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Girlfriend Reviews: Understanding Last of Us 2

Yoboman

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Of course that is all that matters, otherwise you have to explain :
Or how so many People wanted to return the Game in Australia, their Shops refused to accept it.
Every game with front loaded first week of sales is now a sales failure
 
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Sorry to say that, but this is the dumbest take I ever read on this thread.

Imagine this person above in real life.

Normal person: "Hey, I don't like this steak"
This member: "Well, maybe you should mAkE oNE yourself"

Normal person: "I bought this book but didn't like the story"
This member:"Maybe you should wRiTe one"

Seriously this excuse is so damn stupid. You don't need to be an expert or work at the matter to be allowed to give a criticism.
[/QUOTE]

Maybe you should go write a video game. Let me know when it comes out.
 
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oagboghi2

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Sorry to say that, but this is the dumbest take I ever read on this thread.

Imagine this person above in real life.

Normal person: "Hey, I don't like this steak"
This member: "Well, maybe you should mAkE oNE yourself"

Normal person: "I bought this book but didn't like the story"
This member:"Maybe you should wRiTe one"

Seriously this excuse is so damn stupid. You don't need to be an expert or work at the matter to be allowed to give a criticism.

Maybe you should go write a video game. Let me know when it comes out.
[/QUOTE]
😂😂 Just sit down
 

samporter

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Every game with front loaded first week of sales is now a sales failure

For a game like TLOU2, which took 6 years and most likely cost more than 100 million dollars to make, it may be a financial failure that Sony will not admit in public. Even if it continue on to sell 10 million copies, it will not be able to do it at full price. With the amount of negative word of mouth, it's pretty much guarantee to see a price drop in a few months to push sales.
 

PanzerAzel

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I'd make the argument that Joel's death was executed incredibly well. So well, that some people are turned off by the rest of the game and they don't want to look at Abby's story. You're so attached to a character that you don't realize that in someone else's story Joel is a villain. Joel did really messed up things to get to Jackson.

However, if you do realize this, then you choose not to view the story from another character's lens because you don't want to empathize with them. It's because you've picked a side rather than seeing how things unfold on both sides.

Nothing was stopping people from being willing to empathize with Abby in her actions towards a character we've already taken sides with, it was the structure of the game's pacing that accomplished that. People were perfectly open to Abby, until she cracked Joel's head open with a golf club. Of course players don't want to even have to look at her, a completely undeveloped character, after watching her murder a beloved character that has dozens and dozens of hours of development behind him that players know and love, regardless of that character's moral standing.

I don't care if Joel's the villain. I will take a fully developed absolute monster of a character, whose motivations, values, and actions have been shown to me and given narrative justification, over the most virtuous and morally righteous of a character who hasn't any day of the week. Even if they're ultimately not righteous, you've still immediately robbed me of all incentive to even want to get to the point of understanding a character when you do nothing to previously substantiate the driving impetus of their actions against one who I know from many hours.

IMO, it is an utter failure of storytelling when you strip all interest of the audience to want to even continue to see things through to understand characters, and I've seen more than a few TLoU 2 players who threw up their hands at this game after that scene. People are not only angry at the character, they are angry at the methodology of storytelling, and when you get to the extent where you are actively causing your audience to stop engaging in your fiction (or at least lose significant interest), that's not good execution.

This guy says it pretty well I think:

 
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NYR

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Of course that is all that matters, otherwise you have to explain :
Or how so many People wanted to return the Game in Australia, their Shops refused to accept it.

This is literally how all media in the world works. Like seriously, have you ever looked at box office stats before? Avengers End Game, the biggest movie of all time, made $157,461,641 on Day 1. And on Day 7? $21,542,852, literally a 87% drop. Is it a failure? Of course not.
 
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I like the idea that good execution has any bearing on how many people get upset about the piece of media. it's especially weird when the scene is meant to upset you but it's bad execution because some people got too upset and couldn't continue. The internet is a haven for people who overreact to get a platform that's why we get videos of people crying during movie trailers. We really don't need the overly emotional people dictating how our stories are told.
 

Yoboman

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For a game like TLOU2, which took 6 years and most likely cost more than 100 million dollars to make, it may be a financial failure that Sony will not admit in public. Even if it continue on to sell 10 million copies, it will not be able to do it at full price. With the amount of negative word of mouth, it's pretty much guarantee to see a price drop in a few months to push sales.
I guess you guys don't get tired of being wrong all the time
 

PanzerAzel

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This it's exactly what most people can't get over and what it's so ballsy about it in my book. Game wants you to hate Abby, to loath at the revelation that you are stuck playing as her and that you don't get your satisfaction in the climax of the first half. The narrative it's not worried about simply making sense, but attempts to be emotionally sound for the player. It goes to great lengths to evoke the themes directly to the player instead of distancing you from it, i see a lot of parallels with Death Stranding in this.
Why? What does that accomplish? Why would you ever want to make the player loathe playing as a character for so many hours? And I don't mean loathe narratively, but loathe in terms of not enjoying playing? There is no point in going to the extent to make a character so detested where people begin holding an extreme aversion to even continue.....which has happened.

Sounds really boring and standard. Yes it would have been easy to make you empathise with Abby by having her upfront, it would have been easy to give Joel a heroic death. But the question is why? This franchise has never dealt in those style of cliches, it is meant to be confronting, you are meant to hate Abby for a large part of the game, maybe never even forgive her, be desperately sad and angry for what happen to Joel - to feel what Ellie is feeling.

Sure, we feel what Ellie is feeling, but the game is asking us to take control of this person, to essentially come to loathe and despise our player agency for hours on end. It's transferring our animosity of a particular character in the narrative towards the enjoyment of that agency. This is why people no longer want to play, not necessarily because they disagree with the narrative choices, but because it's no longer fun to play for them because the narrative is so potent that it's actively affecting their enjoyment. Gaming, intrinsic to its nature, is capable of tying us to the worlds it creates more than any other medium can. In that, I think it needs to be careful in its approach not to alienate players in this way.
 
