whining ass. Two people in that base especially had it coming, Dr. Jerry and Marlene. So forgive me if I don't shed a tear for someone who swore to protect her best friend's daughter, then abandoned her when it became politically inconvnient.

If you consider Joel's actions in the firefly base "as monstrous as ever" you don't have a moral center. Sorry, nowhere near anything he would have done as a hunter. Every single death there if it were happening today would be covered under justifiable self defense, with the possible exception of Marlene's tap to the skull. And for that one we go into we're living in an apocalypse, so fuck it, street rules are active.
 
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Well that is a reason. That is a shitty fucking reason if I eve r heard one. COuld be attacked at any time? I dunno, they seemed pretty chill in their base. Fucking Dr. Jerry was running around saving zebras and shit. None of the recorders or dialog in the game indicates that they thought they were at risk or that the operation needed to be done then and there. They have no excuses, though you seem to be quite willing to come up with a reason to make child murder ok.

Did I say he WOULD have been convinced? No, but if there was ANY chance of it happening, it would have to come from Ellie.

You DO know who Marlene is right? The head of the fireflies, the one who has a direct link to Tommy, Joel's brother, the one who five minutes ago told the fireflies to shoot him if he tried anything after preparing to kidnap a girl. Damn right he shot her pathetic, whining ass. Two people in that base especially had it coming, Dr. Jerry and Marlene. So forgive me if I don't shed a tear for someone who swore to protect her best friend's daughter, then abandoned her when it became politically inconvnient.

If you consider Joel's actions in the firefly base "as monstrous as ever" you don't have a moral center. Sorry, nowhere near anything he would have done as a hunter. Every single death there if it were happening today would be covered under justifiable self defense, with the possible exception of Marlene's tap to the skull. And for that one we go into we're living in an apocalypse, so fuck it, street rules are active.
The game implies the Fireflies are on their last legs throughout the campaign, it's the whole reason the trip takes as long as it does and is as dangerous as it is. She was brought there for the operation, she came in unconscious, so they did it then... I'm not seeing what the problem is? Their logic is sound. What does waiting for her to wake up do to help their cause?

I didn't come up with any reason why child murder is ok. I'm giving reasons why characters in a game made the decisions they did, I did not say I condone their actions.

What's the point of showing Ellie try to convince Joel? You have to understand the rift between Joel and Ellie the game opens up isn't about Joel murdering the Fireflies, Ellie doesn't know he did that... she knows he lied to her and took from her the importance of her immunity, something she needed to matter.

Good people don't murder people because it might prove beneficial in the future... that's the whole premise behind killing Ellie, though, isn't it? You seem to have the same logic as the Fireflies here.

"street rules"??? A non-monstrous Joel enter the room, points a gun at them and tells them to back away and he's taking her. I'd honestly argue it's canon Joel murders all 3 people in the room, btw, people who didn't do it were not in Joel's head, in my view, watch his enjoyment as he does it, too. My moral center sits somewhere near "you shouldn't kill wounded women who plead for their life".
 

DForce

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Yes, that same person. There is a difference between hiding through bits of an office and winning a firefight and walking into what would be a room filled with fireflies looking to wax him.
I have, she also never lowered her gun. She raised it up, but she could pretty much turn and shoot him in a second.
She did. She lowered it from his head. It was no longer raised. No matter how you slice it, Marlene showed no signs of intending to Kill Joel.

lowering
Yes. Absolutely. Ellie was the only leverage Joel had in the situation. Marlene had not five minutes prior told her people to shoot Joel if he tried anything. Do you honestly think that him killing a bunch of her people made her more sympathetic to his aims?
You're speculation. You don't know if Marlene would've killed Joel. We only know that Marlene gave Joel a chance. Doesn't indicate otherwise.

Because Ellie was between her and Joel?
You know Marlene could've shot her when she got close if she thought he didn't have a gun, right?

He didn't hide the gun from her, she just couldn't see it. You could argue that she held her gun up because she didn't think she was at a persona risk in that second. And rushing him would risk killing Ellie.
LOL. You just contradicted yourself. He hid it and baited her in to kill her.

