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Spoilers Now TLoU Part 2 has been out for a while, let me ask you. (Spoilers)

Did Naughty Dog do the right thing killing Joel?

  • Yes

    Votes: 106 37.5%
  • No

    Votes: 139 49.1%
  • Unsure

    Votes: 38 13.4%

  • Total voters
    283

Cornbread78

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It was the right idea, but they dropped the ball on the execution. Still, it's nowhere near the biggest problem with that disaster of a game
Lololol. Ok..


 

Rubik8

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Jun 29, 2009
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His character arc was over. He lost his humanity when Sarah died, and managed to get it back thanks to Ellie.

I have no problem at all with it, it is a perfect motivator for Ellie to lose her humanity, which she finally manages to rediscover when she remembers her last memory of Joel: Joel having reclaimed his humanity, and therefore being at peace.
Well put. Although one has to conveniently ignore the hundreds of people Ellie kills on the way to the final confrontation where her humanity become important to her again. But this is a fucking video game which is akin to a Hollywood movie. People need to stop overthinking stuff.
 
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SCB3

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Then there is no plot or story since its about hate. What do you do the first half of the game if there is no incentive?
You could've just had it be Abby's story leading into the stuff with Joel and the Hospital with her Dad
 

Rubik8

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I have no problem killing of Joel.
What I do have issue with is the need to brutally torture him after he risked his own life to save yours (Abby).
That was a horrible decision and even worse making us accept her actions and forgiving her.
Sure. After someone murdered your father and many of your extended “family” and left you virtually alone in a post apocalyptic hellscape, you aren’t going to take some glee in revenge. The whole story was about vengeance and how good people can do horrible things.
 
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GymWolf

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Yeah like someone said, the problem with him dying is that there is literally no other likeable character in the game.

Abby is controversial and jesse is basically a racial quota cuck for many people.

When neil decided to kill joel he forgot to create other decent characters to support a 30 hour game.
 

DForce

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Nov 23, 2017
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While I loved Joel and Ellie's relationship in the first game, it did not end on a happy note.

I knew if they were going to make a sequel, we were going to see the fall out of Joel's decision and just how much Ellie hated Joel. Killing Joel early didn't bother me because Ellie and Joel's story still continued until the end of the game.

All movies and games don't have happy endings and that's what I come to expect from TLOU franchise.
 

skit_data

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Well put. Although one has to conveniently ignore the hundreds of people Ellie kills on the way to the final confrontation where her humanity become important to her again. But this is a fucking video game which is akin to a Hollywood movie. People need to stop overthinking stuff.
Yeah, well i didnt really ignore it, the story wouldnt been the same without Ellie going down that path. The question in the end is the same as the one in the first game; was all this worth it? Depending on the perspective you will answer ”yes” or ”no”.

”Yes” because Ellie/Joel have evolved as characters.

”No” because Joel/Ellie are killing a shit ton of people to get there.
 
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I'm not sure how it's false expectations from fans. The trailers literally were manipulated to make it look like Joel was alive and a huge part of the game. If you're going to sucker punch the audience you can't expect everyone to like your decision.

Maninipulate? I don't get it, so you expected the trailers to just lay out all the major story beats for you to make sure there are no surprises? They didn't manipulate anything, it is plainly obvious Joel dying is supposed to be a shocking event. If they came straight out with that during the trailers it would've lessened the urgency in Ellies story of revenge. It was meant to be a shock.

When you watch movie trailers do you get pissed off that they hide parts of the story and "manipulate" the viewer? Do yourself a favor and don't watch any M. Night Shyalaman trailers before seeing his movies, you'll lose your shit.

IMO killing Joel off was a fantastic idea and a great way to instigate Ellie's last for revenge. The intertwining revenge story of Ellie and Abby would've have had the same impact of both characters weren't on the same level of desire for revenge. It's just too bad they handled it in such a hamfisted way.
 
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Sleepwalker

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The context surrounding his death was poor in my opinion.


I don't think they necessarily had to keep him alive tho. I find the game pretty poor narrative wise overall.
 

Bryank75

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I dont see it as rewarding weakness, but Ellie realizing that the perpetual cycle of violence will never cease. She is traumatized by her own actions and unable to live a life worth living as long as the lust for revenge festers within her.

It might not be like the real world, but its damn good writing.

It would have been if it was in keeping with the character.... but it wasn't, she had killed countless people before, just to get to Abby. She wouldn't have stopped.

The first game was based on The Road, a very well written book and had all the benefits of that framework and Bruce Strayley was also there to stop Neil pushing the story where he wanted it to go and instead guiding it to where it should go.
 

Topher

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Yes. TLOU 2 was all about revenge. Abby's revenge for what Joel did. Ellie's revenge for Abby killing Joel. Abby's revenge for Ellie killing Abby's friends. And then right back to Ellie's seeking revenge for Abby killing Joel. What a damn rabbit hole. I thought it was brilliant.
 
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Maxwell Jacob Friedman

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You could've just had it be Abby's story leading into the stuff with Joel and the Hospital with her Dad
But then you sympthasise with Abby way to early in the game. The plot of hate is because not Joel was just taken away from Ellie but also he was taken away from us. Our intial reaction much like her yelling "you're going to fucking die" is supposed to come from us as well. The twist is the reason abby killed Joel is because Joel massacred the fireflies but also killed her father. If we are given that information to early our initial reaction to joels death has less of an effect on us
 
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Azurro

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The Joel you saw at the TLOU already didn't exists at the end of TLOU.
You are still thinking the Joel was the same mass murdered invincible guy of the first game.

There is so much in TLOU2 story that people seems to have missed (or maybe just wanted to be blind due the hate).

People change but the change in behavior in Joel makes zero sense. He's a man that lost his daughter and had to live a very questionable life to stay alive until he met Ellie.

Even if living in Jackson had made his existence more pleasant, he'd still be ultra aware of whatever dangers Ellie might find herself in, so I just don't buy the excuse of "oh, he just lost a step because he was so happy". That's a fundamental misunderstanding of Joel as a character.

I mean, kill him if it's necessary for the story, but do it in a way that makes sense and doesn't spit on him as a character. That he's replaced by an edgy band of diverse bores is the cherry on top.
 

Rubik8

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I think I’m in the minority as I avoided all spoilers, previews, and reviews until I played the game. I went in 100% blind. The only expectation I had was that Ellie was the main character because of the box cover. For all I knew Joel was the tag-along character (like Ellie was in the 1st game) or Joel was too old to go adventuring, or he was missing or kidnapped. I didn’t know about the mid game perspective flip. In the end I am relieved they didn’t just repeat the first game and I’m glad we didn’t get a game of Joel and Ellie doing the happy father/daughter routine. Joel’s death just made those flashbacks more impactful. I liked and identified with all the main characters’ motives on some level, even when I was cringing at some of their choices. Life and relationships are complicated and the game does a great job expressing that.
 
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Dunki

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People change but the change in behavior in Joel makes zero sense. He's a man that lost his daughter and had to live a very questionable life to stay alive until he met Ellie.

Even if living in Jackson had made his existence more pleasant, he'd still be ultra aware of whatever dangers Ellie might find herself in, so I just don't buy the excuse of "oh, he just lost a step because he was so happy". That's a fundamental misunderstanding of Joel as a character.

