The Last of Us Part II Announced

AKA
Rishi
Nier Automata, Shadow of the Colossus, Undertale... and even the original The Last of Us are all well-received games that make it a point to make the player feel bad for partaking in combat. That's just off the top of my head. I'm not sure I would describe any of those games as having dissonance due to their "fun" factor. Maybe the article is referring exclusively to the evolution of the shooter genre? If "fun" is a standard by which we are qualifying core gameplay, I'm not even sure where to begin. "Fun" is probably one of the nebulous, subjective, indefinable, and inconsistent part of a person's experience. Something that is "fun" to me one day could easily bore me the next.

Regardless of that, on a technical level, a game needs to "play well" in order to allow players into its space. For a shooter, that means the aim, sway, and recoil serve towards the player's sense of agency in every small decision. The level design needs to guide players from point A to point B in a way that flows and makes sense. Ultimately, this is all in the service of "fun" yeah, but this is also part of the "grammar" of a game. These aspects are necessary in order for a game to "read" clearly.

I think the issue people are having with TLOU2 is that there's this intentionally divisive, off-putting (for many) story that seems to go against the otherwise very articulate crafting of the "play" portions of the game.

I think the issue with TLOU2 is that its commentary comes across as "preachy" to a lot of players. It also relies on some cheap shots to force contemplation on the fun-violence factor. I was listening to a podcast discussing the "ludonarrative dissonance" by using the example of Shimmer the Horse. They kill her off by blowing her up with a trip wire. Her death is necessary for practical purposes - at this point, she can't stick around for the next levels of the game. If the game wasn't so dead set on taking the violence so seriously, this scene could come across as having a Resident Evil-like quality of campiness. Since this game is so hyper-serious, there is a disjoint then, when Shimmer viscerally screams in pain before being popped in the head. There's not a whole lot of emotional arc to the horse to earn that level of misery, and its frank presentation comes off as over-the-top. At the same time, it's inherently upsetting because that's your horsie, isn't that sad?

I know thats a lot of extrapolation from the death scene of a horse. I think its an easy example to use due to the fact that the first game also had a horse character that is also arguably propped up for some sad points. In terms of Callus vs Shimmer, I think there are a few things one can list which makes the former feel more elegantly handled than the latter.
 
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Lulcielid

Eyes of the Lord
AKA
Lulcy
Follow-up:

TLoU2 second week sales in UK, game remains #1 on the UK chart with a 80% drop, a normal drop for releases with big openings (for comparison Uncharted 4 had a 78% drop on second week), this numbers are for box sales only.

The most interesting development is the rise of The Last of Us remaster making to the top 10 in the chart (#9 respectively), having a +82% increase in week to week sales.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
I think the issue with TLOU2 is ...
As it was proving increasingly impossible to avoid the spoilers, I just went ahead and embraced them.

So, in addition to what you brought up, I have to say what amounts to a big problem with the narrative for me is

that it's only after Ellie wades through a damn-near-literal bloodbath -- which includes personally torturing someone, taking at least one innocent life, and threatening another defenseless innocent life before pushing the target of her revenge to the brink of death -- that she is able to finally make the rational, moral decision to cut this shit out. Like, why now in the heat of drowning your nemesis instead of the countless preceding moments?

And that observation leads me into an even bigger problem with the overall narrative, which is that no one in this setting seems capable of making rational, moral decisions unless it's spur of the fucking moment. It seems the more lead-time they're given, the less likely they are to do the right or even sensible thing.

For instance, we're supposed to feel like Abby has an equally understandable basis for revenge as Ellie, but that's not the case. Yes, Joel killed her father, and thus she killed Ellie's father figure -- but Abby's father was also about to murder an unconscious patient. The cherry on the shit-sundae here is that, had the Fireflies done the moral, rational thing in the first place (i.e. wait for Ellie to awaken and ask her what she wanted to do), none of this would have happened. She would have gladly volunteered to give her life, gotten Joel to accept it, and there would have been a vaccine.

Again, having years to process this, the rational thing for Abby to do would have been to not shoot a man's leg off with a shotgun, then slowly beat him to death with a golf club. The sensible conclusion here is that what was sown was reaped.

