Forums - Sony Discussion - (SPOILER ALERT) Free discussion of TLOU2 with story included

Tagged games:

How do you rate TLOU2 story

1 8 15.69%
 
2 1 1.96%
 
3 5 9.80%
 
4 3 5.88%
 
5 5 9.80%
 
6 6 11.76%
 
7 3 5.88%
 
8 4 7.84%
 
9 6 11.76%
 
10 10 19.61%
 
Total:51
theprof00 said:
Ok so I've been playing as abby for a couple hours, and you know I gotta agree.
The story would have worked better if right after Nora, you switched to abby. Would have been much more powerful to know that the next time you kill someone as Ellie, you're inevitably going to see how they were as a person.
Other than that, is Abby the reason people are talking about trans characters?

I think they should have started weaving her in just after the TV station and paced out the sequences nice and tightly. 



 

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KratosLives said:
someone please explain why owen called abby a philistine.

bible.

=]

You can use philistine to describe people or organizations who you think do not care about or understand the value of good art, music, or literature



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John2290 said:
Playing the first game again and it's tarnished knowing Ellie grows up to be such a cunt.

That is a hard take. She is just a kid, and a kid that has lived through some insane events. Many people go through growing pains in real life, and make emotionally driven choices. What she goes through in TLOUPII does not define her as a person for the rest of her life, just as no single event in Joel's life defined him as a person. Most people grow and change over time. The true mark of person is the receipt of all their actions throughout their life.

Ellie is not a bad person, she is a broken person. There is a difference. Same as Joel. Joel did horrible things after Sara died, and he did a horrible thing to save Ellie, but he is not a bad person. In fact, Joel became an outstanding person in his final years, which this game celebrates him for. However, it also showed that he had to pay the price for the bad things he had done in his past. Ellie still has an oppertunity to find a purpose, and grow from her expriences in this game. 

The point I am trying to make is you can not give up on Ellie, or anyone in that matter, just because of bad choices they make. Even more so, when those choices are made due to dramatic, emotion driven consequences like we see here. Nor can you clean the slate of the good things they have done, and the good times you have had with them. Letting bad events poison the memories of good events is a dangerous road to go down. That is how we loose touch with history. We have to remember the good times for what they were, the bad times for what they were, while also being able to put an overall rememberance on the whole picture. 



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Leynos said:

I just gotta say Druckman has surpassed David Cage of being so up his own ass in narcissism. He put himself in the game twice.

Spoiler!

Once with this and an anal doggy style sex scene with Abby.

Not seen anything in games as cringe as these two things.

One of these things didn't happen.  

EnricoPallazzo said:
sales2099 said:

Then you fell for the narrative tricks ND did. You make Ellie do certain things when you play as her. Now compare to what you do as Abby when you played as her. It comes across very one sided. ND wants you to like her despite her past. 

(was this vague enough not to do a spoiler tag? I hope so) 

Just compare how you treat the dogs between both narratives. Subtle but they tried.

Well at least the lesbian love scenes are much better than the "hetero" scene.

Um no.  If what you got out of this game was one person was bad and the other was good, you've completely misunderstood the entire story.  



KBG29 said:
John2290 said:
Playing the first game again and it's tarnished knowing Ellie grows up to be such a cunt.

That is a hard take. She is just a kid, and a kid that has lived through some insane events. Many people go through growing pains in real life, and make emotionally driven choices. What she goes through in TLOUPII does not define her as a person for the rest of her life, just as no single event in Joel's life defined him as a person. Most people grow and change over time. The true mark of person is the receipt of all their actions throughout their life.

Ellie is not a bad person, she is a broken person. There is a difference. Same as Joel. Joel did horrible things after Sara died, and he did a horrible thing to save Ellie, but he is not a bad person. In fact, Joel became an outstanding person in his final years, which this game celebrates him for. However, it also showed that he had to pay the price for the bad things he had done in his past. Ellie still has an oppertunity to find a purpose, and grow from her expriences in this game. 

The point I am trying to make is you can not give up on Ellie, or anyone in that matter, just because of bad choices they make. Even more so, when those choices are made due to dramatic, emotion driven consequences like we see here. Nor can you clean the slate of the good things they have done, and the good times you have had with them. Letting bad events poison the memories of good events is a dangerous road to go down. That is how we loose touch with history. We have to remember the good times for what they were, the bad times for what they were, while also being able to put an overall rememberance on the whole picture. 

The thing is good and bad is all perspective. To the people who kills and slaughters their friends and family and people they are bad. Hence why we get to see the story from the 'villains' point of view.

Two wrongs don't make a right and unfortunately like violence is in real life there really isn't a good outcome from it. Out of the bleak world like the TLOU it comes down the the people to make the most of what they have. Joel has done some terrible thing and couldn't escape his past, and thus igniting the circle of hate and violence. Ellie broke that at the end of the game.

