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Girlfriend Reviews: Understanding Last of Us 2

Clear

Deer/Dur
Feb 2, 2009
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She doesn't know that Joel killed fireflies and her father because he wanted to save Ellie? GTFO

All that's known, and this is based on what happens in BOTH games, is that Joel demands Ellie be handed over and proceeds to kill everyone in his way regardless of whether they pose an immediate threat to him or not.

He executes Marlene in cold blood after this.

How are people supposed to know his true intentions when he never expresses them to anyone left alive at the end?

Prove me wrong.

Given that other doctors weren't hurt and only her father its easy to assume only he posed a threat to Joel.

Its a mild retcon but in the version of events shown in TLOU2, there are no other doctors in the room. Obviously its a bit of artistic license to foreground Jerry's death, but it seems reasonable to me given that in the first game the player had a choice of whether to execute them or not. Speaking for myself I killed them both because it felt like what Joel would do in order to cover his tracks.

Botttom line though, you are factually inaccurate.


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?

Its all part of the same process. It takes 5 years for Abby to get her vengeance, but it doesn't bring her closure, she still has nightmares about the hospital. That in itself a psychological significant event; you spend years building to a moment of anticlimax... what do you do next? Try something different.

Yeah, its believable to me. And relatable too because I was never that upset by Joel's death. Not to say I dislike the character, I thought he was great and Troy Baker's portrayal is top notch.

I'm just not that sentimental about him. His was a violent life destined to end in violence, and frankly his defining moment was always going to be him "saving" Ellie in the hospital. Trying to top that by allowing him to go out in a blaze of glory would be a lazy fan-fic that just cheapens his legend.
 
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Ellie is a little girl, she isn’t capable of making such a decision when she has barely experienced life.

She wants her life to mean something, but she doesn’t want to die, it’s just that she doesn’t know any other way to make her life mean something because again, she is just a little brat.

Joel saved the life of a little girl who was going to be murdered by this terrorist group on the incredibly vague pretext of founding a cure that somehow was going to be developed by a surgeon in some abandoned hospital.
wtf is this take?
As far as I’m aware, it’s never established until Part II that Ellie was willing to die (which I also thought was some retcon bullshit). The Fireflies and Marlene never even talk to her about it. They never give her a choice. I can’t remember myself, but I’m told there is a part in TLoU 1 where Ellie is talking about learning to swim after they’re done at the hospital, which indicates she didn’t think she was going to her grave either. Jerry Anderson doesn’t even have the conviction to say he’d sacrifice his own daughter.

The idea that humanity is doomed otherwise is also bullshit, as made apparent by Part II. Humanity is doing just fine, in fact they’re beating back the infection and thriving in some cases.
Is this even about Humanity? This is Ellie’s choice. “Im still waiting for my turn” is one of the last line’s she says in Part 1. To her the cure is her purpose. Again she never outright says she would die for a cure, she just implies. Why did Tess want Joel to delivery Ellie when she was already dying? Yes, naughty dog left a good amount ambiguity. Since we have zero scenes between Ellie’s drowning and her surgery. Marlene wasnt aware that Ellie would die from surgery until one scene before she told Joel. Maybe the Fireflies didnt give Ellie a choice. But neither did Joel once he lied to her. In the end alot of these plot holes reside in Part 1. Ellie and Abby are both Fireflies that care more about the cure than simply surviving. Joel is about keeping safe the people he loves. Ellie is willing to do anything for her goals. Rant over.
 

Johnny Silver

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Oct 24, 2018
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I wonder how many of us (besides myself, unfortunately) have been educated in critical theory?

That's just the thing. Those who have been "educated" in critical theory become unable to say anything else but crap, while those who fortunately aren't educated in it still retain their capacity to detect bullshit/crap and reject it.
 

Bryank75

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Jan 12, 2018
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Lets play, should be fun.



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.




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.



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.



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?



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.



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



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.



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...



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.



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.



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.
You know I'm a PlayStation guy... I wanted the game to succeed, I couldn't do more. I played through twice and as I said, I loved playing it.... the story just didn't land for me. Which is a pity, cause I loved how they ended UC4.
 

sobaka770

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Jun 25, 2013
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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.