I mean, kill him if it's necessary for the story, but do it in a way that makes sense and doesn't spit on him as a character. That he's replaced by an edgy band of diverse bores is the cherry on top.
Exactly this was not a friendly town and there were Raiders everywhere thats why they had patrouls etc. Joel acting like he did made ZERO sense. They changed Characters and personalities because it would fit better in their own story. As I Said before he is Rian Johnson who also changed everything he did not like in Force Awakens.
 

KOS MOS

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I think they should have completely moved away from Joel and Ellie in part 2.

It it would have been more interesting to me if the series really was about "The last of US" Not the Ellie and Joel show.

Ellie and Joel had their story and I feel it was time to move onto someone else in a different part of the U.S.

The last of us part 2 was not what I wanted in a part 2.
 

SlimySnake

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Simple question, simple poll. Do you think Naughty Dog did the right thing killing Joel?

Allow me to clarify. I personally felt having waited so long for this game that as soon as Joel was killed, the game lost all intrinsic value for me as a gamer. The original The Last of Us game captured my emotions and attentions not because of any diversity or political statement, but because I fell in love with the relationship between Joel and Ellie. Watching the relationship blossom and seeing how much Ellie filled a long gaping hole in Joel's life was beautiful. Ellie went from being a burden at the beginning of their journey to absolutely irreplaceable to Joel by the end of the game. This had nothing to do with her immunity, but in a way I would argue that Joel's love for Ellie was because her grew to see her as a surrogate daughter and whilst he was always aware of his mission to get Ellie to the fireflys, he never wanted Ellie to be happy or safe because he wanted to protect the possible cure for humanity, by the end of the first game he saw the importance of her life as an individual and he cared deeply for her that he wanted her to live a full and long life and he was prepared to do anything and I mean anything to protect her.

I sympathised with Joel and his plight because I understand loss and what it can do, leaving a hole in your life that can never be filled again the same way. I believe that as much as he was an anti-hero, I loved the fact that there was no boundary on anything that he was prepared to do to ensure her safety. Watching Joel become this guardian demon and the way he would torture, kill or fight tooth and nail to protect her was inspiring and maybe for the wrong reasons. Clearly the developers wanted us to grow to hate Joel for who he and is what he had done throughout the events of the game and what we know of his life. But I found myself stuck in his shoes thinking that if I was in his position I would have done the exact same thing.

I didn't sympathise with Abby. Or Lev. Or Dina. Or Jesse. Or many of the characters in the second game. I even begun to lose my love for Ellie the more the game went on. In fact I found myself feeling worse for Tommy. We virtually used pregnancy as a way to 'one-up' the level of depravity and those 'Oh shit!!!' moments that we experienced in the first game. Honestly I think if we knew Joel was going to die from the outset this game would have reviewed a lot differently. Never mind the media and their never ending championing of the game for diversity and exclusivity, I didn't play these games for political reasons. The second Joel was murdered I lost all motivation and excite that I had to play this game. It became a slog over time and by the end I was just glad it was finished because the pacing was fucked up and it didn't make any sense continuing after Abby nearly killed Ellie. Nor did I like the mixed message of revenge good for Abby, revenge bad for Ellie.

Killing Joel made me lose all interest in the future of the franchise. But I know that not everyone agrees with me. My argument at the end of the day is that The Last of Us was such a unique and creative story telling experience that the fact that they chose to do something as cliche and bourgeois as making Abby a daughter of one of the original doctors that Joel killed and the story panning out the way it did, tell's me that they sold out. This story could have gone anywhere. It could have told the story of Joel and Ellie trying to survive when the remnants of the fireflys want to take Ellie by force and kill Joel for what he did and they're constantly on the run etc. Had Joel died in those circumstances it might have made sense to me. But I honestly think the story of the game was just as poorly thought out as the moment a character in a beloved franchise is revealed to be a clone, or a long lost brother etc. Any of those cliche and quite honestly boring fucking plot twists that makes you sigh and say 'Oh no, not this shit again...'
Simple answer, yes. There is no way you can have a sequel to the last of us without either Ellie or Joel being dead. There would be zero motivation to play through that story. Being on the run? Come on. Thats as cliched as it gets. And again, there is zero motivation here. Whats the story you are trying to tell here? Survival? How cliche. The entire point of the last of us was that it bucked your average zombie movie cliches and told a character driven story. The sequel HAD to be character driven or it doesnt work, and there is no way you can justify Ellie or Joel killing 1000 more enemies without one of them dying and the other going for revenge.

TBH, this is precisely why there was so much talk about TLOU not needing a sequel. It was the perfect way to end the story. But because we all wanted it, Neil had no choice but to do this story.

I sympathised with Joel and his plight because I understand loss and what it can do, leaving a hole in your life that can never be filled again the same way. I believe that as much as he was an anti-hero, I loved the fact that there was no boundary on anything that he was prepared to do to ensure her safety. Watching Joel become this guardian demon and the way he would torture, kill or fight tooth and nail to protect her was inspiring and maybe for the wrong reasons. Clearly the developers wanted us to grow to hate Joel for who he and is what he had done throughout the events of the game and what we know of his life. But I found myself stuck in his shoes thinking that if I was in his position I would have done the exact same thing.
So you empathized with Joel because of his loss, but arent able to empathize with Ellie? Forget Abby's loss for a second, but why cant you apply the same logic to Ellie? Ellie has also lost a father figure. She's also an anti-hero since she goes on a needless killing spree. So why did this not work for you? Im genuinely curious because I was ready to go kill fools as soon as Abby killed Joel. It didnt even occur to me that they had let me live until Abby pointed it out at the end of Ellie's chapters. I was consumed by anger and rage and just like I did with Joel, i completely missed that Ellie was the one who was killing indiscriminately.

I also think you missed what Neil was trying to go for in TLOU1. He didnt want you to grow to hate Joel. He's too smart for that. He wanted you to go along with Joel's killing spree and keep going along until you either go all the way and kill everyone in that operation room or take a step back and realize wait this guy isnt your average hero. TLOU is supposed to be a morally ambiguous story. there are no heroes or villains. Joel isnt meant to be hated or loved. He's a product of his environment just like everyone else. And the same goes for Ellie and Abby. You arent supposed to like either one. You like Ellie because you liked her in the first game, and because she shares the same lust for revenge you do, but shes a murderer plain and simple.

And this brings me to the most important point of the game. The game isnt about making you sympathize with Abby or Ellie or Dina or Lev. The game is more than that. He could've easily made a simple story about revenge or a simple story about being on the run, but Neil knows that he could do so much more with interactive storytelling. Instead he took us for a ride unlike any other. Abby's chapters are important because if you didnt play as her, you would not feel so wrong about Ellie going after her a second time. We will never forgive Abby for what she did to Joel, but at the end there I didnt want Ellie to go again and I definitely didnt want Ellie to finish her off in the second boss fight.