We see this throughout the whole game where each side of the war between groups are very normal people who are products of their environment. Some outliers are just crazies, but there are always some in society :P

Last edited by hinch - on 04 July 2020

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iron_megalith said:

And this video sums up exactly what I thought about the game's story. It's exactly what I wanted to have instead of this bullshit half baked revenge story that completely fucking wastes everyone's time. The essentials for a following up on the first game were clearly their.

Spoiler!
Honestly, I was actually giving a pass to Joel's dumb ass behavior here that actually got him killed. Years of survival instincts had help him to survive for more than 2 decades. And then he does this one convenient careless shit that gets him killed. He was able to tell an ambush in TLOU1 while he walks into this one like he's asking for it?

I understand that he may have changed throughout the years, but this complete trust in total strangers without any caution at all was just baffling. The same shit applies to Tommy as well. I refuse to believe that Jackson never gets raided by bandits just like in TLOU1. Him just freely inviting them was actually pretty fucking stupid.

I also cannot fucking stress why it was so frustrating to see the message in TLOU1's ending just to be forgotten like that and not really carry on in TLOU2.

Spoilers. 

The entire game comes off directly because of the ending of the first game.  What are you talking about?

taus90 said:
Bonzinga said:

I am definilty not saying Joel shouldnt die. Abby has every reason to put him away, thats by far and large not the issue here.

The issue was how it was implemented. Joel is a survivor, he shows this in the first game, yet now he just all of a sudden lets his gaurd down.. characters like these need better send offs, there was no fight, no courage, just a stupid move of Joel trusting strangers.

There needs to be character build up to Abby, there was none, and that scene set the mood for the entire game. Majority still didnt like playing Abby or thinks her motives were earnt. 

Personslly, I dont agree with Ellie letting her go, maybe if Abby only killed her friends but she personally watched what she did to her father figure and why this story needed to end her. The game felt hollow at the end, like it needed some resolve. That is an opinion of ours.

Just to add to bozinga 

Joel was morally corrupt in the first game and ellie was his chance of regaining what was lost.. yes in greater scheme of things that's selfish and wrong but that was the cruz of the last of us.. which took almost 10hrs to show why you shouldn't feel bad about joels decision.

If in first game Joel's action was handled in similar way as Abby's.. Starting of killing the doctors and ruining every chance society to rebuild itself.. we wouldnt have considered last of US as masterpiece.

The problem with TloU2 is neil druckmann and Shanon woodward got complacent and probably thought hey lets break the rule of story telling, which is 3 act structure.. setup, Confrontation and conclusion, in that order, but instead we got 

Confrontation - Joels death was the conflict but falls flat due to no setup of why he deserved to die, rest alone in that manner..

Setup- Abby was directly thrown into confrontation, (no character setup or situation setup)

Conclusion - this entire thing got lost when writer didn't know who's story deserved conclusion.. what players should feel towards Abby.

it would have been a much better story if we started playing as Abby recruiting the team on quest to finding joel. and show why she hated joel so much and it was not just because of her father but there were many things joel and we as a player did in the first game that would deconstruct joel in our mind.. and then setup a confrontation with abby, we as a player fighting as joel along with tommy to give player the sense that joels death was our doing. and then from that we would have had ellie's journey on revenge and the conclusion which we got would have made much more sense..

P.S Scars was pointless to the story..

No it's pretty clear how we are supposed to feel about Abby.  

Also your conflict, setup, and conclusion are wrong. 

The setup is Joel's death.  

The conflict is between Abby and Ellie. 

iron_megalith said:
theprof00 said:

I have a really hard time taking these criticisms seriously. 
@bozinga - I don't understand the whole "Joel suddenly became stupid" argument. Abby liked and was thankful to Joel. They weren't luring him into a trap- It's nothing like the first game with the scavenger in the street. That scavenger was a "bait". Conversely, Abby wasn't baiting Joel. she actually was about to die. So to Joel, there wouldn't be any reason for suspicion. He just saved her life. I don't see 'this person might turn around and kill me' to be a logical forethought. Perhaps he should have been more cautious, but consider this: Had joel been any other person, he wouldn't have been killed. Logically, the only real argument you can make is that it was stupid to say his own name. However, we've seen in almost any movie or literature on survival, going from difficult conditions to comfortable (living in a town that grew to hundreds within 4 years and are all friends) tends to make people let their guard down. You're entitled to think that Joel's stupidity was just a poorly written plot device, but it's definitely up for debate and you're point is not as singularly convincing as you seem to think. 

Furthermore, the whole setup-confrontation-conclusion argument you brought up hinges on you accurately identifying the story elements. You say that the story is all backwards and mixed up and doesn't make sense. But there are hundreds, if not thousands of revenge stories that are written with a similar type of setup.
-In Kill Bill, you have no idea who Bill is and why he killed the bride or why she wants revenge.
-In The Gladiator, Maximus is an actual war hero and is given heirship to Rome by the terminally ill emperor whose son then kills Maximus' whole family in a bid to steal the throne.
-In Hanna, you have no idea why the government comes and tries to kill her father. all you know is hanna goes bonkers and starts killing everyone. 
-In OldBoy, the story starts of with the lead being kidnapped and tortured and we have no idea why until things play out and you find out the main dude is actually a huge PoS.
-Do I even need to bring up Darth Vader in star Wars being Luke's father? Does anyone really need to see Anakin's life story before I can understand why Vader is so insistent on capturing Luke? 