Thank you for detailed feedback! I have a few thoughts based on it (not-a-personal-attack-disclaimer)

First-of-all, I would argue that this game is not just about revenge. You can reduce it broadly to that, but Ellie's realisation is not that "revenge is wrong" in my sense, at least it's not the only realisation. I think it has several layers of depth and resonates strongly because she realises the losses she incurred and how she was getting close to becoming Joel (hence the last flashback) and how it only took things away from her. It resonates strongly especially because I don't think Ellie actually even thinks revenge is wrong, and at some point she could've easily killed Abby without any regard, but at the moment of drowning it's more if an internal realisation of her choice of what she does for love and how perverse and selfish it is. In fact her killing Abby would make Ellie's arc pointless and shallow as she'd not have learned anything from her relationship with Joel and how he lost everything because of his trauma, even Ellie whom he saw as his daughter and selfishly saved against her will and would do it again if given the chance. There's a strong motive of how selfish love is and how selfish Ellie's love for Joel was as a parallel in addition to all the revenge surface level stuff. There's also a layer of how the hatred that Ellie felt was not for Abby, but for herself as she shut Joel out and never had a chance to forgive him. So it's a lot of things to unpack making it a very interesting ending in my eyes.

I also think what makes this game sepcial and GOTG candidate for me is that while revenge stories are old as day, TLOU2 is maybe the first AAA videogame to attempt to use the medium to convey the challenging emotions over a course of a long period of time and to me they resonate much stronger in an interactive medium. Most games are designed for fun with maybe a few twists (Spec Ops the line comes to mind but even there the bad deeds you do are more of a twist presentation and not active feeling during gameplay) . TLOU2 is designed around eliciting strong emotional responses and forcing people to deal with them in any way they please. The reactions speak for themselves: rage, hatred, acceptance, apathy, tears. Extremely strong responses all around, no matter the gradient, indifferent is not what this game is.

The most important part is that you going through these trials and tests of empathy is pretty much mandatory. In no other medium you would be forced to actively play through 15 hours of story of a character you were programmed to hate to get to the end. In a book, movie, TV show, you can skip pages, episodes, you can tune out, you can do other things at the same time while rolling your eyesat the screen. If you play a videogame you are forced to be engaged, you have no escape, you must play through the story and participate through things you may initially be revulsed by to advance the story. I think this experience is very unique and that's why in my opinon watching a stream of TLOU2 or hosting a stream and being distracted by audience, or whatever Angry Joe was riffing off with his buddies, does a great disservice to the narrative as you're not really working through the difficult things imposed on you.

Some people say it was manipulative but it's not really in my eyes. You just have to play through Abby's story to get to the end and if you still hate her after the fact that's fine. But to force such a feeling upon an audience is only possible in a videogame and it is frankly amazing that we got this from a studio who could've easily made a riskless pander-sequel, like Uncharted.
 

tsumake

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Dec 3, 2019
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Thank you for detailed feedback! I have a few thoughts based on it (not-a-personal-attack-disclaimer)

First-of-all, I would argue that this game is not just about revenge. You can reduce it broadly to that, but Ellie's realisation is not that "revenge is wrong" in my sense, at least it's not the only realisation. I think it has several layers of depth and resonates strongly because she realises the losses she incurred and how she was getting close to becoming Joel (hence the last flashback) and how it only took things away from her. It resonates strongly especially because I don't think Ellie actually even thinks revenge is wrong, and at some point she could've easily killed Abby without any regard, but at the moment of drowning it's more if an internal realisation of her choice of what she does for love and how perverse and selfish it is. In fact her killing Abby would make Ellie's arc pointless and shallow as she'd not have learned anything from her relationship with Joel and how he lost everything because of his trauma, even Ellie whom he saw as his daughter and selfishly saved against her will and would do it again if given the chance. There's a strong motive of how selfish love is and how selfish Ellie's love for Joel was as a parallel in addition to all the revenge surface level stuff. There's also a layer of how the hatred that Ellie felt was not for Abby, but for herself as she shut Joel out and never had a chance to forgive him. So it's a lot of things to unpack making it a very interesting ending in my eyes.

I also think what makes this game sepcial and GOTG candidate for me is that while revenge stories are old as day, TLOU2 is maybe the first AAA videogame to attempt to use the medium to convey the challenging emotions over a course of a long period of time and to me they resonate much stronger in an interactive medium. Most games are designed for fun with maybe a few twists (Spec Ops the line comes to mind but even there the bad deeds you do are more of a twist presentation and not active feeling during gameplay) . TLOU2 is designed around eliciting strong emotional responses and forcing people to deal with them in any way they please. The reactions speak for themselves: rage, hatred, acceptance, apathy, tears. Extremely strong responses all around, no matter the gradient, indifferent is not what this game is.