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Keihart

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Why? What does that accomplish? Why would you ever want to make the player loathe playing as a character for so many hours? And I don't mean loathe narratively, but loathe in terms of not enjoying playing? There is no point in going to the extent to make a character so detested where people begin holding an extreme aversion to even continue.....which has happened.



Sure, we feel what Ellie is feeling, but the game is asking us to take control of this person, to essentially come to loathe and despise our player agency for hours on end. It's transferring our animosity of a particular character in the narrative towards the enjoyment of that agency. This is why people no longer want to play, not necessarily because they disagree with the narrative choices, but because it's no longer fun to play for them because the narrative is so potent that it's actively affecting their enjoyment. Gaming, intrinsic to its nature, is capable of tying us to the worlds it creates more than any other medium can. In that, I think it needs to be careful in its approach not to alienate players in this way.
What weight emotionally would have making you understand Abby from the begging in this narrative? The importance of this it's that this can only be done in videogames for now. You don't get to see how despicable Abby came to be, you are forced to be in her shoes after having this bias so you have to make a choice in real life during your gameplay, do you hold the grudge against this character ignoring everything shown to you in the game after that point or do you let it go. If you would get to be in her shoes before you hated her she would just be another Ellie, instead the game asks of you to try to see Abby's perspective despite hating her.

This message, which can only be experienced in video games in this visceral form, holds value for me. Because how many times people are not able to put themselves in the shoes of the people they hate which is a very relevant point to make if you look around online.
 
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SlimySnake

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What weight emotionally would have making you understand Abby from the begging in this narrative? The importance of this it's that this can only be done in videogames for now. You don't get to see how despicable Abby came to be, you are forced to be in her shoes after having this bias so you have to make a choice in real life during your gameplay, do you hold the grudge against this character ignoring everything shown to you in the game after that point or do you let it go. If you would get to be in her shoes before you hated her she would just be another Ellie, instead the game asks of you to try to see Abby's perspective despite hating her.

This message, which can only be experienced in video games in this visceral form, holds value for me. Because how many times people are not able to put themselves in the shoes of the people they hate which is a very relevant point to make if you look around online.
This is an excellent point. Look at how era demonizes the right. These people ban anyone who dares to say they are a trump supporter. We see this on the other side too, .
Why? What does that accomplish? Why would you ever want to make the player loathe playing as a character for so many hours? And I don't mean loathe narratively, but loathe in terms of not enjoying playing? There is no point in going to the extent to make a character so detested where people begin holding an extreme aversion to even continue.....which has happened.



Sure, we feel what Ellie is feeling, but the game is asking us to take control of this person, to essentially come to loathe and despise our player agency for hours on end. It's transferring our animosity of a particular character in the narrative towards the enjoyment of that agency. This is why people no longer want to play, not necessarily because they disagree with the narrative choices, but because it's no longer fun to play for them because the narrative is so potent that it's actively affecting their enjoyment. Gaming, intrinsic to its nature, is capable of tying us to the worlds it creates more than any other medium can. In that, I think it needs to be careful in its approach not to alienate players in this way.

the entire point of having you play as Abby is to show that Ellies revenge quest is futile. If you play as Ellie the entire game and kill her, it would be ur average generic revenge story. No one wants that from the sequel to tlou2. Instead you get to see that killing Abby won't get you Amy closure. Any peace. I don't know about you but i didn't even want to play the last fight. I saw the futility in the revenge sooner than Ellie did.
 

tsumake

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This is an excellent point. Look at how era demonizes the right. These people ban anyone who dares to say they are a trump supporter. We see this on the other side too, .


the entire point of having you play as Abby is to show that Ellies revenge quest is futile. If you play as Ellie the entire game and kill her, it would be ur average generic revenge story. No one wants that from the sequel to tlou2. Instead you get to see that killing Abby won't get you Amy closure. Any peace. I don't know about you but i didn't even want to play the last fight. I saw the futility in the revenge sooner than Ellie did.

Question: what did you learn or experience from this enthralling narrative? Where did it lead you emotionally and/or intellectually?
 

SlimySnake

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Question: what did you learn or experience from this enthralling narrative? Where did it lead you emotionally and/or intellectually?
I never called it an enthralling narrative. Lol

I don't view games, movies or TV shows as things to be gained from. No one does that. People don't love the godfather because of the movie's authentic portayal of mafia wars, they love it for its craftmenship, its performances and memorable characters. Ask people why they love the godfather and see how many list the plot as their favorite. This despite its protagonist's tragic arc that leads him down the path of murder, isolation and unhappiness.

I won't bother answering your loaded question, but i have rarely played games where i went in wanting revenge so badly against one person and by the end of the game couldn't care less about the revenge. I hated Abby when she killed hotel. I hated playing as Abby. But by the end of the game, i no longer thought Abby deserved to die despite how much i hated her and not just because Abby is a good person but because i knew it wouldn't bring Ellie closure.
 

PanzerAzel

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What weight emotionally would have making you understand Abby from the begging in this narrative? The importance of this it's that this can only be done in videogames for now. You don't get to see how despicable Abby came to be, you are forced to be in her shoes after having this bias so you have to make a choice in real life during your gameplay, do you hold the grudge against this character ignoring everything shown to you in the game after that point or do you let it go. If you would get to be in her shoes before you hated her she would just be another Ellie, instead the game asks of you to try to see Abby's perspective despite hating her.

This message, which can only be experienced in video games in this visceral form, holds value for me. Because how many times people are not able to put themselves in the shoes of the people they hate which is a very relevant point to make if you look around online.
The end game is the same......either I will come to understand Abby or I won't. If I come to understand her motivations, regardless of whether it's pre or post establishment of my hate for her, the only thing that's changed is the enjoyment I've garnered in playing her portions. Pre of which I'd have enjoyed, post of which I'd have not.