You say that we need to see Abby's story before we see her kill Joel, but do we really? We PLAYED the first game. We know how bad Joel is. For all I care, the first game IS Abby's exposition. 

Joel is a villain- Despite bonding with him, or liking him, or even agreeing with his actions. Joel is a villain.
When Ellie asks how Joel knew about the trap he responds, "I've been on both sides". He's trapped and killed innocent people EVEN BEFORE he ever meets Ellie.  Regardless of making ends meet or surviving, we also see his moral failures towards the end, wherein Joel offers just go back home and Ellie replies,
"
if I don't go through with this, then everything we've done.. everyone we've lost...it's all for nothing"
Joel then kills the entire hospital, the resistance, Marlene, and condemns humanity. Joel betrays and dishonors everyone you met in the game, all bc he wants to keep Ellie to himself.

TLOU is great game specifically due to how the narrative induces compassion for Joel's journey.... If you honestly need more exposition to understand Abby's motives at that part of the game, then I'm afraid to say that it's pretty obvious why. You didn't understand the last of us

Playing through it myself, I was also surprised that Abby was out for revenge. I wrongly assumed that since she was kind of normal and I had been playing as her, she would be a good guy. What's more interesting is that even now, I can't think of a reason to say Abby was wrong to kill Joel. AFAIK, Abby's story begins 4 years earlier when Joel kills her father. AFAIK, Abby could actually be the hero of her own story, climaxing with her killing the target of her vengeance. If you think about it, Ellie's journey in TLOU2 is Abby's exposition. Abby is just Ellie from the future, if you understand my meaning. The difference being that Abby didn't spare her target and Ellie does. 

The way you described how the story should have been written, we should have played out an entire story of Abby's revenge and then played out Ellie's revenge. Honestly, I can't think of anything more tedious or boring than having to play out the same plot twice.

You are merely projecting your logic into the matter but don't really have anything concrete to back that up. It's not that Joel cannot trust people, but it is clear he does not let his guard down that easily. Case in point, when Joel meets Henry and Sam. It took them a while before he completely trusted them. For Abby and her friends, it was almost instantaneous. Why he did so is everyone's guess.

However, I kinda see what they may have wanted to portray with this current Joel. Joel has or is trying to move on. His house was filled with things that he likes. He seems to be respected by the people in the town judging by all the flowers people left at his home. Seems like he may be trying be a better person. Not just to Ellie but to everyone else. But without having anything solid to bridge us from TLOU1 Joel and the current Joel, it comes out severely lacking in context and just forces people to formulate theories. I enjoy a story that has a continuous flow. These flash backs served nothing but just force context to conveniently support the events that was happening or is about to happen. It's also one of the things that hurts the pacing so bad.

If you are having a hard time taking the criticisms pertaining to Joel's death seriously, a lot of people are way ahead of you as people like me can't take anything in this game's story seriously with how bad it is.

Spoilers:

Joel and Tommy are driven into the building by a horde of infected.  Their life was just saved by these guys.  

Even then, if you actually watch how Joel acts you can see he's not letting his guard down.  It's Tommy who is being friendly and offering up assistance.  Joel on the other hand is noticeably stressed out.  

Last edited by the-pi-guy - on 04 July 2020

ClassicGamingWizzz said:
ClassicGamingWizzz said:
Neil druckman Said If There is a part 3 Ellie should BE in it in the kindafunny spoilarcast.

I need a happy ending for Ellie🥺

Part 3 need to BE Ellie finding a porpurse to live like Abby found on part 2 with Lev and the fireflies.

if i had to guess i think part 3 will be more about abby and the fireflys i believe ellie will sacrifice her self for the vaccine in part 3



                                                             

                                                                      Play Me

What follows will be a copy/paste of the contents of the promised thread about this game I made last night. I'm re-posting the contents here because that thread was locked on the grounds that "We don’t need another topic on this game." I was advised to put the contents here on this thread. Sorry for the repetition, but I went to WAY too much effort to write all that yesterday to have it just invisibilized and forgotten like that. Way too much effort to just be wasted. Therefore, without further adieu, here is the re-post:

WARNING: IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO DISCUSS MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS GAME WITHOUT SPOILING LOTS OF STUFF THROUGHOUT AND I HAVE NO INTENTION OF SPOILER TAGGING THIS WHOLE POST'S CONTENTS, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T COMPLETED THE GAME, PLEASE GO DO SO FIRST PROCEEDING. ALSO, THIS MAY BE A VERY LONG POST.