This is kojima level of storytelling. I will never forget Snake not shooting Metal Gear Rex while it had Grey Fox pinned against a wall or when Big Boss stood over The Boss at the end of MGS3. And thats whats so magnificent about the final few hours of TLOU2. I was completely detached. I no longer shared Ellie's lust for revenge. I was like go home to your family girl, but I understood that Ellie wasnt there yet. And the final flashback shows why. She had guilt. She had guilt that she treated Joel like a piece of shit for years and after the finally made up, he dies literally the next day. It is absolutely heartbreaking. her guilt over being a bad daughter forces her to go back after this woman who has literally spared her life twice. It's interactive storytelling at its finest.

Now is this the story I wanted? Nope. Did I like Abby or her friends? Not at all. But TBH, this is the only way to do a sequel to TLOU without coming across as a cliched story. Abby being the daughter of a doctor isnt cliched. It's a direct consequence of Joel's ridiculous actions in the first game. I dont want to post Game of Thrones spoilers but red wedding massacre is received so well because it was a culmination of poor choices made by several different characters. It's also a continuation of what we saw with David in TLOU1. Joel and Ellie kill a bunch of random thugs in the chapter before that and we think thats the end of that because they had been killing unnamed thugs the entire game but nope, this time their actions catch up to them.

Sorry I wrote so much.
 
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Maxwell Jacob Friedman

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Exactly this was not a friendly town and there were Raiders everywhere thats why they had patrouls etc. Joel acting like he did made ZERO sense. They changed Characters and personalities because it would fit better in their own story. As I Said before he is Rian Johnson who also changed everything he did not like in Force Awakens.
What exactly did they change? Joel grew as a character and we saw that in the flashbacks. Also druckman and troy themselves narrated how the death itself etc played out. Joel got comfortable in jackson, joel had to get used to bringing peoppe back to jackson for aid and or help to grow their population. This is referenced in the log kept at one of the safe houses when you read joel and tommts section. The part for his death was a drastic situation that was out of control that they only had one option of surviving the horde. Neil also said after joel got shot his regrets were "i was taught to trust again, i was taught to love again, and this is where it got me" Joel as a character grew but inventible much like the first game, it caught up to him.
 
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Dunki

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What exactly did they change? Joel grew as a character and we saw that in the flashbacks. Also druckman and troy themselves narrated how the death itself etc played out. Joel got comfortable in jackson, joel had to get used to bringing peoppe back to jackson for aid and or help to grow their population. This is referenced in the log kept at one of the safe houses when you read joel and tommts section. The part for his death was a drastic situation that was out of control that they only had one option of surviving the horde. Neil also said after joel got shot his regrets were "i was taught to trust again, i was taught to love again, and this is where it got me" Joel as a character grew but inventible much like the first game, it caught up to him.
No he did not. He was always very protective of Ellie. Bar scene) Raiders were constantly Attacking Jacksonville that is why he went on partol in the first place., He survived over 25 Years in this hellhole he would be the fucking last Person who would go A with a unknown armed Group or even stand IN THE FUCKING MiDDLE OF THE ROOM and present himself. He would never have agreed with all of this.
 
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Maxwell Jacob Friedman

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No he did not. He was always very protective of Ellie. Bar scene) Raiders were constantly Attacking Jacksonville that is why he went on partol in the first place., He survived over 25 Years in this hellhole he would be the fucking last Person who would go A with a unknown armed Group or even stand IN THE FUCKING MiDDLE OF THE ROOM and present himself. He would never have agreed with all of this.
1. He dodnt go with an unarmed group he went with a woman he saves who unbeknownst to him was out to kill him
2. They had no other option when the horde came down on them. It was either risk this new individual or be clicker meat
3. Joel didnt present himself, Tommy originally gave both their names away. Thats on Tommy, theres no coming back from that when Tommy called him Joel infront of Abby at the cabin, Joel cant lie about his name now. Tommy is the one that fucked Joel over
4. Standing in middle of room is irrelevant they would have been overpowered regardless
5. Never agreed to what? His death was a bunch of circumstances that happened to align.
 
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lachesis

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Joel's character was resolved at the end of TLOU1 pretty well... so as soon as I heard of TLOU2, I fully expected it to happen.

But the circumstances, excuses, build-up and also execution of his death was a big middle finger for many players. As cliche'd as it would have been - I would have loved more conventional "moving" death scene in Ellie's arms or sort... or last minute dash to save Ellie or whatnot.
 

Dunki

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1. HE went into the "house" with a ARMED unknown Group. 5 Years before he drove over a Person who seemd to be injured
2. Yes they had. They were safe from the clicker. Again Joel would have never agreed to this.
3 Watch the scene again. He stood in the MIDDLE of the ROOM. He did not go to a corner or a place where he youd watch over everyone he went into the ffucking middle of the room sourunded by unkown people.
5. No is death was written very poorly and why to cconvinient. Joel was not Stupid he never was. He was ALWAYS aware of is suroundings

If he acted like that he would have not SURVIVED the last 5 Years after the end of TLOU
 
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Kupfer

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Unfortunately, I was spoiled about the death a few days before I played it. That didn't stop me from playing and liking the game.
I played through the first game 3 times because I liked the story, the adventure and the connection between Joel and Ellie. Even knowing that Joel won't be around anymore (it's not quite true, he still accompanies you throughout the game, just not as a playable main character anymore), I had enough reason to believe that the developers at Naughts Dog know what they're doing.
The result was a game that really pulled me in, backlit characters and looked at them from different angles. The world in TLOU II isn't just black and white, it doesn't happen what the player wants to happen. It seems like some players can handle it better than others and I don't think everyone has to like the game, nor can everybody. I personally thought it was awesome and am hoping for an upgrade patch for the PS5 so I can give it a second playthrough.


Except that awkward af sex scene.... that was just weird....

Sometimes sex is weird. I don't have the feeling it didn't belong there.
 
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Hugare

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Yes, and I think that it was done really well.

Stay with me for a sec, please

In the first game, you aren't controlling Joel, you ARE Joel. You get to know his past and motivations pretty early on. Not only that, but his development with Ellie is YOUR development with Ellie. So it was easier to feel right at home in Joel's shoes. Even when he saves Ellie at the end of the game, 99% of the players understand his decisions and would do the same, because his feelings for Ellie matches yours. And that was an amazing feat, to make you care that much for a virtual character, and that's what makes the first one so special for so many people.

HOWEVER, in TLOU 2, you aren't Ellie, you are only experiencing the game through Ellie. You don't know how is her relationship with Joel when the game starts. You don't know her real motivations until the end of the game, ffs. Dina and Jesse are established relationships already, so you dont feel very attached to them.

But, imo, all of this is by design. You are suposed to feel this disconnection with Ellie, in order to make you feel bad about what she is doing. Jesse and Dina aren't developed, but they dont need to be, because what matters to Ellie is her revenge. Unfortunately, I dont think that it paid off that well, imo. Up to Joel's death, you feel like you are controlling Ellie, but soon after you start feeling that disconnection. Again, they've done it by design, but I would rather stay with Ellie all the way through.

So that's why the best part of the game is Abby's. You get to know her past (just like Joel's), you get to see her relationship with Lev developing throughout the game (just like Joel) and get to know her character go from loner to "I'll give my life to protect those I love" (just like Joel).
And again, it was done on purpose. That's why Ellie see Joel in Abby at the end of the game and stops. And that's why Abby's sections were the most emotional (to me).
 