That the game will confront me with the option of putting down the controller or remaining with it I don't see as merit to the game itself....I view it as a cheap tactic of emotional manipulation that potentially marginalizes other important aspects and messages the experience may end up conveying later on in order to be able to highlight a very elementary truism. I don't require a game to show me that I'm generally unfavorable to things I'm heavily biased against, and I doubt many others require this either. If TLoU II's structure was intentionally created around the goal to encourage players to potentially disregard and abandon any greater meaning the game could provide to them otherwise because they no longer wish to continue......I think that's not only a disservice to the player, but an immense disservice to the game itself.
 

tsumake

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I never called it an enthralling narrative. Lol

I don't view games, movies or TV shows as things to be gained from. No one does that. People don't love the godfather because of the movie's authentic portayal of mafia wars, they love it for its craftmenship, its performances and memorable characters. Ask people why they love the godfather and see how many list the plot as their favorite. This despite its protagonist's tragic arc that leads him down the path of murder, isolation and unhappiness.

I won't bother answering your loaded question, but i have rarely played games where i went in wanting revenge so badly against one person and by the end of the game couldn't care less about the revenge. I hated Abby when she killed hotel. I hated playing as Abby. But by the end of the game, i no longer thought Abby deserved to die despite how much i hated her and not just because Abby is a good person but because i knew it wouldn't bring Ellie closure.

What loaded question?

I’m sorry you don’t gain anything from media. Reacting to creative media is not only a joy but a meaningful experience.
 

Keihart

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The end game is the same......either I will come to understand Abby or I won't. If I come to understand her motivations, regardless of whether it's pre or post establishment of my hate for her, the only thing that's changed is the enjoyment I've garnered in playing her portions. Pre of which I'd have enjoyed, post of which I'd have not.

That the game will confront me with the option of putting down the controller or remaining with it I don't see as merit to the game itself....I view it as a cheap tactic of emotional manipulation that potentially marginalizes other important aspects and messages the experience may end up conveying later on in order to be able to highlight a very elementary truism. I don't require a game to show me that I'm generally unfavorable to things I'm heavily biased against, and I doubt many others require this either. If TLoU II's structure was intentionally created around the goal to encourage players to potentially disregard and abandon any greater meaning the game could provide to them otherwise because they no longer wish to continue......I think that's not only a disservice to the player, but an immense disservice to the game itself.
I mean sure, we can just pretend that having strong reactions to fiction it's very easy and needs no proficiency to achieve, we could also just disregard the value of framing a narrative in intended mood for greater connection with it's themes. But then, what are you even looking for in the medium? are your expectations of the medium that narrow? do you only want either satisfactory experiences or life altering ones and there can be no in between? reads very jaded a limiting to what games can do.

To repeat myself in different words, the value hold in making you hate Abby before trying to empathize with her it's basically giving you the possibility of qualia, you are not explained why Abby is how she is, you are put on her shoes to experience it yourself, you are burdened with her actions. This it's the exact same problem lot's of people, maybe no the same group, that went up in arms at the end of TLoU1 where your are not given the choice to either spare the doctors and to tell the truth to Ellie. You inherit the burden of their actions, guilt, hate and everything that you experience while bonding your ego to the characters.

It's no fun when you are told what it's right and wrong, feels preachy, here even if everyone knows that revenge it's bad hur dur, you are shown why and you feel why. Holding the grudge makes you no even enjoy the rest of the game as much. The cathartic moments that would have given release to those feelings are even taken away from you and only given back when their become meaningless. Lot's of stories tell you why revenge it's bad, the value in this attempt it's that it makes you feel why.
 
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yurinka

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And to clarify I think your structure could have told a very solid tale. But it sucks a lot of the emotional beats out of the game. What is the impetus for revenge if you as the player think Abby is justified?
The idea behind the structure I suggest is to tell the same tale that the game tells, but to achieve that Druckmann said they wanted to achieve: to make you hate Abby for what he did to Joel but also to empathize with her and the WLF guys. In the current order most of the Abby part feels like a too long, boring filler that you constant want it to end because you want to know what happens after the cliffhanger. And you hardly empathize with them because in addition to what they did to Joel, all these guys are bland, flat, generic, boring tokenism characters to allow them to say they represented everyone. They only missed a male gay couple and old people.

But well, even if we consider that the Abby part and related characters are ok, to change the order of how the story is told you'd be able to empathize better with the characters introducing and humanizing them before what they do, and you would care more about them because you wouldn't be constantly thinking that this part was only a short flashback and would end very soon, which isn't the case. With the order I suggest, only Abby's day 3 would be in the middle of the cliffhanger flashback, making it easier to handle.

It also would have been a good idea to tell players that the game was going to be around 30 hours long and that in addition to Ellie you were going to control another character during aprox. half of the game.

There would have been way less people complaining, the story would be the same that the game already tells and would achieve better their vision.

This it's exactly what most people can't get over and what it's so ballsy about it in my book. Game wants you to hate Abby, to loath at the revelation that you are stuck playing as her and that you don't get your satisfaction in the climax of the first half. The narrative it's not worried about simply making sense, but attempts to be emotionally sound for the player. It goes to great lengths to evoke the themes directly to the player instead of distancing you from it, i see a lot of parallels with Death Stranding in this.
The games wants you to hate Abby when she did that to Joel, and achieves it. But in all the part where you play as her the game tries to humanize her and tries to make you emphatize with her and the WLF guys, and for me at least it failed hard.

In addition to this, tries to replace Joel and Ellie with a trans friendly copy of them and at least for me also fails because they (even i I liked Lev) aren't as charismatic as Joel and Ellie, and because they are introduced in a part where you don't care about new characters and want that flashback to end to know what happen after the cliffhanger.
 