The most important part is that you going through these trials and tests of empathy is pretty much mandatory. In no other medium you would be forced to actively play through 15 hours of story of a character you were programmed to hate to get to the end. In a book, movie, TV show, you can skip pages, episodes, you can tune out, you can do other things at the same time while rolling your eyesat the screen. If you play a videogame you are forced to be engaged, you have no escape, you must play through the story and participate through things you may initially be revulsed by to advance the story. I think this experience is very unique and that's why in my opinon watching a stream of TLOU2 or hosting a stream and being distracted by audience, or whatever Angry Joe was riffing off with his buddies, does a great disservice to the narrative as you're not really working through the difficult things imposed on you.

Some people say it was manipulative but it's not really in my eyes. You just have to play through Abby's story to get to the end and if you still hate her after the fact that's fine. But to force such a feeling upon an audience is only possible in a videogame and it is frankly amazing that we got this from a studio who could've easily made a riskless pander-sequel, like Uncharted.

I appreciate the passion you have for the game. Thank you for the kind reply.

I see you’re Swiss. Are you a fan of the film “Monster’s Ball? I think there might be a cultural reason for liking the game.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
Feb 2, 2009
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You know I'm a PlayStation guy... I wanted the game to succeed, I couldn't do more. I played through twice and as I said, I loved playing it.... the story just didn't land for me. Which is a pity, cause I loved how they ended UC4.

That's the thing, I'm not sure how the game is supposed to land!

Its not a crowd pleaser in terms of meeting fan expectations, the worldview is grim and dark, but it never rises to full-blown tragedy, it tries to be classy with serious things to say, but at the same time is a gnarly zombie gore-fest...

Point being its actually a very odd mix for a piece of mainstream entertainment, and what its trying to say is actual very commendable both as a philosophic statement and as a riposte to the first game.

I think its very worthy, and an honest attempt to try and do something substantially creative in the AAA space.

But.

The honest truth is that at the end of my first playthrough I felt that I admired the game more than I liked it. And I think part of that came from finishing the story and not being sure what to take away from the whole experience. I feel like there isn't an obvious expected reaction because much like "surprise" switch to playing as Abby the game's emotional core is not what it first appears to be.

Although the game is superficially about the tragedy of revenge and cycles of violence, under the surface what its really about is exploring what drives the two protagonists forward in their lives.

Once you keep this in mind, everything makes a lot of sense, and I think the big mistake Druckmann has made is underestimating how many people would never get to it due to them being hung up on Joel's death, and the surface revenge plot.

No judgement in that, just saying that's the critical flaw in its conception.

Anyway, I'm honestly learning to appreciate the game more through these discussions! I'm slowly making my way through my second playthrough (couple of hours per day) so its fresh in my mind and as I go I'm trying to look at it as critically as I can without impacting the play experience.

If nothing else, TLOU2 is at least interesting. Thats a good thing in my book.
 

Bryank75

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That's the thing, I'm not sure how the game is supposed to land!

Its not a crowd pleaser in terms of meeting fan expectations, the worldview is grim and dark, but it never rises to full-blown tragedy, it tries to be classy with serious things to say, but at the same time is a gnarly zombie gore-fest...

Point being its actually a very odd mix for a piece of mainstream entertainment, and what its trying to say is actual very commendable both as a philosophic statement and as a riposte to the first game.

I think its very worthy, and an honest attempt to try and do something substantially creative in the AAA space.

But.

The honest truth is that at the end of my first playthrough I felt that I admired the game more than I liked it. And I think part of that came from finishing the story and not being sure what to take away from the whole experience. I feel like there isn't an obvious expected reaction because much like "surprise" switch to playing as Abby the game's emotional core is not what it first appears to be.

Although the game is superficially about the tragedy of revenge and cycles of violence, under the surface what its really about is exploring what drives the two protagonists forward in their lives.

Once you keep this in mind, everything makes a lot of sense, and I think the big mistake Druckmann has made is underestimating how many people would never get to it due to them being hung up on Joel's death, and the surface revenge plot.

No judgement in that, just saying that's the critical flaw in its conception.

Anyway, I'm honestly learning to appreciate the game more through these discussions! I'm slowly making my way through my second playthrough (couple of hours per day) so its fresh in my mind and as I go I'm trying to look at it as critically as I can without impacting the play experience.

If nothing else, TLOU2 is at least interesting. Thats a good thing in my book.
The amount of discussion it's inspired is great (not the people saying derogatory things of course)
It's an interesting perspective you have on the game and I will have to consider it further and maybe give another playthrough.
It reminds me a little of the Death Stranding situation, where something different was done and the initial response wasn't as positive as you'd expect but now months later people are warming to it.
 
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Collin

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Jun 17, 2014
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To the people who say “if something needs to be explained, it isn’t good” - I disagree. In fact, I disagree harder to that than any other “bad” thing i’ve heard about tlou2 yet, and that’s saying a lot because i’ve heard some really dumb arguments (and to be fair, some good ones too).