Even Tommy, there towards the end -- despite having many months to process -- is being an irrational douchewad despite that he must know this peaceful, loving life Ellie has found is what Joel would want for her. What are any of these people thinking, and how are we supposed to empathize with them? =|
 

Erotic Materia

Nani the fuck, weebs?
As it was proving increasingly impossible to avoid the spoilers, I just went ahead and embraced them.

So, in addition to what you brought up, I have to say what amounts to a big problem with the narrative for me is

that it's only after Ellie wades through a damn-near-literal bloodbath -- which includes personally torturing someone, taking at least one innocent life, and threatening another defenseless innocent life before pushing the target of her revenge to the brink of death -- that she is able to finally make the rational, moral decision to cut this shit out. Like, why now in the heat of drowning your nemesis instead of the countless preceding moments?

And that observation leads me into an even bigger problem with the overall narrative, which is that no one in this setting seems capable of making rational, moral decisions unless it's spur of the fucking moment. It seems the more lead-time they're given, the less likely they are to do the right or even sensible thing.

For instance, we're supposed to feel like Abby has an equally understandable basis for revenge as Ellie, but that's not the case. Yes, Joel killed her father, and thus she killed Ellie's father figure -- but Abby's father was also about to murder an unconscious patient. The cherry on the shit-sundae here is that, had the Fireflies done the moral, rational thing in the first place (i.e. wait for Ellie to awaken and ask her what she wanted to do), none of this would have happened. She would have gladly volunteered to give her life, gotten Joel to accept it, and there would have been a vaccine.

Again, having years to process this, the rational thing for Abby to do would have been to not shoot a man's leg off with a shotgun, then slowly beat him to death with a golf club. The sensible conclusion here is that what was sown was reaped.

Even Tommy, there towards the end -- despite having many months to process -- is being an irrational douchewad despite that he must know this peaceful, loving life Ellie has found is what Joel would want for her. What are any of these people thinking, and how are we supposed to empathize with them? =|

You write the best words :hearteyes:
 
AKA
Rishi
For me, people doing a certain amount of irrational, emotionally-fueled, brutal stuff is fine if your goal is to make a revenge story. What seems to fall apart is that the story seems to stretch everyone's uncritical acceptance of certain decisions, and how casually everyone is able to be moved into the position for the sake of drama. Which is fine, but these dramatic heights need to still feel earned with the segments in between.

Like, in the first game, I remember it was set up as this nerve-wracking thing for Joel to take Ellie outside the city. Then the world expands, and the fear of going out the city pales in comparison to the risks of going across the country. Even when Joel and Ellie run into something convenient, it still feels like it's in service of something related to the overall message. It's kind of weird to go from that, to then have these characters casually wandering around America in search of one specific person. Idk, to me, that core premise is already a bit broken for this pre-established universe. I don't think it's so broken that suspension of disbelief can't be assuaged, but it seems like the game doesn't do a good job of managing that in several ways.
 
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The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
For me, people doing a certain amount of irrational, emotionally-fueled, brutal stuff is fine if your goal is to make a revenge story. What seems to fall apart is that the story seems to stretch everyone's uncritical acceptance of certain decisions, and how casually everyone is able to be moved into the position for the sake of drama. Which is fine, but these dramatic heights need to still feel earned with the segments in between.
Yes, that's a good way of putting it. That decision I referenced from the ending just doesn't feel at all earned when set alongside all the decisions that led up to it.
 

Lex

Administrator
I just finished. There's a lot I want to say but I don't know that I'll get it all down atm as I'm tired and need to go to bed for work tomorrow.

Huge spoilers for the whole game ahead.

I feel like the phrase "torture porn" is overused atm, and might not be all that apt. I think the key issue for me here is that I see what they tried to do (because it's blatant as fuck and nowhere near as subtle as they seem to be trying to be???? bad verbiage sorry) but I don't think it was all that successful.

My overriding feeling at the moment is irritation at how arrogant and obnoxious it all feels.

Let me say there are several things I'm not mad at - I like that they both survived because honestly that was the least likely outcome for me going in. I did not expect that. I like that we got a taste of Ellie and Dina living the domestic life after Seattle.