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Keihart

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The idea behind the structure I suggest is to tell the same tale that the game tells, but to achieve that Druckmann said they wanted to achieve: to make you hate Abby for what he did to Joel but also to empathize with her and the WLF guys. In the current order most of the Abby part feels like a too long, boring filler that you constant want it to end because you want to know what happens after the cliffhanger. And you hardly empathize with them because in addition to what they did to Joel, all these guys are bland, flat, generic, boring tokenism characters to allow them to say they represented everyone. They only missed a male gay couple and old people.

But well, even if we consider that the Abby part and related characters are ok, to change the order of how the story is told you'd be able to empathize better with the characters introducing and humanizing them before what they do, and you would care more about them because you wouldn't be constantly thinking that this part was only a short flashback and would end very soon, which isn't the case. With the order I suggest, only Abby's day 3 would be in the middle of the cliffhanger flashback, making it easier to handle.

It also would have been a good idea to tell players that the game was going to be around 30 hours long and that in addition to Ellie you were going to control another character during aprox. half of the game.

There would have been way less people complaining, the story would be the same that the game already tells and would achieve better their vision.


The games wants you to hate Abby when she did that to Joel, and achieves it. But in all the part where you play as her the game tries to humanize her and tries to make you emphatize with her and the WLF guys, and for me at least it failed hard.

In addition to this, tries to replace Joel and Ellie with a trans friendly copy of them and at least for me also fails because they (even i I liked Lev) aren't as charismatic as Joel and Ellie, and because they are introduced in a part where you don't care about new characters and want that flashback to end to know what happen after the cliffhanger.
I completely agree that it would have gotten less backlash if not structured this way.
But letting go of what Abby does to Joel it's not supposed to be easy, if done that way you would understand why she did it way earlier. You would not have this grudge against her and the bitter taste of Ellie'ss quest which frames Abby's story.
No character in the story it's framed as good, everyone it's someone else villain.

Reading how people hated Abby's guts and wanted to stop playing in the OT just for then comeback with a new perspective proves that it was at least somehow effective. The fact that it's divisive even, it's proof of it's effectiveness i think.
 
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sobaka770

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Question: what did you learn or experience from this enthralling narrative? Where did it lead you emotionally and/or intellectually?

I'd like to think it did affect me a little bit in terms of care, understanding, empathy.

I'm not a very empathetic person, but I did feel the need to call my parents and just think over all the hate we keep slinging at each other all the time as individuals or groups for stupid reasons without knowing the other person or willing to understand their point of view.

Have you seen the resetera thread? It's funny at times but a perfect example of this behaviour between the two forums, of pure closed mindedness and hate and schadenfreude it generates.
 

Jon Neu

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you tried making the argument that the game was simply jumping on some weird trendy bandwagon narrative storytelling that's existed since storytelling has. When the obviously flawed argument failed you change what we were arguing about. and yes I am aware of your evasive and poor argument tactics existing in multiple threads.

Oh, the game has totally jumped on the trend of suvberting expectations and kill beloved characters that is all the rage now, that’s not something I have retracted at all.

The fact that you can’t even accept that fact speaks volumes on your incapacity to talk about the game with any kind of objectivity.
 

Jon Neu

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When people say the game was shown as Joel and Ellie did they watch the more recent trailers? In the one just before it came out Joel isn't shown much at all. He also isn't in the kiss trailer, the Abby trailer or the first teaser. They admittedly did a few things to mislead but when taken as a whole you'd have to assume someone was not paying any attention to the media surrounding the game to think Joel is still the main character.

Oh boy, they literally changed Joel appearence to make it seem as he makes it far into the game. They literally mounted a scene in which seems Joel is the one putting his hand on Ellie’s mouth in Seattle and even they had Troy Baker throw a line as Joel saying: you think I’d would let you do this on your own?

The trailers were totally set up to make believe the audience that Joel was going to be part of the adventure. Implying that we should have known by the trailers that the game wasn’t going to have Joel as a playable character is so ridiculous and intelectually dishonest, but not a surprise anymore coming from you and your crazy crusade defending everything about the game.
 
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Oh boy, they literally changed Joel appearence to make it seem as he makes it far into the game. They literally mounted a scene in which seems Joel is the one putting his hand on Ellie’s mouth in Seattle and even they had Troy Baker throw a line as Joel saying: you think I’d would let you do this on your own?

The trailers were totally set up to make believe the audience that Joel was going to be part of the adventure. Implying that we should have known by the trailers that the game wasn’t going to have Joel as a playable character is so ridiculous and intelectually dishonest, but not a surprise anymore coming from you and your crazy crusade defending everything about the game.

He is part of the adventure, he is a playable character.
 
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Jon Neu

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He is part of the adventure, he is a playable character.

Is there a point ever in which your intellectual dishonesty actually ends?

I’m really curious.


In addition to this, tries to replace Joel and Ellie with a trans friendly copy of them and at least for me also fails because they (even i I liked Lev) aren't as charismatic as Joel and Ellie, and because they are introduced in a part where you don't care about new characters and want that flashback to end to know what happen after the cliffhanger.

When Lev steals the launch while they are watching through the window, I’ve literally did a facepalm.

Impressive script.
 

Clear

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This guy says it pretty well I think:


No he doesn't. The real problem is people being offended by their waifu getting killed. Its pathetic.

Its pathetic because:

(1) This isn't a legendary character they grew up with a-la Luke Skywalker, this is an anti-hero who appears in a single game only, not even the DLC add-on prequel.

(2) The character is an anti-hero type operating in a lawless world. that his life would end suddenly and bloody is as shocking and "out of place" as that fate awaiting an outlaw in the old west.

(3) Again we're not dealing with Old Yeller or Bambi's mom here, this is supposedly fiction aimed at adults. Why are people reacting this way? Has COVID and the political unrest at the time made people so fragile and scared that they need to hang on to this fictional character like a talisman or comfort blanket?

(4) Or is it just because the same real-world stuff makes them feel weak and are attempting to assert control via the proxy of the fate of a character in a videogame? This strikes me as most plausible because it explains why the fact that Joel appearing in multiple flashback sequences isn't mentioned as a positive, and neither is the fact that Abby as a playable character basically *is Joel*.