Challenging art is at its best when it’s filled with complexity that forces us, the audience, to sit back and think about what we’re seeing. The interpretation and analysis is fun as fuck in my mind. If something is easily digestible, its probably because it’s catering to a familiar forumula that you’re used to, like every Marvel movie. Nothing wrong with Marvel movies either, they’re a great time as quick brainless entertainment, but this isn’t trying to be that. It’s okay if something is complex and harder to digest, as long as there is, in fact, a point to it all (which tlou2 has). And I will not stand for a culture that is so agreesivly anti-intellectual like this. We can have both things, goofy entertainment and complicated entertainment. I want a world with both, stop trying to erase the latter one. Not to mention the fact that the latter often informs and improves the the former in the future.

If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s fine, I’ll hear you out. But don’t make the fact that it’s a challenging narrative as your leading point as to why it’s “bad.”
 
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PanzerAzel

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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.
Placing the actions of a character sans impetus prior demonstrated accomplishes nothing so well as to have the audience erect walls borne of bias to them. I'm not understanding your point in valuing that. There's no value there, you're just making your job more difficult as a storyteller as what you've done is effectively sabotaged their willingness to open themselves up while also disinclining them to humor any further considerations towards that character, that is if they even are able to retain any interest in continuing at all. That presents an impediment to the furtherance of narrative and character development.

People have biases anyway regardless of how you tell a story. It wouldn't matter if you built up a character prior, because everyone views them through a different worldview. If you had Abby's rationale established before she killed Joel, you really think people still wouldn't want to kill her from Ellie's perspective? There would be tons, coming from those who agree with Joel's choice, just as there would be on Abby's side who didn't. Peoples' values don't change simply because the methodology and sequence of a narrative presentation does. The only thing you are doing by placing the burden of such immense actions on the shoulders of the audience at the beginning without explanation is immediately placing them on the defensive and shutting them down.

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.
You don't think people understand this? I don't see so many getting offended about Joel's death, most from what I'm seeing fully expected it and are instead taking issue with the manner of it.
(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.
Again, not the main point of contention many people have. Death isn't out of place in this world, the execution in various aspects is what's at debate.
(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?
:messenger_tears_of_joy:
(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*.
Well, ya got me and everyone else here. Yes, me voicing my discontent in the manner of a video game character's departure is me attempting to assert control over my real-world issues to help compensate for my real-world weakness and retain my "comfort blanket". Spot on, real impressive work there.

Are you for real? If that at all strikes you as the most plausible explanation.....ffs, please take a step away from your keyboard, and get a grip. :pie_eyeroll:
(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.

Spare me and cease projecting what you wish to believe without any basis, accusing people of something when you know nothing about them. People are passionate about characters in fiction, this is not at all uncommon, but to extrapolate that passion and make it personal by ignorantly attempting to psychoanalyze them and their motivations to aspects outside the boundaries of this discussion to be able to proclaim traits about them is what is truly "pathetic" in its laughability. You know nothing about the "emotional and political conflicts" of those who are taking these stances. Take the argument on the virtue of its own merits, it adds absolutely nothing to the discussion to get personal.
 
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Keihart

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Jun 23, 2013
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Placing the actions of a character sans impetus prior demonstrated accomplishes nothing so well as to have the audience erect walls borne of bias to them. I'm not understanding your point in valuing that. There's no value there, you're just making your job more difficult as a storyteller as what you've done is effectively sabotaged their willingness to open themselves up while also disinclining them to humor any further considerations towards that character, that is if they even are able to retain any interest in continuing at all. That presents an impediment to the furtherance of narrative and character development.

People have biases anyway regardless of how you tell a story. It wouldn't matter if you built up a character prior, because everyone views them through a different worldview. If you had Abby's rationale established before she killed Joel, you really think people still wouldn't want to kill her from Ellie's perspective? There would be tons, coming from those who agree with Joel's choice, just as there would be on Abby's side who didn't. Peoples' values don't change simply because the methodology and sequence of a narrative presentation does. The only thing you are doing by placing the burden of such immense actions on the shoulders of the audience at the beginning without explanation is immediately placing them on the defensive and shutting them down.
It's very different to empathize with someone you already hate than with someone you don't. Since it's a game, this it's imposed on you, even if you never sympathize with Abby, you are forced to empathize with her by playing as her. Again, this it's not done much in other mediums because you have no way of forcing the spectator to interact with the narrative but in games you become the character for a while, meaning that all the character woes are by proxy experienced directly by you.
 