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Metnut

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I’m fine with it. The story of Joel and Ellie and how Ellie helped fill an immense and tragic loss for Joel is the story of game 1.

They tried to tell a different story in game 2. I thought they knocked it out of the park, but a lot of people didn’t. That’s fine. Hopefully people can at least respect that they tried to tell a different story in game 2, rather than just make it another Joel/Ellie episode.

The Uncharted series was like that which each game being another “episode” in a way. I’d rather them swing for the fences each time instead of play it safe.
 
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Dunki

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So that's why the best part of the game is Abby's. You get to know her past (just like Joel's), you get to see her relationship with Lev developing throughout the game (just like Joel) and get to know her character go from loner to "I'll give my life to protect those I love" (just like Joel).
And again, it was done on purpose. That's why Ellie see Joel in Abby at the end of the game and stops. And that's why Abby's sections were the most emotional (to me).
This would have been so much better if this was Abby's game and it would end with Joels Death. The worst par is tahat new characters had NO development outside of Lev. Ellie killed a guy and hours later you see a flashback which wants you to feel sorry for a random guy you killed. If you had established 2 Groups and characters the end fight and them dying would have been way moe dramatical than someguy running into a room getting shot and never been mentioned again. And he was the fucking Father of the Child.
 

Isa

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I don't mind Creators killing off characters in their stories, though I do find the whole game to be very odd. In my opinion the lack of Bruce and other potential creative leads at ND has hurt the studio. On one hand the audience is very much attached to the characters and I would rather have the franchise explore other regions and characters, but I bet there are executives and focus groups that poopoo the idea stating that consumer feedback is lessened by the lack of returning leads. Still, the way many characters act seems at the least a bit out of line compared to themselves in the original, though I get the potential of Joel having blood on his hands.

I enjoyed Abby's sections more since Ellie rubbed me the wrong way. Not one sorry from the ungrateful cur, after all the chastising she did to Joel treating him like shit as some punk disrespectful kid in Jackson. And yet she somehow just happens to love Joel soooo much she goes on some cross-country killing spree that'd make Rambo blush. She never really admitted how she felt, the only real flashback moments are just a modern kid's wet dream of having their parents accept them. My girlfriend and I couldn't relate at all, we can't stand people who act like she did. The first game should have stayed finished as it was since leaving the possible future for those characters up to the player/viewer to ponder is part of the magic. Forcing the story in a certain way will alienate a part of the audience.

Also what torques my shorts, America is fucking big. And yet for the sake of plot these remote communities are able to identify a target and risk traveling vast distances across how many potential traps and threats to get petty revenge without much reward for the others. Get real, where's the other people? The bands of marauders, biker gangs, other fortified towns that would've put up a fight to trespassers, or even more interesting, have some post-apocalyptic world building with other communities that would naturally occur other than two meager factions. Its too cartoonish, I'd much rather see rural or regional city-states that allow or negotiate others to pass like old Greek stories rather than the goofy novela(soap opera) we got.

And finally the overly drawn out revenge is bad/subvert the players expectations plot. I get what they were going for, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. But seriously this is some idealistic shit from people who've never seen real violence or warfare. Often it boils down to you or them, Ellie pissed me off because she couldn't commit. I get Abby and she was the better person, but man what a clusterfuck of a game. It went on way to long for such a poor ending. I think it would've been more impactful and realistic to see Ellie commit that final murder and be haunted back at the ranch over the years through the contemplation of what she did slowly breaking her mind, suffering PTSD, maybe resorting to drug abuse to ease the physical and emotional pain and slowly driving her lover away. I guess for me there were too many factors that kept impacting my suspension of disbelief thus taking me out of the story. Also, I am a fan of retro gaming but TLoUII is showing just how long in the tooth ND's game design is. Its pretty at times, but very PS3 gen in others and not as impressive as other titles that came out this prior gen. I don't hate the game but I stopped liking it after a good chunk of time. I hope the mp will be good.
 

Represent.

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All this discussion about just one aspect of the story, still, damn near a year after release... Most impactful game of the generation. Love it or hate it.

Yes they did the right thing. Gave motiviation to the lead character to embark on her journey. Explained why Abby wanted him dead, all made perfect sense.

A real masterpiece.
 

Hugare

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This would have been so much better if this was Abby's game and it would end with Joels Death. The worst par is tahat new characters had NO development outside of Lev. Ellie killed a guy and hours later you see a flashback which wants you to feel sorry for a random guy you killed. If you had established 2 Groups and characters the end fight and them dying would have been way moe dramatical than someguy running into a room getting shot and never been mentioned again. And he was the fucking Father of the Child.
lol, no dude, killing Joel as a clifhanger would be insane.

No one would buy the sequel. Neil's head would be fixed on a spike for real.

And Joel's death shouldn't be the end of Abby's story, but the beginning.

It would be better to have more time develop side characters, but it would be risky as fuck. Besides, it was important to have both sides of the story in the same game.

As I mentioned, they couldnt have developed all the characters as much as they've developed Ellie/Joel, so they chose wisely (Abby/Lev/Owen a bit)
 

ButchCat

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The question shouldn't be so much about if he should have died but how he should've died. There was nothing wrong with using his death as a plot device to move the story forward but the way he died was out of character. He spent 20 years pre Jackson honing his survival skills, he mentioned before in TLoU 1 how he crossed people and when he sees his brother Tommy he's confronted about his past methods, so in other words this is a person who's learned through no fault of his own that trust is an expensive commodity, yet fast forward to TLoU2 Joel and Tommy come across a stranger and on patrol no less, and in the heat of the moment they trust her without a blink and let their guard down. It's just so out of character. There's so many ways they could've approached this and this was def the worst approach.
 
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angrod14

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In narrative terms it made no sense to continue with Joel, since his character arc was pretty much completed at the end of the first part and the beginning of the second. From that point on, it was just a matter of how to get rid of him so they can continue developing the other main character.

Initially I was really angry and frustrated, and had a lot of resistance in regards to the way Naughty Dog chose to say goodbye to the character, but as the time passed I've come to accept it. Ironically, I kinda went through the stages of grief with this game (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance).

I read somewhere in this forum that TLOU was always conceived as a some sort of an art-house game, and in that sense it never pretended to provide mainstream resolutions in its storytelling, and we should've never expected that from it. I agree with that.
 

Maxwell Jacob Friedman

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lol, no dude, killing Joel as a clifhanger would be insane.

No one would buy the sequel. Neil's head would be fixed on a spike for real.

And Joel's death shouldn't be the end of Abby's story, but the beginning.

It would be better to have more time develop side characters, but it would be risky as fuck. Besides, it was important to have both sides of the story in the same game.

As I mentioned, they couldnt have developed all the characters as much as they've developed Ellie/Joel, so they chose wisely (Abby/Lev/Owen a bit)
Yea my idea to fix the pacing issue is have Part 2 be strictly a out Abby and Her father struggling to survive like Joel and Ellie in the first game. NO HINTs what so ever the games are linked, make people think this is a new standalone. Have the character go through their own trials and tribulations and struggle to survive to grow close to them as characters. Near the end have the fireflies pick them up because her dads a doctor etc have the zebra scene. The next scene could be done well if its in First Person. Fade in to hearing a heart monitor and you playin as the dad washing your hands being prepped and then turn around and in first person see Ellie lying on the hospital bed. Hear shooting and shouting coming from the other side of the building and have Joel burst open the door, your grab the scalpel, and you see Joel in first person take it from you and murder you and you watch as your colleagues get murdered to as joel takes ellie off the bed and out of view. The next scene you play as young abby in the hospital, you find your father much like part 2. Owen holds her and abby cries and then end title. The last of us part 2. This sets up the encounter for the sequel and seeing joel murder our other main character we see from his eyes joel looks like a monster while saving ellie. The twist is both games were linked we just didnt know until the very end and their paths cross in part 3.
 