(5) Whichever way you slice it. his death is dramatically legitimate and fitting with the dystopic tone of the franchise. Its the excessive emotional reactions to it, that are problematic because when all's said and done its just a videogame character.

Bottom line, I simply do not believe this is not about Joel at all. This is about a whole cluster of emotional and political conflicts on the part of the complainants.
.
 
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Is there a point ever in which your intellectual dishonesty actually ends?

I’m really curious.




When Lev steals the launch while they are watching through the window, I’ve literally did a facepalm.

Impressive script.

Why are you accusing me of intellectual dishonesty? I've been under the impression since the first teaser Joel wasn't long for the world of TLOU II, that's truly how I've felt since, I'm sure it's been expressed in TLOU II threads from months ago by me but tracking that down would be annoying. Intellectual dishonesty simply doesn't apply, let's peruse the preview materials that exist...


How is this preview framed? What is Ellie upset about? What won't she let them "get away with"? Who is never shown with her in the action segments of the trailer?


Don't see Joel's face, theories were abound that he wasn't really there talking to her (what else is she so upset about?).


No Joel.


No Joel


No Joel


And the trailer that has you all riled up... Joel appears once at the end, a keen eye can see he's indoors but Ellie is outdoors, this type of splicing together footage to make things look different from how they are is ever present in movie trailers, usually when a video game trailer is deceptive or misleading it's about the visual fidelity or features of the game, I guess gamers aren't used to this sort of bait and switch the film industry has been party to for decades, using deleted scenes in trailers, juxtaposing scenes that are separate from each other to make it appear as though characters react to one another... the thing is it's done so you don't spoil the story. But then, considering your abundant time in the leaks thread I'm not sure spoilers are your concern, nor were they mine.
 

Valentino

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Bottom line, I simply do not believe this is not about Joel at all. This is about a whole cluster of emotional and political conflicts on the part of the complainants.
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Exactly exactly my thoughts!............. people are acting like they came for Joel and were mislead by the trailers. But the signs were already there that he was dead if you do the analysis. It's facts that ND mislead people in their trailers............I'm not complaining though. Some guys in here need their colour by numbers story told - so kill Joel - but at the end of the game like we should all expect and be prepared for.
I'm low key glad they killed Joel at the start..... fucked with my head. And Joel will always be a staple character to Playstation. Saying all this he's actually very prevalent in the game. Controling him in the game world wouldn't have made a difference.
 
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joe_zazen

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Has anybody addressed how misleading the commercials/ads are?

Not really. I made a thread about the outright lie about not having to kill any dogs from Naughty Dog, no one cared. And surprise surprise, no retractions or new headlines from the news orgs who wrote stories about it.

ND and sony have really showed that they dont give a fuck about honesty or review manipulation with this whole thing. Super gross.
 

joe_zazen

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Because making it an RTS would stop them from using playtesting and hiring reviewers to faux review it?

of course it wouldn't.

Sony has a formula which their AAA tentpole games follow. The risk would be in trying to make and sell a AAA game with radically different gameplay. No amount of playtesting would fix that and that is why they don't do it.

Sony is risk adverse. This is why the two most interesting things funded by Sony for ps5 are a remake and a low budget sackboy game.

MS looks to be going down a different route, the potential variety of their new studios is impressive. I don't trust them tho, because once they capture a market they wreck things.
 

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Deer/Dur
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Not really. I made a thread about the outright lie about not having to kill any dogs from Naughty Dog, no one cared. And surprise surprise, no retractions or new headlines from the news orgs who wrote stories about it.

ND and sony have really showed that they dont give a fuck about honesty or review manipulation with this whole thing. Super gross.

Is that the best you've got complaint-wise? Really.

 
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joe_zazen

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This is an excellent point. Look at how era demonizes the right. These people ban anyone who dares to say they are a trump supporter. We see this on the other side too, .

It is just that Abbey is not a challenging character. She killed the person who killed her father and then was shown to be a super sympathetic for hours and hours. If she was the equivalent of a Trump supporter or an Islamic Jihadist or WWII german soldier, someone who challenged the players worldview, then we’d have something. But making the audience care about someone who is pretty much the same as joel and ellie?

the entire point of having you play as Abby is to show that Ellies revenge quest is futile. If you play as Ellie the entire game and kill her, it would be ur average generic revenge story. No one wants that from the sequel to tlou2. Instead you get to see that killing Abby won't get you Amy closure. Any peace. I don't know about you but i didn't even want to play the last fight. I saw the futility in the revenge sooner than Ellie did.

The story literally tells you had better kill your enemies if you don't want to die or be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life. If anything, Ellie’s decision is one of giving up on life, not peace.
 

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Deer/Dur
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The story literally tells you had better kill your enemies if you don't want to die or be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life. If anything, Ellie’s decision is one of giving up on life, not peace.

No it doesn't. The whole point of the ending is that you cannot achieve peace through violence, no matter how justified it may be.

Its funny to me, once again this is not about the fiction, its characters and their motivations, this is about YOU and YOUR desires.

Its a throughline common to a lot of the negative commenators. They wan't vengeance for Joel, and that desire has nothing to do with justice/retribution for Ellie. Its an external thing, a political thing, a matter of principle.

Its so obvious if you step back and look at it.

It also explains the stark difference between the positive and negative reviews. The more emotionally invested people going in are the ones who lose their shit the worst. The reason why most Pro reviews were on the whole so much more positive is because they weren't the ones going in carrying all the baggage.

The game's just a lightning rod.
 
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CAB_Life

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Hmm...some thoughts. Any story that is flawlessly told has resonant and explicitly understood themes, period. If you have to get into explaining the themes to someone, then the writing has most likely gotten tangled somewhere. That’s not to say that TLOU2 is bad, one way or another. Just that it failed on the basic tenet of storytelling, which I believe, is not merely to provoke “discussion” in general, but to convey specific themes and meanings in a clear enough way that they can be ascertained without some grand dissertation or debate.

