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|OT| The Last of Us Pt II |OT| Oh Ellie...I think they should be terrified of you

tassletine

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Sure, I understand. I only limited it to "AAA" narrative mainstream games because that is the context of this conversation... we are talking about AAA narrative games in here. There are lots of things TLoU2 does very well which other, much freer/more interesting/more experimental games, even narrative games, do not do well, obviously. Because that's not even something those devs are aiming for, necessarily.

I'm only trying to say that we can have a problem with any particular game we want, anything we can think of... but I feel we have to at least take it on on it's own terms.



Generally I agree with all of that. But my larger point remains, if I went into a Dear Esther thread or a What Remains of Edith Finch thread or a Firewatch thread or whatever -- pick anything even vaguely in this category -- and suggested there was something lacking because, I don't know, there wasn't a lot of depth specifically in terms of the gameplay itself offering the player options or choice in terms of how they navigated the game/story... I mean, of course there isn't. Because those games aren't trying to do that at all, right? That's not their thing. I haven't played everything you mention, but in general the ideas/experiences they are communicating are not reliant upon deep, multi-layered gameplay mechanics involving player choice; the depth of those experiences is found elsewhere, in other aspects of the game.

That deep gameplay which not only offers but I'd argue encourages player choice, that's what I meant by when referencing agency. And that is very much a part of TLoU2.



The answer is gameplay, I think, which is the principle element that defines TLoU2 in terms of how it functions, as well as a huge part of the way that the game explores the ideas being communicated to the user/audience.
Sure, I understand. I only limited it to "AAA" narrative mainstream games because that is the context of this conversation... we are talking about AAA narrative games in here. There are lots of things TLoU2 does very well which other, much freer/more interesting/more experimental games, even narrative games, do not do well, obviously. Because that's not even something those devs are aiming for, necessarily.

I'm only trying to say that we can have a problem with any particular game we want, anything we can think of... but I feel we have to at least take it on on it's own terms.



Generally I agree with all of that. But my larger point remains, if I went into a Dear Esther thread or a What Remains of Edith Finch thread or a Firewatch thread or whatever -- pick anything even vaguely in this category -- and suggested there was something lacking because, I don't know, there wasn't a lot of depth specifically in terms of the gameplay itself offering the player options or choice in terms of how they navigated the game/story... I mean, of course there isn't. Because those games aren't trying to do that at all, right? That's not their thing. I haven't played everything you mention, but in general the ideas/experiences they are communicating are not reliant upon deep, multi-layered gameplay mechanics involving player choice; the depth of those experiences is found elsewhere, in other aspects of the game.

That deep gameplay which not only offers but I'd argue encourages player choice, that's what I meant by when referencing agency. And that is very much a part of TLoU2.



The answer is gameplay, I think, which is the principle element that defines TLoU2 in terms of how it functions, as well as a huge part of the way that the game explores the ideas being communicated to the user/audience.
On it’s own Terms , it’s a good but not great game. It’s gameplay whilst stellar, is limited and isn’t enough to sustain the length of the gameplay when played through quickly. In small chunks it may work however.
The major misstep is the story which absolutely cannot be compared to the TV miniseries it so desperately wants to be compared to — As a game story it‘s fine, (as most game stories are terrible) but it thinks it’s being profound and doesn’t seem to realise that the core mechanic of switching sides has been done before (Avatar the game for example). As a revenge story it has literally nothing to say, so it treads water for most of the game trying to make up for that lack of insight. Hammering home it’s point in more and more theatrical ways just to get you to notice.
 

EruditeHobo

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You might think so, but that's not how I talk about games.
I respect that, but to me this is not a particularly relevant rabbit hole to go down...

TLoU2 is a specific narrative experience. While it uses story and character and gameplay in order to communicate something to the gamer/audience, I don't know why we're talking about what it is NOT trying to do as if that's a mark against it. The context of this disagreement is the linear unchanging story, and that can't even be classified as a fault as far as I'm concerned... since it's not trying to be anything other than a linear narrative, and the depth of the story/game itself manifests in other ways? That's why I honed in on TLoU1, because to give more choice to the player in altering/impacting this story in this specific kind of game/narrative, you arguably make it worse.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying here with your analysis/appraisal of games over time, however I don't see it as at all relevant to the point when it comes to the story/narrative of TLoU2. Perhaps I'm missing something.

Aside from the visual aspects what is it truly doing better though? The game play might be a step up from the previous title, but it's not really innovating in any way versus its peers. Is it a better stealth experience versus MGS5 or Hitman?
What it does incredibly well is use the medium of the interactive experience, and the well-worn mechanics & tropes of that medium, to actively comment on and inform the story/characters while using those very gameplay mechanics in order to express something unique to the gamer. There are almost zero games -- especially AAA mainstream games -- which do this on this level, and with this level of thoughtfulness and thematic follow-through.

That doesn't mean it's perfect... but that is what the game is doing IMO.
Kojima does some similar things very well in the MGS series IMO.

On top of that there are lots of other things which are part of TLoU2 experience that are unique... it's a next-level use of narrative in games in general, for me; the way the story builds using multiple different kinds of flashbacks, while not revolutionary, is pretty unique for the medium, and on a more general note rarely is there a story this emotionally resonant featuring characters with this level of depth, especially in the AAA space.

Also on a technical level absolutely state of the art... which is worth mentioning since this too is in service of story/characters.

What deep game play? What choice?
Yeah, the choice in how to play based on gameplay depth and possible ways to approach each section of the game, which impacts the experience of playing it. That stuff matters, you saying something like "it's just a murder/stealth sim!" in a super reductive way doesn't just automatically gloss over the game's depth. And when you say "I judge games based on what they are, I wouldn't judge an indie game for not having a AAA budget" and then say something like "why isn't this stealth gameplay as deep as MGS5?"... I mean, they're not exactly the most logically consistent statements I've ever read.

Why isn't it a totally different game? Why does it make it difficult/impossible to evade all/most enemies at multiple points of the game? Why does it push the player into situations where they have to kill a bunch of enemies to succeed? Is it possible that they are making some kind of comment on these tropes, considering they've built a pretty fun combat/stealth system with a bunch of firepower and upgrades, and then have their characters overwhelmed and broken by the struggle of carrying out these acts and just trying to survive in this world? Why can't you avoid killing more people? Well, I'd think because it's pretty significantly a story about how difficult and unsatisfying it is for these characters to kill people in a game that, because it's a video game, has to be at least pretty fun when you're killing a bunch of people! It's almost like the game is about inner conflict, in some way!

And once again, saying "why don't they make it easier to not engage with the thing that they feel forced to engage the gamer with?"seems like a really simplistic view of what they're going for here, and quite honestly because it might make the game worse.

Similarly after Abby realises that maybe just maybe the Seraphites aren't all bad, could the game not offer up a pure stealth, lets escape this island whilst things go to shit option? Nope. Instead you've gotta kill every motherfucker in the room, because once gain "game play limitations" I mean its kind of lucky that Lev killed his mum tbh, because otherwise you'd have had her yelling in your ear 'Noo!!! Why did you kill Jacob?" "Noo!!! why did you kill Belinda!!' All the way back to the boat.
I don't think you're genuinely representing the game here, or certainly the deeper inner workings of what all these things can do/mean to the gamer when they are really engaging with them. I'll just say that whether or not it worked for you is one thing, and totally up to you, of course, but whether or not these decisions make design/production/story sense is a whole other thing.

TLDR; it's not really trying to do a lot of the things you're ostensibly holding against it, and it's not doing them for IMO some pretty good reasons.
 

Kadayi

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TLDR; it's not really trying to do a lot of the things you're ostensibly holding against it, and it's not doing them for IMO some pretty good reasons.
None of which you can remotely articulate it seems. 🤔

Dude. Throughout this thread and others I've raised plenty of pertinent points and unfortunately all I (and others critics) have encountered (beyond the endless cries of bigot!!) is this dogged insistence from yourself and your ilk that somehow all is right in the world with TLOU2 with what can at best be described as hand waving nebulous responses that insist that there being some great depth to the experience, yet when push comes to shove you're apparently unable to vocalise in any meaningful fashion regarding how or why, and try and bat away any criticism on the basis of that's not what this game is about, as if criticism on any level is some form of treason. It's abjectly tragic.

I get it. You're a normie, and you're easily pleased and how dare these jumped up gamer forum types expect more from gaming experiences when they should instead just be straight up kissing Naughty Dogs ass and singing their endless praises to all and sundry for what they delivered, and you've come here with your long dead account to set us straight for our sins. 10/10 best game evar!! *pearl clutch for the VGAs GOTY* Some of us however, want more than a fresh paint job on an old chassis.
 
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Clear

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Part II falls apart when Ellie tells Joel “I was supposed to die in that hospital.” No, you weren’t and you didn’t think you were going to either. Part II is built on a retcon.
No its built on Ellie's burning need for her immunity to mean something, its something stated repeatedly in both games.

When Joel intervened he not only took that opportunity away forever, but he doubled down on it by lying to Ellie that there were many others like her in order to cover up what actually transpired.

