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TLoU Part 2... How did you feel about... (Spoilers throughout)

How did you feel about the character change?

  • I enjoyed the game as Abby and Ellie

    Votes: 117 57.9%
  • I preferred playing as Abby

    Votes: 26 12.9%
  • I preferred playing as Ellie

    Votes: 77 38.1%

  • Total voters
    202

Thaedolus

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Jun 9, 2004
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I really liked the whole game, I’d be playing a New Game + right now but I let my buddy have my PS4 so he could play it but he started with FFVII 😑
 
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AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
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Didn't care about basically any character. Most of them were pieces of shit in one way or another, especially both protags. Didn't really care who I was playing as.
 

Kadayi

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I hate to throw out ludonarrative dissonance, but the player acting as Ellie or Abby probably have close to 1,000 human kills including a lot of the inner circle of each others crew but they can't mange to complete they can't finish each other off because of the folly of revenge. That just rings a little hollow when you are sitting on a mountain of corpses and didn't even blink while taken those lives.

On point.

If you had the ability to grab WLF at the beginning (ala MGS5 )and interrogate them as Ellie, you could have probably saved yourself a lot of bother, but nope gotta wade through a bunch of combat arenas and kill hundreds of people instead because that sort of information is reserved for cinematic cut scenes only ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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Nankatsu

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You forgot the best part OP.

The best part was when you briefly control Joel.

 
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killatopak

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I felt like they killed Joel too quickly.

Rather I would change things up a bit.

Show Ellie traveling alone for revenge without Dina making it ambiguous who Ellie is going out for.
 
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Tschumi

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I started to get weary of everyone's negative opinions on this game - which were transparently biased considering the general reception of the game among people whose opinions I tend to respect - that's why I was really glad to see Noah Caldwell-Gervais do a video on TLOU, Left Behind and TLOUpt2. I recommend anyone who wants to actually understand what's good and not-so-good about this game, in great depth, to watch this video. Rather than relying on the opinion of triggered firebrands.

 

Salmon Snake

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I also got spared from any spoilers before the release. So Joel's death came out of nowhere, but it was expected to be honest. I did not like that he got killed and first I hated to play as Abby. But she did grow on me at least a little bit. I didn't care for her friends.

I just can't get over her arm muscles and rhino jogging.
 
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Kamina

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Should of kept the whole game as Ellie and then Abbys "story" as like a left behind dlc or something.
Whenever someone writes “should of“ or “would of” instead of should have/would have a person gets killed with a golf club.
 

Mazojin

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Jun 10, 2020
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So I just finished this game, and I have mixed thoughts on it.

Gameplay wise, both Abby and Ellie's parts were fun. A lot of the fights were exciting and challenging, so no complaints there. I overall preferred Ellie's play style (I liked the bow much more than the crossbow, I liked that Ellie had a knife as a standard weapon, I enjoyed the Molotov cocktails over Abby's bombs, etc.)

From a narrative standpoint, I understand the themes they were going for about revenge (both Ellie and Abby lose everything due to their quests for revenge). But I of course still cared more about Ellie than Abby, and felt really bad for her by the end of the game. I think the major mistake the game makes is trying to make people care so much about Abby after she kills Joel, and at the sacrifice of Ellie's character to the point of almost making her the villain.

I did enjoy playing this, and took my time rather than rushing through, as good as the gameplay is, I'm not sure about the replay value just yet. The story just ends on such a depressing note. Maybe they'll release some DLC where Ellie can find some peace.
 
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BlvckFox

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It’s given me one of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had in a video game. I enjoyed playing as both. I was so ready to just completely annihilate Abby but towards the end that feeling was completely gone. My desire to fulfill our revenge was gone. I thought it was a masterpiece.
 

Dr Kaneda

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I wasn't spoiled but guessed from the moment the switched you Abby early in the game that you'd be playing as her later. And I was kinda of dreading it because Ellie was so fun to play, and Abby killing Joel didn't exactly help her appeal either. So I was just waiting for the inevitable to switch and then drop in quality. HOWEVER...when I did eventually switch to Abby I really enjoyed her sections. I don't want them to do it in future games since it'll kinda of become a trope/gimmick, but as one off it was very good.

