Thoughts The Last of Us 2 (spoilers) (1 Viewer)

kodoku

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so....... after waiting for 7 years, many people are disappointed in the sequel.......... but me? I. adore. it. I mean, get it, alright? it's a bit messy sometimes, maybe even a little confusing to some, there might be too many flashbacks and blah blah.. I don't care at all..... the visuals, the voice acting, the characters, the music, and yes even the story - I absolutely love (and I've sort of completely and hopelessly fallen in love with Ellie idk guys.. she's beautiful to me, her strength, her eyes, even her voice......) but yeah I love the theme of revenge and there's a powerful message here..... in this horrible, ugly, and crooked world.. we all fight for those we love and try to protect them.. but so do our enemies.. they are human too, they know about the pain of loss as well, and at some point we must choose to rise above the hatred and revenge and choose to move forward, to move towards peace for both them and us because too many lives have been lost, too much blood has been spilled and too many tears have been shed.... it's beautiful, it touched my heart, I love it <3
 

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I completely understand why some people love it. But the game was way too decisive and perhaps the writers should have considered just how much this game would have split their entire fandom. Especially for any future games in the franchise.

This will be a long post as to my own personal perspective and view on the game. I apoligise in advance, but I want to get my point across as to show my fair criticism of the writing.

SPOILERS:

I'm one of those that didn't like it. The killing of Joel wasn't the problem at all. He was a cold man, but then he had lost his family and world to the virus. He witnessed his world change and he changed with it. Until he met Ellie. He eventually considered her his daughter. He became compassionate again. And saved her from the Fireflies because he didn't want to loose her to a small chance she could have saved the Human race.

So when the second game begins with virtually the immediate death of Joel, I wouldn't have minded but for the nature of it. It was brutal, and the torture is what gets me. I liked Joel a lot, so seeing his death in such a manner hit me hard. I disliked Abby from that moment. If she had shot Joel, fine. But the vicious and brutal nature shown players that this woman was not very nice at all.

With Ellie witnessing Joel's death and going after Abby for her own revenge, Ellie kills SO many people. Most of which did NOT really deserve death for Abby's actions. These were normal, even good people. Ellie even tortured a dying woman for information, essentially becoming Abby. Ellie became the bad guy, without a doubt. And to go on this revenge mission, she left her lover and child behind!

And come the end, Ellie lets Abby go. Ellie was beaten and completely broken come the end which isn't surprising. But her revenge mission was all for nothing. Those people she killed was for nothing! Also, at no point did I start to feel that I liked Abby. And when she said "good" when she was told Dina was pregnant and thus wanted to slit her throat, I despised the character. Who revels in killing a pregnant woman?! (The fact Abby didn't just because Lev told he not too was out of character I feel. Or maybe Abby realised Lev is all she has now. Still, I didn't care. Abby WANTED to do it until Lev spoke).

The very slow pace and constant flashbacks, even flashback with flashback ruined the momentum of the story telling. It dragged and slugged along for me personally.

It was a brave attempt at a strong and emotional story from the writers. But there is a fine line between being brave and stupid. They could have explored the relationship between Joel and Ellie more with whatever direction they wanted for the second game, but they decided to kill off one main character and completely break the other down. I don't feel like there can be a big enough redemption story for Ellie in the future. Where can she go and what can she do to make amends for the many innocent people she has killed and even tortured for nothing?

The only positive thing I can say, is I hope more writers think about making a story that shows more than one side. I'm not against playing a "dark/bad character" at all. I play RPG's where I play as a dark/evil character on some playthroughs etc. Playing a game with multiple view points and stories would add a new depth to games.

But Naughty Dog didn't come close to doing it right. Too slow paced, Story was too convoluted (with the flashbacks), split context that didn't help their character development too much, and an overall wasted revenge message as it ended in a pointless stale mate. As a result of their "bravery", Naughty Dog have divided their fanbase, which isn't really something to be proud about. You can't please everyone, sure, but to split it so evenly down the middle is ridiculous. I personally don't want anything more to do with TLOU. I don't want to play Ellie anymore as she is lost on me, and I don't care for Abby. Many others feel that way too, so any future game will see a lot of lost sales on account of people losing interest in the franchise.
 