Its the root of their alienation; he not only stole her destiny but lied to her face about it for years afterwards. If you were in her shoes you'd find it a hard pill to swallow too, especially when every infected, every dead body you encounter makes you wonder "what if they'd been able to synthesize a vaccine from my sacrifice".

That you (and your upvoter) apparently misunderstood this, just shows you really have no business talking about either game.
 

sol_bad

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Jerry Anderson had it coming for wanting to go forward with killing a child without her consent and not even wanting to inform Joel of what they were going to do. The coward didn’t even have the conviction to say he would do it to his own daughter. Hanging a lampshade on that scene by having Abby say “I would want you to.” doesn’t work either. Jerry is ethically a shitbag and a bad doctor. He’s also a pussy.


Marlene at least had the balls to tell Joel and know that she was in the wrong.

Part II falls apart when Ellie tells Joel “I was supposed to die in that hospital.” No, you weren’t and you didn’t think you were going to either. Part II is built on a retcon.
Why did Joel lie to Ellie?
 
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THEAP99

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Part II falls apart when Ellie tells Joel “I was supposed to die in that hospital.” No, you weren’t and you didn’t think you were going to either. Part II is built on a retcon.
Lmao ? No
 
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DForce

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Jerry Anderson had it coming for wanting to go forward with killing a child without her consent and not even wanting to inform Joel of what they were going to do. The coward didn’t even have the conviction to say he would do it to his own daughter. Hanging a lampshade on that scene by having Abby say “I would want you to.” doesn’t work either. Jerry is ethically a shitbag and a bad doctor. He’s also a pussy.


Marlene at least had the balls to tell Joel and know that she was in the wrong.

Part II falls apart when Ellie tells Joel “I was supposed to die in that hospital.” No, you weren’t and you didn’t think you were going to either. Part II is built on a retcon.
It's not a retcon.

Ellie knew what Joel did at the end of the TLOU Part I.

That's why she asked the question.

Neil makes this clear during his talk in 2013, started at the 40:00 mark.
 

EruditeHobo

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None of which you can remotely articulate it seems. 🤔
That's really what you took from that large post?

There's not a TON more I can do when you literally post something like "why isn't the stealth gameplay more in-depth for this intense section of the game?" other than talk about why that might be a decision they went for based on the experience they are trying to cultivate. I had a couple paragraphs around this topic in particular, so I kind of don't know what to say in terms of your avoidant response here...

I get it. You're a normie, and you're easily pleased and how dare these jumped up gamer forum types expect more from gaming experiences when they should instead just be straight up kissing Naughty Dogs ass and singing their endless praises to all and sundry for what they delivered, and you've come here with your long dead account to set us straight for our sins. 10/10 best game evar!! *pearl clutch for the VGAs GOTY* Some of us however, want more than a fresh paint job on an old chassis.
If that's what you took from the game and my posts I honestly regret thinking there was a deeper more nuanced conversation to have here. So maybe I do know how you feel about this game... just applied to this interaction. I specifically said it has it's flaws and wasn't a 10/10, for me, but was trying to take on some of the actual arguments without any ad hominem fallacies. So, at least I've succeeded where you've failed in that regard!

Regardless, you should probably know it is not exactly high minded to ask things like "why don't they offer a pure stealth option" in a section of a video game which is mostly about violent fallout and utter carnage, which simultaneously provides an intense action set piece but also forces the gamer's nose in the devastation of the island, to which they've directly contributed... I don't see how that can be considered some evolved take, since missing the point isn't very enlightened.

But I think you have a right to your opinion and all that. I haven't come even close to calling anyone a bigot... but I did come into this thread late, and since that's a bit rude I apologize for that at least.

One last question though, for clarity; how do you feel about TLoU, part I? On the whole, what's your out-of-10 score for that game?
 

Umbral

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No its built on Ellie's burning need for her immunity to mean something, its something stated repeatedly in both games.

When Joel intervened he not only took that opportunity away forever, but he doubled down on it by lying to Ellie that there were many others like her in order to cover up what actually transpired.

Its the root of their alienation; he not only stole her destiny but lied to her face about it for years afterwards. If you were in her shoes you'd find it a hard pill to swallow too, especially when every infected, every dead body you encounter makes you wonder "what if they'd been able to synthesize a vaccine from my sacrifice".
It appears the idea that there were more immune people is either some Mandela Effect or misinterpretation of an audio log in the first game. I have tried to find evidence that there were more immune, but haven’t been able to. If this is true, then Joel lied extra big.

I would be mad at Joel for lying and for killing Marlene, but I would be grateful he didn’t let a bunch of delusional, ends-justify-the-means terrorists kill me without my consent for an attempt at a vaccine.

They should have never made a sequel with Joel and Ellie. Her immunity isn’t even part of Part II, let alone central to it. Her immunity meant nothing either way.
That you (and your upvoter) apparently misunderstood this, just shows you really have no business talking about either game.
I’ll talk about what I please and you‘re not the arbiter of worthwhile discussion. I would never presume to tell you what you can talk about. The suggestion that Part II is somehow too high-minded to be comprehended by mere mortals is laughable.
Why did Joel lie to Ellie?
Because he didn’t want to tell her he killed everyone in the hospital, including Marlene, in order to save her life and keep their relationship. Since you could stealth the last chunk you could really boil it down to Marlene and Jerry being the only murders, but Naughty Dog has a story to tell, player choice be damned.
It's not a retcon.

Ellie knew what Joel did at the end of the TLOU Part I.

That's why she asked the question.

Neil makes this clear during his talk in 2013, started at the 40:00 mark.
Your video link is not playing for me.

It’s a retcon because in TLOU1 she was not all “Oh boy, Joel. I can’t wait to die once we get to Salt Lake for the snowball’s chance in hell at a vaccine!” but in Part II she’s now “I was supposed to die in that hospital!” *pouty face* implying she knew and was happy to die for it. I don‘t buy it. I don’t know of anyone that would sacrifice their life for a certainty let alone a tiny chance.

“I don’t think I can forgive you for not letting me die, Joel.”

Lol, fucking what?
 
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Vawn

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I can't decide which is my GOTY so far, this or Ghost of Tsushima. I think I had more "fun" overall with GoT, but TLOU2 was the more memorable experience.
 

DForce

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Your video link is not playing for me.

It’s a retcon because in TLOU1 she was not all “Oh boy, Joel. I can’t wait to die once we get to Salt Lake for the snowball’s chance in hell at a vaccine!” but in Part II she’s now “I was supposed to die in that hospital!” *pouty face* implying she knew and was happy to die for it. I don‘t buy it. I don’t know of anyone that would sacrifice their life for a certainty let alone a tiny chance.

“I don’t think I can forgive you for not letting me die, Joel.”

Lol, fucking what?
No, there's no retcon. You're just misinterpreting the story.

She said "I was suppose the die at that hospital" because that's what she would have wanted to happen, not that she decided then and there she was willing to give her life to save humanity.


This is something you cannot ignore:

Ellie was upset with Joel at the end of The Last of Us Part I.

She KNEW Joel lied to her.

If she knew Joel lied to her, then she knew WHY Joel lied to her.

This would be a retcon if Ellie smiled at the end of the first game, but she didn't.

I don’t know of anyone that would sacrifice their life for a certainty let alone a tiny chance.
I don't get why people keep doing this. There's nothing written in the story that says there was a tiny chance for a cure.

It's like Angry Joe getting upset at the plot because 'There's no cure for a fungal infect."

It's a fictional plot. The story says they were going to make a cure and there's nothing in the story that says otherwise.
 

sol_bad

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Because he didn’t want to tell her he killed everyone in the hospital, including Marlene, in order to save her life and keep their relationship. Since you could stealth the last chunk you could really boil it down to Marlene and Jerry being the only murders, but Naughty Dog has a story to tell, player choice be damned.
So he lied because he knew what he did was wrong and monstrous. Gotcha.
 

Clear

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It appears the idea that there were more immune people is either some Mandela Effect or misinterpretation of an audio log in the first game. I have tried to find evidence that there were more immune, but haven’t been able to. If this is true, then Joel lied extra big.
There are none, at least none that anyone Ellie knows has ever encountered. The only person ever to state that there are other immune people is Joel, as part of his cover for them leaving Salt Lake.

I would be mad at Joel for lying and for killing Marlene, but I would be grateful he didn’t let a bunch of delusional, ends-justify-the-means terrorists kill me without my consent for an attempt at a vaccine.
Its not about you though, because you aren't part of the fiction. Its how Ellie reacts, and that being dramatically plausible and consistent with what we know about her character.

In this case its about Ellie needing to know that her immunity, her existence means something. Her disillusionment is paralleled by how the Fireflies dissolve after Joel's actions effectively decapitates them as a force.

Without a higher purpose, its hard to find a reason to go on in this harsh post-apocalyptic dystopia.

They should have never made a sequel with Joel and Ellie. Her immunity isn’t even part of Part II, let alone central to it. Her immunity meant nothing either way.
Its absolutely key to everything, her immunity is what unites pretty much every character in the story because its the reason their paths crossed in the first place! The first game is basically about getting the "cure" across country to the Firefly HQ in Salt Lake City, an arduous bloody journey that robs Ellie of any remaining youthful innocence.