Story wise the more I think about it the more I like what ND did with Abby. You can see a pattern throughout the game of it intentionally wanting you to be "conflicted" with certain moments and I think the biggest one was Abby. If she hadn't been introduced to us with her killing Joel then I think almost everyone would have agreed that she was a fairly likeable/justified character. But it's the conflict of us liking Joel so much that we see Abby as a piece of shit despite her not really being one that I thought was a decent take.
 

Dr Kaneda

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I think the major mistake the game makes is trying to make people care so much about Abby after she kills Joel, and at the sacrifice of Ellie's character to the point of almost making her the villain.
I view that as kinda of the point. The game is trying to manipulate you (all stories do) into caring about Abby and viewing Ellie as the villain. It's not exactly going to go out of it's way to do the opposite since our attachment to Joel and Ellie from the 1st game and our introduction to Abby basically means by default we already heavily view Abby as the villain. It's trying to help us get over that bias, and I think it does it good way. It's not contrived at all, there's a lot of ground work and building laid for it. Being uncomfortable/conflicted/not liking Ellie being portrayed as a villain is an aim the narrative wants to achieve.
 

laser_printer

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Best story in a video game I've experienced since Silent Hill 2 for having the balls to do what it did, regardless of it's stumbles I still "got" what they were going for and that was enough for me suck it in. Also the spoilers I read were all troll post after the big reveal so I was able to enjoy it fully.
 

Dr Kaneda

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The way that only Ellie gets the bitter and not-at-all-sweet end of the "revenge is a bitch" stick, I still hate Abby. She gets saved by Ellie in the end ffs and pretty better off having succeed in killing Joel and taking her revenge, the actual deed which even though complete doesn't give her respite from those nightmares she's having, but compared to Ellie it is a tummy hurt.

What Ellie has lost? Let's count.
Joel most of all, just as when she was in the path to forgive him, maybe she would never forget but she was robbed of her chance at mending their relationship, since finally she could see what Joel did was entirely out of love for her and his resolve in saying that he would do it all over again confirms that for her. Now all of it is pufff gone.
She has lost a chance of having a 'normal' life at Jacksonville, she is now ruined, a walking ghastly apparition of her former self, having PTSD like flashes of Joel being tortured AND killed right in front of her.
She has lost Dina and the baby, or any chance of returning to them because Abby has left so big an emotional scar, so big a void inside of her that she just couldn't let go of having her revenge.
She has lost Jesse and most likely Tommy, one is dead the other is again a ghastly apparition of their former selves because of Abby's revenge quest.
And finally she has lost two of her fingers, finger with which she was playing the guitar, the guitar that Joel gave her and thought her how to play that specific song, a song that she can no longer play without fucking up with two missing fingers, a song that was only thing left that she could connect with her father figure.

Fuck Abby.

Don't forget that on two occasions Abby had the chance to kill Ellie and she spared her. She also had a chance to kill Dina and also spared her. She gave Ellie and chance at normal and happy life with Dina, Ellie just couldn't let go until it was too late. All things considered she did as many "favours" to Ellie as Ellie did in saving her.

Also as a result of Joel's actions Abby also lost her father and "normal life". You can tell she really believed in the fireflies and trying to save people etc.. and then Joel basically wiped them out and Abby was left with nothing. She was forced to seek comfort in arms of a militia and become a killer. Joel's actions resulted in that. Abby also has to live with the emotions of knowing that world is still fucked because Joel robbed them of a cure. The entire WLF war with the Scars wouldn't even be a thing if they had a cure. Maybe some players can't empathise with what Abby has lost compared to Ellie, but that doesn't mean that objectively she still hasn't lost a lot.

I like your point about the fingers and the guitar though. I never thought about that before, really interesting take.
 