I think this has already been said, but there is too much of a case of them attempting to draw parallels between Ellie and Abby's actions without any real meat behind it. Manny being shot by Tommy I think was supposed to be this shock death, but I gave zero fucks when he died. I think I might even have cheered tbh.

None of the deaths took me by surprise aside from Yara I guess, that was kind of a surprise to me.

The only friend of Abby's I actually found tolerable was Owen, but his goodwill goes out the door the minute his stupidity causes the death of both himself and Mel at the hands of Ellie. We are supposed to feel terrible about Mel dying because she's pregnant which is just a bit too heavy handed for me, especially considering Mel was possibly the least likable of Abby's friends overall.

Idk I just think they could have done everything they did in this game with some slight tweaks to behaviour/ motivations and it would have served the whole narrative better.

That final fight was grotesque. I don't have any other way to describe it. I had to pause, not because I had some immersive compassion for Abby, but because I was so angry at the creators for making players do this. I understand that the point is the player shouldn't want to, but the fact that you are forced to is absolutely infuriating and it's not in the right way. It's immersion breaking. I'm also pre-angry at the dudebros who will miss the point and enjoy doing it.

I'll post less disjointed thoughts at some point I'm struggling atm

- Fuck Seattle Day 2 as Abby, that SUCKED
- I'll agree with the consensus that the Ellie and Dina segments were probably the best parts of the game
- There are way too many "groups" in the game
- People keep saying the game is too long. I liked the length, but agree it's too long because this game's narrative doesn't support it. I'm all for longer games as long as it's justified and I felt like this game didn't use the time it had effectively. It should have been about 5-7 hours shorter with this story IMO.
- There are some serious issues with how the LGBTQ+ issues are handled but I think that's a much deeper discussion. Suffice it to say that I think the amount of hell they're put through and everything else is less "woke" and more "ignorant people will enjoy this", which is only a bad thing. It's like it pretends not to pander to that crowd but the LGBTQ+ characters are othered aplenty within the narrative for them to feel satisfied.

Overall I can't say I had a bad time with it, although I'm still processing my thoughts. More to come at some point.
 
Finished, by which I mean watched on Youtube. I didn't hate anything, but I'm glad I didn't buy this.

I got bored of Ellie's section long before it was over, it was just 'futile revenge quest, got it.'

Abby's section I actually got invested with again, she was more interesting.

Gameplay overall seems super boring, it's mostly just the same three encounters alternated.

Tommy boss fight was good though. I'd have liked to see more of encounters like that.

Lev... I dunno, is this the best we can do for trans representation? 'have fun being hunted down like a dog, attacked by your parents because of who you are?' Can we have some happy stories?

I was hoping Ellie would be the final boss, I ended up basically rooting for Abby to kill them all and was disappointed when she didn't.

I approve of the many opportunities to play with dogs.

And they retire to farm sheep...because that's something you can just pick up on a whim. Ok.

Checked out again for the last section. I wanted to see what happened, but in a more 'get it over with' way.

Apparently this is super controversial? I just thought it was okay but a bit dull.

The accidental moral of the story? If you take revenge, leave no survivors, it will come back to bite you.

Overall the setting is cracking my suspension of disbelief, I don't buy that within twenty four years of occupation all the hospitals haven't been looted yet, or that so many infected are still alive in human occupied territory. They're dangerous, but not that dangerous.
 

Erotic Materia

Nani the fuck, weebs?
I finished about a week ago, but I wanted to air a few things that I've had rattling around in my head:
-By and large, the AI in the game is spectacular. However, there are key moments wherein I was irritated as hell. Scenario: you're sneaking around all stealth-like, avoiding those clickers while you try to strangle a runner. The runner spots you, you pop it in the head, and then run around the corner before the clicker is anywhere near where you murdered his buddy. Logic (lol wuts that) would dictate that the clicker would start searching the area, not IMMEDIATELY RUN TO WHERE YOU ARE HIDDEN.