Last week I promised to start a thread discussing my general thoughts on The Last of Us Part II after I'd finished the game and organized my thoughts, and a number of you either up-voted that post or otherwise voiced interest. Well I've now completed the game and tried to organize my thoughts...but it's become clear to me that organizing my thoughts about this game will be impossible because I have too many and neither can even seriously try to give voice to them all because it would go on forever, so I'm just gonna write this in a stream of consciousness kind of fashion, running through the first thoughts that come to my mind. I think it'll work out better that way.

The first thing I wanna to do is discuss my two favorite scenes in this game.

My favorite scene was the whole part after Abby and Ellie's first fight where Ellie and Dina are living in the farmhouse and raising J.J. together. I don't know how to put into words how getting to experience that as Ellie, to be able to move around and interact with Dina and J.J. and the sheep and just like simulate leading a normal family life. ...I mean I got to interact with my actual fantasy in earnest in a video game for the first time ever! I mean that's like what I dream of: being able to be a wife and a mom and just lead a normal life that way. Just those simple sorts of things that most people take for granted. Plus I got to be in the one in the kitchen with Dina. (For non-American readers, that's a banal Americanism I just referenced there.) Anyway, I've never seen that in a video game before; like two women starting a family together. Not at all like this anyway. That was really, really special. Honestly, I was crying just about the whole time throughout all of that because even when it got dark, Dina was there to help pull Ellie through. That's the kind of thing that, in real life, pushes people, including dates, away from me. Things like my PTSD and lucid nightmares and depression invariably wind up being too much baggage for others to want to deal with. I try to manage them, but the simple reality is that they still get in the way a lot and my relationships don't last very long as a result. I'm 38 years old now. It's really starting to feel like there is nobody for me and I'll just have to go through the rest of my life alone. I need a minute.

Okay. Anyway, speaking of all this, Dina is definitely my favorite character in this game. I mean Ellie is the character who's personality most resembles mine, but Dina's my favorite character, easily. That's because she gets what real love is. She's there for Ellie almost unconditionally, not just when it's easy and fun. During Ellie's missions, I came to really look forward to her return trips to the theater. The days were grueling and traumatizing for Ellie, but they ended with tender moments of healing that were among the game's sweetest and most powerful moments to me.

All that said, I connected to Ellie most in this story. In that connection, I think needs to be said is that both of my parents have passed away. I know what that is. It's fresh on my mind, in fact, because the anniversary of my mom's death occurred recently and yeah, anniversaries are still quite difficult for me. I was closer to my mom, so that's the more painful anniversary to me. I loved my dad too, but that relationship was even more complex because he was no Joel. (My dad fought in the Vietnam War and never really recovered. He suffered from PTSD and wound up as a sometimes abusive alcoholic. We had our times together, but it was complicated.) The honest truth of the matter is that Joel is a positive father-like figure that I feel like I never really had. For this reason, losing him in this game hurt. A lot. When my mom died, I couldn't sleep for days and could barely eat for weeks. It was all I could think about and I couldn't stop thinking about it. There was a whole stage where I wanted nothing more than someone living I could blame and take my anger out on. If there had been someone clearly responsible, it would've taken an army to keep that person safe from me. So you'd better believe I get where Ellie is coming from here. Personally.

Abby is actually an awesome character too, and her story arc impressed me! I especially adored the whole complex thing that went on between her and Owen and Mel. Her arc is sort of like Ellie's in reverse in a way. Ellie sort of goes from being a good character to more of a villain, while Abby goes from being a villain to being more like a Joel-type character who's driven by her care for a child in Lev, and the whole thing with Owen serves opens the door to that path for her. She winds up as among the most genuinely good-hearted characters in the game. Too good, in fact, for me to relate to her the most. For most of my life I've tended to connect more with either villainous or other very flawed characters in fiction media mostly because I've fucked up and done the wrong things a lot in life and because those characters tend to lose, which has long, long felt like the tendency and trajectory of my own life.

Getting back to where I had been going with my last remarks before getting sidetracked on the topic of Abby though, in spite of feeling like I genuinely understood Ellie's position, I wasn't on board with her decision to leave her new life with Dina and Potato and Ewgene at the farmhouse behind. Part of me understands why she made that decision, but at that point I really, really just wanted to stay there forever and felt really sorry for the longsuffering Dina who has been nothing but unselfish. I think narratively it was the course that needed to be taken to fully get the game's point across, but it still hurt to go through. Dina of all people deserved much better than that. I wanted to stay and try harder to work through.