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kodoku

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I completely understand why some people love it. But the game was way too decisive and perhaps the writers should have considered just how much this game would have split their entire fandom. Especially for any future games in the franchise.

This will be a long post as to my own personal perspective and view on the game. I apoligise in advance, but I want to get my point across as to show my fair criticism of the writing.

SPOILERS:

I'm one of those that didn't like it. The killing of Joel wasn't the problem at all. He was a cold man, but then he had lost his family and world to the virus. He witnessed his world change and he changed with it. Until he met Ellie. He eventually considered her his daughter. He became compassionate again. And saved her from the Fireflies because he didn't want to loose her to a small chance she could have saved the Human race.

So when the second game begins with virtually the immediate death of Joel, I wouldn't have minded but for the nature of it. It was brutal, and the torture is what gets me. I liked Joel a lot, so seeing his death in such a manner hit me hard. I disliked Abby from that moment. If she had shot Joel, fine. But the vicious and brutal nature shown players that this woman was not very nice at all.

With Ellie witnessing Joel's death and going after Abby for her own revenge, Ellie kills SO many people. Most of which did NOT really deserve death for Abby's actions. These were normal, even good people. Ellie even tortured a dying woman for information, essentially becoming Abby. Ellie became the bad guy, without a doubt. And to go on this revenge mission, she left her lover and child behind!

And come the end, Ellie lets Abby go. Ellie was beaten and completely broken come the end which isn't surprising. But her revenge mission was all for nothing. Those people she killed was for nothing! Also, at no point did I start to feel that I liked Abby. And when she said "good" when she was told Dina was pregnant and thus wanted to slit her throat, I despised the character. Who revels in killing a pregnant woman?! (The fact Abby didn't just because Lev told he not too was out of character I feel. Or maybe Abby realised Lev is all she has now. Still, I didn't care. Abby WANTED to until Lev spoke).

The very slow pace and constant flashbacks, even flashback with flashback ruined the momentum of the story telling. It dragged and slugged along for me personally.

It was a brave attempt at a strong and emotional story from the writers. But there is a fine line between being brave and stupid. They could have explored the relationship between Joel and Ellie more with whatever direction they wanted for the second game, but they decided to kill off one main character and completely break the other down. I don't feel like there can be a big enough redemption story for Ellie in the future. Where can she go and what can she do to make amends for the many innocent people she has killed and even tortured for nothing?

The only positive thing I can say, is I hope more writers think about making a story that shows more than one side. I'm not against playing a "dark/bad character" at all. I play RPG's where I play as a dark/evil character on some playthroughs etc. Playing a game with multiple view points and stories would add a new depth to games.

But Naughty Dog didn't come close to doing it right. Too slow paced, Story was too convoluted (with the flashbacks), split context that didn't help their character development too much, and an overall wasted revenge message as it ended in a pointless stale mate. As a result of their "bravery", Naughty Dog have divided their fanbase, which isn't really something to be proud about. You can't please everyone, sure, but to split it so evenly down the middle is ridiculous. I personally don't want anything more to do with TLOU. I don't want to play Ellie anymore as she is lost on me, and I don't care for Abby. Many other feel that was too, so any future game will see alot of lost sales on account of people losing interest in the franchise.
very interesting and valid points, thanks for your great and detailed reply! I agree with some things you've said too, it's super cool hearing your little review and I very much get where you're coming from :) I'm not gonna get too into it since everyone has their own opinion ofc... just wanna say I remember a lot of people having a problem with the ending of the original game too when I really loved it, because it was not typical and it was brave and unique and heartbreakingly human.. Joel's decision to throw everything away, to sacrifice it all just to save this one person who was the entire world to him, it was human and relatable imo.... and this feeling remained in me as I watched the second game as well and I love that, this game has heart and isn't typical, it isn't ideal and not everything every character does makes sense in an obvious or satisfying way.. to me however, I found beauty and meaning in each of them.. yes it was ultimately all for nothing and simply pointless (although I feel like there's a lesson learned and an important message there) but the reason I like that (just like how I liked the ending of the first game) is because that's how the real world and life are too, and us humans.. we are messy, lost, confused.. we go back and forth and change our minds, idk I really felt it all.... I understand so yeah that's the main reason I love both the first and second game, this very thing that causes many people to dislike them.. again, thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts :)
 