You're grasping at straws here. Even IF he told Ellie the fireflies would be dead and it wouldn't matter. You argue that the lie was wrong. OK, sure that's your argument. But by that point the ship had sailed. Ellie's consent was no longer relevant in regards to her being around for the cure because well, everyone who could have done shit about it was dead. And any attempt to get her consent would have necessitated chilling a whole bunch of fireflies and then waiting for however long until she wakes up, and then expecting things to continue on their merry way.

The text doesn't back you up. In order for your scenario to work the ending would have to be more contrived than it already is.
I'm not. I'm finding holes in your argument. It's just that simple.
 

tassletine

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I'm sorry but I just don't see it. To me, it seems like people are reacting more to casting choices than actual story events. If you mentally gender-swap the game, nothing changes. In fact it all seems rather traditional and basic.

That the protagonists are female literally adds nothing, all it actually does -and ultimately why its neccessary- is that it fits the continuity established in the first game. Ellie, her sexuality, her fractured relationship with Joel are all holdovers, not innovations.

So she's got a girlfriend not a boyfriend, the only way it comes into play is her pregnancy adding to the stakes a little. Lev's trans status again is just background flavor, and its handled in a pretty restrained and unpreachy manner. I'm sorry, but I really question why anyone would legitimately have an issue with it as an element, especially when its function is a motivation for them being hunted as apostates, not as sexual deviants.

I think its a good game, and I appreciate the effort to try something a bit different and adventurous, rather than a pointless rehash sequel.
.... And to me it just seems like you're using a leftist tactic of feigning ignorance to make others feel guilty.
To say that you wouldn't understand the outrage if a game featured black men getting shot repeatedly, in the light of recent events seems extremely disingenuous. But you may not have turned the TV on in months, I don't know.

And you seem to be coming from the point of view that I do have a big issue with it. I don't. I enjoy the discussion though as they have made an interesting game.
I enjoyed the game a lot and agree that most of what you say was in the background -- But I can clearly see why some take issue as ND are deliberately trying to antagonise and have stated as much. That's not really up for debate, as the people making the game say that was their intention. y.

Slipping subtle (or not so subtle) political messages into games annoys people as it distracts from the core gameplay, if you are politically minded. Going by what you've written, you're probably not politically minded so you don't see it.
There is a reason that you are warned never to talk politics at the dinner table -- it's because that is a space that you are supposed to relax and enjoy -- and it's the same with videogames. If you're young you generally don't care about that sort of thing, but the older you get the more it annoys you as your time is more limited. Doubly annoying here as ND deliberately prevented the press telling people about that part of the story.
 

Kadayi

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What is it you're actually arguing against here. if you want to see a well-reasoned argument from me you need to actually make a point worth arguing with.
LOL. So that it's not that you're incapable, it's that simply choose not to.



Lets try again shall we, as you apparently breezed over this:

Let's just presume that the show would follow the main plot points and structure, but without half an hour every episode of Ellie or Abby crawling around a bunch of ruins ending Clickers, fools and Dogs and rifling through drawers for ammunition. Do you think from a narrative perspective Alan Sepinwall would be heaping praise on it? Would he be holding it up against the likes of Breaking Bad or The Sopranos as Top Tier Drama?

I look forward to your inevitable failure to address the question in any meaningful fashion.
 
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LOL. So that it's not that you're incapable, it's that simply choose not to.

You're not presenting an argument for me to engage with on any particular subject. You're acting like you're scoring points here but on what? What is your position relative to mine on what specific subject? Can you define that?
 

Kadayi

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You're not presenting an argument for me to engage with on any particular subject. You're acting like you're scoring points here but on what? What is your position relative to mine on what specific subject? Can you define that?
Holy shit, again.

I'll repeat for the 3rd time: -

Let's just presume that the show would follow the main plot points and structure, but without half an hour every episode of Ellie or Abby crawling around a bunch of ruins ending Clickers, fools and Dogs and rifling through drawers for ammunition. Do you think from a narrative perspective Alan Sepinwall would be heaping praise on it? Would he be holding it up against the likes of Breaking Bad or The Sopranos as Top Tier Drama?
 
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Holy shit, again.

