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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: 159 34.0%
  • No

    Votes: 238 51.0%
  • Unsure

    Votes: 70 15.0%

  • Total voters
    467

Topher

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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.

That is a scene we have all seen played out so many times before. It would have made his death.....forgettable. At least the way Joel died struck a nerve. I was so pissed off at what Abby did to Joel and yet looking back....I wouldn't have changed a thing about it.
 
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Dunki

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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.
1. Did you watch the bar scene? He was not only very protective of Ellie but also very agressive
2. Did you miss the fact that he went on daily patrouls because they were attacked by Raiders? constantly? Yes it is the perfect time to trust actual unkown and armed people. Do not be stupid....
 
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Clear

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Basically, yes. His story-arc is done leaving nowhere to go with the character.

If they wanted to continue Ellie's story they'd have to either kill him on or offscreen, or find some other way to exclude him from participation.
 

Topher

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1. Did you watch the bar scene? He was not only very protective of Ellie but also very agressive
2. Did you miss the fact that he went on daily patrouls because they were attacked by Raiders? constantly? Yes it is the perfect time to trust actual unkown and armed people. Do not be stupid....

Yeah.....and he let his guard down to help a single young girl when they were all getting overrun by infected. No way he could know what was going to result from that. That whole situation played out perfectly for Abby and her crew and horribly for Joel. What would have been the alternative? Joel just lets Abby gets eaten alive by infected because he doesn't know her? I seriously don't believe that for a second.
 
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ethomaz

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1. Did you watch the bar scene? He was not only very protective of Ellie but also very agressive
2. Did you miss the fact that he went on daily patrouls because they were attacked by Raiders? constantly? Yes it is the perfect time to trust actual unkown and armed people. Do not be stupid....
He saves a girl that is about to die.
The girl after knows who is him.
The girl backslash him.

C'mon you are trying to say Joel should expect somebody that he just saved to attack him from behind?

You even expect Joel to do a Matrix move and dodge a shotgun bullet at close range lol

You can even see the old Joel is there... he instantly realize they are surprise when his brother tells his name but after the shot it is ended... he can't do anything anymore.

Joel was never a super hero, immortal, matrix, etc.
 
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sobaka770

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Joel's death was the only way to go. His arc was done in the first game and keeping him around would inevitably reduce the potential for the story and worldbuilding.
His death had purpose for the plot and the shock value it provided in terms of raw hatred was undeniable.
 
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lachesis

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If it was chiche it should not be talking in every place ever a year after the game launch.

Joel's death itself is a cliche'd plot, though. I am talking about delivery of that said cliche'd plot element.
As much as I loved TLOU1's story - it wasn't anything that wasn't done before - but how it was told, using the medium it used made it special - at least to me.

That is a scene we have all seen played out so many times before. It would have made his death.....forgettable. At least the way Joel died struck a nerve. I was so pissed off at what Abby did to Joel and yet looking back....I wouldn't have changed a thing about it.

It really depends on how you tell the story. Those talented story writers couldn't figure out how to exit a beloved character than just using it as a tool to... just a strike a nerve? It's just a bit too cheap to create a conversation piece is rather nihilistic with no substance and just a shock value. There are plenty of death scenes, similar scenes and all - that moves emotion and leaves lasting memory of the character w/o resorting to the nuclear option... which I find it rather cheap way to sell-off one of the most loved dad-figure character in a video game history.
 

Hugare

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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.
That sounds dope, but it would feel way too similar to the first game in terms of story progression

But yeah, it would do wonders in terms of character development

2nd game being about Abby and 3rd game being about Ellie going after her would be awesome in terms of story structure

But pulling a Raiden or pitching a direct sequel for TLOU without Joel and Ellie would be incredibly hard

All things considered, I think that they've done a great job at juggling all characters and story threads in one singular game

Not everything landed perfectly, some things badly even, but it always felt incredibly ambitious imo.