Fbh

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I was enjoying the game up until the middle when it switches over to Abby.
Abby as a character did nothing for me, I found her story boring and her whole interaction with Lev just didn't come close to the whole Joel + Ellie dynamic from the original. The game tries really hard to make me care about her and her friends but I simply don't.

Beyond her story being boring I also didn't like the whole concept of having this big cliffhanger moment only to go back in time and having to spend another 10 hours in Seattle, going through what often felt like filler just to get back to the part of the story I actually want to see. I also didn't particularly like spending 10 hours slowly upgrading Ellie and her weapons only to be forced to switch to a slightly different character (as far as gameplay goes) and having to begin the whole upgrade process from zero.

The Abby part is also when the games starts to feel too long and stretched out. Maybe if we spent more time on the island (which was one of my favorite parts of the game) and other places it would have helped, but a big portion of her story is also in Seattle which really makes things start to feel samey after a while.
 
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Sub_Level

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Apr 9, 2009
31,507
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I started to get weary of everyone's negative opinions on this game - which were transparently biased considering the general reception of the game among people whose opinions I tend to respect - that's why I was really glad to see Noah Caldwell-Gervais do a video on TLOU, Left Behind and TLOUpt2. I recommend anyone who wants to actually understand what's good and not-so-good about this game, in great depth, to watch this video. Rather than relying on the opinion of triggered firebrands.


As an aside, watch his Call of Duty videos. They make for a great watch. Not even meme'ing.

In short:

I don't think the game is asking if you like Abby. She explicitly cheats behind the back of her pregnant friend. Its just showing you her journey, up to you if you like her.
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
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I like exploring the world, so Ellie's quest was more enjoyable.

Abby's was very linear, and full of combat. Which was nice in its way too, but I liked playing with Ellie more.
 
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Gameplay wise it was as good if not better than Ellie BUT it lasted way too long. I did not want to spend a whole half game playing her and plus to have to beat Ellie up. It threw me off, i came to raise havok with Ellie, not to have to see Abbys side too. One chapter OK, but 3 was way longer than I would of wanted.
 

Dontero

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I'm also so very glad that ND chose not to draw Abby as some faceless bad guy that you were to hunt down and kill. Showing that she had suffered a life full of PTSD due to her dad's murder, resulting in her shunning as she obsessed with finding and exacting revenge on Joel was rather excellent. It paralleled Ellie's story and issued a stark warning of what was to come.

Well her dad wanted to chop Ellie. Somehow ND expects us to care about abby "brutal" life where her father wanted to kill small girl and got killed back in return. Whole game relies on that bait and switch and no wonder why it is so divisive.

JOE in his review was absolutely right. Player should have spent playing 3/4 of game playing as abby BEFORE that event. So that player could give a shit about her and her pov. Instead they did it at start and from that point you must rely on player giving a shit about murderer of their favorite character.

Imagine trying to ask wife of murdered to care about murderer POV in trial. Sounds insane no ? Well that is TLOU2 for me.
 
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Danjin44

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Well her dad wanted to chop Ellie. Somehow ND expects us to care about abby "brutal" life where her father wanted to kill small girl and got killed back in return.
To me it would have been so much better if Abby's father was the one who was against idea sacrificing Ellie and felt it would have needed more testing, while Marlene was the who pushing him to do it. It would made Joel killing Abby's father more tragic and Abby revenge more justifiable.
 
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Jigsaah

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I enjoyed both, though it took some time to warm up to Abby. I was not a fan of all the flashbacks in both stories though I understood why it was presented in that way. Really messed with the pacing of the game. If the characters themselves were stronger I might have cared more but I've forgotten most of their names already.

Let's see there's Ellie, Abby, Dina, Joel....joel's brother...The asian dude who knocked up Dina, only to be killed instantly to make room for Ellie and Dina's wholesome farm living. Nora...Ron? Abby's weak-minded Beta boyfriend. The girl he knocked up. Isaiah? Josiah? The head of WLF...you know. Martha? Joel's sister in-law. The homophobic dude hating Ellie and Dina. Asian kids from the Scars, both technically girls I think, one who didn't wanna be a girl so was hunted.
 