Its why by the end of the trip she's so insistent that it (her immunity) has to mean something. Because if not, well you end up like the broken Firefly she discovers on her birthday museum trip: "There is no light", just a history of violence perpetrated in the name of noble but ultimately futile cause.

I’ll talk about what I please and you‘re not the arbiter of worthwhile discussion. I would never presume to tell you what you can talk about. The suggestion that Part II is somehow too high-minded to be comprehended by mere mortals is laughable.
I'm not gagging you, you can do whatever you want. My point was that without a basic understanding of the plot of the game and its characters you really haven't got much to add to the conversation.

This is not fan-fiction or theorycrafting, hell its not even subtext. Its right there front and center in the story!
 
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Umbral

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No, there's no retcon. You're just misinterpreting the story.

She said "I was suppose the die at that hospital" because that's what she would have wanted to happen, not that she decided then and there she was willing to give her life to save humanity.
When I played TLOU, I never saw any indication that she wanted to die; that she knew what was going to happen and was ok with it. I heard her talk about what they were going to do afterward and I read the tail of the game as her being sad the journey is almost over and all the terrible things they’d lived through. I took her silence following the David event to be a sort of PTSD response and not preparing herself to die.

Since her desire to sacrifice herself was never apparent to me in the first game I consider that line a retcon in the second.
This is something you cannot ignore:

Ellie was upset with Joel at the end of The Last of Us Part I.

She KNEW Joel lied to her.

If she knew Joel lied to her, then she knew WHY Joel lied to her.

This would be a retcon if Ellie smiled at the end of the first game, but she didn't.
She can’t know why, she can only know that he wasn’t telling the whole truth. He would have to tell her why. Everything else is up to interpretation, which I’m sure is what Druckmann’s intended. The ambiguity makes things slippery to criticize because there’s always an exit door for the writer and for critics.
I don't get why people keep doing this. There's nothing written in the story that says there was a tiny chance for a cure.

It's like Angry Joe getting upset at the plot because 'There's no cure for a fungal infect."

It's a fictional plot. The story says they were going to make a cure and there's nothing in the story that says otherwise.
There were plenty of indicators that they weren’t having any luck. They had a breakthrough five years prior to the incident at the university, as is explained by the dead guy’s recorder there, and nothing since. There’s plenty of reason to suspect things aren’t going well for the Fireflies and they aren’t competent enough to pull it off. They’re on the brink of being destroyed by the military at the beginning of the game.

So he lied because he knew what he did was wrong and monstrous. Gotcha.
How would you describe a deluded group of terrorists on the edge of collapse who have decided to kill a child while she is unconscious without her consent so they can try to make a cure? They agreed to pay Joel and Tess their guns back plus some once the job was completed. They decided instead to march him out at gunpoint, without payment, without allowing him to see Ellie, who was his charge for an entire year, and without his backpack of gear into the infested streets of Salt Lake City.

You could call his actions monstrous if they woke Ellie up, asked her, she consented, they put her under, and then Joel went on a rampage and killed them and escaped with her.

As it is, Joel was justified.

There are none, at least none that anyone Ellie knows has ever encountered. The only person ever to state that there are other immune people is Joel, as part of his cover for them leaving Salt Lake.
I was so sure of this that it feels like someone is fucking with me. I was sure of a note or an audio log that described other immune people that they were unable to make a cure from, killing them in the end. I haven’t been able to find any evidence of it though.

Its not about you though, because you aren't part of the fiction. Its how Ellie reacts, and that being dramatically plausible and consistent with what we know about her character.
You made it about me when you said:

“Its the root of their alienation; he not only stole her destiny but lied to her face about it for years afterwards. If you were in her shoes you'd find it a hard pill to swallow too, especially when every infected, every dead body you encounter makes you wonder "what if they'd been able to synthesize a vaccine from my sacrifice".​

Unless you were speaking about the general “you”.

In this case its about Ellie needing to know that her immunity, her existence means something. Her disillusionment is paralleled by how the Fireflies dissolve after Joel's actions effectively decapitates them as a force.

Without a higher purpose, its hard to find a reason to go on in this harsh post-apocalyptic dystopia.
You do need a purpose and meaning to go on, but Ellie wasn’t going to “go on”. She would have died.

Its absolutely key to everything, her immunity is what unites pretty much every character in the story because its the reason their paths crossed in the first place! The first game is basically about getting the "cure" across country to the Firefly HQ in Salt Lake City, an arduous bloody journey that robs Ellie of any remaining youthful innocence.

Its why by the end of the trip she's so insistent that it (her immunity) has to mean something. Because if not, well you end up like the broken Firefly she discovers on her birthday museum trip: "There is no light", just a history of violence perpetrated in the name of noble but ultimately futile cause.
The first game is about her immunity. The second game is not. It’s barely mentioned and nobody is pursuing her to do anything with it and she isn’t reaching out to anyone either. Her immunity in Part II is a dead thread and used in only a few scenes unrelated to finding a vaccine.

I'm not gagging you, you can do whatever you want. My point was that without a basic understanding of the plot of the game and its characters you really haven't got much to add to the conversation.

This is not fan-fiction or theorycrafting, hell its not even subtext. Its right there front and center in the story!
My point is that conversations are a way for people to work ideas out. It’s a back of forth with the hope of finding the truth or at the very least we end up agreeing to disagree. Suggesting that others have no business speaking about something is to kill any chance of getting to that point. Nobody learns anything and nothing is resolved.
 

THEAP99

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Since her desire to sacrifice herself was never apparent to me in the first game I consider that line a retcon in the second.

Joel: We don't have to do this. You know that right? We can go back to Tommy's and be done with this whole thing.

Ellie: After all we've been through. Everything that I've done. It can be for nothing.
Look, I know you mean well, but there's no halfway with this."

This clearly demonstrates that no matter what, she will go through with this. Because her immunity gives her purpose.
And Joel basically put his interests over hers in the end.

This clip also shows how Joel had a feeling things wouldn't be the same after this. Cus i don't see why else he'd be so hesitant other than not trusting the fireflies, or not wanting to lose here. The game doesn't exactly give us a deliberate answer but i think most can agree that he doesn't want to lose her.

But it is true there's nothing indicating in part 1 really that she knew that she would die. In fact, she also says "After we're done, we can go wherever you want." Now that could just be her lighting the mood of course. But once again the game only really hints that things wouldn't be the same, not exactly that she knew she would die, or that she would live.

Ellie also said, "There's no halfway with this." And Joel basically went half-way.

The way I see it, is that she'd do anything to make her immunity worthwhile but of course there's nothing definitive in the first game of her knowing she would die or not. Therefore, I don't see it as retcon because the first game never really makes some of these things clear, all it does really is let us know that Ellie wants her cure to mean something and had a feeling Joel was kind of starting to back out because he knew things wouldn't be the same. Which she didn't want, but it happened and her immunity means nothing now. And Joel knew this.

In part 2, she goes to the hospital, listens to the voice tape or whatever, knows exactly what went down confirming her early suspicions of joel being dishonest. Later on, states that she was supposed to die. Which i mean makes sense to me at least as she made it clear in the first game no matter what happens she wanted her immunity to mean something. Her sacrificing herself ultimately would've done that for her clearly.
 

THEAP99

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How would you describe a deluded group of terrorists on the edge of collapse who have decided to kill a child while she is unconscious without her consent so they can try to make a cure? They agreed to pay Joel and Tess their guns back plus some once the job was completed. They decided instead to march him out at gunpoint, without payment, without allowing him to see Ellie, who was his charge for an entire year, and without his backpack of gear into the infested streets of Salt Lake City.
The first game doesn't make some these arguments though. Joel's decision always was based on his selfishness and attachment to ellie.
Knowing if a cure would fully work or not, no matter what, his decision would've been the same. That's kinda one of his character points from the first lmao.
 

DForce

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When I played TLOU, I never saw any indication that she wanted to die; that she knew what was going to happen and was ok with it. I heard her talk about what they were going to do afterward and I read the tail of the game as her being sad the journey is almost over and all the terrible things they’d lived through. I took her silence following the David event to be a sort of PTSD response and not preparing herself to die.

Since her desire to sacrifice herself was never apparent to me in the first game I consider that line a retcon in the second.
Then you don't know the story. If Ellie knew Joel lied to her, then she knows why.

She can’t know why, she can only know that he wasn’t telling the whole truth. He would have to tell her why. Everything else is up to interpretation, which I’m sure is what Druckmann’s intended. The ambiguity makes things slippery to criticize because there’s always an exit door for the writer and for critics.

Druckmann says in the video from his talk in 2013.

And we come to that ending and that lie and that okay and what is that okay mean? Well, it's definitely not a complicit "yeah I'll go along with you" in fact it's the opposite. It's Ellie for the first time waking up and realizing that she can't rely on him anymore. While she loves him for what he's done for her, she hates him for robbing her of that choice.
You're going to say, "Ellie never had a choice." Joel made it possible for her not to have one. He killed the surgeons, killed Marlene and didn't want her to go back to the hospital to sacrifice herself.