My second favorite scene in the game was the memory where Joel takes Ellie to the museum. There was a whole period of my childhood when dinosaurs were absolutely my shit. It went from being like whales to snakes to dinosaurs to Godzilla, in that order of obsessions. I read everything I could about them, watched science videos about them (having to fast-forward through the parts about e-v-o-l-u-t-i-o-n and the Earth being more than 8,000 years old because my parents insisted that stuff was lies), and all but forced my mom to take us to the natural history museum where they had dinosaur bone exhibits and stuff like practically every weekend for quite some time, which we had to make a whole day of each time because it was so far away. (It also helped that they furthermore had an awesome omnimax theater where they'd show short educational films about topics like lava in a way that felt like being on a ride through a volcano. And the planetarium was right there too!) I'd have fun by chasing my friends pretending to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex hunting down some wimpy vegan dinos. And yes, the original Jurassic Park was like my favorite movie for at least a year after my dad took me to see it. And yar, I too was confused about why they were being called "velociraptors" and other technical stuff (e.g. T-Rex vision was NOT based on movement, people). It was thus that I learned about a thing called "artistic license". Anyway, that part brought back all kinds of those happy memories that I loved revisiting.

I also really enjoyed getting to see Ellie pretend to take off into space. When I was a kid, my first career aspiration was that I wanted to grow up to be a train engineer or a train conductor, one of the two. Then I wanted to be a snake catcher. Then I wanted to be a paleontologist for a while and that stuck for years. I once thought about the magic of space travel too, but the movie Apollo 13 pretty much cured me of that particular want. But anyway, what it (the pretend flight in the game, not Apollo 13) conveyed was the idealism of youth. When you're young, you can't wait to be grown because you think you're going to do all these amazing, history-altering things. You dream of things like going on grand adventures and revolutionizing fields of human endeavor (or of devouring your friends). Then you wake up one day to discover that you wound up a punch-clock worker instead and have to navigate a horrible thing called r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y and start wishing you were a kid again. ...Okay I've gotten kinda lost in my train of thought here, but where I was trying to go with all that was just to say that it made feel like a kid again for a while and I really liked that.

Those were among the top highlights of the game for me. I was captivated by the experience overall though, not just those standout parts. And I mean including things like the outstanding soundtrack and the basic design of the game. AAA adventure games these days seem to be heavily gravitating toward open-world formats, but this game makes only secondary concessions to such demands, opening up its levels just enough for them to feel more life-like, but not enough to have the plausible potential of disrupting the pacing of the narrative. Retaining this semi-classical type of game design where you have relatively linear levels that are connected by cinematic scenes here at a point in the history of this medium where it's going increasingly out of fashion pushes the balance of control over the player's experience in the direction of the developer's desires, enabling the artists to better tell the story they want to tell on their own terms. I think it works fantastically here! There's a sense of steadily building tension throughout each of the game's three acts that you simply wouldn't get in an open world play format with dialogue trees. I've seen the argument made that perhaps Abby's act should've come before Ellie's. I disagree. After Joel's murder, I needed time to grieve and Ellie's (first) act coming first gave me that time. Others have said Abby's story was non-essential and shouldn't have been included at all. I disagree with that too. There's no way that either confrontation between Ellie and Abby would've had anywhere as much emotional weight without us comprehending Abby's perspective. Neither would the game's message be as effective without the presentation of an alternative to Ellie's fate in the form of Abby's course.

That's not to say I liked just everything about The Last of Us Part II though. Most of all, I could've done without the stupid collectibles. You know, the trading cards and Abby's quarter collection. I mean I kinda felt like, okay, I remember what it was like to be young...I remember being into a trading card game called Magic: The Gathering for about a year in high school. I didn't have much money for that kind of thing, but I would steal booster boxes from stores sometimes. (Security measures back then weren't what they are today.) And superheroes are the popular shit today, so I guess part of me buys that Ellie could be into collecting trading cards for such a game. However, I really feel that Joel's death should've marked the end of that because it was a little jarring to find a trading card not too long after losing Joel and hearing Ellie be like "Yes!!" Different people process loss differently and all, but that just wouldn't have been my response. When I lost my parents -- especially my mom -- I couldn't think about anything else for some time. I couldn't play video games or anything. Just nothing that normally interested me still did. So I mean it's a minor and optional and really insignificant aspect of the game, but I thought that stuff like that felt out of place and generally divorced from the mood that the developer's were attempting to craft in the corresponding contexts.

Manny was also an unwelcome addition to the cast of characters for me; my least favorite. Not that there wasn't room in Abby's crew for an Hispanic character, but Manny struck me as really nothing more than a crude racial stereotype of how Latinos supposedly are. You know, he's a womanizer, he's obsessed with drinking, all that sort of thing. I found it annoying and lazy. I can't help wishing that more effort had been put into his characterization than that.