-Also, I hate stalkers; Their mechanics are totally fucked. Even if you know exactly where they are, and they have their back to you, as soon as you pull out your gun, they immediately sprint off to hide somewhere else. I didn't realize that getting infected also meant growing an extra eye in the back of your head.

-And the "I think it came from over there" bullshit they spew anytime someone gets hit/killed. Like, it makes sense to know what general direction it came from, but it's ridiculous for everyone to instantly zero in on the exact deli store display case I'm hiding behind.

-Owen's an asshole for playing with both Abby's and Mel's heartstrings. Abby's an asshole for banging Mel's baby daddy. Mel's an asshole for telling Abby she can't go to Santa Barbara with them, knowing full well that Abby staying would be a death sentence for her.

-Ellie's an asshole for a whole host of reasons. I swear Dina is the only sane person in the entire game. Playing as Ellie, I was pissed that I was throwing that life with her away for a bullshit revenge trip. Then I was saddened when I came back and the house was (deservedly) empty. I have to give Dina credit; there didn't seem to be any notes, no "you can find me here" offerings. Dina was very clear that she would not put up with another of Ellie's rage quests, and she stuck to her word. Now we (as Ellie) are feeling the effects. Ellie even says something along the lines of, "What am I doing here? I never should have left." And I just wanted to scream at her, "OH YOU DON'T FUCKING SAY?"

-As soon as Ellie told the story about how Joel/Tommy would get information from people, I knew she was going to do it herself at some point in the game. Not terribly subtle.

-I kinda love Dina now.

-I kinda get the feeling that the Scars/Seraphites were initially the victims, and the WLF was the aggressors. Lev alluded to this when he said they didn't start hanging/disemboweling people until the WLF killed their prophet. Although it's not clear that they were completely passive; maybe they just stuck to arrows and hammers before all that.

-Speaking of Lev. I'm aware that his character has generated a ton of buzz. Obviously Naughty Dog was trying to show some LGBTQ+ representation here with having a trans character, but I think they fumbled it a bit in their execution. That being said, here's my take from a white, cis-male perspective. I'm prefacing it thusly to illustrate that I'm aware that I can't fully know what it's like to be trans and/or the difficulties one faces, never mind while being raised in a primitive/religious/conservative community. So please don't eviscerate me, kthx.

According to what I've read, a lot of people are upset that Naughty Dog "deadnamed" Lev at various points throughout the game. I genuinely didn't know what it meant, so I had to look it up. (For those who don't know, it's referring to someone by the name they had before they transitioned.) From what I've gathered, this is generally considered a dick move.

Now I'm not going to defend that; it is a shitty thing to do. It completely disregards a trans person's identity. However, (warning: hot take incoming) it makes sense within the context of the story. On multiple occasions, references are made to the Scars' rigid social structure and laws, backed by brutal reinforcement. Quite simply, these are not people who are open to the idea of change. You follow their tenets or die. So yes, it's an absolutely asshole thing for the Scars to repeatedly deadname Lev throughout the game. But I think that was the entire point, to further emphasize the struggle Lev faces. I can't think of any other post-apocalyptic group that would be worse for a trans person to grow up with.

-I loved the museum. Especially putting hats on dinosaurs.

-I wanted to take a moment to show love for the guitar mechanics. I love that you can strum, or pick a single string. Not that I know shit about music anyway, but still something I enjoyed. I totally didn't tear up when Ellie was singing to Dina.

-Just the idea of the the Rattlers is deeply unsettling to me, although part of me thinks that were anything like TLOU ever to happen, I could easily see groups such as them coming into existence. See: The Walking Dead, The Road, Mad Max, etc.

-Swimming in the open ocean (at night, no less) after the boat capsizes was TERRIFYING. Even knowing that there's almost nothing out in the Puget Sound that could/would hurt you, that part made my lizard brain scream.

-I LOVED seeing so many Seattle references. The Space Needle, the ferris wheel, hell even the Smith Tower (where my roommate works). I loved it all. Although Ellie continually referring to I-5 as "Route 5" made my eye twitch.

-There's a poster in a roadside building before you first get into Seattle, advertising a lawn care service. The area code is for Atlanta. I found that interesting.
 