LoTR, for example, impresses upon us themes of heroism, companionship, good vs. evil and heroic/ religious archetypes and 99% of all its readers understand this without copious arguments or discussions. Timeless stories are at their core, very simple, they speak to mythic and symbolic truths. We understand them regardless of the trappings in which they’re told.

So if I would say TLOU2 failed in one regard it would be in clarifying its purpose and in conveying its themes. Is it about revenge? The futility of violence? Salvaging beauty amid ruin? All of those things? There is no universal consensus, unlike classical and timeless stories. Perhaps because the story has been so laden down with superfluous characters, time jumps and zombie fetishizing. I don’t know. But a less convoluted, leaner narrative would likely have been better.
 
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Deer/Dur
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Hmm...some thoughts. Any story that is flawlessly told has resonant and explicitly understood themes, period. If you have to get into explaining the themes to someone, then the writing has most likely gotten tangled somewhere. That’s not to say that TLOU2 is bad, one way or another. Just that it failed on the basic tenet of storytelling, which I believe, is not merely to provoke “discussion” in general, but to convey specify themes and meanings in a clear enough way that they can be ascertained without some grand dissertation or debate.

LoTR, for example, impresses upon us themes of heroism, companionship, good vs. evil and heroic/ religious archetypes and 99% of all its readers understand this without copious arguments or discussions. Timeless stories are at their core, very simple, they speak to mythic and symbolic truths. We understand them regardless of the trappings in which they’re told.

So if I would say TLOU2 failed in one regard it would be in clarifying its purpose and in conveying its themes. Is it about revenge? The futility of violence? Salvaging beauty amid ruin? All of those things? There is no universal consensus, unlike classical and timeless stories. Perhaps because the story has been so laden down with superfluous characters, time jumps and zombie fetishizing. I don’t know. But a less convoluted, leaner narrative would likely have been better.

That's fair, but I feel like you cannot look at the game as a work in isolation when its been a flashpoint in the culture war since before it was reviewed/released. And on top of that I simply cannot think of another instance where so many people have lost their collective shit over the death of a character.

Is there another instance like this in the history of gaming?
 

CAB_Life

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That's fair, but I feel like you cannot look at the game as a work in isolation when its been a flashpoint in the culture war since before it was reviewed/released. And on top of that I simply cannot think of another instance where so many people have lost their collective shit over the death of a character.

Is there another instance like this in the history of gaming?

I think the original TLOU is a fantastic example of the inherent, mythic narrative and people’s connection to it that I described. Everyone knows what that game is about even if they can’t articulate it.

Unfortunately the current climate has further muddied the waters around that game’s sequel, creating a perfect storm wherein whatever ND wanted to express likely couldn’t be done so with clarity regardless—with emotions and political machinations being at historic levels.
 
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Terenty

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I like how Abby turns from a sadistic, murdorous piece of shit into a loving and caring friend. All in a span of 3 days. Isn't that alone worthy of all the awards for scrip writing?
 

Bryank75

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Care to expand on the plotholes?
There's a lot, so don't expect this list to be exhaustive...

The often discussed Joel and Tommy just giving their names...
Abbey being chased to Joel and Tommy's location by a horde even though the area is meant to be patrolled regularly
Joel appearing at the exact moment Abbey needed to be saved.
Abbey not considering that they had saved her...... she also does not talk to him about anything, just kills him without any clarification.
Ellie goes off to find Joel and Tommy on her own, does not go to get backup, does not bring Jesse or Dina or anyone from town.

Abbey is lost in an area she doesn't know after getting chased by the infected but suddenly she knows exactly where to go to get back to her friends, while Joel and Tommy who have lived there for over 5 years have apparently no idea how to get back to the safety of their town..

Playing as Ellie, approaching the basement door, I shot my gun several times..... nothing happens, nobody comes out or says anything. They are all trapped in a basement, which is not the smartest thing for a supposedly well trained paramilitary organization. I'd have stayed at the top of the corridor stairs and waited for each one to come out.... or if they killed joel, I'd have set it on fire and burned them alive.

Abbey sneaks up on Tommy in the hotel and has him on the floor but she is out in the open with no cover at all...... why doesn't Ellie just shoot her? It is the most braindead thing in the whole game. Ellie has all her guns and is behind cover, there is no reason not to just skewer her right there.

The entire... relating to Abbey thing is nonsense. She would have killed Dina if not for Lev..... Abbey is a merciless murderer, she is not relatable.
Ellie did not kill Owen or the pregnant girl in cold blood, she was forced into self-defense.
All of the parts trying to get you to relate to Abbey were transparent and very hamfisted... save a zebra, play with a dog, Manny is good with the ladies and there is much banter..... it just didn't land.

I could go on...... but I won't because it just sounds like I am being a hater after a certain point. I bought a digital copy and a physical copy. I actually enjoyed the game but it was in spite of the story, not because of it.

I think Tommy should have played a bigger part, maybe taken the burden of revenge off Ellie at the end, left her some of her humanity. He wouldn't have forced her to do anything.... that was a lame plot-device.
 

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Deer/Dur
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I like how Abby turns from a sadistic, murdorous piece of shit into a loving and caring friend. All in a span of 3 days. Isn't that alone worthy of all the awards for scrip writing?

She doesn't though. She kills the guy who murdered her father, destroyed the Fireflies, and potentially robbed the world of a cure for the infection, and leaves his brother and friends alive in a pointed display of self control.

Its hilarious. You have to be wilfully obtuse to miss this.
 

joe_zazen

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No it doesn't. The whole point of the ending is that you cannot achieve peace through violence, no matter how justified it may be.

what peace was achieved? . Abbey very well could come back. All there is for sure is a set up for game 3, which guaranteed will have violence.

Its funny to me, once again this is not about the fiction, its characters and their motivations, this is about YOU and YOUR desires.