There were plenty of indicators that they weren’t having any luck. They had a breakthrough five years prior to the incident at the university, as is explained by the dead guy’s recorder there, and nothing since. There’s plenty of reason to suspect things aren’t going well for the Fireflies and they aren’t competent enough to pull it off. They’re on the brink of being destroyed by the military at the beginning of the game.
No


Just no.

They performed other test with people who were not immune. There's nothing that says it was a slim chance of making a cure.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
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My point is that conversations are a way for people to work ideas out. It’s a back of forth with the hope of finding the truth or at the very least we end up agreeing to disagree. Suggesting that others have no business speaking about something is to kill any chance of getting to that point. Nobody learns anything and nothing is resolved.
Fair enough, however I'm sorry but my opinion is that you have to share certain fundamental points of reference to have a chance of productive discussion.

Also, please understand that when talking about what "you" would do, or how "you" would react versus how a fictional character would, its crucial to adopt the same limited perspective and knowledge of events. As the player we saw and experienced exactly what went down in the hospital, and we got to parse out Joel's "rescue" as being selfish or heroic in the context of seeing him lose Sarah in the prologue.

These are things that by definition Ellie, the character, cannot ever experience. So her perception isn't going to be the same at all.

In the sequel we follow Ellie's journey as she deals with events that despite her being at the center of, she was actually powerless to affect at the time, and was unable to do anything in the aftermath because her trusted protector lied to her about what took place.

That's her headspace, to understand her you need to accept that she's working with a picture of events she was only able to piece together in fragments over the years that followed. Years where she was effectively "living a lie", unable to talk about her immunity.
 

Kadayi

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That's really what you took from that large post?
When you're opening gambit is to basically hand wave either critique or comparison and have no interest in talking about games within the frame of an evolving medium, what do you expect? To be indulged?

There's not a TON more I can do when you literally post something like "why isn't the stealth gameplay more in-depth for this intense section of the game?" other than talk about why that might be a decision they went for based on the experience they are trying to cultivate. I had a couple paragraphs around this topic in particular, so I kind of don't know what to say in terms of your avoidant response here...
But that's not actually what I wrote now did I? Figuratively or literally. Its a run to the hills exaggeration on your part where you focused in on one part of a statement (and cut out the surrounding context), but actively avoided the key questions posed to you at the beginning and in the middle. Here I've highlighted them.

Aside from the visual aspects what is it truly doing better though? The game play might be a step up from the previous title, but it's not really innovating in any way versus its peers. Is it a better stealth experience versus MGS5 or Hitman? Are the traversal aspects, puzzles or combat better than Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Where is it truly pushing the envelope of the medium exactly? From a narrative perspective it's not taking the medium in a bold new direction, or broadening the paradigm unlike say a Disco Elysium or Kentucky Route Zero. What gives?
I've been on various gaming forums for quite a long time now and I've seen this kind of behaviour innumerable times in game discussions. There's nothing new or unique about it, and the people who generally conduct themselves in that manner rarely have anything truly of value or insight to say in my experience.

If that's what you took from the game and my posts I honestly regret thinking there was a deeper more nuanced conversation to have here. So maybe I do know how you feel about this game... just applied to this interaction. I specifically said it has it's flaws and wasn't a 10/10, for me, but was trying to take on some of the actual arguments without any ad hominem fallacies. So, at least I've succeeded where you've failed in that regard!
I don't care for your mock offence. You're a inactive account come back the dead of 2013 with all of 12 posts to your name and all solely in this thread (I'm surprised you've not added a TLOU2 avatar just for added effect). If you want to prove my assessment of your character wrong, how about you elaborate on the highlighted part above and tell me why TLOU2 isn't a 10/10 game in your book. Demonstrate some actual critical cojones.

Regardless, you should probably know it is not exactly high minded to ask things like "why don't they offer a pure stealth option" in a section of a video game which is mostly about violent fallout and utter carnage, which simultaneously provides an intense action set piece but also forces the gamer's nose in the devastation of the island, to which they've directly contributed... I don't see how that can be considered some evolved take, since missing the point isn't very enlightened.
Just because they're fighting each other, doesn't mean you're obligated to get involved. Least of against both sides. Sure it was all dramatic, but it didn't make a heap of sense to me versus leaving them to it and getting to a boat discreetly.

One last question though, for clarity; how do you feel about TLoU, part I? On the whole, what's your out-of-10 score for that game?
I don't operate on the basis of scores. I operate on the basis of what works and what doesn't for me (as with any game I play). We're in the middle of a minor heatwave where I am at present and frankly I need to get away from the PC before I succumb to heat stroke. However in brief: -

TLOU: What works
  • The Concept
  • The Characters (Joel and Ellie, less so others)
  • The Animations
  • The Environments
  • The Creatures
  • The Set pieces

TLOU: What doesn't
  • The World Building
  • The at times repetitive Game Play
  • The over-reliance on violence
  • The ridiculous human body count
  • Abject lack of female antagonists (Credit where credit is due at least they got that right in TLOU2).
 

THEAP99

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I’ve been thinking for a while after I beat it and...
I honestly think The Last of Us Part II may actually be my game of the PlayStation 4 generation.

It's literally just the first game (that I played a bit late tbh but I still loved), but more compelling and awesome to me.

And while we're at it, TLOU is my favorite game franchise
 

EruditeHobo

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When you're opening gambit is to basically hand wave either critique or comparison and have no interest in talking about games within the frame of an evolving medium, what do you expect? To be indulged?
I don't know how this applies to what I'm doing here. The way you think about games, and how you critique them, doesn't really make any sense to me... I judge things for what they are first and foremost, and what their aims are. Their place within the spectrum of the evolving medium matters less than what the game is trying to do for itself and the specific experience it is trying to impart. So agree to disagree, I guess.

But that's not actually what I wrote now did I? Figuratively or literally. Its a run to the hills exaggeration on your part where you focused in on one part of a statement (and cut out the surrounding context), but actively avoided the key questions posed to you at the beginning and in the middle. Here I've highlighted them.
Even though I didn't actually claim the game is "pushing the envelope", I pretty clearly answered this question. I told you what it does better than most games. This must be a failure of communication somewhere, because I thought that was clear.

I've been on various gaming forums for quite a long time now and I've seen this kind of behaviour innumerable times in game discussions. There's nothing new or unique about it, and the people who generally conduct themselves in that manner rarely have anything truly of value or insight to say in my experience.
Well this may be true, but definitionally this is an ad hominem statement which is completely non-responsive to the actual points being made. So it seems pointless to bring up, to me.

I don't care for your mock offence. You're a inactive account come back the dead of 2013 with all of 12 posts to your name...
I get that places like this have gatekeepers, but this literally isn't relevant to anything I've said about this game. So, I don't know what to do with this, and frankly I think it's off-topic to even discuss it. But, yeah. I lurked for awhile and read a lot of posts over the years, and then the firestorm around this game made me want to try to engage with some of the disagreements about it. Sorry?

how about you elaborate on the highlighted part above and tell me why TLOU2 isn't a 10/10 game in your book.
I don't think a 10/10 is a real thing, so I don't think any game is perfect... but even if I did think such a thing existed it would probably be a much simpler (in some ways), purer, stripped-down/focused gameplay experience which does not contain the same kind of scope as something like a modern "AAA" narrative game. That doesn't mean it's easier to do or anything... I'm sure it's as hard or maybe harder to make a Portal or a Tetris as it is to make a God of War.

In terms of flaws, in this care they tend to manifest in the tone and gameplay on some level. Both of which can at times be punishing, and that might feel bad as a gamer. This can lead IMO to a kind of fatigue and suggests pacing issues. To really dive into this kind of request I'd need to play it again... which I will at some point. BUT, overall I'd rather talk about what works about the game, I find that more interesting. That's why my "not a 10/10 masterpiece" statement is such a throw away, because the ways in which the game "fails" are far far less interesting than the ways in which it succeeds in its very ambitious goal, IMO.

Just because they're fighting each other, doesn't mean you're obligated to get involved. Least of against both sides. Sure it was all dramatic, but it didn't make a heap of sense to me versus leaving them to it and getting to a boat discreetly.
The intended meaning is obvious to me, "getting to a boat discreetly" was obviously set up within the narrative as not an option. This goes back to taking a thing for what it is vs what it isn't even trying to be I think, so agree to disagree again.

TLOU: What works
  • The Concept
  • The Characters (Joel and Ellie, less so others)
  • The Animations
  • The Environments
  • The Creatures
  • The Set pieces

TLOU: What doesn't
  • The World Building
  • The at times repetitive Game Play
  • The over-reliance on violence
  • The ridiculous human body count
  • Abject lack of female antagonists (Credit where credit is due at least they got that right in TLOU2).
Interesting. Thanks.
 

EruditeHobo

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...[it] doesn’t seem to realise that the core mechanic of switching sides has been done before (Avatar the game for example).
What do you mean, it doesn't realize it's been done before?

I haven't played Avatar (you mean... the game based on Avatar, the movie?) but are you suggesting that it does the same thing as TLoU2? The switch of perspective in Avatar, the game, is as meaningful as in this game?

Switching perspectives in and of itself isn't what makes this special... the way it's done and the reason it's done are what make it interesting. Games have had you playing as both "good" guys and "bad" guys for decades at this point... so why use the Avatar example? Am I missing something, is Avatar some really self-aware game which uses gameplay tropes and mechanics to really enhance the story being told?