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cormack12

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Simple answer, yes. There is no way you can have a sequel to the last of us without either Ellie or Joel being dead. There would be zero motivation to play through that story. Being on the run? Come on. Thats as cliched as it gets. And again, there is zero motivation here. Whats the story you are trying to tell here? Survival? How cliche. The entire point of the last of us was that it bucked your average zombie movie cliches and told a character driven story. The sequel HAD to be character driven or it doesnt work, and there is no way you can justify Ellie or Joel killing 1000 more enemies without one of them dying and the other going for revenge.

TBH, this is precisely why there was so much talk about TLOU not needing a sequel. It was the perfect way to end the story. But because we all wanted it, Neil had no choice but to do this story.


So you empathized with Joel because of his loss, but arent able to empathize with Ellie? Forget Abby's loss for a second, but why cant you apply the same logic to Ellie? Ellie has also lost a father figure. She's also an anti-hero since she goes on a needless killing spree. So why did this not work for you? Im genuinely curious because I was ready to go kill fools as soon as Abby killed Joel. It didnt even occur to me that they had let me live until Abby pointed it out at the end of Ellie's chapters. I was consumed by anger and rage and just like I did with Joel, i completely missed that Ellie was the one who was killing indiscriminately.

I also think you missed what Neil was trying to go for in TLOU1. He did want you to grow to hate Joel. He's too smart for that. He wanted you to go along with Joel's killing spree and keep going along until you either go all the way and kill everyone in that operation room or take a step back and realize wait this guy isnt your average hero. TLOU is supposed to be a morally ambiguous story. there are no heroes or villains. Joel isnt meant to be hated or loved. He's a product of his environment just like everyone else. And the same goes for Ellie and Abby. You arent supposed to like either one. You like Ellie because you liked her in the first game, and because she shares the same lust for revenge you do, but shes a murderer plain and simple.

And this brings me to the most important point of the game. The game isnt about making you sympathize with Abby or Ellie or Dina or Lev. The game is more than that. He could've easily made a simple story about revenge or a simple story about being on the run, but Neil knows that he could do so much more with interactive storytelling. Instead he took us for a ride unlike any other. Abby's chapters are important because if you didnt play as her, you would not feel so wrong about Ellie going after her a second time. We will never forgive Abby for what she did to Joel, but at the end there I didnt want Ellie to go again and I definitely didnt want Ellie to finish her off in the second boss fight.

This is kojima level of storytelling. I will never forget Snake not shooting Metal Gear Rex while it had Grey Fox pinned against a wall or when Big Boss stood over The Boss at the end of MGS3. And thats whats so magnificent about the final few hours of TLOU2. I was completely detached. I no longer shared Ellie's lust for revenge. I was like go home to your family girl, but I understood that Ellie wasnt there yet. And the final flashback shows why. She had guilt. She had guilt that she treated Joel like a piece of shit for years and after the finally made up, he dies literally the next day. It is absolutely heartbreaking. her guilt over being a bad daughter forces her to go back after this woman who has literally spared her life twice. It's interactive storytelling at its finest.

Now is this the story I wanted? Nope. Did I like Abby or her friends? Not at all. But TBH, this is the only way to do a sequel to TLOU without coming across as a cliched story. Abby being the daughter of a doctor isnt cliched. It's a direct consequence of Joel's ridiculous actions in the first game. I dont want to post Game of Thrones spoilers but red wedding massacre is received so well because it was a culmination of poor choices made by several different characters. It's also a continuation of what we saw with David in TLOU1. Joel and Ellie kill a bunch of random thugs in the chapter before that and we think thats the end of that because they had been killing unnamed thugs the entire game but nope, this time their actions catch up to them.

Sorry I wrote so much.

Good post, I like it when people put effort in. I kind of disagree with a lot but still appreciate your perspective (the rest is in response to OP)

I don't think the OP is asking the right question tbh. Plenty of characters get killed and people don't kick up a stink. Rockstar did it with Arthur, and with John before that. You also have FFVII waifu, Dom etc. The main questions about Joel dying centre around his role in the entire story, the manner of it and the abruptness of it.

Let's take a hypothetical Joel death where the game starts and he is on patrol and is bitten, and gradually ebbs away. People would still be upset/angry but it's understandable and plausible. In terms of what happened in actuality, it was a bit contrived and convenient. I think Mauler made a great distinction between storytellers and director cum cinematographers. They write to get to the scene. They engineer the events to get to the scene, which I think is evident in a decent chunk of TLOU II (the beach fight and rattlers another example). Which is fine - at the end of the day these games are not art house nor high art and shouldn't be treated like it. At their zenith they are still the equivalent of YA novels in quality. Which again, is fine because even Harry Potter sells millions of books right? But when people try to see it through this artistic lens or classify it as such, they refuse to address or engage with actual criticism which is legitimate.

I don't think there's any point in going into Abbies arc heavily as it was easily the stronger one in the game, and the Joel/Ellie partnership was the foundation of the first game which is most affected by the question in the OP. So my thoughts, (and I finshed it about a month ago now and thought about it a lot) are as follows:


Part of the reason TLOU I worked so well was the dynamic between Joel/Ellie. It was essentially the cliched 'vow on a deathbed of an unwanted burden'. So the game itself is quite ebb and flow. Encounter with enemies, travel a little bit, encounters with others but rinse and repeat. This worked as a game for a couple of reasons:

As Joel you were never quite sure what was going to happen/pop out. All you knew was you had a vulnerable and/or valuable companion that you needed to protect. So you were constantly on toes, you couldn't just run away, it was never just about watching your own back. During those walks through the towns you were constantly checking 'where is ellie', 'are we about to be jumped' etc. These moments segued into relationship building narratives where they spoke, challenged each other, fought, reconciled, reminisced etc. The ultimate irony being Joel trading the burden of grief for the burden of love. The burden of distrust replaced with the burden of trust.

That's why it worked so well, and I don't think anyone at the studio even considered this for the second game. It was very much, we need to get to this scene and then this scene and then this scene and filled in narrative around it. Without getting bogged down too much with the circumstance at the moment, let's just cut to where we arrive at in TLOU II. Joel is dead and Ellie wants to go off and seek revenge. Death of a loved one inspires killing spree - again one of the great archetypes of storytelling. Has been done brilliantly and has been done terribly and always will be.