Bartski

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I think this experience is very unique and that's why in my opinon watching a stream of TLOU2 or hosting a stream and being distracted by audience, or whatever Angry Joe was riffing off with his buddies, does a great disservice to the narrative as you're not really working through the difficult things imposed on you.

I touched upon it in a different thread, blows my mind how detrimental it is to the whole experience playing it that way. It's really one of those games that demand you pay attention. Many critical voices I hear clearly did not.

Although the game is superficially about the tragedy of revenge and cycles of violence, under the surface what its really about is exploring what drives the two protagonists forward in their lives.

just like they said when announcing the game, the theme of it is hate... but ultimately it's about finding a way to let it go
 

joe_zazen

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It's very different to empathize with someone you already hate than with someone you don't. Since it's a game, this it's imposed on you, even if you never sympathize with Abby, you are forced to empathize with her by playing as her. Again, this it's not done much in other mediums because you have no way of forcing the spectator to interact with the narrative but in games you become the character for a while, meaning that all the character woes are by proxy experienced directly by you.

but there is nothing to hate except for the
killing of joel
. They wrote her as millennial friendly, easy to empathise with protag. Slap a racist christian in that role, or an islamic fundamentalist and then get the audience to empathise and understand. that would be a risk and an accomplishment. Probably too much to ask to see the humanity in a real enemy.
 
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Keihart

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but there is nothing to hate except for the killing of xxxx. They wrote her as millennial friendly, easy to empathise with protag. Slap a racist christian in that role, or an islamic fundamentalist and then get the audience to empathise and understand. that would be a risk and an accomplishment. Probably too much to ask to see the humanity in a real enemy.
But most people do hate her after she is introduced as the killer, whatever happens after you start playing with her it's because of the device.
 

joe_zazen

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But most people do hate her after she is introduced as the killer, whatever happens after you start playing with her it's because of the device.

naw, they hate what she did, not who she is. abs is in not written to challenge the audience wrt her character.
 

bargeparty

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but there is nothing to hate except for the
killing of joel
. They wrote her as millennial friendly, easy to empathise with protag. Slap a racist christian in that role, or an islamic fundamentalist and then get the audience to empathise and understand. that would be a risk and an accomplishment. Probably too much to ask to see the humanity in a real enemy.

Depends on if they grow and see the errors of their way. I wouldn't empathize with a racist that continues to be racist. That's not the idea here.
 
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naw, they hate what she did, not who she is. abs is in not written to challenge the audience wrt her character.

But that's the whole point, that good people make bad choices, that judging someone for that choice is ignoring everything else about them. That from our own perspectives we are the heroes, in this case they're able to mirror the two protagonists as their journeys have the same goals, making you question why you chose a side.
 

tsumake

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That's just the thing. Those who have been "educated" in critical theory become unable to say anything else but crap, while those who fortunately aren't educated in it still retain their capacity to detect bullshit/crap and reject it.

In college, for my Film Studies courses I had two choices to write essays - one was to to do a comprehensive shot analysis of a film (listing every shot, and doing an analysis based on style, etc.), the other was to do a “critical analysis.” It would have been far more useful to do a shot analysis but I always did a “critical” analysis because it was much easier to regurgitate mindless pablum then actually analyze a film. It was ultimately a lazier approach, but the department gave the option.

This was years ago. I can only imagine how far we’ve progressed.
 
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Johnny Silver

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In college, for my Film Studies courses I had two choices to write essays - one was to to do a comprehensive shot analysis of a film (listing every shot, and doing an analysis based on style, etc.), the other was to do a “critical analysis.” It would have been far more useful to do a shot analysis but I always did a “critical” analysis because it was much easier to regurgitate mindless pablum then actually analyze a film. It was ultimately a lazier approach, but the department gave the option.

This was years ago. I can only imagine how far we’ve progressed.

The decline of mainstream academia. It has become tainted with neo-marxism. It has essentially become an excuse to promote a new "priestly" class that give false legitimacy to the globalist institutions, just like the pharaohs of old relied on priests to imbue them with divine authority in the eyes of the common populace.

We need new, independent institutions to arise, ones that rely on entirely new curriculum and teaching methodologies.

(edited)
 
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tsumake

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The decline of mainstream academia. It has become tainted with neo-marxism. It has essentially become an excuse to promote a new "priestly" class that give false legitimacy to the globalist institutions, just like the pharaohs of old relied on priests to imbue them with divine authority in the eyes of the common populace.

We need new, independent institutions to arise, ones that rely on entirely new curriculum and teaching methodologies.

(edited)

It seems that at some point (maybe forever), organizations of all kinds found useful idiots to be far more useful than competent individuals.
 