Havent played a singleplayer game this dense since ... RE 4 maybe? But it surpasses RE 4 by quite the margin
 

PaddyOCanager

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Killing Joel was fine.

Wasting a franchise's potential by making a pretentiously long sequel, with an even more generic premise than the original but instead with boring characters was wrong. Oh and not evolving the game play in any meaningful way either.
 
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Topher

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Joel's death itself is a cliche'd plot, though. I am talking about delivery of that said cliche'd plot element.
As much as I loved TLOU1's story - it wasn't anything that wasn't done before - but how it was told, using the medium it used made it special - at least to me.



It really depends on how you tell the story. Those talented story writers couldn't figure out how to exit a beloved character than just using it as a tool to... just a strike a nerve? It's just a bit too cheap to create a conversation piece is rather nihilistic with no substance and just a shock value. There are plenty of death scenes, similar scenes and all - that moves emotion and leaves lasting memory of the character w/o resorting to the nuclear option... which I find it rather cheap way to sell-off one of the most loved dad-figure character in a video game history.

Well, that's just a point we won't agree on. The "conventional death" you describe would have robbed the game of the anger it absolutely needed as a revenge tale.
 
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Roni

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They have always been pretty explicit about the fact Ellie is the protagonist in TLOU. So it made sense for him to go in order to give her motivation for the second one. If she's happy and peaceful, then there's no game.
 
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farmerboy

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Don't disagree with him dying. You can only dodge so many bullets. Also don’t care how it happened. Funny how people are upset how he went, as if going out with a whimper isn't totally coherent with the world.

They probably wanted him to go out with some grand gesture of self sacrifice or something. Something befitting of the character. But he died a Last of Us death, and thats fine by me.

I would have liked him to hang around a bit longer, felt that he was taken too early. Probably would have still worked for me, had not every whiny, whingeing bastard on the internet spoiled his death. I still think the reaction was one of the most pathetic things I've witnessed.
 

SegaManAU

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One of my favourite games, ever. I'm always torn about how I feel regarding Joel's death....but the more I think about it the more I think it was the right choice.

This is one of the only games that I finished and I was still thinking about the story for days afterward. Amazing game.
 

SSfox

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Absolutely NO. But i'm not saying they shouldn't have killed him, but the way they killed him was the bad choice imo, if they made him die in some other way it could've been much better than even the biggest Joel fans would respect the choice of the story.

The other problem is how they lied in the traler, make it seem Joel will be impportant and have big part in the game, i mean you do trailers edit to hide spoilers is something/and good thing (like when in GOW trailer they made it seems Kratos was beaten by an Monster to hide Baldur, that was neat from them as someone who hate trailers spoilers), but make trailers that literally lies in another.
 
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ethomaz

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Don't disagree with him dying. You can only dodge so many bullets. Also don’t care how it happened. Funny how people are upset how he went, as if going out with a whimper isn't totally coherent with the world.

They probably wanted him to go out with some grand gesture of self sacrifice or something. Something befitting of the character. But he died a Last of Us death, and thats fine by me.

I would have liked him to hang around a bit longer, felt that he was taken too early. Probably would have still worked for me, had not every whiny, whingeing bastard on the internet spoiled his death. I still think the reaction was one of the most pathetic things I've witnessed.
I believe people from some replies that their created their own Joel in their minds... an invincible hero.
 
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Azurro

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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.

We didn't play different games, we just saw the plot and analyzed it from different points of view. You took the plot in a straightforward manner, while I saw a guy that was pretty much not Joel. The technology and the visuals are amazing, but they can't fix the fact that the guy getting clubbed to death is not the same character you play as in the first game, his change makes no sense.

Some people think that we don't like it because "we are not giving the game a chance", or that we are "bigots", but the reality is that it's a badly written plot and characters, just some people are fine with nonsense if other elements make up for it.
 

ethomaz

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Absolutely NO. But i'm not saying they shouldn't have killed him, but the way they killed him was the bad choice imo, if they made him die in some other way it could've been much better than even the biggest Joel fans would respect the choice of the story.