-And the "I think it came from over there" bullshit they spew anytime someone gets hit/killed. Like, it makes sense to know what general direction it came from, but it's ridiculous for everyone to instantly zero in on the exact deli store display case I'm hiding behind.
lol, this makes me laugh in games. Have game designers never heard a distant gunshot? It isn't that easy to place, especially in an urban area with echoes and a million windows around.
 

Lex

Administrator
By and large, the AI in the game is spectacular. However, there are key moments wherein I was irritated as hell. Scenario: you're sneaking around all stealth-like, avoiding those clickers while you try to strangle a runner. The runner spots you, you pop it in the head, and then run around the corner before the clicker is anywhere near where you murdered his buddy. Logic (lol wuts that) would dictate that the clicker would start searching the area, not IMMEDIATELY RUN TO WHERE YOU ARE HIDDEN.
I agree with this.
I was frustrated on multiple occasions as Abby on day 3 when the Seraphites and WLF are shooting at each other. I'm crouched behind a stone 5000 miles away from them all, but fire a single sniper round at the most distant enemy and suddenly it's "ITS ABBY SHE'S BEHIND THAT ROCK OVER THERE" - like no, absolutely not. I found it to be immersion breaking but I'd been using it to my advantage throughout the game to lure enemies to me and stealth kill them.

According to what I've read, a lot of people are upset that Naughty Dog "deadnamed" Lev at various points throughout the game. I genuinely didn't know what it meant, so I had to look it up. (For those who don't know, it's referring to someone by the name they had before they transitioned.) From what I've gathered, this is generally considered a dick move.

Now I'm not going to defend that; it is a shitty thing to do. It completely disregards a trans person's identity. However, (warning: hot take incoming) it makes sense within the context of the story. On multiple occasions, references are made to the Scars' rigid social structure and laws, backed by brutal reinforcement. Quite simply, these are not people who are open to the idea of change. You follow their tenets or die. So yes, it's an absolutely asshole thing for the Scars to repeatedly deadname Lev throughout the game. But I think that was the entire point, to further emphasize the struggle Lev faces. I can't think of any other post-apocalyptic group that would be worse for a trans person to grow up with.
The issue isn't just the deadnaming. It's how it's used in the narrative - there are actually several problems with it and the deadnaming is just a part of it. Here are some of the problems:

- He's not even a character. He's an Abby plot device.
- His trans-ness is used in very cheap ways (the deadnaming is supposed to make you go "Seraphites bad", it adds nothing to the narrative).
- The only meaningful conversation about him being trans is between Abby and Yara, to the exclusion of Lev himself.
- The long list of bad (and completely unnecessary) shit Lev goes through comes across as punishment for his being trans. The overall reaction is "oh well, at least they didn't kill him"

All of that combined with the deadnaming does not make a pretty picture IMO. You have to consider that they could have made a choice to have the Seraphites not give a fuck that he is trans, but simply that he broke some other rule. Instead they made his whole storyline about being trans - his mother is going to kill him because he is trans, the Seraphites brand him an apostate and are going to kill him for being trans, they refuse to recognise that he's trans - I mean we all get it, they're meant to be an allegory for fundamentalists. But there was a conscious decision to make his entire story about being a trans person, rather than that just being an aspect of his personality. And while we're on the subject, there's not much at all TO his personality, which exacerbates the issue. Naughty Dog can and should know better than to write a character with this little substance when they're attempting to tackle an issue as important as this one.

I will give them props for the conversation between him and Abby on day 2, in the hotel building. I thought the way they danced around the topic in conversation was pretty realistic, and Abby's patient understanding and subtle comprehension while clearly not fully grasping the whole story was the kind of subtle writing I wanted for the topic.
 
As it was proving increasingly impossible to avoid the spoilers, I just went ahead and embraced them.

So, in addition to what you brought up, I have to say what amounts to a big problem with the narrative for me is

that it's only after Ellie wades through a damn-near-literal bloodbath -- which includes personally torturing someone, taking at least one innocent life, and threatening another defenseless innocent life before pushing the target of her revenge to the brink of death -- that she is able to finally make the rational, moral decision to cut this shit out. Like, why now in the heat of drowning your nemesis instead of the countless preceding moments?