Okay, so I think many if not most of you by now know that I believe gender identity is bullshit and, to that end, I suspect may be wondering what my take on the character Lev and his arc was. (I'll refer to Lev with male pronouns because he's a fictional character and I figure that if I can suspend my disbelief in zombies and such for the purposes of a game, it then is only fair that I should also be able to suspend my disbelief in gender identity for purposes of absorbing the game on its own terms.) Well...being as Lev's entire character arc is his transness, as in he seems to have no other distinguishing characteristics besides being transgender, it seems very apparent to me that he was included purely in order to convince ignorant, narrow-minded religious bigots like me that gender identity is totes for real. Did it succeed? Noooooooope. If anything, it reinforced my pre-existing opinion that gender identity is simply a crude, anti-feminist way of resisting patriarchal social roles. Lev, it turns out, is male because he has shaved his head and wanted to be a soldier instead of the involuntary wife of a political leader. He is male, in other words, because he wishes to resist forced feminization. (As much only makes me all the more grateful for the game's inclusion of characters like Abby who get to be largely gender-nonconforming without having to be transgendered.)

One also can't help but notice that, even by the standards of this game's world, Lev's character arc stands out as uniquely dramatic. None of the people who question Lev's gender identity in this game are people, they're monsters. They all want him dead for being trans, including his own mother. I mean even that misogynist asshole who accosts Dina and Ellie for their sexuality is shown apologizing to the latter and gifting her sandwiches. (Get it? "Make me a sandwich" is an infamous refrain of sexist men, so Seth apologizes to Ellie by making her and Dina sandwiches. I found that chuckle-worthy anyway.) The message seems to be that you'd have to be a crazy religious psychopath who'd murder their own kid in cold blood to question gender identity. Yar. Somehow I's not sold by that rationale.

None of this is to say that there's no room for trans-identified characters in video games in my mind! It's all in the presentation, I think, if my love of Okami is any indication. Okami is a game promoting religious faith. I'm an atheist. I don't agree with all the logic presented in the game. But I've still fallen in love with the game anyway owing to its sheer sincerity and the beauty of its vision for the role of faith in the world. I don't have to actually agree with what a game is saying, if it's really saying anything, to love it! Similarly, as I've casually mentioned before, there's a PlayStation 5 game I'm really looking forward to playing in development called Goodbye Volcano High that narratively centers a non-binary character. And the main reason I'm interested in the game is precisely because...it narratively centers a non-binary character! That fact alone causes it to stand out in my mind as likely to feature a pretty unique storyline about a social phenom I remain curious about. I think it's important to retain an open-mind to the possibility of being wrong and continually seek to learn more. And whether or not I ever actually become convinced that gender identity is as real as someone's material sex, it'll still be worth the journey to see the world more fully from the perspective that says it is because it's one I simply don't currently understand very well. It's like with Okami: it's all in the presentation, I think. I just can't help feeling that something more could've been done with Lev as a character than was. The effort with regard to Lev just feels half-assed to me and it in turn adversely affects Yara's character arc too because her entire arc is built around her relationship to Lev.

Overall though, these are secondary qualms. Pretty much all games include some elements that don't sit perfectly with me. I appreciated this game's political even-handedness (I mean if we can think of Fedra as a right wing dictatorship, the WLF as a left wing dictatorship, the Seraphites as a sort of marriage of ISIS and deep green politics*), the efficacy of the way it steadily builds suspense and tension, and it's characters; especially Ellie's centrality and her characterization. Of all characters in video games, I'd say that Ellie is perhaps the one I most connect to. I mean I'm not a teenager anymore, but I was into punk when was one, I know what poverty and hunger are, I know what loss is, I am a loud-mouthed dyke, I hunt for food myself sometimes of necessity, I can relate to often making the wrong, human choices in life instead of the more rational and selfless ones, and I can relate to winding up seemingly alone in the world and to lots of other things about her, some of which I've already described above. And much more so than any of that, I appreciated the game's powerful message about how precious the simple things in life are and that we shouldn't be so anxious to risk them for memories or "justice", however we define it. That just really hit home for me. A lot of the games I love the most have similar themes about the importance of appreciating what you have in life rather than always living in the past or otherwise trying to undo things that can't be undone. It always hits home with me. The delivery here though stood out not just because the other examples are mostly smaller, independently-developed games, but more especially for its not-so-bittersweet-as-straight-up-unhappy conclusion. I mean the fact that Dina and J.J. are gone when Ellie returns after going after Abby a second time and she winds up totally alone in the world...which is pretty much where I am in life right now...and she can no longer even relive her memories of Joel anymore because of the consequences of the same aforementioned decision...yeah, this game's a tragedy straight up, but it needed to be to get that close to where I actually am right now and speak to me that directly and personally.

How would I score The Last of Us Part II on a scale of 0 to 10? I don't know, I don't really like doing numerical scores. Games mean more or less to me at different points in life based on what I'm going through at the time. Some endure more than others. You can be assured, however, that this game will appear in my top 10 of that 50 favorites list we do annually here, faring better than the original. As to exactly where yet, I'm undecided. I'll have to see how the game ages for me between now and then.