Fbh

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I don't think the game is asking if you like Abby. She explicitly cheats behind the back of her pregnant friend. Its just showing you her journey, up to you if you like her.

To me it felt like that. The whole structure of the game, with them coming, killing Joel brutally, then you go hunt them down and through the world you read about the wolves and how bad they are, etc. Then you get to the climatic moment and it's time to see their side of the story and it's all "See? They weren't really bad, don't you feel bad about killing them now? Look how Abby saves the Zebra and how her dad gets killed and how she jokes around with latino guy and she saves Lev, etc. Bet you feel bad about killer her friends now? Bet you hated her, but how about now?"
 
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Abear21

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I loved playing as both characters and seeing the story from both perspectives. I honestly cared more about Abby and Owen’s story more. Their relationship and how they care about each other rivaled Ellie and Joel in the first and is just a more complex/interesting relationship IMO.

I also really appreciated the way Ellie found the truth of what happened at the hospital and her frustrations with it all. I was wondering if they’d address it at all in this game and I was not disappointed!

The game is just hit all the right notes for me. Love or hate the story, the real highlight of the game is the environments and I felt again, Abby had more interesting and fun environments to play in. While downtown Seattle with Ellie was cool, I loved the skyscraper sequence and Hospital with Abby.

I played through it on hard and appreciated struggling through some of the tougher enemies with Abby. I’m currently on NG+ on normal just to run around like a maniac killer with hardly any stealth and I’m having a blast—Saving Survivor difficulty for PS5 release!
 

Woggleman

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I can't decide. On first playthrough I would have said Abby but having to sort of use guerilla tactics to compensate for Ellie's size on survival difficulty added another level of enjoyment.
 

Dontero

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To me it would have been so much better if Abby's father was the one who was against idea sacrificing Ellie and felt it would have needed more testing, while Marlene was the who pushing him to do it. It would made Joel killing Abby's father more tragic and Abby revenge more justifiable.

Wouldn't really change anything. He would still be part of group that killed Ellie.

I am absolutely not opposed to what ND tried to do. Like i said game would be absolutely fine if Abby was main protagonist and you would have to face with fact that your new character that grow on you actually wants to kill Joel at some point.

It is that their execution was completely terrible.

I often use FFXV when it comes to TLOU2 because it is in same situation. FFXV story by itself is absolutely fine it is how it is executed and presented to player that reeks of idiocy destroying game.
 
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MiguelItUp

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Though both characters weren't really "good" per se, it's hard to not wish there was more Ellie and less Abby. I mean, the connection with her was already existent from the previous game, and in the end I wish more time was spent with her rather than the gigantic Abby chunk instead.
 

DForce

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JOE in his review was absolutely right. Player should have spent playing 3/4 of game playing as abby BEFORE that event. So that player could give a shit about her and her pov. Instead they did it at start and from that point you must rely on player giving a shit about murderer of their favorite character.

Spending 3/4 of the game playing as Abby before the event would have been so bad. :messenger_tears_of_joy:

They would have to hide the fact that she's after Joel and that would be nearly impossible. What Joe forgets is that Ellie is the main character of this story and she would need to have something to do before Joel's death and make it compelling.
 
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sn0man

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OP: I have considered making a separate post but there are many TLOU2 threads and I didn't want to chunk it up with everything else. I think TLOU2 is a great (maybe generation-defining) game. I also think that TLOU2 isn't an enjoyable game. These two statements seem at odds, and for me personally they still kind of are.

I love the characters of Joel and Ellie. I think the story is really good in this game and I think that the pain, the anguish, the grief, the vengeance (or honestly lack thereof) that we view was well done, poignant, made me feel things and all that. But those aren't pleasant feelings. Ellie doesn't get to enact vengeance like Abby does. Abby gets to take the high road of "I'm focused on carrying on the legacy of my father" and "let's save humanity" instead of being mired in her interpersonal relationships.

Ellie is robbed of, and forced to attempt to pick up the pieces of purpose, loss, grief, etc.