And that observation leads me into an even bigger problem with the overall narrative, which is that no one in this setting seems capable of making rational, moral decisions unless it's spur of the fucking moment. It seems the more lead-time they're given, the less likely they are to do the right or even sensible thing.

For instance, we're supposed to feel like Abby has an equally understandable basis for revenge as Ellie, but that's not the case. Yes, Joel killed her father, and thus she killed Ellie's father figure -- but Abby's father was also about to murder an unconscious patient. The cherry on the shit-sundae here is that, had the Fireflies done the moral, rational thing in the first place (i.e. wait for Ellie to awaken and ask her what she wanted to do), none of this would have happened. She would have gladly volunteered to give her life, gotten Joel to accept it, and there would have been a vaccine.

Again, having years to process this, the rational thing for Abby to do would have been to not shoot a man's leg off with a shotgun, then slowly beat him to death with a golf club. The sensible conclusion here is that what was sown was reaped.

Even Tommy, there towards the end -- despite having many months to process -- is being an irrational douchewad despite that he must know this peaceful, loving life Ellie has found is what Joel would want for her. What are any of these people thinking, and how are we supposed to empathize with them? =|
A million times, yes!!! I’ve been waiting to see someone who has the same views on the game as me, and I’m glad I found it. With that said, I’m going to dive into my overall thoughts on the game and I’ll put everything in spoiler tags.

Let me start by saying I did not get spoiled about this game. I had no idea what Joel’s fate was, but I certainly didn’t expect him to be dead in two hours. I knew something bad was going to happen because I knew fans were pissed, but I was thinking that at the end they were going to find someone else who could create a vaccine through Ellie and that this time she was going to convince Joel to go through with it. I could have also seen Joel dying, but not so early on.

Anyone else notice how they tricked us in the commercials to make us think he was going to be around the whole game? Remember when Jessie covers Ellie’s mouth and says something along the lines of “Did you think I was going to let you go through this alone?” Well, in the trailers they showed that scene but then flipped to a moment when Joel says it. I was waiting for that scene the whole game and when it happened, I was pissed that they tricked me. Kudos to them though.

Now - my thoughts on the game are rather simple. I thought the first half, Joel’s death aside, was phenomenal. Yes, I was pissed but it was emotional, shocking, and really kept me hooked. The gameplay was pretty good and the story was intense. That moment of seeing a flip switched in Ellie was pretty incredible to watch. I thought it was all pretty well done and at that point they could have wrapped it up, had Dina rush in and knock Abby down, and then had Ellie finish her off and be done with it. That’s obviously not how things went...

They decided to give us one giant side quest. Who in the hell wanted to play as Abby? Maybe you could have convinced me had you not shown her bludgeon mine (and probably a lot of others’) favorite character! But after that? No. Now, I will say, Abby’s story ended up being interesting. But at that point I was just so ready to watch her die that that’s all I cared about. Not once did I even feel a tiny shred of sympathy for her. “If it were me dad, I would want you to do the vaccine”. Well, sweetheart, it wasn’t. You can’t possibly know what decision you would have made.

Anyways - I never had any sort of sympathy or respect for her character. If she didn’t kill Joel, maybe I would have had more interest in her character and her story. But she did. Which brings me to what I agree so much with what Twilight said - THEY DID NOT GIVE JOEL OR ELLIE A CHOICE. They were going to kill her no matter what. It didn’t matter what Joel said. When he broke into surgery Abby’s dad was going to attack him. Again - no choice. What was he supposed to do? I think it’s ridiculous that Naughty Dog tried to force sympathy down our throat. The only thing I could see them saying about Joel is that he more or less killed Marlene (was that her name?) in cold blood. Even then, he knew she wouldn’t stop looking for Ellie, but still. That was really the only choice he had without just allowing Ellie to die.

I also don’t have sympathy for any of the others involved. They all watched Joel die. The only one I kind of liked was Owen. He stopped the others from killing Ellie and Tommy and he literally left Abby (at least I assume) because she became so crazy with revenge. He did sit there and watch Joel die, and he did want Joel to die, but he is the only one I felt had any sort of moral compass. All the others - good riddance.