I'll repeat for the 3rd time: -

Let's just presume that the show would follow the main plot points and structure, but without half an hour every episode of Ellie or Abby crawling around a bunch of ruins ending Clickers, fools and Dogs and rifling through drawers for ammunition. Do you think from a narrative perspective Alan Sepinwall would be heaping praise on it? Would he be holding it up against the likes of Breaking Bad or The Sopranos as Top Tier Drama?
You must have me confused with someone else because I'm beyond figuring out what you're even talking about.
 

Clear

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.... And to me it just seems like you're using a leftist tactic of feigning ignorance to make others feel guilty.
Well I think you're barking up the wrong tree for a start off because I'm neither a leftist nor have any intention of making anyone feel guilty.

I honestly, genuinely don't see there being a problem. If I did, I'd say something about it as I really do not enjoy being preached at when I'm just hoping to be entertained.

Harping on about it when there is no overt messaging is to me a red flag

To say that you wouldn't understand the outrage if a game featured black men getting shot repeatedly, in the light of recent events seems extremely disingenuous. But you may not have turned the TV on in months, I don't know.
Depends on the context and who's shooting the black men! I'd expect a different response if I was controlling a British soldier fighting the Zulu at Rorke's Drift, or playing as Omar in a videogame adaptation of The Wire. Personally I'd argue both are valid but I know the former would draw a lot more comment than the latter in the media.

Perception and cultural climate obviously factor in, and sometimes you have to consider that there is an inherent "ickyness" to certain things. Men killing women is more taboo than men killing other men, killing children even more so which is why its rarely done. These are not "progressive" ideas however, they are equally traditional and conservative sentiments.

And you seem to be coming from the point of view that I do have a big issue with it. I don't. I enjoy the discussion though as they have made an interesting game.
I enjoyed the game a lot and agree that most of what you say was in the background -- But I can clearly see why some take issue as ND are deliberately trying to antagonise and have stated as much. That's not really up for debate, as the people making the game say that was their intention.
First of all I wasn't having a go at you personally, I was simply laying out my viewpoint. Although I quoted your post I didn't intend my reply to be exclusively for you (I'd have PM'd if that were the case!), and likewise was referencing the pushback against the game generally.

But let me be blunt, I think the discussion surrounding this game really has flushed some shitty people with shitty attitudes out into the open. I do not like SJW-types, but I like bigots even less. And I'm sorry but if the presence of gay and or trans characters offends on principle, then what else can it be but bigotry? That's how I see it anyway,

I'm all for civil discussion, and there is most definitely room for criticism on grounds like tokenism, opportunism, unearned or insincere preachyness and sanctimony etc. But if a person chooses to argue that case then they have to be quite precise in articulating what their issues are, so as not to appear to be just another common bigot.

Because as I've said, and I defy anyone to argue otherwise, there is no shortage of bigots out there. There always have been and there most likely always will be.

Slipping subtle (or not so subtle) political messages into games annoys people as it distracts from the core gameplay, if you are politically minded. Going by what you've written, you're probably not politically minded so you don't see it.
There is a reason that you are warned never to talk politics at the dinner table -- it's because that is a space that you are supposed to relax and enjoy -- and it's the same with videogames. If you're young you generally don't care about that sort of thing, but the older you get the more it annoys you as your time is more limited. Doubly annoying here as ND deliberately prevented the press telling people about that part of the story.
To me the crucial thing is if the messaging has a point, as in it is attempting to make an overt statement as opposed to just incorporating elements of the author's political outlook. For me TLOU2 is very much in the latter category.

At no point did I feel that the game was preaching at me or trying to communicate a message about gender/sexual orientation. The story is basically a cautionary tale about the destructive effects of seeking violent retribution, even when its seemingly morally justified.

I didn't come away thinking any different about gay or trans folks. I wasn't shocked to my core that women can be as tough and violent as men, or that female bodybuilders (gasp!) exist having been a fan of both pro Wrestling and MMA for years...

I'm not being wilfully obtuse or apolitical, I just don't think there is a message to be taken from the game. The defining relationships in the game are parent child, or at least protector and ward, ironically the romantic relationships are the primary casualties of the impulse to revenge.

It really doesn't even push the female empowerment button as pretty much every act of violence in the game is presented as being ugly and pointless. For all their toughness and determination the end result is that they simply take more pain for no gain.
 

tassletine

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Well I think you're barking up the wrong tree for a start off because I'm neither a leftist nor have any intention of making anyone feel guilty.