So, with Joel gone (this early) the game - or rather Ellie's journey - turns into a mumbling, emo walkfest. Now, don't get me wrong. I loved the combat in the game. Those trip mines etc. were fun as fuck so how it plays mechanically is fine. And this is where Ellie's whole journey falls down (for me). First, it's obvious that something is missing, in fact the high point is probably Seattle Day 3 when she sets off with Jacob and that 'tight partnership' is re-established in game. The bits before with Dinah and Tommy are just trying to patch that gap presented by Joel in my opinion. She gets a base, sets out on her own, mumbles a little bit every now and again and that's it. The heart of the journey has gone now. You're just a character walking from encounter to encounter, there's no sharing of the burden, no exposition, just the odd muttering to herself.

Next, at the end of the game we learn that there is an an unreconciled conflict between Joel/Ellie that maybe had green shoots of being repaired. The problem is that this is what gives the loss the maximum impact. But it's only revealed 25 hours later at the end of the game. When it has the least amount of impact for the player, but allows a nice flourish of a closing scene - again.

There was a reason why Abbie was given Lev and why, as a result, it was the stronger campaign. Because the nature of this tale depends on those relationships. This is an indirect impact of killing off Joel in the manner and time they did. You either had to manufacture a strong relationship (love interest), lean on an exsiting relationship (Tommy) or try to have someone on the periphery with a shared interest (Jacob). The problem is none of them were strong enough because they weren't earned in the game/story. As a reader/viewer you can't make this big emotional leap that suddenly Ellie is in love and automatically transfer the depth of feeling Joel earned in the last game. And that doesn't just go for Dinah, but also Tommy who was Joel's brother. And the thing is they don't try with Tommy (despite him being the mediator and confidente of the issue with Joel, being Joels brother and having him in the first game).

This doesn't mean it's a terrible story but there is fair scrutiny and conversation to be had around what worked and what didn't. Or rather, what could have been done better. You can give the benefit of the doubt in certain area's if the rest of the stoy is consistent and high quality. But I'll give you two examples of other pieces of writing that seemed a bit 'YA' or clumsy.

Abbys arms: OK, so when you write characters, sometimes you will give them characteristics to mark them out. Scars, speech impediments, fashion etc. It's an easy way to identify them in a scene when the antagonist/protagonist is unknown to the actor. So 'have you seen Frank Griffin?', 'what's he look like?', 'Old guy, rides with 20 men and has half his left arm missing' - you can see how that works. It's a basic tool. So we don't really hear anything remarked about Abby at all - UNTIL we hit the rattlers scene. How would Ellie track this woman all the way to Santa Barbara? Oh Abbie, girl with arms like an ox? We picked a girl up, arms the size of mine right? But it's not even a characteristic until it's needed at that point.

Fear of heights: So we establish Abby is scared of heights as well and that's how it's written for a few specific early scenes. The boat grappling, the scene with Owen and a couple others maybe. It's all driving to this major character flaw right? But then they make the obstacle so extreme that the human element of the fear has gone. Look at where she is with Lev, look at what she is walking across. That's not some basic afraid of heights phobia, that's amongst the clouds. It's not as if she was able to conquer her fear at that point because the scale of it was too huge - but again, scene wise and from a cinematographers point of view it was fucking fantastic.

Ultimately, and I've said this before, people have been upset about their favourite characters dying but are generally accepting if it's earned and in context. Let's just take a few examples from Game of Thrones where everyone lost a favourite, and evaluate why it worked in those circumstances

Ned Stark - everyone loved Ned. Principled, honest, humble thrust into an environment that wasn't really safe for him. We all thought he was going to be the sweeping noble change that everyone needed. However, it's also clearly shown through the interactions and rich world building that theres often a price to pay. As the axe swung there was a moment of shock but the watcher is validated. We knew Ned was an honourable man, and that portion of his character remains intact but at the cost we we were all aware of. It's a death that we can make peace with.

Let's take another example, Robb Stark. His characterisation is basically a younger Ned. The young wolf. He's the hope, and we know he's inexperienced and it's often repeated. He also starts to believe his own legend and in the end it is this naivety and trust that gets him killed. Again, it's contextualised and the backstory is there with the character flaws. Again, the viewer is aware of these and trades the death for the story.

Oberyn Martell was charming and well liked, even becoming a fan favourite and was given a reason and backstory to hate the Mountain. He took the opportunity of what everyone assumed would be certain death for nobility and his own peace. He's also fleshed out as an exceptional fighter. So we see that unfold, using his famed poison he is able to bring down a Mountain, but ultimately still is killed because the Mountain is a freak of nature. And yes, this was another death that hurt the fans but it was earned and was sold to the viewer.

We could do this all day (Jon, Hodor, Theon), these people suffered awful deaths and to get the audience on side you have to earn that level of trust. And then we come to the example that most people had an issue with which was Arya and the Night King. And this is the polar opposite of what you're seeing above. This didn't feel earned. It felt like deus ex machina. We'd seen very little of how this girl (aside from a couple of skirmishes) had earned her way to this point of finality to run past a entire undead army and kill perhaps the most formidable enemy in the land. It was jarring to the audience and never felt right. It destroyed that belief and cohesion the world had had up until that point.

And I think that essentially is the issue TLOU II had. The writers and creators didn't earn the right to kill him in that way or at that time. Of course they did, and at the end of the day there's nothing we can do but talk about it. But the manner of the death - appears on the surface - to only setup the story they want to tell rather than feel like something genuine in my opinion.
 
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Ellery

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Well there is no way to answer wrong/right in regards to a subjective question.

For me it turned out that TLOU2 managed to become my favourite game of all time. It is brave, complicated, requires you to pay attention to details, be intelligent and tolerant enough to step outside your bubble/comfort zone (if you are unable to do that and go in with the intention of hating the game then that is your loss).

Naughty Dog could've played it safe and TLOU2 would still be the best game. The only difference is that a different kind of audience (at least a small percentage of that) would love this game instead of hating it. And another part of the costumers would be bored by the game playing it safe and being a repeat of TLOU with a slightly different setting/envinronment etc.

I am somewhere in the middle in all of this and I trust Naughty Dog, because they are basically the tip of the spear when it comes to video game quality and so far they haven't disappointed me (besides no PS5 patch for TLOU2).
 
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decisions

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No. People talk about Joel dying like it was mandated by some sort of supreme storytelling God - when really it was just the author's choice like any other plot point. At the end of the day, you have to ask the question, "Did this choice result in a good story?" I find it weird that people feel like Joel "had to die" because of his actions in the original game - this idea seems to stem from some notion of karmic justice, but The Last of Us is set in a gruesome, unforgiving post-apocalyptic world, and therefore it makes no sense that karmic justice should exist in that world and guarantee Joel's death.

If Joel dying resulted in a great story, then fine, but the game killed Joel in a stupid way (potholes basically imply that a character who we knew to be exceptionally strong-willed, resourceful, and skeptical of others in the previous game dies from not having enough street smarts), and then failed to use his death to introduce a compelling story with new characters. Instead, his death motivates a bunch of characters to go on these "revenge safaris" through the post-apocalypse in extremely stupid, unjustified tirades that the writers somehow thought were good enough plot points to base the entire game on. Moreover, Joel's death is used as a reason to make Ellie the main protagonist of this game, and Ellie in TLOUII is straight up the worst-written character I have ever seen in a story-focused game. She contradicts herself so many times and the player never has any idea who she cares about or what her values are. If she cared about Joel, then maybe she would have kept searching for him when he was missing instead of getting high and taking a nap for several hours with her girlfriend until Jessie finds them and wonders what the hell they are doing. If she cared about Jessie, Dina, and Tommy then she would've stopped pursuing Abby and endangering them all with her revenge safari when they asked her to several times. If she cared about revenge then she would've killed Abby. She doesn't care about anything - by the end of the 40 hours you spend playing this awful game you realize you wasted your time following a story that communicated nothing. The only part of the story that even makes sense is Abby seeking moral redemption for killing Joel by saving Lev - but this is so similar to the redemption Joel sought from being a ruthless, post-apocalypse outlaw by saving Ellie that it treads no new ground for the franchise at all! TLOUII is literally a string of shock value scenes and moments that the writers thought would be edgy and controversial.