As a revenge story it has literally nothing to say, so it treads water for most of the game trying to make up for that lack of insight. Hammering home it’s point in more and more theatrical ways just to get you to notice.
I don't even know how to approach this kind of takeaway... we are just miles apart on this, I don't get looking at this game and coming to this conclusion. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but ones like these I find baffling.

Thanks for the perspective, anyway.
 

Mjordan23

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I can't decide which is my GOTY so far, this or Ghost of Tsushima. I think I had more "fun" overall with GoT, but TLOU2 was the more memorable experience.
I`ve played through TLOU2 and I`m playing av enjoying GoT now. For me TLOU2 is on a different level in terms of the overall package, it`s just so polished, amazing level of detail and cinematic gameplay that almost no games can match up to. GoT is a great first attempt from SP for a new IP, though it is lacking a little bit in certain areas. I think the game would have benefitted to launch on PS5 to maximise the graphics potential. At times it looks great, but other times it looks quite mediocre (rocks, mountains etc.) and the HDR implementation isn`t quite as good as it should be I feel. SP also need to work on the camera, as it doesn`t help as much as it should.
 
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Woggleman

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Got is a very very good game but TLOU2 is just more my style. I like dark stuff and I like post apocalyptic stuff so it just suits me more. That being said either one of them could GOTY. We will see when Cyberpunk comes out.
 
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tassletine

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What do you mean, it doesn't realize it's been done before?

I haven't played Avatar (you mean... the game based on Avatar, the movie?) but are you suggesting that it does the same thing as TLoU2? The switch of perspective in Avatar, the game, is as meaningful as in this game?

Switching perspectives in and of itself isn't what makes this special... the way it's done and the reason it's done are what make it interesting. Games have had you playing as both "good" guys and "bad" guys for decades at this point... so why use the Avatar example? Am I missing something, is Avatar some really self-aware game which uses gameplay tropes and mechanics to really enhance the story being told?



I don't even know how to approach this kind of takeaway... we are just miles apart on this, I don't get looking at this game and coming to this conclusion. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but ones like these I find baffling.

Thanks for the perspective, anyway.
I didn’t find the switch meaningful. I found it annoying and detrimental to the gameplay which is why I’m talking Avatar. When that came out it was panned, as was the film for having a predictable story. Here that switch is held up like a) it’s original b) it’s well done, neither of which are true.

The game Is interesting but only in the way that you can dissect It afterwards. I loved the gameplay but found the story to be very contrived and dull, And stretched out to the point of worthlessness. It’s certainly worth mulling over in the sense of ‘what the fuck happened?‘ but not in any meaningful sense regarding it’s themes as everything the game had to say was done within the first few hours — and of course — people are the real monsters — is the plot of every zombie film.

So we‘re left with two stories that run parallel — which your supposed to draw your own conclusions on — But as my English teacher once said “Just because it rhymes it doesn’t mean it’s a good poem“.

What makes this game special are the production values and world building, but not the story. Just like Avatar.

I have noticed that younger people get into the identity politics of this game a hell of a lot ore than the older generation, which is why they constanty seem to be calling out people for not liking this game because of xxxx. Etc.
These sorts of things mean very little to me, to the point where I may be overlooking a major part of the story that may trigger others. I do get that there may be a point to why the story is so stretched out but I have yet to meet a person that didn’t think it was, so can’t really argue that point either.
 
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tassletine

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She can’t know why, she can only know that he wasn’t telling the whole truth. He would have to tell her why. Everything else is up to interpretation, which I’m sure is what Druckmann’s intended. The ambiguity makes things slippery to criticize because there’s always an exit door for the writer and for critics.
Thank you,
This is what annoys me most about the game. It never puts a stake in it’s ideas. There is almost always ambiguity that is deliberately there to make you come to your own conclusions, but also give the writers a get out clause. This works in something like a Kubrick movie because it is bolstered by humour, a humane attitude and very well defined characters. But here we have very similar, unfunny, self pitying characters banging on about how miserable they are for about thirty hours. It’s very one note and repetitive.

If it actually had something to say, rather than just wallow, then it may have worked, but the ridiculous over the top ending seemed just like someone literally running out of ideas and then giving up.
The only real idea in this game was that it was deliberately trying to be as grim as possible — And thats not a story.
 
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tassletine

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No its built on Ellie's burning need for her immunity to mean something, its something stated repeatedly in both games.

When Joel intervened he not only took that opportunity away forever, but he doubled down on it by lying to Ellie that there were many others like her in order to cover up what actually transpired.

Its the root of their alienation; he not only stole her destiny but lied to her face about it for years afterwards. If you were in her shoes you'd find it a hard pill to swallow too, especially when every infected, every dead body you encounter makes you wonder "what if they'd been able to synthesize a vaccine from my sacrifice".

That you (and your upvoter) apparently misunderstood this, just shows you really have no business talking about either game.
I don’t think that because
a) I have a basic knowledge of medicine, and I know that vaccine wasn’t a certainty, and since Ellie wasn’t portrayed as stupid I think she would have doubts too.
B) I’ve never heard of anyone who was angry that someone ‘stole their destiny’ by saving their life, let alone two people travelling vast distances to get revenge during wartime. That seems utterly contrived.

I put it down to her being an emotional teenage girl, who would probably just use any excuse to lash out at her father figure — as girls have since the beginning of time. And the story is all the more tragic for that.
 

EruditeHobo

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Man. That's interesting.

I consider this be one of the very best examples of deep characterization in all of video games. So, if this is so surface level in this regard, what are a few examples of AAA modern games with like deep, interesting characters?

You've simultaneously said that the characters are poor and the themes are shallow, but also that the game leaves too much to the audience, in essence suggesting it's too subtle? These seem contradictory to me.

"Ambiguity" which makes the audience "come to their own conclusions" isn't a bad thing inherently, is it? I don't understand why that's bad in context of this game, which seems to be juxtaposing a bunch of things within the narrative and within the gameplay in order to trigger some conflict in the gamer... which might mirror the conflict within the characters.
 

DForce

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Thank you,
This is what annoys me most about the game. It never puts a stake in it’s ideas. There is almost always ambiguity that is deliberately there to make you come to your own conclusions, but also give the writers a get out clause. This works in something like a Kubrick movie because it is bolstered by humour, a humane attitude and very well defined characters. But here we have very similar, unfunny, self pitying characters banging on about how miserable they are for about thirty hours. It’s very one note and repetitive.

If it actually had something to say, rather than just wallow, then it may have worked, but the ridiculous over the top ending seemed just like someone literally running out of ideas and then giving up.
The only real idea in this game was that it was deliberately trying to be as grim as possible — And thats not a story.
The ending was only moral ambiguous.

This isn't Inception where Christopher Nolan wants us to come to our own conclusion about the ending.

The ending of The Last of Us was clear, it was up to us to decide if Joel made the right decision or not. That is it. If anyone thinks Ellie thought there was a slim chance for cure, then they're going straight into fanfic territory.

If it actually had something to say, rather than just wallow, then it may have worked, but the ridiculous over the top ending seemed just like someone literally running out of ideas and then giving up.
The only real idea in this game was that it was deliberately trying to be as grim as possible — And thats not a story

No. lol

“I hope it sticks with them. I hope it was challenging in interesting ways. The worst thing that could happen in my eyes would be like, ‘Yeah, okay, that was it.’ And just move on and never discuss it again. For me, the ideas behind it are stuff I’ve wrestled with a really long time, for years, and I still wrestle with them.”
People are still discussing the story today and that's his intent. He accomplished his goal. He knew many fans of TLOU were going to hate Part II. He knew people were going to discuss the ending weeks\years after the game released.


People just miss so many points of this story.
 
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tassletine

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The ending was only moral ambiguous.

This isn't Inception where Christopher Nolan wants us to come to our own conclusion about the ending.

The ending of The Last of Us was clear, it was up to us to decide if Joel made the right decision or not. That is it. If anyone thinks Ellie thought there was a slim chance for cure, then they're going straight into fanfic territory.




No. lol



People are still discussing the story today and that's his intent. He accomplished his goal. He knew many fans of TLOU were going to hate Part II. He knew people were going to discuss the ending weeks\years after the game released.


People just miss so many points of this story.
I disagree. In the sequel they definitely pushed that story point but it’s much more ambiguous in the original.
Ellie HOPED for a cure, but these are the actions of a 14 year old girl, and she has had five years to mature in the sequel.

As the games bend over backwards towards realism, then I think it’s correct to factor in that realism in the story, not disregard it — as the developers worked very hard to push that. That‘s where most of the man hours have gone in clearly.

My interpretation was this — The firefly’s think that there could be a cure and have delusionally put their hope in that to the point that they are willing to kill children — in the wish that they can go back to how it was in the past
Joel knows that this has a slim chance of successes and would rather spare his friend, than see her die. Ellies delusion (that she is a saviour) is part of the propaganda that is being used by these revolutionaries to gain control.
Joel doesn’t buy into that.
The basic message of the story for me was that it is impossible to go back. To move on we have to form new and unlikely relationships — otherwise we regress — And this is shown by the actions of the desperate firefly’s who act like desperate lunatics.