The other problem is how they lied in the traler, make it seem Joel will be impportant and have big part in the game, i mean you do trailers edit to hide spoilers is something/and good thing (like when in GOW trailer they made it seems Kratos was beaten by an Monster to hide Baldur, that was neat from them as someone who hate trailers spoilers), but make trailers that literally lies in another.
Joel is importante and had a big part of the game.
Basically Joel is the key driving point in the game.
 
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SlimySnake

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Killing Joel was fine.

Wasting a franchise's potential by making a pretentiously long sequel, with an even more generic premise than the original but instead with boring characters was wrong. Oh and not evolving the game play in any meaningful way either.
I can agree with it being pretentiously long, and having boring characters, but I thought they did a great job with the gameplay. The combat is easily the best third person shooter combat of this gen. only MGSV comes close and even that game cant match the brutal melee combat and animations of TLOU2. I also liked how they made setpieces feel far more elaborate than in TLOU1. It was a great mix of Uncharted and TLOU. Hell, they even added boss fights and made even the bloater fights thrilling this time around.

I will never understand the hate this game receives because the gameplay is what blew people away back at E3 2018, and that gameplay is there in spades in the final version. 30 hours of it. I hated the story in MGSV but i loved the gameplay enough to never truly hate the game.
 

ethomaz

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We didn't play different games, we just saw the plot and analyzed it from different points of view. You took the plot in a straightforward manner, while I saw a guy that was pretty much not Joel. The technology and the visuals are amazing, but they can't fix the fact that the guy getting clubbed to death is not the same character you play as in the first game, his change makes no sense.

Some people think that we don't like it because "we are not giving the game a chance", or that we are "bigots", but the reality is that it's a badly written plot and characters, just some people are fine with nonsense if other elements make up for it.
He did not changed in personality he just recovered thrust in people like his normal original personality.

The Joel you played in TLOU was a desperate Joel... a guy that doesn’t care about his own life and just do desperate things to save the image of his dead daughter.

In TLOU he did never thought about consequences... he had nothing to lose... so he acted like an animal in rage to not lose his daughter again.

This desperate Joel was already dead at the end of TLOU... you won’t ever see him again after the end of the first game.
 
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Yoboman

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Joel dying gave the story the emotional through line it needed

It made the motivations real, it added a real desire for revenge that would not have felt as raw if the player themselves did not connect to that desire for revenge. And more importantly it underpinned the theme of loss and regret and how we treat the people we love in the time we have with them

Anybody who has lost a parent knows those pains and the story of TLOU2 illustrated it in such a great way

Another story about Joel and Ellie going on an adventure and connecting would have just been lame. They did that story already

And while I don’t think Abby is close to being a stand in for Joel or Ellie, she made a strong character for one game that opened up the theme of revenge for further exploration and a unique experience of playing the antagonist

I am still interested in how Ellie’s story continues, though I’m done with Abby
 
Dec 29, 2018
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I'm unsure if killing Joel was the right thing to do but let me just state the fact that I was shook when he was killed.

I knew I was in for a wild ride when Joel got killed and I loved every minute of this game after the fact.

The fact that we have an almost even split between Yes and No in this poll shows that Naughty Dog set out to accomplish what they had in mind for this game.
 

Kamina

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The problem is not that Joel died, the problem is that he was killed off for a silly plot point and to top it off they forced the player to play as the murderer after the fact.
They decided to replace the first game’s plot quality with one made of petty revenge. They could have let him die in a tragic way like his daughter to emotionally shock the players, but what they achieved was to split them in two camps.
 
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ethomaz

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The problem is not that Joel died, the problem is that he was killed off for a silly plot point and to top it off they forced the player to play as the murderer after the fact.
They decided to replace the first game’s plot quality with one made of petty revenge.
To play as the murderer was genial.

It remembered me when I played the Legend of Kain series but in a single game instead multiples.

Or that Spec Line game (I really loved the story here).
 