It's all super well done. Amazingly beautiful. Really fun moment to moment gameplay. Something that had me crying and saying "fuck you Abby" and "Ellie, just stop, I'm sorry" more than once. I swore I would never return to it and it makes the 1st game mean so much less.... BUT... I think I still enjoy it and how well it was done.

Enjoyed Ellie more because she's a great character. Thoroughly enjoyed playing as Abby and getting to see things from her POV.
This aligns with my views on it.
 
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First: I liked the game quite a lot, the stealth gameplay really makes you feel like you stalk the others and some moments are extremely tense, the friendly AI is better than in the first game. But there are a few things that bug me about the story.

  • Ellie keeps going back to the Seattle Hospital like it was a cake walk, she never encounters any more Fireflies, WLF or Scars, and when we go back in the game she doesn't seem to know how to even get IN THE CITIE's FIRST FEDRA GATE!
  • Something similar happens with Abby, she goes to the aquarium all the time, yet somehow she does not seem to know her way around.
  • Ellie goes back to the Seattle hospital twice in the 5 years between the games, yet she never comes across WLF or Scars either time

  • The Abby bit does not add anything to the story (it was put there to make you empathize with her point of view, it does, she seem like a nice person on a quest for vengeance, a bit of a stretch when you kill people from competing factions day-in-and-day-out)
  • How everybody acts like this is a common thing to be trans (assuming what this is, the subject is treated so lightly that you'd think every second person in the WLF/Fireflies is, like nobody even asks "why?, How?, When?, what? or even little as bats an eye, except those that have the extreme opposite reaction in the Scars)
  • Lev has not real impact (even in the last fight between Abby and Ellie, you could not make a more inert character)

Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the game, it is an audio-visual master piece (seriously, play it with earphones), I love the combat and the encouters, the animation has no equal (point me to equals if you know them)... the interaction is just very satisfying! It's certainly not honest to give it anything below a 6 (you don't have to like it, just see that given how well crafted it is it has a certain quality to it, so it can't be a complete failure)--Not sure yet how high it could go, I usually like ND games on the second or third run.
 

Le Big Mac

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The switch to Abby was jarring and her entire storyline was set up to establish a level of sympathy for her.
Trouble is, none of her friends were interesting (not well written) so when they started dying out I had very little attachment to them.

They seemed to have one note personalities with only surface level depth so when characters like Danny died, I literally had no idea who it was and why I should care. The game should have made me care since the ending builds up to the idea that Abby loses everyone just as Ellie does but absolutely fails that emotional payoff.

Poor decision making by the developers all round, ND shat the bed here so bad
 
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For a moment I was worried that the reason why they did the character flip was because this game was a vanity project. It's only after finishing it did I realize what they were going for.

They wanted the player to try and empathize with a side that you absolutely hate. There is no other way to achieve this besides doing the character flip after playing as Ellie for 10+ hours. I agree that it kind of slowed down the building momentum which I didn't like but it puts the confrontation in a better context for the player. If they succeed you don't want either of them to die.

The really cool thing is that this game reflects life (esp. the political climate). We're so tribalistic that when we confront the other side we refuse to understand where they come from. I think one of the core messages of this work is that we should try to empathisize and understand instead of blindly following one group over the other. Damn, this game is so good.
Yeah go empathize with ISIS my friend. It's good
 
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Don't forget that on two occasions Abby had the chance to kill Ellie and she spared her. She also had a chance to kill Dina and also spared her. She gave Ellie and chance at normal and happy life with Dina, Ellie just couldn't let go until it was too late. All things considered she did as many "favours" to Ellie as Ellie did in saving her.

Also as a result of Joel's actions Abby also lost her father and "normal life". You can tell she really believed in the fireflies and trying to save people etc.. and then Joel basically wiped them out and Abby was left with nothing. She was forced to seek comfort in arms of a militia and become a killer. Joel's actions resulted in that. Abby also has to live with the emotions of knowing that world is still fucked because Joel robbed them of a cure. The entire WLF war with the Scars wouldn't even be a thing if they had a cure. Maybe some players can't empathise with what Abby has lost compared to Ellie, but that doesn't mean that objectively she still hasn't lost a lot.