Its a throughline common to a lot of the negative commenators. They wan't vengeance for Joel, and that desire has nothing to do with justice/retribution for Ellie. Its an external thing, a political thing, a matter of principle.

Its so obvious if you step back and look at it.

It also explains the stark difference between the positive and negative reviews. The more emotionally invested people going in are the ones who lose their shit the worst. The reason why most Pro reviews were on the whole so much more positive is because they weren't the ones going in carrying all the baggage.

The game's just a lightning rod.

You wont listen to erudite leftist critics of the game, but you know the motivation of these critics? They are just vengeance people?

and i dont think it is a lighting rod so much as the game industry being fucking boring and this is at least interesting.
 
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Deer/Dur
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There's a lot, so don't expect this list to be exhaustive...

Lets play, should be fun.

The often discussed Joel and Tommy just giving their names...

Not a plot-hole. They've been in Jackson for several years at this point, and as can be seen by the state of the town its grown substantially over time, There are kids playing in the street, and its generally an oasis of civilization. If this situation didn't soften Joel and Tommy, it'd be bad writing. This is underlined throughout Ellie's story by continually refeeencing the difference between Jackson (where the 2 kids that ran away are the only losses in years) and the shoot-first and dont bother asking questions chaos of Seattle.


Abbey being chased to Joel and Tommy's location by a horde even though the area is meant to be patrolled regularly

Its referenced in the Tommy/Elllie flashback how hordes are seasonal and that they do have a regular patrol rota shows that the perimeter is constantly monitored for safety.

This isn't a plot-hole, its a contrivance for dramatic purpose and brevity.

Joel appearing at the exact moment Abbey needed to be saved.

Same thing. Not a plot-hole. They need to get the inciting event asap. The unexpected providence of the encounter is even acknowleged by Abby's reaction to hearing their names.

Abbey not considering that they had saved her...... she also does not talk to him about anything, just kills him without any clarification.

She doesn't kill Tommy, and that she orders Mel to patch Joel's leg up after they kneecap him seems like an obvious prelude to interrogating him. In fact she only finishes him after Ellie busts in and Owen insists that they leave before they pull the whole of Jackson down on them.

Again. How is this a plot hole?

Ellie goes off to find Joel and Tommy on her own, does not go to get backup, does not bring Jesse or Dina or anyone from town.

Huh? Per Jesse's suggestion they split into 3 groups so as to cover the maximum amount of territory as quickly as possible. Remember this is following a blizzard so finding them before they freeze or worse is what's on their mind.

Not a plot hole.

Abbey is lost in an area she doesn't know after getting chased by the infected but suddenly she knows exactly where to go to get back to her friends, while Joel and Tommy who have lived there for over 5 years have apparently no idea how to get back to the safety of their town...

Actually no. What Abby says is that her friends are close by in a secure location, which apparently is in closer proximity than the town. This is the nearest we've gotten thus far to an actual plot-hole, but it really doesn't qualify because the motivating

Playing as Ellie, approaching the basement door, I shot my gun several times..... nothing happens, nobody comes out or says anything. They are all trapped in a basement, which is not the smartest thing for a supposedly well trained paramilitary organization. I'd have stayed at the top of the corridor stairs and waited for each one to come out.... or if they killed joel, I'd have set it on fire and burned them alive..

Calling foul on this, because accommodating what you describe is a matter of game mechanics and construction. it has nothing to do with the writing. The writing does cover it when Owen reads the riot act to the group for not properly securing the area.

Abbey sneaks up on Tommy in the hotel and has him on the floor but she is out in the open with no cover at all...... why doesn't Ellie just shoot her? It is the most braindead thing in the whole game. Ellie has all her guns and is behind cover, there is no reason not to just skewer her right there.

Errr because she's holding a gun to Tommy's head, and has already proven her willingness to shoot by blowing Jesse's brains out. Not to mention she's just discovered her lover and his pregnant girlfriend murdered at Ellie's hands...

The entire... relating to Abbey thing is nonsense. She would have killed Dina if not for Lev..... Abbey is a merciless murderer, she is not relatable.

Abby is no worse than Ellie or Joel, yet apparently their past transgressions don't apply? Abby is also shown repeatedly to be merciful, yet weirdly at the end of the game when Ellie shows mercy, thats... weakness apparently.

Lets not mince words here. If you were rooting for Ellie to kill Abby at the end, you are the merciless one.

Ellie did not kill Owen or the pregnant girl in cold blood, she was forced into self-defense.

It doesn't really matter because in the context of the story, Abby only discovers the aftermath and has no reason to believe there was anything accidental about it.

You may feel like bending over backwards to excuse Ellie of such heinous shit, but from a story and character perspective Abby has no reason to!

I'm not having a go at you here, but you should really try and take your feelings out of this. Judge actions/motivations within the context and perspective of their roles withn the narrative, the aren't (effectively) omniscient like the player.

All of the parts trying to get you to relate to Abbey were transparent and very hamfisted... save a zebra, play with a dog, Manny is good with the ladies and there is much banter..... it just didn't land.

I could go on...... but I won't because it just sounds like I am being a hater after a certain point. I bought a digital copy and a physical copy. I actually enjoyed the game but it was in spite of the story, not because of it.

I think Tommy should have played a bigger part, maybe taken the burden of revenge off Ellie at the end, left her some of her humanity. He wouldn't have forced her to do anything.... that was a lame plot-device.

None of these things are plot holes. You are making a bunch of subjective judgements based on what sort of narrative you'd like versus what the authors decided to give.

I'm sorry, but you seem to be completely missing the point of the story. Which admittedly is often an indication of failings in the telling, however in this case it really does seem to me that you were so turned off by the overall direction, you stopped paying attention.
 

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Deer/Dur
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what peace was achieved? . Abbey very well could come back. All there is for sure is a set up for game 3, which guaranteed will have violence.

Its about peace of mind for Ellie, who's been suffering from PTSD and likely depression because the culmination of her attempts to avenge Joel's death were that she was forced to accept Abby's mercy (again).