I honestly, genuinely don't see there being a problem. If I did, I'd say something about it as I really do not enjoy being preached at when I'm just hoping to be entertained.

Harping on about it when there is no overt messaging is to me a red flag



Depends on the context and who's shooting the black men! I'd expect a different response if I was controlling a British soldier fighting the Zulu at Rorke's Drift, or playing as Omar in a videogame adaptation of The Wire. Personally I'd argue both are valid but I know the former would draw a lot more comment than the latter in the media.

Perception and cultural climate obviously factor in, and sometimes you have to consider that there is an inherent "ickyness" to certain things. Men killing women is more taboo than men killing other men, killing children even more so which is why its rarely done. These are not "progressive" ideas however, they are equally traditional and conservative sentiments.



First of all I wasn't having a go at you personally, I was simply laying out my viewpoint. Although I quoted your post I didn't intend my reply to be exclusively for you (I'd have PM'd if that were the case!), and likewise was referencing the pushback against the game generally.

But let me be blunt, I think the discussion surrounding this game really has flushed some shitty people with shitty attitudes out into the open. I do not like SJW-types, but I like bigots even less. And I'm sorry but if the presence of gay and or trans characters offends on principle, then what else can it be but bigotry? That's how I see it anyway,

I'm all for civil discussion, and there is most definitely room for criticism on grounds like tokenism, opportunism, unearned or insincere preachyness and sanctimony etc. But if a person chooses to argue that case then they have to be quite precise in articulating what their issues are, so as not to appear to be just another common bigot.

Because as I've said, and I defy anyone to argue otherwise, there is no shortage of bigots out there. There always have been and there most likely always will be.



To me the crucial thing is if the messaging has a point, as in it is attempting to make an overt statement as opposed to just incorporating elements of the author's political outlook. For me TLOU2 is very much in the latter category.

At no point did I feel that the game was preaching at me or trying to communicate a message about gender/sexual orientation. The story is basically a cautionary tale about the destructive effects of seeking violent retribution, even when its seemingly morally justified.

I didn't come away thinking any different about gay or trans folks. I wasn't shocked to my core that women can be as tough and violent as men, or that female bodybuilders (gasp!) exist having been a fan of both pro Wrestling and MMA for years...

I'm not being wilfully obtuse or apolitical, I just don't think there is a message to be taken from the game. The defining relationships in the game are parent child, or at least protector and ward, ironically the romantic relationships are the primary casualties of the impulse to revenge.

It really doesn't even push the female empowerment button as pretty much every act of violence in the game is presented as being ugly and pointless. For all their toughness and determination the end result is that they simply take more pain for no gain.
I pretty much agree with what you're saying (although unlike you, I consider the far left to be as bigoted as the far right) but I think the message in this game is so muddled that it's bound to cause disagreements like this. Where one side is effectively guessing what the other thinks.

I completely agree about what you're saying about regards the "presence of gay and or trans characters offends on principle" -- That not the issue I have here -- The issue I have is that Druckman etc have used this to sell the game and stoke controversy. If you look at the post where Jeff Cannata compares the game to Schindler's List, and the response from Druckman you may see what I mean--

As the game DOES contain genocide, torture, concentration camps etc. then it CAN be compared to Schindler's List, a fictional film about a real event -- Obviously this comment was made with a sly wink as well. Druckman's response to this wasn't to go "We wanted to show the horrors of war" it was to patronise, tell Cannata he's not funny, and that 'we can do better'. Oh! How my heart bleeds.

But Druckman was the one evoking those images for entertainment value in the first place! -- And that's a very transparent baiting tactic, usually only invisible to someone with their head very far up their own arse, -- It's the kind of "Who? little old me?" cookies and cream shit that teenagers play when caught out.

And that attitude left a bad taste in my mouth overall, not so much when I was playing, but when thinking about it afterwards -- especially in regards to how the game was sold.
It was that, that ultimately made me sympathise with the people who don't like this game, especially in regards to story, and the fact we were told it was "All about the story" this time around. I can see where they are coming from.