Now this doesn’t mean that Joel wasn’t acting selfishly in character — but this is the context I saw the game in. He was the stable one, and the plot felt well thought out and solid. At the end of the game Joel asks Ellie to buy into that lie, and the way I read it, she did, because she knew that that was the best option, but she knew it was a lie.
This doesn’t mean that I’m right in interpreting the game that way (as it’s ambiguous) but at least that makes sense, as the key to any successful relationship Is putting up with the other persons bullshIt.

Now in the sequel. We’re told that she was the saviour almost like it’s a fact. This seems out of line with the realistic world that they are trying to set up and doesn’t ring true. At worse it undermines the ambiguous nature of the original ending.

“People just miss so many points of the story“

Please illuminate me then, rather than acting high and mighty — Because no one, so far has made any case as to why a game with such little story and such thin characters needs to be stretched out to thirty hours? Boring many of us in the process. It would have worked at about ten I think. Wandering around buildings is not gameplay and hanging out with characters only works if the people are likeable. Ie: The Dinosaur scene works well because those charcaters are likeable, the scenes with Own and Abby are a chore because those characters aren’t. Same with Dina —She‘s literally just a copy and paste Ellie with about a minutes worth of holocaust thrown in, because you know, shes Jewish, apart from that she’s just there.... and doesn’t add anything.

I completely agree that Druckman knew that people would be discussing the game after it’s release. It’s very clear that the game was designed to provoke, and it does. This is what I dislike about the game most. That is a obvious cynical commercial excercise and all the killing, crucifixions, genocides, child abuse, concentration camps, kids killing parents, all that overblown in your face unsubtle stuff, gets in the way of telling a decent story. You may LOL at that — but I’d very much like to to defend why you don’t see that as being oveblown to the point of parody and being grim as possible just for the sake of it?

The way this game uses pity and suffering to evoke emotion is sophomoric in the extreme. Now this may work for a younger audience who get off on that, but to me it looks just like a needy teenager trying to get attention. The series is now just a very well produced Call of Duty that panders to the most popular demographic in media now (18-24yr old girls) — but frankly the last game in that series was more mature in it’s approach than this.

The first LOU game was deliberately trying to break out of that trope. Adding some humanity to the corridor shooter. This is a regression. Soap opera characters framing the same gameplay that ND have been Selling for 15 years now.
 
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Clear

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I don’t think that because
a) I have a basic knowledge of medicine, and I know that vaccine wasn’t a certainty, and since Ellie wasn’t portrayed as stupid I think she would have doubts too.
Its about hope. People cling tightly onto all kinds of flimsy possibilities in dire circumstances. And the scenario presented in TLOU is pretty fucking dire!

Also, the whole scenario with its cordyceps zombies is medically implausible, so let's not single out the likelihood of a vaccine being synthesized as being the point where suspension of disbelief is stretched thinnest. Especially as even if the data acquired from extracting the mutated infection from Ellie's brain may not immediately yield a cure, it would surely be valuable medical information for the long term benefit of humanity.

B) I’ve never heard of anyone who was angry that someone ‘stole their destiny’ by saving their life, let alone two people travelling vast distances to get revenge during wartime. That seems utterly contrived.
Do you think suicide bombers really want to be stopped? Martyring oneself is an appealing prospect especially when all else seems pointless. Hope. Higher purposes. One life for millions and all that Spockian goodness. Its not implausible at all given the stakes.

Not sure about who you are referring to in the second part. Joel and Ellie travel for a year to deliver the chance of finding a cure, not revenge, and the main revenge plotline involves way more than two people. Tommy goes first, then Ellie and Dina, and then Jesse, showing how events have a habit of gaining momentum of their own each element compounding the other.

I put it down to her being an emotional teenage girl, who would probably just use any excuse to lash out at her father figure — as girls have since the beginning of time. And the story is all the more tragic for that.
That's an element too, but Ellie's need for her immunity to mean something is integral to her character, you cannot understate its significance, especially given the "Left Behind" add-on scenario.
 
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DForce

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disagree. In the sequel they definitely pushed that story point but it’s much more ambiguous in the original.
Ellie HOPED for a cure, but these are the actions of a 14 year old girl, and she has had five years to mature in the sequel.
The cure wasn't about hope. It was going to happen regardless of what some

As the games bend over backwards towards realism, then I think it’s correct to factor in that realism in the story, not disregard it — as the developers worked very hard to push that. That‘s where most of the man hours have gone in clearly.
Realism is factored in., but cordyceps brain Infected humans turning them into flesh eating zombies is not real.

My interpretation was this — The firefly’s think that there could be a cure and have delusionally put their hope in that to the point that they are willing to kill children — in the wish that they can go back to how it was in the past
Joel knows that this has a slim chance of successes and would rather spare his friend, than see her die. Ellies delusion (that she is a saviour) is part of the propaganda that is being used by these revolutionaries to gain control.
Joel doesn’t buy into that.
The basic message of the story for me was that it is impossible to go back. To move on we have to form new and unlikely relationships — otherwise we regress — And this is shown by the actions of the desperate firefly’s who act like desperate lunatics.
There's nothing indicating that.

It states they were going to make a cure and there's nothing in the game that says it was a small chance of happening.

Now in the sequel. We’re told that she was the saviour almost like it’s a fact. This seems out of line with the realistic world that they are trying to set up and doesn’t ring true. At worse it undermines the ambiguous nature of the original ending.
It doesn't.

Ellie: It's clear that there's nothing ambiguous about what Ellie thought about Joel and how she knew he was lying.
Joel: He chose to save Ellie instead of making a cure to safe mankind.

There's nothing ambiguous as to why he lied and to what Ellie thought. Ellie's expression says it all. She asked the question to see if he would tell the truth and he didn't.

“People just miss so many points of the story“

Please illuminate me then, rather than acting high and mighty — Because no one, so far has made any case as to why a game with such little story and such thin characters needs to be stretched out to thirty hours? Boring many of us in the process. It would have worked at about ten I think. Wandering around buildings is not gameplay and hanging out with characters only works if the people are likeable. Ie: The Dinosaur scene works well because those charcaters are likeable, the scenes with Own and Abby are a chore because those characters aren’t. Same with Dina —She‘s literally just a copy and paste Ellie with about a minutes worth of holocaust thrown in, because you know, shes Jewish, apart from that she’s just there.... and doesn’t add anything.
It's all subjective. Many people liked the characters and just because you don't doesn't mean others feel the same way.

The game could've worked in 10 hours? So you play as Ellie and Abby for 5 hours each? That wouldn't work. lol

I liked Owen and Abby. Just because you didn't like them, that doesn't mean people feel the same way as you do. Negan from The Walking Dead killed off many beloved characters and people didn't like it. He later redeemed himself and become a good guy. Many fans hated this, but others loved it.

You may not like it, but that doesn't mean most fans feel the same way as you do.

The way this game uses pity and suffering to evoke emotion is sophomoric in the extreme. Now this may work for a younger audience who get off on that, but to me it looks just like a needy teenager trying to get attention. The series is now just a very well produced Call of Duty that panders to the most popular demographic in media now (18-24yr old girls) — but frankly the last game in that series was more mature in it’s approach than this.

The first LOU game was deliberately trying to break out of that trope. Adding some humanity to the corridor shooter. This is a regression. Soap opera characters framing the same gameplay that ND have been Selling for 15 years now.
Everyone I have cared for has either died or left me. Everyone fucking except for you! So don't tell me I would be safer with somebody else, because the truth is I would just be more scared.
Yes, they used similar tactics in the first game. Death is the number one way to get people emotionally involved and that's why Joel dies in the beginning. You also have Sam and Henry's death too.
 

tassletine

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The cure wasn't about hope. It was going to happen regardless of what some



Realism is factored in., but cordyceps brain Infected humans turning them into flesh eating zombies is not real.



There's nothing indicating that.

It states they were going to make a cure and there's nothing in the game that says it was a small chance of happening.



It doesn't.

Ellie: It's clear that there's nothing ambiguous about what Ellie thought about Joel and how she knew he was lying.
Joel: He chose to save Ellie instead of making a cure to safe mankind.

There's nothing ambiguous as to why he lied and to what Ellie thought. Ellie's expression says it all. She asked the question to see if he would tell the truth and he didn't.



It's all subjective. Many people liked the characters and just because you don't doesn't mean others feel the same way.

The game could've worked in 10 hours? So you play as Ellie and Abby for 5 hours each? That wouldn't work. lol

I liked Owen and Abby. Just because you didn't like them, that doesn't mean people feel the same way as you do. Negan from The Walking Dead killed off many beloved characters and people didn't like it. He later redeemed himself and become a good guy. Many fans hated this, but others loved it.

You may not like it, but that doesn't mean most fans feel the same way as you do.





Yes, they used similar tactics in the first game. Death is the number one way to get people emotionally involved and that's why Joel dies in the beginning. You also have Sam and Henry's death too.
I came to this conversation with the obvious assumption that other people like these characters and were willing to talk about why.
Folding your arms, LOLing and just asserting the blindingly obvious again and again adds nothing to the conversation.
 

tassletine

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Its about hope. People cling tightly onto all kinds of flimsy possibilities in dire circumstances. And the scenario presented in TLOU is pretty fucking dire!