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Keihart

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naw, they hate what she did, not who she is. abs is in not written to challenge the audience wrt her character.
She is given every redeemable moment possible in your time with her, i'll give you that. But you are what you do, and there is no reason given to the spectator to not hate her before knowing her.
 

Johnny Silver

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It seems that at some point (maybe forever), organizations of all kinds found useful idiots to be far more useful than competent individuals.

The funniest part is that the arrogant academics of several institutions today (along with the left, hence why the left co-opted academia, to gain legitimacy) see themselves as different from the religious charlatans of the past because "religion bad" and "science good".

But they fail the realize that at the root of every state, organized religion, its primary purpose was the legitimization of the ruling authorities. The rulers through out human history have always wanted people to fall in line and voluntarily see them as legitimate. To do that they resorted to what was most useful to them at the time of their ruling.

Religion over the last 500 years has gradually been discarded as the primary tool for control. A priestly "scientific class" (and they aren't scientific, because they aren't rigorous, but instead act a propagandists) today is found to be much more useful because over time a narrative has been built to demonize religion and instead attribute a divine word not to science itself, but to those who supposedly practice it, and these two aspects are very different from one another. Through these "scientists" and "academics", the current rulers try to legitimize themselves. This is especially evident in the field of the social sciences such as politics and economics.

The science of economics is in a miserable state today. I'd argue that is has sharply decreased its rigor, professionalism and respect towards the scientific method since the beginning of the 20th century and onward.

One thing is science and the concept around the scientific method, another is the quality of its practitioners. How impartial from political influence are they? Because it takes very little to become a useful tool for a group with a political and societal narrative.

(edited)
 
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tsumake

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The funniest part is that the arrogant academics of several institutions today (along with the left, hence why the left co-opted academia, to gain legitimacy) see themselves as different from the religious charlatans of the past because "religion bad" and "science good".

But they fail the realize that at the root of every state, organized religion, its primary purpose was the legitimization of the ruling authorities. The rulers through out human history have always wanted people to fall in line and voluntarily see them as legitimate. To do that they resorted to what was most useful to them at the time of their ruling.

Religion over the last 500 years has gradually been discarded as the primary tool for control. A priestly "scientific class" (and they aren't scientific, because they aren't rigorous, but instead act a propagandists) today is found to be much more useful because over time a narrative has been built to demonize religion and instead attribute a divine word not to science itself, but to those who supposedly practice it, and these two aspects are very different from one another. Through these "scientists" and "academics", the current rulers try to legitimize themselves. This is especially evident in the field of the social sciences such as politics and economics.

The science of economics is in a miserable state today. I'd argue that is has sharply decreased its rigor, professionalism and respect towards the scientific method since the beginning of the 20th century and onward.

One thing is science and the concept around the scientific method, another is the quality of its practitioners. How impartial from political influence are they? Because it takes very little to become a useful tool for a group with a political and societal narrative.

(edited)

I like what you have to say and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. But I think we are unfortunately derailing this thread.
 

Johnny Silver

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I like what you have to say and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. But I think we are unfortunately derailing this thread.

Sorry, my bad. I should stop derailing the thread.

Concerning the original topic of the OP, my estimate is that Girlfriend Reviews is afraid of getting caught in any kind of "controversy" or being associated with anything that may damage their recently gained popularity, so they choose to conform to the appeasing narrative of excusing the game of being "deep", when in reality we all know it's just a vector for inserting deconstructive tripe and sjw/neo-marxist narratives.

This and (the following is my opinion and estimation) the fact that Neil's hate for the original TLOU was because it wasn't truly his creation, during that time he was still reigned in by that other writer whose name I don't remember and Amy who both have left Naughty Dog. These two were constantly telling Neil what was acceptable and what was not from a writing stand point, constantly providing him with feedback.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Neil only did the general setting the the first TLOU. It's my opinion that the characters in that game are more the product of the other writing staff members and Amy, since they clearly have some of the "character charm" that comes from the uncharted games (especially Ellie), even if the setting in the TLOU was a bleak, violent one.

(edited)
 
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tsumake

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Sorry, my bad. I should stop derailing the thread.

Concerning the original topic of the OP, my estimate is that Girlfriend Reviews is afraid of getting caught in any kind of "controversy" or being associated with anything that may damage their recently gained popularity, so they choose to conform to the appeasing narrative of excusing the game of being "deep", when in reality we all know it's just a vector for inserting deconstructive tripe and sjw/neo-marxist narratives.