Now. If there was some actual fun to be had out of putting these sorts of things into games I'd be all for it -- Same if a decent story was told -- but I don't think it really benefits the game at all. I find all mildly distracting (as I do all the religious imagery) but that's more because I find it hacky, not because there is any direct message. I agree with you that there really isn't any message, or if there is, Druckman hid it up his arse with the rest of the plot.
 
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Kadayi

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You must have me confused with someone else because I'm beyond figuring out what you're even talking about.
You're playing the goldfish memory card? Seriously. Have some dignity.

Here is what I said earlier: -

People have the right to critique a book, a film, a TV show or game anyway they see fit, and if there are things they find nonsensical or egregious they have the right to bring them up, never more so on what is ostensibly a gaming discussion forum of all place. In the case of TLOU2 a creative endeavour that is seemingly aiming for some degree of fidelity based off of its look and feel then its invariably going to be held up to certain level of scrutiny. The problem with giving this sort of stuff a pass is it sends out a message of 'why try harder?' to the development community. Personally from a storytelling perspective I'd say gaming is an exciting medium to operate in, but aside from the odd exception (Disco Elysium springs to mind) for the most part narratives in games tend to leave a lot to be desired versus other more established mediums like TV and film and in that respect the gaming press (especially the pro sites) often come up short in recognising and acknowledging these shortcomings (We've been here before in the past with Mass Effect 3 for instance).
A lot of people legitimately don't feel the game is successful, and in large part this comes down to issues of the plot, pacing, characterisation and ill conceived world building, and have little if anything to do with SJW themes in the game (despite that being the popular denouncement being applied). Yet apparently none of these things were picked up on or acknowledged by the mainstream gaming press with their glowing reviews. This is not a good situation because it demonstrates a failure to assess according to the wants and needs of the audience. The popular perception of gamer's is that it's all easily pleased teenage boys, but the reality is the average age is around 35 . The same age demographic that not only popularised Game of Thrones but also tore the show-runner's/writers of that series a new one when they dropped the ball with their rushing of the last two seasons of that series, on the basis that they thought that shit was golden and that they could do no wrong.

People expect media regardless of format to operate to a standard within itself when it comes to storytelling, and if things don't add up, they're going to point it out because it's is unsatisfactory. The fundamental problem happening at the moment (and its been going on for a while tbf) is that the mainstream gaming press is largely out of sync with audience expectation when it comes to these things and this schism is not to anyone's benefit in the long term, least of all gaming as a storytelling medium reaching new heights. TLOU2 isn't a flawless masterpiece. It's a well produced game that isn't as tight or thought through as it the writers seems to think and it's left a bad taste in many peoples mouths as a result. A situation not helped by the rather belligerent attitude expressed by Druckmann either with his 'Fuck the Haters' approach, as if that alone is a shield against actual criticism of it as a piece. Burning bridges with your most passionate fans, never goes well. The diminishing returns on the recent Star Wars Trilogy alone can attest to that.
 

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Deer/Dur
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I pretty much agree with what you're saying (although unlike you, I consider the far left to be as bigoted as the far right) but I think the message in this game is so muddled that it's bound to cause disagreements like this. Where one side is effectively guessing what the other thinks.
I totally agree that there are bigots on both the left and right, its just that the problems I have with SJW types are about more than just bigotry! The only slack I give them is a grudging understanding that at least some of them mean well, even if their approach is wrong-headed and counter-productive.

Which is kinda how I feel about Druckmann. I think his heart is in the right place and although I don't believe that the swatches of progressive politics he incorporates into his work actually add much to the experience, to me its as benign as Tarantino's foot fetish. Its just an affectation, and I can't find fault with any creative wanting to put part of themselves and their outlook into their work.

Bottom line though much as I despise Resetera-style "wokeness" and SJW-ism, I refuse to let that incubate my own bigotries and prejudices. And I hate to say it, but I suspect not everyone can say the same.

Because as I've been arguing forever the real tragedy here is that SJW-ism creates the same hate that it bellows its opposition to. People get pissed off by screeching <insert marginal group>Activist-types, and ultimately get less tolerant of not only the activists, but the poor fuckers in the <marginal group> that the activists glommed onto.