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Dec 29, 2018
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Joel dying gave the story the emotional through line it needed

It made the motivations real, it added a real desire for revenge that would not have felt as raw if the player themselves did not connect to that desire for revenge. And more importantly it underpinned the theme of loss and regret and how we treat the people we love in the time we have with them

Anybody who has lost a parent knows those pains and the story of TLOU2 illustrated it in such a great way

Another story about Joel and Ellie going on an adventure and connecting would have just been lame. They did that story already

And while I don’t think Abby is close to being a stand in for Joel or Ellie, she made a strong character for one game that opened up the theme of revenge for further exploration and a unique experience of playing the antagonist

I am still interested in how Ellie’s story continues, though I’m done with Abby
Basically the same exact opinion I have towards this game and to me it is Game Of The Year.

Even my girlfriend (who has no interest in games) watched me playing it from start to end. She loves good stories and this one had her hooked from the moment I fired it up. She actually had interest in the fate of the characters during my playthrough and this never happens with my other games.
 
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People are so hung up on this game's narrative it's broken their minds.

It's a video game, you play it and finish it, you think about a couple of days if you truly enjoyed it and then move on to the other 1000+ games released annually.
 

dcx4610

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Yes. Joel is not a super hero. He's not Nathan Drake. He's just a guy that's out for himself trying to make it in a shit world after losing his daughter. Ellie gave him a new lease on life and purpose. He wronged a lot of people over the years and his days were numbered. He had it coming so to speak.

Meanwhile, Ellie is grown now and has normalized violence and her way of life. Losing Joel and going on a revenge tour opened her eyes to the endless cycle of violence and broke her. She wouldn't have experienced that lesson without losing Joel. She would have ended up just like Joel.
 
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Raven117

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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.
Exactly the point of it
 

Azurro

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He did not changed in personality he just recovered thrust in people like his normal original personality.

The Joel you played in TLOU was a desperate Joel... a guy that doesn’t care about his own life and just do desperate things to save the image of his dead daughter.

In TLOU he did never thought about consequences... he had nothing to lose... so he acted like an animal in rage to not lose his daughter again.

This desperate Joel was already dead at the end of TLOU... you won’t ever see him again after the end of the first game.

I don't mean that he could not change, that was the point of TLOU1, an expert in survival that recovered the humanity to open himself to have a connection and he found that in Ellie. Now, no matter how comfortable he would get, would a man like that ever leave Ellie in a position to be killed? The only person he cares about in this world? The person for which he took down and entire guerrilla faction to save? And not only that, a person that would put this new community in danger?

No, that's a stupid idea, that's not Joel. Maybe the acting, or the visuals or the atmosphere distracts people from that, but that's a failure of characterisation. There are multiple ways to get Joel killed and have people emphasise with Abby (first thing to do that would be to get rid of the ridiculous bodybuilder thing, but I digress), but the way this game did it was badly done.
 

Clear

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I don't mean that he could not change, that was the point of TLOU1, an expert in survival that recovered the humanity to open himself to have a connection and he found that in Ellie. Now, no matter how comfortable he would get, would a man like that ever leave Ellie in a position to be killed? The only person he cares about in this world? The person for which he took down and entire guerrilla faction to save? And not only that, a person that would put this new community in danger?

No, that's a stupid idea, that's not Joel. Maybe the acting, or the visuals or the atmosphere distracts people from that, but that's a failure of characterisation. There are multiple ways to get Joel killed and have people emphasise with Abby (first thing to do that would be to get rid of the ridiculous bodybuilder thing, but I digress), but the way this game did it was badly done.

Abby is basically Joel though!

Tragic backstory of familial loss, check.
Becomes a bad-ass out of rage, check.
Finds solace, by bonding with and protecting a child figure, check.
In the course of protecting that ward, takes down an entire militia faction and their leader, check.

The only thing missing is a person/persons from that now destroyed faction coming back for revenge years down the line!
Guess they are saving that for TLOUIII, although the pattern/parallel is so obvious it should go without saying...