I like your point about the fingers and the guitar though. I never thought about that before, really interesting take.
The whole thing is stupid shit. Both killed people who has no stake in this revenge then spared each other.
Just a stupid incoherent and depressing story. TLOU2 was very good because of gameplay and graphics. It is just another MGSV, but complete. 😂
 
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Dr Kaneda

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The whole thing is stupid shit. Both killed people who has no stake in this revenge then spared each other.
Just a stupid incoherent and depressing story. TLOU2 was very good because of gameplay and graphics. It is just another MGSV, but complete. 😂
The only thing incoherent was the "ludonarrative" between killing 100s of people and then feeling guilty killing ones attached to the story or outright sparing some. Yep that is "ludonarrative dissonance", can't argue against that.. But in terms of the actual story every single killing and sparing was fully coherent.
 

SF Kosmo

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I hated the jump at first, I think you're supposed to, but taken as a whole I think the story only works with both. Abby was the more sympathetic of the two, I think.
 

sainraja

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For a moment I was worried that the reason why they did the character flip was because this game was a vanity project. It's only after finishing it did I realize what they were going for.

They wanted the player to try and empathize with a side that you absolutely hate. There is no other way to achieve this besides doing the character flip after playing as Ellie for 10+ hours. I agree that it kind of slowed down the building momentum which I didn't like but it puts the confrontation in a better context for the player. If they succeed you don't want either of them to die.

The really cool thing is that this game reflects life (esp. the political climate). We're so tribalistic that when we confront the other side we refuse to understand where they come from. I think one of the core messages of this work is that we should try to empathisize and understand instead of blindly following one group over the other. Damn, this game is so good.

See, I wouldn't have minded that if that is how I felt with how they did it. I feel like their execution of that wasn't very good. Ellie/Abby both kill so many people on their quest for revenge and only give up on it when it comes to facing each other. Now, I know Abby got her revenge but Ellie killed so many on her journey - what about the people she killed along the way, couldn't they be a father or a mother to someone else? Who might want their own revenge?

One way they could have done this was by not focusing as much on different factions/groups (e.g. Seraphites/Scars v. WLF) of people and just take advantage of the post apocalyptic situation they had set the story in and make many of the encounters with the infected. Running into a few people who are in your way to your revenge is one thing but facing off so many and people among different groups? Come on....they decided it was good to introduce us to two new groups that we had no idea existed....
 
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bohrdom

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Yeah go empathize with ISIS my friend. It's good

lol. You're delusional.

See, I wouldn't have minded that if that is how I felt with how they did it. I feel like their execution of that wasn't very good. Ellie/Abby both kill so many people on their quest for revenge and only give up on it when it comes to facing each other. Now, I know Abby got her revenge but Ellie killed so many on her journey - what about the people she killed along the way, couldn't they be a father or a mother to someone else? Who might want their own revenge?

One way they could have done this was by not focusing as much on different factions/groups (e.g. Seraphites/Scars v. WLF) of people and just take advantage of the post apocalyptic situation they had set the story in and make many of the encounters with the infected. Running into a few people who are in your way to your revenge is one thing but facing off so many and people among different groups? Come on....they decided it was good to introduce us to two new groups that we had no idea existed....

Yeah a person you do kill along the way could come back to exact revenge but in this world the vast majority of people don't have that obsessive compulsion to hunt another person. I think most people have accepted this world for what it is. Owen talks about how he isn't hell bent on chasing the killers of his loved ones in one scene. I think what makes Abby and Ellie different are their obsessive compulsions. One could argue that the context of how these two characters died made Abby and Ellie go on their respective missions. Abby's father died when trying to save mankind. Ellie saw Joel die in a completely despicable way and she never got the chance to forgive him.

I think they had the two factions to add to the motif of the story: Us vs. Them. The conflict between the two factions is a parallel to the conflict between Ellie and Abby but at a macro scale.