To me, that's the thing about TLOU2. Its being judged based on association as much as content.
 

bishopcruz

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I totally agree that there are bigots on both the left and right, its just that the problems I have with SJW types are about more than just bigotry! The only slack I give them is a grudging understanding that at least some of them mean well, even if their approach is wrong-headed and counter-productive.

Which is kinda how I feel about Druckmann. I think his heart is in the right place and although I don't believe that the swatches of progressive politics he incorporates into his work actually add much to the experience, to me its as benign as Tarantino's foot fetish. Its just an affectation, and I can't find fault with any creative wanting to put part of themselves and their outlook into their work.

Bottom line though much as I despise Resetera-style "wokeness" and SJW-ism, I refuse to let that incubate my own bigotries and prejudices. And I hate to say it, but I suspect not everyone can say the same.

Because as I've been arguing forever the real tragedy here is that SJW-ism creates the same hate that it bellows its opposition to. People get pissed off by screeching <insert marginal group>Activist-types, and ultimately get less tolerant of not only the activists, but the poor fuckers in the <marginal group> that the activists glommed onto.

To me, that's the thing about TLOU2. Its being judged based on association as much as content.
Holy crap something on which we kinda sorta, well mostly, agree.

Well agree in that whatever SJW-isms in the game itself aren't really a problem. After the dance trailer I was worried that Ellie's sexualtiy and her struggles with it would be a big part of the game mainly due to how Druckman had been speaking and the general direction a lot of the gaming world had been moving (Wolfenstien being the most egregious example)

But for all it's flaws, and they are manifold. Being TOO SJW isn't really one of them. Ellie's sexuqlity is just a part of her character, Lev's status as trans while being a little weird in that Yara seems to be perfectly fine with modern pronoun usage, is also just a part of his character. I thought things could have been far far worse.

But that is the problem with the world we live in. Ten years ago a great female main character was just a female main character, now every time you see one you have to wonder is this just an excuse to get extra woke. It isn't fair, but it's the world we currently live in. So Bravo for Druckman not doing that, at least.
 
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You're playing the goldfish memory card? Seriously. Have some dignity.

Here is what I said earlier: -



A lot of people legitimately don't feel the game is successful, and in large part this comes down to issues of the plot, pacing, characterisation and ill conceived world building, and have little if anything to do with SJW themes in the game (despite that being the popular denouncement being applied). Yet apparently none of these things were picked up on or acknowledged by the mainstream gaming press with their glowing reviews. This is not a good situation because it demonstrates a failure to assess according to the wants and needs of the audience. The popular perception of gamer's is that it's all easily pleased teenage boys, but the reality is the average age is around 35 . The same age demographic that not only popularised Game of Thrones but also tore the show-runner's/writers of that series a new one when they dropped the ball with their rushing of the last two seasons of that series, on the basis that they thought that shit was golden and that they could do no wrong.

People expect media regardless of format to operate to a standard within itself when it comes to storytelling, and if things don't add up, they're going to point it out because it's is unsatisfactory. The fundamental problem happening at the moment (and its been going on for a while tbf) is that the mainstream gaming press is largely out of sync with audience expectation when it comes to these things and this schism is not to anyone's benefit in the long term, least of all gaming as a storytelling medium reaching new heights. TLOU2 isn't a flawless masterpiece. It's a well produced game that isn't as tight or thought through as it the writers seems to think and it's left a bad taste in many peoples mouths as a result. A situation not helped by the rather belligerent attitude expressed by Druckmann either with his 'Fuck the Haters' approach, as if that alone is a shield against actual criticism of it as a piece. Burning bridges with your most passionate fans, never goes well. The diminishing returns on the recent Star Wars Trilogy alone can attest to that.
No, I'm telling you you're responding to the wrong person. I was talking about plot holes in The Dark Knight Rises. I know that's technically off topic for this thread but someone else brought it up and I responded because I always found the argument about that film's plot having holes to be incredibly lacking. Believe it or not I'm not here to engage you on The Last of Us 2 or its merits, even though I've engaged others on it in other threads and my posts interacting with you never had anything to do with TLOU II.
 