...what am I saying, its only obvious if you actually understand the ending of TLOUII, and it seems that a lot of *cough* fans didn't.
 
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RebellYell

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Abbie is a far superior protagonist to Joel who is your typical dude bro character for the last 20 years. For that reason alone it was a good decision to play a fairway shot at St Andrew's all over his face.
 
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Danjin44

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If they wanted us care about getting revenge then yes, killing a character we care about is very effective. My problem is half way through the game we switch to Abby and all tension about Ellie revenge is lost and the game tried so hard to get us like Abby but just felt flat for me.
 
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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.

I dont think the point was to accept or forgive her actions so much as to just understand her motivation for doing what she did. From her perspective, this is the man who murdered her father and potentially squandered any potential for mankind to return to normal. Her reaction is probably not far off from what Joel himself would do if the situation was flipped.

Joel had to die for sure. Unforgivable sins cannot be redeemed. Its a storytelling trope for a character to try and turn their life around and think they have outrun the consequences of their actions only to have them come back to haunt them; thats exactly what happened here.

I still think there should have been another game inbetween this one and TLOU1 where you get to explore the consequence of Joel's actions at the end of TLOU1. It feels like a missed opportunity not to explore that space.
 

Negotiator101

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I had no problem with them killing Joel it was the driving force of the game. I had a problem with how quickly they did it and how easily he was killed.
 

BbMajor7th

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It comes fast and without context and it's hard to avoid the feeling they spend the rest of the game trying to convince you it made sense. I'm not even sure he had it coming - nor am I convinced that he is as bad as Abby and Ellie.

Ultimately, he made a heat of the moment decision that he wrestles with for the rest of his life, an impossible decision that he would likely have walked away from with honor had that guard not goaded him so openly. Given the historical pretext with Sara (which is glaringly invoked in the final scenes) Joel's choice to rescue Ellie is never one that can be justified, but is at least an entirely human one.

Ellie and Abby, meanwhile, held grudges for months and years at time respectively, dragging their loved ones into their bloodlust at a terrible cost. Not to save lives, as Joel did, but to deliberately extinguish more. By the end, I still liked Joel and felt that his debts were settled. Abby and Ellie though, they're irredeemable psychopaths whose hard-ons for revenge ruined the lives of everyone around them. There's no subtext to drive their irrationality (neither are ever faced with losing another father figure), and their every action is sober, calculated and well-considered. They shed blood in the pursuit of shedding more and never stop to entertain a less selfish path (as Joel did). Perhaps worst of all, it's never in the defense of another - it's nothing but a hollow attempt to reverse the irreversible.
 
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SlimySnake

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Abby and Ellie though, they're irredeemable psychopaths whose hard-ons for revenge ruined the lives of everyone around them. There's no subtext to drive their irrationality (neither are ever faced with losing another father figure), and their every action is sober, calculated and well-considered. They shed blood in the pursuit of shedding more and never stop to entertain a less selfish path (as Joel did). Perhaps worst of all, it's never in the defense of another - it's nothing but a hollow attempt to reverse the irreversible.
What? That might be true for Ellie (which is by design), but not for Abby. Abby spends the entire game trying to rescue both Lev and Yara. I dont see how thats a hard on for revenge. I dont see how that shedding blood for selfish reasons. It's literally the opposite.

Ellie, yes. Shes consumed by revenge but thats just her arc. It takes her until the very end to let go of that anger, and I agree by then it's too late. Shes lost her family, her humanity, and her friends. And thats the point. There is no glorification here a la Kill Bill where the bride gets to kill everyone and then ride off in the sunset. there are serious consequences to her actions which is all you can expect from a story.