So no, killing Joel was not the right move, because the resulting story didn't make for a good game.

TLOUII is such a terrible game. God I can't believe it was so bad - while UC3 and UC4 were drops in quality compared to UC2 and TLOUI, with this game they really dropped the ball and I no longer consider them to be Sony's top-tier studio. Sony Santa Monica, Sucker Punch, and Insomniac all shipped better games in their previous launch cycles.

Sorry for ranting, I just really hate this game and wish I could have my 30-40 hrs. back lol.
 

SlimySnake

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Good post, I like it when people put effort in. I kind of disagree with a lot but still appreciate your perspective (the rest is in response to OP)

I don't think the OP is asking the right question tbh. Plenty of characters get killed and people don't kick up a stink. Rockstar did it with Arthur, and with John before that. You also have FFVII waifu, Dom etc. The main questions about Joel dying centre around his role in the entire story, the manner of it and the abruptness of it.

Let's take a hypothetical Joel death where the game starts and he is on patrol and is bitten, and gradually ebbs away. People would still be upset/angry but it's understandable and plausible. In terms of what happened in actuality, it was a bit contrived and convenient. I think Mauler made a great distinction between storytellers and director cum cinematographers. They write to get to the scene. They engineer the events to get to the scene, which I think is evident in a decent chunk of TLOU II (the beach fight and rattlers another example). Which is fine - at the end of the day these games are not art house nor high art and shouldn't be treated like it. At their zenith they are still the equivalent of YA novels in quality. Which again, is fine because even Harry Potter sells millions of books right? But when people try to see it through this artistic lens or classify it as such, they refuse to address or engage with actual criticism which is legitimate.

I don't think there's any point in going into Abbies arc heavily as it was easily the stronger one in the game, and the Joel/Ellie partnership was the foundation of the first game which is most affected by the question in the OP. So my thoughts, (and I finshed it about a month ago now and thought about it a lot) are as follows:


Part of the reason TLOU I worked so well was the dynamic between Joel/Ellie. It was essentially the cliched 'vow on a deathbed of an unwanted burden'. So the game itself is quite ebb and flow. Encounter with enemies, travel a little bit, encounters with others but rinse and repeat. This worked as a game for a couple of reasons:

As Joel you were never quite sure what was going to happen/pop out. All you knew was you had a vulnerable and/or valuable companion that you needed to protect. So you were constantly on toes, you couldn't just run away, it was never just about watching your own back. During those walks through the towns you were constantly checking 'where is ellie', 'are we about to be jumped' etc. These moments segued into relationship building narratives where they spoke, challenged each other, fought, reconciled, reminisced etc. The ultimate irony being Joel trading the burden of grief for the burden of love. The burden of distrust replaced with the burden of trust.

That's why it worked so well, and I don't think anyone at the studio even considered this for the second game. It was very much, we need to get to this scene and then this scene and then this scene and filled in narrative around it. Without getting bogged down too much with the circumstance at the moment, let's just cut to where we arrive at in TLOU II. Joel is dead and Ellie wants to go off and seek revenge. Death of a loved one inspires killing spree - again one of the great archetypes of storytelling. Has been done brilliantly and has been done terribly and always will be.

So, with Joel gone (this early) the game - or rather Ellie's journey - turns into a mumbling, emo walkfest. Now, don't get me wrong. I loved the combat in the game. Those trip mines etc. were fun as fuck so how it plays mechanically is fine. And this is where Ellie's whole journey falls down (for me). First, it's obvious that something is missing, in fact the high point is probably Seattle Day 3 when she sets off with Jacob and that 'tight partnership' is re-established in game. The bits before with Dinah and Tommy are just trying to patch that gap presented by Joel in my opinion. She gets a base, sets out on her own, mumbles a little bit every now and again and that's it. The heart of the journey has gone now. You're just a character walking from encounter to encounter, there's no sharing of the burden, no exposition, just the odd muttering to herself.

Next, at the end of the game we learn that there is an an unreconciled conflict between Joel/Ellie that maybe had green shoots of being repaired. The problem is that this is what gives the loss the maximum impact. But it's only revealed 25 hours later at the end of the game. When it has the least amount of impact for the player, but allows a nice flourish of a closing scene - again.

There was a reason why Abbie was given Lev and why, as a result, it was the stronger campaign. Because the nature of this tale depends on those relationships. This is an indirect impact of killing off Joel in the manner and time they did. You either had to manufacture a strong relationship (love interest), lean on an exsiting relationship (Tommy) or try to have someone on the periphery with a shared interest (Jacob). The problem is none of them were strong enough because they weren't earned in the game/story. As a reader/viewer you can't make this big emotional leap that suddenly Ellie is in love and automatically transfer the depth of feeling Joel earned in the last game. And that doesn't just go for Dinah, but also Tommy who was Joel's brother. And the thing is they don't try with Tommy (despite him being the mediator and confidente of the issue with Joel, being Joels brother and having him in the first game).

This doesn't mean it's a terrible story but there is fair scrutiny and conversation to be had around what worked and what didn't. Or rather, what could have been done better. You can give the benefit of the doubt in certain area's if the rest of the stoy is consistent and high quality. But I'll give you two examples of other pieces of writing that seemed a bit 'YA' or clumsy.

Abbys arms: OK, so when you write characters, sometimes you will give them characteristics to mark them out. Scars, speech impediments, fashion etc. It's an easy way to identify them in a scene when the antagonist/protagonist is unknown to the actor. So 'have you seen Frank Griffin?', 'what's he look like?', 'Old guy, rides with 20 men and has half his left arm missing' - you can see how that works. It's a basic tool. So we don't really hear anything remarked about Abby at all - UNTIL we hit the rattlers scene. How would Ellie track this woman all the way to Santa Barbara? Oh Abbie, girl with arms like an ox? We picked a girl up, arms the size of mine right? But it's not even a characteristic until it's needed at that point.

Fear of heights: So we establish Abby is scared of heights as well and that's how it's written for a few specific early scenes. The boat grappling, the scene with Owen and a couple others maybe. It's all driving to this major character flaw right? But then they make the obstacle so extreme that the human element of the fear has gone. Look at where she is with Lev, look at what she is walking across. That's not some basic afraid of heights phobia, that's amongst the clouds. It's not as if she was able to conquer her fear at that point because the scale of it was too huge - but again, scene wise and from a cinematographers point of view it was fucking fantastic.