This and (the following is my opinion and estimation) the fact that Neil's hate for the original TLOU was because it wasn't truly his creation, during that time he was still reigned in by that other writer whose name I don't remember and Amy who both have left Naughty Dog. These two were constantly telling Neil what was acceptable and what was not from a writing stand point, constantly providing him with feedback.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Neil only did the general setting the the first TLOU. It's my opinion that the characters in that game are more the product of the other writing staff members and Amy, since they clearly have some of the "character charm" that comes from the uncharted games (especially Ellie), even if the setting in the TLOU was a bleak, violent one.

(edited)

Did Amy Hennig have some creative input on TLOU? I thought she was working on U4.
 

NYR

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This I'm not certain. Does anyone reading the thread know if this is true of not?
Wikipedia credits her as a writer in the game but this is not true, the game credits only says Druckmann.

The post above should be about Bruce Straley, who left Naughty Dog.
 
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It's been well documented he retconned a couple of things - for example, making Ellie a Lesbian in the DLC.

He is given too much credit for TLOU 1 when really, it was his and Straley and was the Game Designer on TLOU 1.

Wait, how is this a retcon, exactly?
 

bargeparty

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It's been well documented he retconned a couple of things - for example, making Ellie a Lesbian in the DLC.

He is given too much credit for TLOU 1 when really, it was his and Straley and was the Game Designer on TLOU 1.

Easy to provide the proof then eh?
 

ZZZZ

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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.
The only thing that was talked about it, was Neil himself in a interview, where he said they did everything on purpose including recording the lines for Joel that wouldn't be in the game and making him look older on some scenes.
I hope this doesn't become normal practice.
Can you imagine if every big AAA title starts misleading their fan base with story trailers, hiding main characters or even false gameplay trailers. Where do we go from here?
 
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NYR

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bargeparty

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The only thing that was talked about it, was Neil himself in a interview, where he said they did everything on purpose including recording the lines for Joel that wouldn't be in the game and making him look older on some scenes.
I hope this doesn't become normal practice.
Can you imagine if every big AAA title starts misleading their fan base with story trailers, hiding main characters or even false gameplay trailers. Where do we go from here?

Personally doesn't bother me. I'd rather have misdirection than straight up showing the whole story.

If you care about something or are interested just check out a little and then go on media blackout. Play a game or watch a movie or show with limited outside influence because it's always better that way.
 

ZZZZ

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Personally doesn't bother me. I'd rather have misdirection than straight up showing the whole story.
I think both are awful, but to each their own, if i'm willing to watch a trailer, that means i want to be informed and not mislead on the product i'm interested in purchasing.

This is just the start anyway, just like microtransaction and map packs, the industry knows ND and Sony got away with it, so they will keep pushing to see what more they can get away with.
 

Keihart

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I think both are awful, but to each their own, if i'm willing to watch a trailer, that means i want to be informed and not mislead on the product i'm interested in purchasing.

This is just the start anyway, just like microtransaction and map packs, the industry knows ND and Sony got away with it, so they will keep pushing to see what more they can get away with.
works on movies, usually the best trailers have misdirection.

Fake gameplay or features sure.
 

Keihart

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That's your opinion.
of course...

 

Terenty

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All that's known, and this is based on what happens in BOTH games, is that Joel demands Ellie be handed over and proceeds to kill everyone in his way regardless of whether they pose an immediate threat to him or not.

He executes Marlene in cold blood after this.

How are people supposed to know his true intentions when he never expresses them to anyone left alive at the end?

Prove me wrong.
There's a cutscene where Marlene and Abby's daddy talk in front of her about Joel and how he traveled across the country with Ellie for a year and how he has a right to know they are gonna kill her now. To which Abby's daddy protests, but then Abby cheers he up, saying he is doing the right thing here.

You dont need to be a genius to put 2 and 2 together and come to the conclusion that Joel risked his life killing Fireflies guards in the hospital in order to save Ellie.

Its a mild retcon but in the version of events shown in TLOU2, there are no other doctors in the room. Obviously its a bit of artistic license to foreground Jerry's death
Yeah, a very convenient retcon to paint Joel as more of a ruthless killer. Just like they retconned 100% chance of vaccine and Firefly's ability to magically manufacture enough of it to cure millions of people and mend the world that had long gone to shit at that point.


Its all part of the same process. It takes 5 years for Abby to get her vengeance, but it doesn't bring her closure, she still has nightmares about the hospital. That in itself a psychological significant event; you spend years building to a moment of anticlimax... what do you do next? Try something different.
Only she never regrets torturing and killing Joel whatsoever. She never gets flashbacks of it, never has nightmares about cruelly beating to a pulp an old man that just saved her life. There's nothing there.

When she finds out Ellie killed her friends because of her actions, she doesn't self reflect, doesn't regret anything, on the contrary she acts all surprised that Ellie dared to retaliate after saint Abby spared her life. So in her mind she was completely in the right killing Joel like that.