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very interesting and valid points, thanks for your great and detailed reply! I agree with some things you've said too, it's super cool hearing your little review and I very much get where you're coming from :) I'm not gonna get too into it since everyone has their own opinion ofc... just wanna say I remember a lot of people having a problem with the ending of the original game too when I really loved it, because it was not typical and it was brave and unique and heartbreakingly human.. Joel's decision to throw everything away, to sacrifice it all just to save this one person who was the entire world to him, it was human and relatable imo.... and this feeling remained in me as I watched the second game as well and I love that, this game has heart and isn't typical, it isn't ideal and not everything every character does makes sense in an obvious or satisfying way.. to me however, I found beauty and meaning in each of them.. yes it was ultimately all for nothing and simply pointless (although I feel like there's a lesson learned and an important message there) but the reason I like that (just like how I liked the ending of the first game) is because that's how the real world and life are too, and us humans.. we are messy, lost, confused.. we go back and forth and change our minds, idk I really felt it all.... I understand so yeah that's the main reason I love both the first and second game, this very thing that causes many people to dislike them.. again, thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts :)
TLOU2 certainly deserves Year End rewards (which a lot of people that share my view of the game will probably hate) as obviously my perspective is one based more on subjective feelings rather than an objective look at the tough message to be learnt from the game. There is so much the industry can learn from Naughty Dog here for sure, and hopefully the gaming industry starts to push deep narrative stories that doesn't just focus on one character, of which is usually made to be a "hero" protagonist.

The game pushed boundaries and held a very Human tone throughout. A dark and brutal tone, one set in an apocalyptic setting where people are just looking to survive and hold on to and fight for every little thing they have. Objectively, Abby and Ellie did what they had too. What they felt they need to. And it deserves the acclaim it gets. :).
 
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kodoku

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TLOU2 certainly deserves Year End rewards (which a lot of people that share my view of the game will probably hate) as obviously my perspective is one based more on subjective feelings rather than an objective look at the tough message to be learnt from the game. There is so much the industry can learn from Naughty Dog here for sure, and hopefully the gaming industry starts to push deep narrative stories that doesn't just focus on one character, of which is usually made to be a "hero" protagonist.

The game pushed boundaries and held a very Human tone throughout. A dark and brutal tone, one set in an apocalyptic setting where people are just looking to survive and hold on to and fight for every little thing they have. Objectively, Abby and Ellie did what they had too. What they felt they need to. And it deserves the acclaim it gets. :).
agree so much and yeah, I'm not blind to the game's flaws either but overall I really love it because of the emotional aspect of it all and the meaning it bears which like you said, is subjective, and just something I personally care about the most hehe.. :D
 

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Full disclosure -- I didn't buy and play the game. I'm someone who was happily spoiled and watched other people play when it came out.

For me, it's story over everything. Many games have amazing graphics today so while that's a definite plus, if I don't like the story, it's a bust for me. There were plot holes. There were poor character decisions (though, I argue that those "poor decisions" could have been justified with better storytelling... but that's subjective too. I've seen many people praise the story -- not 10/10 guppies, but folks that gave an alternate view to the detractors). Personally, there was a feeling of pointlessness by the end (all that for nothing -- but even that could be a good thing, story-wise. I can't tell you how many post-apoc movies I've seen that left you with a sense of hopelessness or overwhelming loss, that tore out your heart and gave you no reprieve. So while I didn't personally like it, that doesn't mean that it's a 0/10 lol.... sorry, I'm all over the place. I don't have a point). I also think I'm spoiled by games like Heavy Rain (which had over 20 different endings). I like the idea of having a choice. I want the choice to make Ellie's final decision that she made in the game. I want to choice to do the opposite. I think with a game this divisive, that would have been a great appeal. CHOICE.