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Kadayi

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No, I'm telling you you're responding to the wrong person. I was talking about plot holes in The Dark Knight Rises. I know that's technically off topic for this thread but someone else brought it up and I responded because I always found the argument about that film's plot having holes to be incredibly lacking. Believe it or not I'm not here to engage you on The Last of Us 2 or its merits, even though I've engaged others on it in other threads and my posts interacting with you never had anything to do with TLOU II.
 

tassletine

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I totally agree that there are bigots on both the left and right, its just that the problems I have with SJW types are about more than just bigotry! The only slack I give them is a grudging understanding that at least some of them mean well, even if their approach is wrong-headed and counter-productive.

Which is kinda how I feel about Druckmann. I think his heart is in the right place and although I don't believe that the swatches of progressive politics he incorporates into his work actually add much to the experience, to me its as benign as Tarantino's foot fetish. Its just an affectation, and I can't find fault with any creative wanting to put part of themselves and their outlook into their work.

Bottom line though much as I despise Resetera-style "wokeness" and SJW-ism, I refuse to let that incubate my own bigotries and prejudices. And I hate to say it, but I suspect not everyone can say the same.

Because as I've been arguing forever the real tragedy here is that SJW-ism creates the same hate that it bellows its opposition to. People get pissed off by screeching <insert marginal group>Activist-types, and ultimately get less tolerant of not only the activists, but the poor fuckers in the <marginal group> that the activists glommed onto.

To me, that's the thing about TLOU2. Its being judged based on association as much as content.
Yes, I kind of agree with you. I’m Left just not extreme left, but am now on the right for a lot of people — which is something I resent, which could well feed into why I dislike them so much.

I do think that Druckman could have his heart in the right place and there were definitely times during the game that I felt that. The mere fact that people are discussing these topics because of a video game was probably part of the reason it was written the Way it was - as dividing a fan base (dividing anything) always opens up wounds that you then try and stitch together to make something better. It can help resolve conflict.

The only thing that makes me feel this might not just be taste, is that all this was hidden from us beforehand, and a lot of it is fairly subliminal, and that’s how propaganda works. I’m not saying this game works as propaganda though, as I think I’m far too old to judge. It had no effect on me, but I think Could for some.

In another thread I did say how I thought Abby could be Druckman‘s particular sexual kink though, so I agree with you there. I was criticising the fact that he could just be trying to replace one type of video game trope (how women are portrayed as sex objects) with another. I do think that the sex scene points to this — I burst out laughing at that point though, so I can’t really comment on whether or not It worked. I just thought he was trolling the audience.

I completely agree with your last paragraph, it’s a sad state of affairs. I’m interested in talking about the subject, but I’m very much a centrist myself. I don’t like extremism except in art, but even this was a bit much (And one of my favourite films is Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer!)
I like the game a whole lot but I think 30 hours of going down a drain was overkill, and I think it ultimately failed as any sort of statement or even really a story. What I am annoyed at is how the game was sold, not letting the reviewers talk about the contentious parts etc. and the fact that review scores everywhere seem to be dictated by how woke a title is nowadays.

So, at the very least allow reviewers to discuss those woke points so I can mark the game down a couple of points myself to an 8/10 — rather than think this is the greatest video game of all time. It’s obvious that these politics mean something to some people otherwise the scores wouldn’t be so high — I doubt Tarantino’s foot fetish would have the same effect.
 
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Yoboman

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I really loved this analysis from a former hater who has flipped his opinion

 

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Deer/Dur
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I really loved this analysis from a former hater who has flipped his opinion

Yeah, pretty close to my thoughts, although I do think he undersells the value of Abby's journey a lot.

For me the standout line in the whole story is Abby's bitter "You wasted it!" to Ellie during the stand-off at the theatre. I thought it was a very poignant choice at the time, but in retrospect is even more significant having re-watched the scene in TLOU where Marlene begs Joel not to waste the chance that Ellie's arrival at Salt Lake represents...

Yeah, TLOU2: Should really be subtitled Firefly's Revenge, or just straight up call itself "The Fireflies Strike Back".

But at least he gets that the game isn't trying to leave us just with a glib "revenge is bad" sentiment, that is not the message its trying to send because the events of this whole tragic saga should make that self-evident.

No, what its about is what keeps "Us" going when all is seemingly lost or meaningless. And that's all of us, foe and friend alike.

Which if you think about it in political terms is a position with much more in common with classical liberalism than critical theory and identitarianism.