*BONUS: Observers of my profile details may have noticed that a book titled Deep Green Resistance appears on my list of favorite books. It's the at-length manifesto of an organization of the same name (not religious like the Seraphites) that calls for the abandonment of modern civilization on ecological grounds. Not sure I agree with all the contentions therein (if you know anything about the organization, you know that it is, in fact, a kind of personality cult), but the arguments are, incidentally, thought-provoking in a way I couldn't resist recommending.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 05 July 2020

just like ellie had to let go of getting her revenge and not killing abby i think you have to let go of joel i know its hard but the first game is still there to reply the remaster on ps4 is a really good port

if you dont do this its going to be really hard to enjoy tlou2



                                                             

                                                                      Play Me

Jaicee said:

What follows will be a copy/paste of the contents of the promised thread about this game I made last night. I'm re-posting the contents here because that thread was locked on the grounds that "We don’t need another topic on this game." I was advised to put the contents here on this thread. Sorry for the repetition, but I went to WAY too much effort to write all that yesterday to have it just invisibilized and forgotten like that. Way too much effort to just be wasted. Therefore, without further adieu, here is the re-post:

WARNING: IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO DISCUSS MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS GAME WITHOUT SPOILING LOTS OF STUFF THROUGHOUT AND I HAVE NO INTENTION OF SPOILER TAGGING THIS WHOLE POST'S CONTENTS, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T COMPLETED THE GAME, PLEASE GO DO SO FIRST PROCEEDING. ALSO, THIS MAY BE A VERY LONG POST.

Last week I promised to start a thread discussing my general thoughts on The Last of Us Part II after I'd finished the game and organized my thoughts, and a number of you either up-voted that post or otherwise voiced interest. Well I've now completed the game and tried to organize my thoughts...but it's become clear to me that organizing my thoughts about this game will be impossible because I have too many and neither can even seriously try to give voice to them all because it would go on forever, so I'm just gonna write this in a stream of consciousness kind of fashion, running through the first thoughts that come to my mind. I think it'll work out better that way.

The first thing I wanna to do is discuss my two favorite scenes in this game.

My favorite scene was the whole part after Abby and Ellie's first fight where Ellie and Dina are living in the farmhouse and raising J.J. together. I don't know how to put into words how getting to experience that as Ellie, to be able to move around and interact with Dina and J.J. and the sheep and just like simulate leading a normal family life. ...I mean I got to interact with my actual fantasy in earnest in a video game for the first time ever! I mean that's like what I dream of: being able to be a wife and a mom and just lead a normal life that way. Just those simple sorts of things that most people take for granted. Plus I got to be in the one in the kitchen with Dina. (For non-American readers, that's a banal Americanism I just referenced there.) Anyway, I've never seen that in a video game before; like two women starting a family together. Not at all like this anyway. That was really, really special. Honestly, I was crying just about the whole time throughout all of that because even when it got dark, Dina was there to help pull Ellie through. That's the kind of thing that, in real life, pushes people, including dates, away from me. Things like my PTSD and lucid nightmares and depression invariably wind up being too much baggage for others to want to deal with. I try to manage them, but the simple reality is that they still get in the way a lot and my relationships don't last very long as a result. I'm 38 years old now. It's really starting to feel like there is nobody for me and I'll just have to go through the rest of my life alone. I need a minute.

Okay. Anyway, speaking of all this, Dina is definitely my favorite character in this game. I mean Ellie is the character who's personality most resembles mine, but Dina's my favorite character, easily. That's because she gets what real love is. She's there for Ellie almost unconditionally, not just when it's easy and fun. During Ellie's missions, I came to really look forward to her return trips to the theater. The days were grueling and traumatizing for Ellie, but they ended with tender moments of healing that were among the game's sweetest and most powerful moments to me.

All that said, I connected to Ellie most in this story. In that connection, I think needs to be said is that both of my parents have passed away. I know what that is. It's fresh on my mind, in fact, because the anniversary of my mom's death occurred recently and yeah, anniversaries are still quite difficult for me. I was closer to my mom, so that's the more painful anniversary to me. I loved my dad too, but that relationship was even more complex because he was no Joel. (My dad fought in the Vietnam War and never really recovered. He suffered from PTSD and wound up as a sometimes abusive alcoholic. We had our times together, but it was complicated.) The honest truth of the matter is that Joel is a positive father-like figure that I feel like I never really had. For this reason, losing him in this game hurt. A lot. When my mom died, I couldn't sleep for days and could barely eat for weeks. It was all I could think about and I couldn't stop thinking about it. There was a whole stage where I wanted nothing more than someone living I could blame and take my anger out on. If there had been someone clearly responsible, it would've taken an army to keep that person safe from me. So you'd better believe I get where Ellie is coming from here. Personally.

Abby is actually an awesome character too, and her story arc impressed me! I especially adored the whole complex thing that went on between her and Owen and Mel. Her arc is sort of like Ellie's in reverse in a way. Ellie sort of goes from being a good character to more of a villain, while Abby goes from being a villain to being more like a Joel-type character who's driven by her care for a child in Lev, and the whole thing with Owen serves opens the door to that path for her. She winds up as among the most genuinely good-hearted characters in the game. Too good, in fact, for me to relate to her the most. For most of my life I've tended to connect more with either villainous or other very flawed characters in fiction media mostly because I've fucked up and done the wrong things a lot in life and because those characters tend to lose, which has long, long felt like the tendency and trajectory of my own life.