So obviously I have issues with the story. Unless they come back and re-do this game entirely where Joel survives, I don’t want any more from this game. My buddy enjoyed the game and wants a third one. No thanks. Why? So we can have another revenge-fiddled affair? That should have ended here. I would like to see a prequel or even sequel with Tommy, though. Maybe a prequel with Joel. Didn’t 20 years pass after Sarah passed? There is so much they could explore with this world and I honestly want them to, but with a fresh slate. Don’t give me a third game because I was so ready for this one to be over by the end.

It probably sounds like I hated the game, but I wouldn’t really say that. The graphics were great, parts of the story were pretty good, and the gameplay could be fun. It was extremely violent, but to be honest with you what I hated the most was having to kill the dogs. Maybe that makes me crazy, lol, but even in video games I hate being forced to kill animals. I don’t mind people. People deserve it. 😂

While the gameplay was fun at times, it also wore on me several times. The game dragged on. You’d get out of this crazy firefight thinking you were good for a while, then BAM! Immediately in another one. I’m not into stealth at all so that also helped to ruin a lot of my enjoyment. I just wasn’t a huge fan of the gameplay honestly. They did essentially the same thing with Uncharted 4. If you don’t use stealth, you’re going to have a hell of a time. I was just so ready for the game to be over by the end - and that’s due to everything. I don’t think it’s a horrible game by any means, but it definitely didn’t reach the greatness we all hoped.
 
This is interesting, given the rest of the thread. I had no idea what was in this game other than 'something controversial happens'. My last post was my immediate reaction,without reading anything by anything else.

When Joel was killed, my reaction was basically 'eh, that's fair' (convenient as it was for Abby to happen to stumble across him), and so I didn't really get invested in the revenge quest, plus it was kind of puzzling that Dina and Jesse were around at all. Why do they care about revenge on Joel, were they close? Obviously they care about Ellie, but it feels like they didn't have a strong enough bond to go on a cross country murder spree. 'My ex's new girlfriend's estranged father figure was killed, oh no' and Dina's relationship is ONE DAY old. It's like if John Wick went on his rampage for his next door neighbour's cousin's dog.

These people known only by very common first names sure are easy to find.

I felt like they would need to be much closer than that to be on board with this insanely dangerous rampage. So I was sitting there thinking 'why are we doing this again?' from the start, instead of switching when we switched leads.

I didn't hate Abby's crew, because they seemed to be much more discriminating in their revenge than Ellie and Tommy, who kill a bunch of random people in addition to their targets.

I think the devs expected the player to be all 'sweet revenge' and then switch gears, but since I wasn't there in the first place, the switch didn't hit me with much impact.
 
AKA
Rishi
Dina's relationship is ONE DAY old.
I for one love the fact that they are carrying on the Uhaul tradition in the post-apocalypse :lol:

anyways, I dont have much to say because I've been watching my SO play. Lev's part hasn't come up really yet, but it strikes me that the dead naming thing is probably another cheap shot to force the player to feel bad for the sake of feeling bad? In the way that the game is kinda wagging its finger at you. Like Sonic going, "tsk tsk, that's no good."
 

Lulcielid

Eyes of the Lord
AKA
Lulcy
Follow-up:

TLoU2 second week sales in UK, game remains #1 on the UK chart with a 80% drop, a normal drop for releases with big openings (for comparison Uncharted 4 had a 78% drop on second week), this numbers are for box sales only.

The most interesting development is the rise of The Last of Us remaster making to the top 10 in the chart (#9 respectively), having a +82% increase in week to week sales.
For the month of June 2020, TLOU2 becomes the highest selling game in the UK, surpassing even the rest of the top 10 combined.
 

dz

Lv. 25 Adventurer
I found this review insightful:

I enjoyed playing the game even more the second time round. I'd had time to process everything better, and got to go in understanding the unconventional structure/pacing and having dissolved my initial reservations for playing as Abby (as well as not having to play with the fear I might not like the game). Still many sad and dark and moving moments. The story grew on me even more. And I'm a total fan for the game mechanics.
 