Also, the whole scenario with its cordyceps zombies is medically implausible, so let's not single out the likelihood of a vaccine being synthesized as being the point where suspension of disbelief is stretched thinnest. Especially as even if the data acquired from extracting the mutated infection from Ellie's brain may not immediately yield a cure, it would surely be valuable medical information for the long term benefit of humanity.



Do you think suicide bombers really want to be stopped? Martyring oneself is an appealing prospect especially when all else seems pointless. Hope. Higher purposes. One life for millions and all that Spockian goodness. Its not implausible at all given the stakes.

Not sure about who you are referring to in the second part. Joel and Ellie travel for a year to deliver the chance of finding a cure, not revenge, and the main revenge plotline involves way more than two people. Tommy goes first, then Ellie and Dina, and then Jesse, showing how events have a habit of gaining momentum of their own each element compounding the other.



That's an element too, but Ellie's need for her immunity to mean something is integral to her character, you cannot understate its significance, especially given the "Left Behind" add-on scenario.
As has been pointed out before, the cordecypts fungus is a real thing and there is nothing stopping it from mutating and infecting humans theoretically. This is one of the reasons that it was chosen — because it feels real and is based on evidence.
I didn’t say that was the part of the story where credibility was stretched thinnest however.
I always think you should judge the work by the effort put into it — And if someone is going to the job of researching a subject to make it believable then I will take the story in that context. In contrast something like Ghost Of Tsushima is told in an epic, mythic way so I wouldn’t judge that story realistically.

Ps. I was talking about the second game and the revenge aspect of that. .

I think suicide bombers have a death wish and that depression has been subverted by someone else and weaponised. What I don;t buy is the travelling a long distance with someone who actually wants you not to do what you are doing. There needs to be social pressure involved — which is probably one of the reasons they took almost all reason from the story. There was no one who told her that this was a colossally stupid idea. If Dina had been rabid for revenge as well and egging Ellie on then this would have worked better — but they wanted Dina to be this kind of ‘pure’ character for some reason so they didn’t do that.
Pushing back against that pressure for one character would have been unrealistic, but for two characters to have the same agenda seems very artificial. It’s was all just let the girls do what they want.
Now, this may well reflect the culture at ND And people who work in the media generally but it doesn’t ring true to me, regards regular people or those under stress.

This isn’t to say that I think the plot couldn’t have worked. You definitely feel that rage when Joel dies, and that was all that was really needed to sustain the campaign. Unfortunately that rage disappeared way before the end of the game for me — and was replaced with a felling of being tired and just wanting the game to be over — which is something I get from a lot of overlong titles. So they fucked the game writing in that regard, although it may all make sense logically, emotionally it wasn’t connecting.

At the end of the game the authors seemed to be doubling down on atrocities just to try and get a bigger and bigger reaction — but that just pushed me away. As the game became more and more hyperbolic my reaction was to laugh. Doubly so why I read that Druckman was crying at the end after playing it!
 

DForce

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I came to this conversation with the obvious assumption that other people like these characters and were willing to talk about why.
Folding your arms, LOLing and just asserting the blindingly obvious again and again adds nothing to the conversation.
Mere theories adds nothing to the conversation.

So it's not about folding my arms, it's, "Ok, but that's not how the ending is suppose to be interpreted." I already explained why. I offered a talk from Neil Druckmann what was meant behind the ending and people still want to give their theories on what it could have meant.

I'm sticking to the story and I'm not trying to go into another direction.


You're also telling people this.

Because no one, so far has made any case as to why a game with such little story and such thin characters needs to be stretched out to thirty hours? Boring many of us in the process.
This doesn't come off as an opinion. You're telling people this is how the game is and you want someone to explain why it's like this way.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
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As has been pointed out before, the cordecypts fungus is a real thing and there is nothing stopping it from mutating and infecting humans theoretically. This is one of the reasons that it was chosen — because it feels real and is based on evidence.

I didn’t say that was the part of the story where credibility was stretched thinnest however.
I always think you should judge the work by the effort put into it — And if someone is going to the job of researching a subject to make it believable then I will take the story in that context. In contrast something like Ghost Of Tsushima is told in an epic, mythic way so I wouldn’t judge that story realistically.
The science of TLOU has no more depth and plausibility than a 1950's giant monster movie, you know ones based on the observable scientific fact that nuclear radiation causes mutations in living organisms! You can nit-pick an almost infinite number of holes in it, same as with any "zombie apocalypse" scenario its bunk, but its fun bunk.

Honestly, "plausibility" is more about presentation than research.


Ps. I was talking about the second game and the revenge aspect of that. .

I think suicide bombers have a death wish and that depression has been subverted by someone else and weaponised. What I don;t buy is the travelling a long distance with someone who actually wants you not to do what you are doing. There needs to be social pressure involved — which is probably one of the reasons they took almost all reason from the story. There was no one who told her that this was a colossally stupid idea. If Dina had been rabid for revenge as well and egging Ellie on then this would have worked better — but they wanted Dina to be this kind of ‘pure’ character for some reason so they didn’t do that.
Pushing back against that pressure for one character would have been unrealistic, but for two characters to have the same agenda seems very artificial. It’s was all just let the girls do what they want.
Now, this may well reflect the culture at ND And people who work in the media generally but it doesn’t ring true to me, regards regular people or those under stress.

This isn’t to say that I think the plot couldn’t have worked. You definitely feel that rage when Joel dies, and that was all that was really needed to sustain the campaign. Unfortunately that rage disappeared way before the end of the game for me — and was replaced with a felling of being tired and just wanting the game to be over — which is something I get from a lot of overlong titles. So they fucked the game writing in that regard, although it may all make sense logically, emotionally it wasn’t connecting.
I disagree completely. TLOU2 is basically a western, and if you look at it in that context its character motivations and overall plotting are for the most part pretty familiar and unremarkable. Sagas of revenge set against "mythic" backdrops are as old as dramaturgy itself.

I have issues with the overall approach that ND takes with its games because for me although the dramatics are basically the best in the business they frequently bump hard against the needs of the game-play. To be more precise the way ideally one would pace a piece of non-interactive fiction is not the same as an interactive work; players need to be taught the mechanics and systems in order to be able to enjoy the experience. Furthermore these same systems need to escalate in challenge and complexity to complement the player's growing ability and familiarity with the limits of what they can do over the course of the game.

My point being the both the plot and the gameplay impose their own cadences for best progression, and these two masters likewise need to be served even when they oftentimes pull in opposite directions.

The upshot is, although I do appreciate that you didn't find the story emotionally connecting, I would not be surprised if the real underlying cause for it is not to be found in the writing or character-work, but the overall construction of the piece.

At the end of the game the authors seemed to be doubling down on atrocities just to try and get a bigger and bigger reaction — but that just pushed me away. As the game became more and more hyperbolic my reaction was to laugh. Doubly so why I read that Druckman was crying at the end after playing it!
Its an action game. And you get to kill people in action games. Does TLOU2 have a bigger body-count than one of Nathan Drake's adventures? Probably not. I can list literally hundreds of games where you get to shoot, stab, bludgeon far larger numbers of enemies in cold blood.

If the violence got to you, then it did its job. The point of the story is not to glorify slaughter, rather the reverse its intended as an aversive experience.
 

TimFL

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Got the platinum for this a few weeks ago and immediately uninstalled the game.
Story was okay but very predictable. I overall prefer the first one, but this had the more fleshed out gameplay experience.

I hope the MP is „ground breaking“ but I have low expectations considering they are into the classic MP style (matchmake a TDM etc) instead of trying to push the experience forward (GTAO/RDO style freeroaming and RPing).
 

tommycronin

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Feb 4, 2017
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I feel like my biggest problem with the game besides the obvious plot armour was the transitioning to a new scene by locking doors and moving furniture out of the way to get inside. I know it's to block off the last place to load up the new place but I really don't like how ND handles it cause most times it happens there's a person been waiting behind that door nearly every time just knowing and waiting to come out and grab you just to progress the scene so the game doesn't feel like its repeating these types of transition scenes.

It gets comically bad throughout the game and is so noticeable and is clearly a tech limitation which really takes me out of the game because of the realism they go for. Reminded me of like MGS4 back in the day when it was all look at rhe wizardry we're pulling off before your very eyes oh yeah we just gotta install the next part of the game for 15 to 20 minutes.
 

tassletine

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Oct 24, 2007
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Mere theories adds nothing to the conversation.

So it's not about folding my arms, it's, "Ok, but that's not how the ending is suppose to be interpreted." I already explained why. I offered a talk from Neil Druckmann what was meant behind the ending and people still want to give their theories on what it could have meant.

I'm sticking to the story and I'm not trying to go into another direction.


You're also telling people this.