Then she proceeds to brutalise Ellie and almost kills a pregnant girl, stopping only because she didn't want to look bad before Lev, like a hypocrite she is. If it hadn't been for him she would have gladly killed them both and then continue with being a goody two shoes friend of Lev.

If Druckmann wanted Abbie to have a redemption arc he failed miserably on that front.

Yeah, its believable to me. And relatable too because I was never that upset by Joel's death. Not to say I dislike the character, I thought he was great and Troy Baker's portrayal is top notch.

I'm just not that sentimental about him.

I'm not sentimental about him too, just pointing out forced and weak attempts at making Abby a sympathetic character after her sadistic murder.
 
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The only thing that was talked about it, was Neil himself in a interview, where he said they did everything on purpose including recording the lines for Joel that wouldn't be in the game and making him look older on some scenes.
I hope this doesn't become normal practice.
Can you imagine if every big AAA title starts misleading their fan base with story trailers, hiding main characters or even false gameplay trailers. Where do we go from here?

Is this much different from shows like GoT or movies like Endgame filming multiple endings or Endgame's deceptive trailers? Spoiler culture is the worst, honestly and doing something to preserve the surprise entertainment can deliver is fine by me. When it came to false advertising with games the problem for me was more when they showed things the game simply wasn't capable of, notorious examples being games like Watch_Dogs, BioShock Infinite, Aliens: Colonial Marines but as far as story goes? Please mislead me.
 
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sobaka770

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I appreciate the passion you have for the game. Thank you for the kind reply.

I see you’re Swiss. Are you a fan of the film “Monster’s Ball? I think there might be a cultural reason for liking the game.

Well I'm well more Russian than Swiss so my cultural reasons would be probably something to do with suppression of LGBT rights and not having anyone but white people to be racist about I suppose... :messenger_tears_of_joy:

So yeah, it's not cultural, it's perfectly personal belief that smart entertainment and writing is always preferable to shameless pandering to satisfy the "average" consumer. In the world of safe entertainment for masses (i.e. Marvel, F&F, Uncharted) having a smart challenging piece of work creates a disproportionate reaction and it's amazing to see how amplified it is by internet and society's programming into safe spaces of throught. I love when mainstream media prods the popcorn-munching, fattening crowd of people who are accustomed to being pampered in their beliefs and at a sight of any challenge the internet mob is whirring into crazy. Especially gaming bros whose whole life credentials for discussion is playing a lot of videogames - probably artistically still the most bankrupt medium, at least 20-30 years behind movies and millenia behind books in terms of artistic complexity. While movies play with camera angles, most games struggle to make the camera work - pardon the crude analogy.

And the vitriol is simply stunning, considering that what we are witnessing is just a protagonist being killed for the benefit of story and it's themes. I think I put somewhere already that God-Forbid something like ESB is released in modern climate after ANH. It would be same vitriol as Last Jedi because the movie has a lot less action and the middle part is boring and thoughtful relying on character growth instead of forward momentum. So we'd have a lot of shit takes from experts like: SJW-agenda master Yoda, Luke gets done dirty by slut princess, plot holes, the whole movie is just a chase while fixing a damn hyperdrive, why split up main characters with chemistry, Vader is Luke's father - too convenient, how are they going to win with one movie left to go?

PS. Thanks for movie recommendation, I'll put it on my list.
 

Clear

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The amount of discussion it's inspired is great (not the people saying derogatory things of course)
It's an interesting perspective you have on the game and I will have to consider it further and maybe give another playthrough.
It reminds me a little of the Death Stranding situation, where something different was done and the initial response wasn't as positive as you'd expect but now months later people are warming to it.

I highly recommend the video in this post. Really gets the intentions behind the story, I have no doubt that this is what Druckmann and Gross were going for.
 
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Bartski

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works on movies, usually the best trailers have misdirection.

Fake gameplay or features sure.

Of course they do and they should, this is how you support suspense as opposed to spoiling it even further.

There was no fake gameplay, just some shot suggesting that Joel is older and alive in Hillcrest.

This is another thing that I can't get my head around, all those people up in arms calling it "false advertising", it's just so unbelievably stupid.

When Part one was on its way, ND lied on every single occasion they could that Joel is the only playable character in the game. I haven't seen anyone ever complaining about that.
 
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Johnny Silver

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Wikipedia credits her as a writer in the game but this is not true, the game credits only says Druckmann.

The post above should be about Bruce Straley, who left Naughty Dog.

Thanks.

But still find this difference in writing styles, themes and characters between the two games very strange, almost as if they were written by different people.