dz

Lv. 25 Adventurer
It's got me thinking even more about the FFVII compilation, very different games though they are, about switches of perspective, and seeing situations from other perspectives. That characters are seldom all good or all bad, that often they are people with the capacity for both, and that perspective and bias can strongly affect the perception of good vs bad deeds. E.g. it's real easy to forgive a beloved character for doing something bad for some greater good. I feel ffvii was well ahead in this, the game originally explored morally grey areas. It's easy to be fooled into thinking the people you play as are the goodies and the people you conflict with are baddies in many games. FFVII got me questioning good and bad from the offset - I remember feeling uneasy at first that I was playing as a bunch of terrorists, but soon grew to understand each of their choices, motivations, etc. as they were trying to bring down a corrupt regime.

Effectively, Square Enix pulled a similar stunt to TLOU2 by releasing Before Crisis, where "we" (in quotes as it was released only in Japan and only on certain networks) got to play as the Turks, the seeming bad guys. I guess square Enix at least made it real clear you'd be playing as Turks, whereas Naughty Dog really tried to keep the idea you're going to play as the enemy a secret, so at least with BC there can be no shock or feeling of being misled. Certainly you wouldn't emerge from BC thinking the Turks are outright good guys, they do plenty of grey and bad things throughout the compilation, but having walked in their shoes, you can gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for their actions, we see they do also do good things, even heroic acts, have compassion, etc. It's complicated, and messy, and makes for some interesting plots and characters I think.

This all got me thinking more again about the Turks and their actions and motivations and perspectives through the compilation, which is nothing new or noteworthy it seems, as I really enjoyed that already, but I feel like I am looking again with a fresher perspective. I fear the feeling I'm inevitably going to fall down the rabbit hole with similar thought experiments trying to better empathise with Sephiroth, Scarlet, Heidegger, Hojo, old avalanche, Don Corneo *yuk* and all other 'enemies' where will it end.... empathy for Jenova most likely (I was already halfway there for the lonely ol' alien, she's just misunderstood) :D
 
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Lex

Administrator
Yeah that's fucking disgusting and it's been going on for months since the fake leaks and the real leaks happened.

There are so many facets to the discussion surrounding this game it's really frustrating as a spectator who overall enjoyed the game but think it does deserve to be criticised for some aspects, but it gets lost in a sea of hate.

- People who are trolling
- Far right "go woke get broke" loonballs
- Pure homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism from people who haven't even played the game
- People constantly claiming that Abby is trans because they read fake leaks
- Neil Druckmann and Troy Baker not doing the discourse any favours by generally blowing smoke up their own assholes/ attacking Jason Schreier

Then there's the legitimate reviews/ criticisms which are just drowned out by all that noise. It's the messiest shitstorm I think I've ever seen surrounding a video game, and it can all be traced back to one main thing: the unapologetic inclusion of minority characters (LGBTQ+, Jewish, non-standard representation of female characters). Like you could also say that it's due to the game's popularity, or substandard writing in some parts. But no, because if you took out every marginalised/ minority character from this game and replaced them with dudebros NONE OF THIS HATE WOULD BE HAPPENING. Or it would at least be far more muted. People are fucking gross.
 
AKA
Rishi
I want to say it might be best to try and discuss this game while ignoring the bigots. It becomes tricky when it seems like much of the game seems like it was crafted in order to give a specific demographic the middle finger.

I'm not trying to dismiss the horrendous stuff thats being levied at the devs, but I also get the impression that this was the response they were envisioning? I guess nothing can really prepare for how badly people react to this kind of stuff. I think the discomfort I'm having with the representation question is that... Naughty Dog knew a certain type of person would be playing this game. Sometimes it seems like the game is so focused on alienating that audience, that it loses everyone else in the conversation. I think that is perhaps purposeful to some extent, since that's essentially what its message of what ongoing violence does to people, isn't it?

Idk. I'm pretty much on the same page as to what the game is trying to get at, but I also can't help but have some feeling about how it fumbles its approach. It really badly wants to do a good job with respectful inclusion, but it's also really swept up in its own anti-gamergate rage that it almost becomes too much about that?
 
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