This doesn't come off as an opinion. You're telling people this is how the game is and you want someone to explain why it's like this way.
It is an opinion because I am an individual saying it and that sort of thing doesn’t need to be stated — as it is obviously an interpretation of fiction. Truth doesn’t exit when regards to statements like this.
I understand that it is fashionable now that some people think that ‘an opinion‘ Is the end to a conversation. An opinion is the entree to a conversation not the end of it. That you don’t want that discussion is up to you.
 

tassletine

Member
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The science of TLOU has no more depth and plausibility than a 1950's giant monster movie, you know ones based on the observable scientific fact that nuclear radiation causes mutations in living organisms! You can nit-pick an almost infinite number of holes in it, same as with any "zombie apocalypse" scenario its bunk, but its fun bunk.

Honestly, "plausibility" is more about presentation than research.




I disagree completely. TLOU2 is basically a western, and if you look at it in that context its character motivations and overall plotting are for the most part pretty familiar and unremarkable. Sagas of revenge set against "mythic" backdrops are as old as dramaturgy itself.

I have issues with the overall approach that ND takes with its games because for me although the dramatics are basically the best in the business they frequently bump hard against the needs of the game-play. To be more precise the way ideally one would pace a piece of non-interactive fiction is not the same as an interactive work; players need to be taught the mechanics and systems in order to be able to enjoy the experience. Furthermore these same systems need to escalate in challenge and complexity to complement the player's growing ability and familiarity with the limits of what they can do over the course of the game.

My point being the both the plot and the gameplay impose their own cadences for best progression, and these two masters likewise need to be served even when they oftentimes pull in opposite directions.

The upshot is, although I do appreciate that you didn't find the story emotionally connecting, I would not be surprised if the real underlying cause for it is not to be found in the writing or character-work, but the overall construction of the piece.



Its an action game. And you get to kill people in action games. Does TLOU2 have a bigger body-count than one of Nathan Drake's adventures? Probably not. I can list literally hundreds of games where you get to shoot, stab, bludgeon far larger numbers of enemies in cold blood.

If the violence got to you, then it did its job. The point of the story is not to glorify slaughter, rather the reverse its intended as an aversive experience.
I didn’t say that it wasn’t implausible, just that they based it on a real fungus for specific reasons to bolster the story. You have to make a very strong argument against the realism in this game, as A) it is glaringly obvious b) The have used it extensively in the publicity leading up to the game.

All I’m saying is that I need to meet the makers of the game on their level. They clearly want to be taken seriously as storytellers so I’m judging them like that — And it doesn’t come off well. Compared to serious literature, film and TV, this is basic soap opera writing. It’s good for games— but I’m very glad that I play games for the gameplay.

I actually completely agree with what you wrote (Completely disagreeing with me, which is weird) so I think that we are actually talking on the same level, even if it is at cross purposes.

I have said before here that I like the game a lot (8/10 roughly) and the drama works in small sections. But the problem I have is with the ‘game writing‘. Exactly what you say — how it is structured.
I rarely find the stories in games involving and this did involve me — but there is a reason that dramatists don’t put twists in the middle of stories. They tend not to work and annoy the audience. They feel cheap, and the audience instinctively knows that, which is why they‘re put at the end usually. Westerns however, tend not to be so tricksy and are much more straightforward and morally unambiguous.

I felt here, that the writers were trying mainly to shock and elicit empathy from pity, and that felt tacky.
At the beginning of the game not so much, but that combined with the flashbacks, and flashbacks within flashbacks and the twists just made me feel that the writers weren’t in control of the story - it felt like they were throwing shit at the wall — And I need to feel an author knows what they are doing for me to invest my time in it.
It’s got nothing to do with the gore, which I loved, just the makers expecting me to take it all so seriously and how repetitive it got by the end.

I really think this level of investment in Theme is a mostly fruitless task as the majority of gamers play these sorts of games precisely to face basic threats and get the thrill of a kill without actually harming people. It’s just fun being scared and being a psychopath for a bit.

So for a game to take a moral stance on something that it is actively selling you is very odd. I’m really not sure how showing men, and especially women die repeatedly sits with an anti violence message at all. I enjoy some of these contradictions in the story but they are so pronounced they again, feel forced, not a natural extension of the characters.

And those characters — again, very odd. They mostly seemed very much like a bunch of upper middle class people I know who work in media. Maybe that was the point — that things have completely gone back to normal? But I suspect not.
Also, it felt like they were using the gay characters and gender issues as a crutch to protect them from criticism (or just use for publicity) not as a way to create interesting drama. So that just came off as tokenism, which is (again) soap opera writing — and that’s fine — just not thirty bloody hours of it, and don’t argue it’s Hamlet.

Having been highly critical, that’s not to say the acting and staging of certain scenes wasn’t superb and those beats didn’t land. But after a point I stopped caring precisely because the game wanted me to. Sobbing like a goth girl blocking the stairs at a party.
I just wanted to grab my coat and leave.
 

cerealbuster

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Jun 4, 2020
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Why does Luke only learn to trust the force when all hope seems lost near the very end of the Death Star trench run?
Because of story, is the answer. Because that is truly the moment of no turning back, and Ellie's wrestling with conflict in almost all ways throughout the entire narrative comes to a breaking point on the precipice of that act.

And what does that mean about all the people she didn't hesitate to kill, during gameplay? Great question! I don't know. But either way, her realizing that she'd never get what she wants either and is harming herself with this inner drive she can't let go of... that's just not the story this game was trying to tell.
Well I think there is a difference between "oh what if I try this power as my last resort" and "I hunt someone down TWICE, because I want to kill her, but don't because I realize that's not what I want". Nah, if this is because of "story" then the story is shit. Like I said, the whole game tried to let the player feel how bad it is to kill someone, but never give you the chance to not do it. Like not even fucking once. If this were a series, movie or book then it would be different? Why because you don't control her, the character does. This level of abstraction feels incredibly off in videogames. In books you can't control your character, in a videogame you can. I mean, why does ellie even rescue her until they go for the boat ? If they would have decided that in this moment, Ellie tries to kill her and then realize that she doesn't want this I would totally understand this and it would be great. But she went the extra mile and forced her to fight her, a fistfight, because she lost twice? And then after getting her hands bitten off, full of adrenaline and wrath, she suddenly remembers a scene and let her off, while nearly killing her.
No. None of that made sense. But the moth allegory was great, but would be better if it would have been stated somewhere in the game.

But to sum ellies path again up:
1. Got beat up by the wolfs
2. went all her way for revenge
3. Killed anyone in her way because of her bloodthirst
4. kills some of abbies friends and tortures one of them
5. gets beaten up miserably by abby again and lost a friend
6. has ptsd and goes out on her way to finally kill her and closure
7. Kills people who wants to kill her
9.Finds Abby nearly dead
8. unties her, walks with her to a boat, force her for a fistfight, looses the ability to play guitar and in the moment she could kill her, she realizes that revenge wouldn't fulfill her closure
Dunno, but 8. Doesn't make sense for me AT ALL. There were much more ways end this and neil chose the stupidest of all of them. Everything until 9. is okay and great, but point 8 is bullshit.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
Feb 2, 2009
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Well I think there is a difference between "oh what if I try this power as my last resort" and "I hunt someone down TWICE, because I want to kill her, but don't because I realize that's not what I want". Nah, if this is because of "story" then the story is shit. Like I said, the whole game tried to let the player feel how bad it is to kill someone, but never give you the chance to not do it. Like not even fucking once. If this were a series, movie or book then it would be different? Why because you don't control her, the character does. This level of abstraction feels incredibly off in videogames. In books you can't control your character, in a videogame you can. I mean, why does ellie even rescue her until they go for the boat ? If they would have decided that in this moment, Ellie tries to kill her and then realize that she doesn't want this I would totally understand this and it would be great. But she went the extra mile and forced her to fight her, a fistfight, because she lost twice? And then after getting her hands bitten off, full of adrenaline and wrath, she suddenly remembers a scene and let her off, while nearly killing her.
No. None of that made sense. But the moth allegory was great, but would be better if it would have been stated somewhere in the game.

But to sum ellies path again up:
1. Got beat up by the wolfs
2. went all her way for revenge
3. Killed anyone in her way because of her bloodthirst
4. kills some of abbies friends and tortures one of them
5. gets beaten up miserably by abby again and lost a friend
6. has ptsd and goes out on her way to finally kill her and closure
7. Kills people who wants to kill her
9.Finds Abby nearly dead
8. unties her, walks with her to a boat, force her for a fistfight, looses the ability to play guitar and in the moment she could kill her, she realizes that revenge wouldn't fulfill her closure
Dunno, but 8. Doesn't make sense for me AT ALL. There were much more ways end this and neil chose the stupidest of all of them. Everything until 9. is okay and great, but point 8 is bullshit.
Missing that between points 4 and 5 Ellie realizes the revenge trip is probably a bad idea, and decides that enough blood has been spilt.

Point 5 really rams that home.
 
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EruditeHobo

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Yeah, that is a very reductive take on the "story" present in this game. It ignores a lot of the nuance of Ellie's character and what she's faced with.

And the game mostly forcing you to kill while narratively being about the effect this behavior has on its characters is not inconsistent.
 

Shmunter

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At this point Naughty Dog better release the factions multiplayer very soon because nobody is talking about TLOU2 anymore and sales have come to a halt even in Sony's strongest markets.
Is that different to other games? When Game Of The a Year awards come from various authorities, it will be on all the lists.