I also think her lust for revenge is true to her characterization. She's a shell of a person towards the end of the first game especially after the David encounter. Pretty much hoping to die before she even gets to the hospital. then gets a final betrayal when Joel takes it away from her and then lies to her about it. Her reaction to seeing Joel get beaten to death and her subsequent poor decision making is consistent with someone suffering from PTSD from the events of TLOU1 and the ensuing guilt from learning that the only reason person she's loved lied to her and took away the one thing that couldve made her life mean something. Thats a lot of fucking subtext to me.
 
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Azurro

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Abby is basically Joel though!

Tragic backstory of familial loss, check.
Becomes a bad-ass out of rage, check.
Finds solace, by bonding with and protecting a child figure, check.
In the course of protecting that ward, takes down an entire militia faction and their leader, check.

The only thing missing is a person/persons from that now destroyed faction coming back for revenge years down the line!
Guess they are saving that for TLOUIII, although the pattern/parallel is so obvious it should go without saying...

...what am I saying, its only obvious if you actually understand the ending of TLOUII, and it seems that a lot of *cough* fans didn't.

Of course I noticed, that's obvious, Abby and the trans kid are our replacement for Joel and Ellie, just with way, way more woke, including a story on how the trans kid is such a victim. Too bad they forgot to add a personality to both of them, so it doesn't work.

The story and characters simply don't work.
 

DilWSTS

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Imagine from the outset we were told tlou was structured with different character to lead into the final piece of a trilogy. You started as young Abby seeing a very different childhood to ellie and joel as shes got her family and a community and then the final act shows her discovering her dad murdered and then we play the final piece in her putting together her plan for revenge and ends with her stalking joel to begin tlou 3. That would have made playing half of the game as Abby much more of a thing. Even if it was tlou2. I just think the game didnt do enough for me to want to play as the antagonist and lost me completely when we had to play as her against ellie. in tlou we spent 1.5 games as ellie living her life now we fight her as a boss rather than the other way round..nope
 

vpance

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Jun 20, 2005
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The way they told the story was absolutely ham fisted. That's my main problem with it. It's not worth dissecting the motivations of the characters when they're just written to serve whatever emotional reaction they were trying their hardest to elicit from the player.

Said it before, it's the video game equivalent of Crash. But I guess it's not so obvious to people because it's a story from a video game.

Killing Joel was fine.

Wasting a franchise's potential by making a pretentiously long sequel, with an even more generic premise than the original but instead with boring characters was wrong. Oh and not evolving the game play in any meaningful way either.

That's the worst part I think. The levels were larger but the experience still felt very similar. AI still flawed, lining up to die at times and not as emergently aware as trailers seemed to suggest.
 
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Self

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Sep 15, 2019
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I don't think that Part 2 would have worked without Joel or Ellie dying. And yes, it should be a miserable death. There is no place for heroic deaths in TLoU. I was actually 'glad' it happend the way it happend. At first glance I thought the pregnant girl would die and I thought in the lines of: "c'mon guys, I don't even know her." And then the unspeakable happened and I was like: "Ok, you motherfuckers. Let's do this!"

When Tommy visited Ellie in the last part of the game I really wished he had left her alone. I was fed up with the violance. I just wanted peace for Ellie. But this damn revange cycle has no fucking end.
 
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ethomaz

is mad because DF didn't do a video on a video of a video of a video on PS5
Mar 19, 2013
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I believe most thought Joel were to be keep in hold being tortured until hero Ellie come to recue.

C’mon guys.
 

Iced Arcade

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Oct 3, 2013
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At first I hated the idea of the story when I read the leaks. But I loved the game and actually ended up liked Abby more than ellie.

Thing is... You can understand why Joel did what he did, can understand why the fireflies were doing what they were doing, you can understand why Abby wanted revenge and you can understand why Ellie wanted revenge. In that world there is no clear right and wrong
 
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assurdum

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Aug 14, 2020
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Long short story: yes? But it's not the death of Joel the problem. It's the whole story around. Someone can explain to me what was interesting about it? Outside the drama, wtf was the real story, outside the Joel death (the only decent scene in the game?) That's what is really annoying and the big flaw of the game, not surely the Joel departure.
 
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