That being said, I think some folk are hating to be hating to the nth degree because of the foolishness "Disobedient Canine"/Neil/Sony were doing leading up to this release (and continuing afterward). As in, people being hit with DMCA's for discussing the game before it came out, people being DMCA'd before AND after the release due to memes, people being actually suspended from Twitter over said memes, etc. At this point, I'm not sure where the hatred of the company ends and the dislike/hatred of the game begins.

AND THIS MAY BE UNPOPULAR, BUT THE IDEA OF FOLKS NOT LIKING SOMETHING BECAUSE OF A "STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER" OR AN "LGBTQ+ CHARACTER" NEEDS TO DIE. Some may feel that way, but seriously... The DLC where it was revealed Ellie was gay? It made a drop. Not a splash. Some folks were confused but were like, "Oh, okay." Like, around the parts I frequented it wasn't a big thing? But that's just my experience. People wanted to play with Ellie and Joel for this game, end of. They were excited to continue playing with Ellie. Many people didn't wanna play with Abby -- while there were plenty of jokes about her being "brolic" (which is as far as I'ma go with that), most of it had to do with her killing a fan favorite and just not caring about her in general. She was a character made to be divisive and hated, a character that was, more or less, humanized during your time playing with her, but a character that most people still didn't care for even after seeing her backstory and motivations. Some people like her, some people don't. That's life. Painting all consumers who don't like this game/that character with one broad brushstroke only brings more hate to your and your game. But oh well, gaming culture is toxic anyway, so it is what it is."
 
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Full disclosure -- I didn't buy and play the game. I'm someone who was happily spoiled and watched other people play when it came out.

For me, it's story over everything. Many games have amazing graphics today so while that's a definite plus, if I don't like the story, it's a bust for me. There were plot holes. There were poor character decisions (though, I argue that those "poor decisions" could have been justified with better storytelling... but that's subjective too. I've seen many people praise the story -- not 10/10 guppies, but folks that gave an alternate view to the detractors). Personally, there was a feeling of pointlessness by the end (all that for nothing -- but even that could be a good thing, story-wise. I can't tell you how many post-apoc movies I've seen that left you with a sense of hopelessness or overwhelming loss, that tore out your heart and gave you no reprieve. So while I didn't personally like it, that doesn't mean that it's a 0/10 lol.... sorry, I'm all over the place. I don't have a point). I also think I'm spoiled by games like Heavy Rain (which had over 20 different endings). I like the idea of having a choice. I want the choice to make Ellie's final decision that she made in the game. I want to choice to do the opposite. I think with a game this divisive, that would have been a great appeal. CHOICE.

That being said, I think some folk are hating to be hating to the nth degree because of the foolishness "Disobedient Canine"/Neil/Sony were doing leading up to this release (and continuing afterward). As in, people being hit with DMCA's for discussing the game before it came out, people being DMCA'd before AND after the release due to memes, people being actually suspended from Twitter over said memes, etc. At this point, I'm not sure where the hatred of the company ends and the dislike/hatred of the game begins.

AND THIS MAY BE UNPOPULAR, BUT THE IDEA OF FOLKS NOT LIKING SOMETHING BECAUSE OF A "STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER" OR AN "LGBTQ+ CHARACTER" NEEDS TO DIE. Some may feel that way, but seriously... The DLC where it was revealed Ellie was gay? It made a drop. Not a splash. Some folks were confused but were like, "Oh, okay." Like, around the parts I frequented it wasn't a big thing? But that's just my experience. People wanted to play with Ellie and Joel for this game, end of. They were excited to continue playing with Ellie. Many people didn't wanna play with Abby -- while there were plenty of jokes about her being "brolic" (which is as far as I'ma go with that), most of it had to do with her killing a fan favorite and just not caring about her in general. She was a character made to be divisive and hated, a character that was, more or less, humanized during your time playing with her, but a character that most people still didn't care for even after seeing her backstory and motivations. Some people like her, some people don't. That's life. Painting all consumers who don't like this game/that character with one broad brushstroke only brings more hate to your and your game. But oh well, gaming culture is toxic anyway, so it is what it is."
Heavy Rainnnnn and ah yes I love choices in games, but those that actually matter ofc......... :)
 
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