Ultimately, and I've said this before, people have been upset about their favourite characters dying but are generally accepting if it's earned and in context. Let's just take a few examples from Game of Thrones where everyone lost a favourite, and evaluate why it worked in those circumstances

Ned Stark - everyone loved Ned. Principled, honest, humble thrust into an environment that wasn't really safe for him. We all thought he was going to be the sweeping noble change that everyone needed. However, it's also clearly shown through the interactions and rich world building that theres often a price to pay. As the axe swung there was a moment of shock but the watcher is validated. We knew Ned was an honourable man, and that portion of his character remains intact but at the cost we we were all aware of. It's a death that we can make peace with.

Let's take another example, Robb Stark. His characterisation is basically a younger Ned. The young wolf. He's the hope, and we know he's inexperienced and it's often repeated. He also starts to believe his own legend and in the end it is this naivety and trust that gets him killed. Again, it's contextualised and the backstory is there with the character flaws. Again, the viewer is aware of these and trades the death for the story.

Oberyn Martell was charming and well liked, even becoming a fan favourite and was given a reason and backstory to hate the Mountain. He took the opportunity of what everyone assumed would be certain death for nobility and his own peace. He's also fleshed out as an exceptional fighter. So we see that unfold, using his famed poison he is able to bring down a Mountain, but ultimately still is killed because the Mountain is a freak of nature. And yes, this was another death that hurt the fans but it was earned and was sold to the viewer.

We could do this all day (Jon, Hodor, Theon), these people suffered awful deaths and to get the audience on side you have to earn that level of trust. And then we come to the example that most people had an issue with which was Arya and the Night King. And this is the polar opposite of what you're seeing above. This didn't feel earned. It felt like deus ex machina. We'd seen very little of how this girl (aside from a couple of skirmishes) had earned her way to this point of finality to run past a entire undead army and kill perhaps the most formidable enemy in the land. It was jarring to the audience and never felt right. It destroyed that belief and cohesion the world had had up until that point.

And I think that essentially is the issue TLOU II had. The writers and creators didn't earn the right to kill him in that way or at that time. Of course they did, and at the end of the day there's nothing we can do but talk about it. But the manner of the death - appears on the surface - to only setup the story they want to tell rather than feel like something genuine in my opinion.
I think the story deserves some criticism. You are right, the new cast of characters just arent as interesting and Ellie's chapters are a bit of a chore due to this.

However, I dont know how they could kill off Joel without pissing off the userbase. I was just reading this SnyderCut article where they get a psychologist to try and analyze some of the Snydercut fans and he said that the fans sometimes develop this false sense of ownership and revolt when they dont see the story go in the direction they wanted. I think some of this might be happening here. I thought Joel's death was earned just as much as Ned or Robb or Obyeron's. I dont think it is anymore contrived than Robb or Oberon's deaths. Joel had no choice but to seek shelter was those people. He had an army of zombies chasing them.

I also disagree that Joel is some kind of superhuman character. He's good at killing, but he's still human. He gets impaled in TLOU1 and is out cold and almost dies. This is a world where someone like David who survived 20 years gets killed by a 13 year old girl. Anyone can be killed. TBH, It doesnt really matter how he dies. I thought the scene served its purpose which was to get people riled up, give Joel his comeuppance, and set up Ellie's tale of revenge.

Aside from that, I agree about Abby. Her characterization is completely off.
 
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Business

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A well written videogame is a unicorn and this game wasn't one. TLOU 1 was a smaller, more contained story that I think it's obvious took heavy inspiration from other fiction works like The Road. I feel like with the second game the writers were more on their own to make their story advance and take it somewhere meaningful, and that's when their shortcomings really became glaring.
 
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Dunki

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lol, no dude, killing Joel as a clifhanger would be insane.

No one would buy the sequel. Neil's head would be fixed on a spike for real.

And Joel's death shouldn't be the end of Abby's story, but the beginning.

It would be better to have more time develop side characters, but it would be risky as fuck. Besides, it was important to have both sides of the story in the same game.

As I mentioned, they couldnt have developed all the characters as much as they've developed Ellie/Joel, so they chose wisely (Abby/Lev/Owen a bit)
Second Game involves Abby and her Crew on the hunt of Joel (these are 4 Years) you could perfectly put Kev story in tehre without feeling it like a fucking sidequest. You could establish Own and all the other characters much better. You end with Joel dying and the face of Ellie. Thats how you build up a last game with 3 well established groups going after each other. That cliffhanger work did show God of War already.

The game was 30 hours and it still did not develop the new characters so that we should care. Also if would have not needed the cheap tricks Druckmann used to make Abby more likeable.

1. Abby loves and never killed dogs Ellie kills them in brutal ways.
2. Abby let the pregnant women live while Ellie killed her. (The only reason why the doctor went on the journey in the first place.
3. Of course Abby was the one letting of the revenge making Ellie look again bad.
4. Hiding her sole Motivation behind ONE final citscene you see at the end was more than cheap. In TLOU you always were on the same knowledge level than Ellie and Joel. In TLOU2 it NEVER was the case. Because he did hide her whole motivation with this one last talk at the end of the game.

It was such a bad paced anbd written story that used cheap tricks to make you feel emotions instead of developing actual Characters
 

Kuranghi

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Personally I think death wasn't enough, it would've been better if they had "Doakes'd" him and put him in a wheelchair with no hands, feet or tongue, that'll learn em to save the girl he's began to love as his own daughter!


Has it dropped in price to £10 yet so I can play it with all the accessibility options turned on and blow the shit out of everything with explosive arrows (in slow motion). The gore system is by far and away the best thing about the game imo.
 
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ethomaz

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People change but the change in behavior in Joel makes zero sense. He's a man that lost his daughter and had to live a very questionable life to stay alive until he met Ellie.

Even if living in Jackson had made his existence more pleasant, he'd still be ultra aware of whatever dangers Ellie might find herself in, so I just don't buy the excuse of "oh, he just lost a step because he was so happy". That's a fundamental misunderstanding of Joel as a character.

I mean, kill him if it's necessary for the story, but do it in a way that makes sense and doesn't spit on him as a character. That he's replaced by an edgy band of diverse bores is the cherry on top.
I believe we played different games because the reason of his death is all there... and why he changed and get caught by it own change... it was pretty incredible how they build up that plot.
 
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ethomaz

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Joel's character was resolved at the end of TLOU1 pretty well... so as soon as I heard of TLOU2, I fully expected it to happen.

But the circumstances, excuses, build-up and also execution of his death was a big middle finger for many players. As cliche'd as it would have been - I would have loved more conventional "moving" death scene in Ellie's arms or sort... or last minute dash to save Ellie or whatnot.
If it was chiche it should not be talking in every place ever a year after the game launch.
 
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Dunki

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I believe we played different games because the reason of his death is all there... and why he changed and get caught by it own change... it was pretty incredible how they build up that plot.
Even if this was true it is strange that he acted like the old Joel all before the certain scene. Just for THIS ONE scne he was different. Strange coincidence....
 

ethomaz

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Even if this was true it is strange that he acted like the old Joel all before the certain scene. Just for THIS ONE scne he was different. Strange coincidence....
He did not acted different in that scene... he just started to trust more humans since the last game... that was very clear... the fact he left a seclusion life to finally live in his brother's town already tells a lot.
You just want to nitpick.
 
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