Think about it: This huge beast woman who killed Joel has had Ellie at her mercy, not once but twice and both times let her live. The second time even after Ellie/Tommy has killed the rest of her crew, giving ample motivation for her to enact a second cycle of revenge.

At the end of the story, Ellie finally catches up with her "dragon". But rather than the musclebound beast she was expecting she finds an emaciated almost unrecognizable version of the same, tied up and helpless.

Yes, Ellie coudl just kill her there and then, with zero risk to herself. The reason why she doesn't is because that would be a cowardly and heinous act that doesn't fit with her moral self-image.

However when after cutting her down, Abby still refuses to fight and seems solely concerned with Lev's safety, Ellie forces the issue by threatening Lev.

The reason why she does this is that she desperately needs closure, she needs to take her power back or die in the attempt. At this point its no longer about Joel, its about her retaking control of her life. She needs more than anything to beat Abby, because if not she'll be forever haunted.

Which is why only when she finally has Abby at the point of death (in a nice echo of the scene in the first game where she first took a human life to save Joel's) does she "see" Joel again.

At which point she breaks down at the realization that vengeance isn't going to bring him back, and lets Abby and Lev go, finally breaking the cycle of reciprocal violence.

All of which is actually, pretty teriffic writing, and way, way above par for videogames.
 

tsumake

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I'd like to think it did affect me a little bit in terms of care, understanding, empathy.

I'm not a very empathetic person, but I did feel the need to call my parents and just think over all the hate we keep slinging at each other all the time as individuals or groups for stupid reasons without knowing the other person or willing to understand their point of view.

Have you seen the resetera thread? It's funny at times but a perfect example of this behaviour between the two forums, of pure closed mindedness and hate and schadenfreude it generates.

I’m glad it encouraged you to be more empathetic. That is a good thing.

I’m throwing my two cents in (for what it’s worth). I haven’t played the first TLOU, to be clear, the series doesn’t particularly interest me. But I respect the effect the games had on people, good or bad. In a sense, that’s the power of the medium.

These vengeance tales are as old as time itself and so is the message - “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” The “lesson” or “realization” Ellie learns at the end of the game (I’ve heard the narrative summaries, watched a bit of the footage) seems a bit trite. The level of violence in the name of vengeance these characters enact, regardless how emotionally damaged they are, doesn’t really hint at Ellie realizing that vengeance is wrong and sparing Abby’s life. That seems like a lazy conclusion. In reality, such vengeance just leads to more destruction because that is the path you set yourself on. Stephen King wrote about this in his novel “Thinner.”

Of course, execution is paramount in these narratives, arguably more important than the well-worn narrative itself. People love the acting, direction and from a technical level it’s very good, especially for a videogame. It feels like an HBO miniseries (heh), and people like that.

From what I’ve seen, the nihilism, the brutality and its characterization is not something I’d invest in. I’m reminded of Genna Rowlands in “Opening Night”, when the playwright asks her what is missing in play she’s acting in. The story is about the “reality of a middle aged woman.” She replies “hope.”

It’s unfortunate that in this day and age we have to preface everything with “it’s just my opinion, not an attack on you.” But here we are. From a narrative perspective it’s not for me, but I head the gameplay mechanics are solid. If you come away from the game a better person, who am I to argue? I just think the tale has been told better.
 
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Terenty

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She doesn't though. She kills the guy who murdered her father, destroyed the Fireflies, and potentially robbed the world of a cure for the infection, and leaves his brother and friends alive in a pointed display of self control.

Its hilarious. You have to be wilfully obtuse to miss this.
Firstly, she knows why Joel kills her father. To protect a person he loves like she loves her daddy.

Secondly, he just saved her ass.

Thirdly, she proceeds without ANY hesitation not just with killing Joel, but with viciously torturing him and killing in front of Ellie, without paying any attention to her pleas.

You wanna tell me this person then changes her entire worldview within 3 days? Yeah, not buying this shit
 
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Deer/Dur
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Firstly, she knows why Joel kills her father. To protect a person he loves like she loves her daddy.

No she doesn't. Proof or GTFO.
She wasn't there and given its pretty fucking obvious he wouldn't be packing a gun in an operating theatre killing him wasn't necessary.

Thirdly, she proceeds without ANY hesitation not just with killing Joel, but with viciously torturing him and killing in front of Ellie, without paying any attention to her pleas.

You wanna tell me this person then changes her entire worldview within 3 days? Yeah, not buying this shit

Yeah, because the person she's killing is a murderous piece of shit who not only killed her father, destroyed the Fireflies and potentially consigned millions to death by cordyceps infection!

Oh, and despite her training obsessively for this moment of vengeance for 5 fucking years, she still shows mercy to Tommy and Ellie - something Joel wouldn't do on principle, being the pragmatic murderer that he was.

Her worldview doesn't change until she receives mercy, and in repaying back that kindness finds a measure of peace and redemption. Because killing Joel, ironically failed to give her that.

Its the point of her entire arc if you actually pay attention.
 
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Terenty

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No she doesn't. Proof or GTFO.
She doesn't know that Joel killed fireflies and her father because he wanted to save Ellie? GTFO


She wasn't there and given its pretty fucking obvious he wouldn't be packing a gun in an operating theatre killing him wasn't necessary.
Given that other doctors weren't hurt and only her father its easy to assume only he posed a threat to Joel.
Her worldview doesn't change until she receives mercy, and in repaying back that kindness finds a measure of peace and redemption. Because killing Joel, ironically failed to give her that.
Why the fuck Joel saving her didn't have any effect on her then? Why a person killing scars for sport and treating them like animals would change her ways all of a sudden and start killing her friends she spent several years with, because she was saved by these kids, but doesn't show any kind of hesitation with Joel, after he saved her?

And her redemption arc happens literally within 3 days, is it believable to you?
 

bargeparty

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Clear pretty much covered. No plot holes, just people disagreeing and making stuff up in their minds.