Getting back to where I had been going with my last remarks before getting sidetracked on the topic of Abby though, in spite of feeling like I genuinely understood Ellie's position, I wasn't on board with her decision to leave her new life with Dina and Potato and Ewgene at the farmhouse behind. Part of me understands why she made that decision, but at that point I really, really just wanted to stay there forever and felt really sorry for the longsuffering Dina who has been nothing but unselfish. I think narratively it was the course that needed to be taken to fully get the game's point across, but it still hurt to go through. Dina of all people deserved much better than that. I wanted to stay and try harder to work through.

My second favorite scene in the game was the memory where Joel takes Ellie to the museum. There was a whole period of my childhood when dinosaurs were absolutely my shit. It went from being like whales to snakes to dinosaurs to Godzilla, in that order of obsessions. I read everything I could about them, watched science videos about them (having to fast-forward through the parts about e-v-o-l-u-t-i-o-n and the Earth being more than 8,000 years old because my parents insisted that stuff was lies), and all but forced my mom to take us to the natural history museum where they had dinosaur bone exhibits and stuff like practically every weekend for quite some time, which we had to make a whole day of each time because it was so far away. (It also helped that they furthermore had an awesome omnimax theater where they'd show short educational films about topics like lava in a way that felt like being on a ride through a volcano. And the planetarium was right there too!) I'd have fun by chasing my friends pretending to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex hunting down some wimpy vegan dinos. And yes, the original Jurassic Park was like my favorite movie for at least a year after my dad took me to see it. And yar, I too was confused about why they were being called "velociraptors" and other technical stuff (e.g. T-Rex vision was NOT based on movement, people). It was thus that I learned about a thing called "artistic license". Anyway, that part brought back all kinds of those happy memories that I loved revisiting.

I also really enjoyed getting to see Ellie pretend to take off into space. When I was a kid, my first career aspiration was that I wanted to grow up to be a train engineer or a train conductor, one of the two. Then I wanted to be a snake catcher. Then I wanted to be a paleontologist for a while and that stuck for years. I once thought about the magic of space travel too, but the movie Apollo 13 pretty much cured me of that particular want. But anyway, what it (the pretend flight in the game, not Apollo 13) conveyed was the idealism of youth. When you're young, you can't wait to be grown because you think you're going to do all these amazing, history-altering things. You dream of things like going on grand adventures and revolutionizing fields of human endeavor (or of devouring your friends). Then you wake up one day to discover that wound up a punch-clock worker instead and have to navigate a horrible thing called r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y and start wishing you were a kid again. ...Okay I've gotten kinda lost in my train of thought here, but where I was trying to go with all that was just to say that it made feel like a kid again for a while and I really liked that.

Those were among the top highlights of the game for me. I was captivated by the experience overall though, not just those standout parts. And I mean including things like the outstanding soundtrack and the basic design of the game. AAA adventure games these days seem to be heavily gravitating toward open-world formats, but this game makes only secondary concessions to such demands, opening up its levels just enough for them to feel more life-like, but not enough to have the plausible potential of disrupting the pacing of the narrative. Retaining this semi-classical type of game design where you have relatively linear levels that are connected by cinematic scenes here at a point in the history of this medium where it's going increasingly out of fashion pushes the balance of control over the player's experience in the direction of the developer's desires, enabling the artists to better tell the story they want to tell on their own terms. I think it works fantastically here! There's a sense of steadily building tension throughout each of the game's three acts that you simply wouldn't get in an open world play format with dialogue trees. I've seen the argument made that perhaps Abby's act should've come before Ellie's. I disagree. After Joel's murder, I needed time to grieve and Ellie's (first) act coming first gave that time. Others have said Abby's story was non-essential and shouldn't have been included at all. I disagree with that too. There's no way that either confrontation between Ellie and Abby would've had anywhere as much emotional weight without us comprehending Abby's perspective. Neither would the game's message be as effective without the presentation of an alternative to Ellie's fate in the form of Abby's course.

That's not to say I liked just everything about The Last of Us Part II though. Most of all, I could've done without the stupid collectibles. You know, the trading cards and Abby's quarter collection. I mean I kinda felt like, okay, I remember what it was like to be young...I remember being into a trading card game called Magic: The Gathering for about a year in high school. I didn't have much money for that kind of thing, but I would steal booster boxes from stores sometimes. (Security measures back then weren't what they are today.) And superheroes are the popular shit today, so I guess part of me buys that Ellie could be into collecting trading cards for such a game. However, I really feel that Joel's death should've marked the end of that because it was a little jarring to find a trading card not too long after losing Joel and hearing Ellie be like "Yes!!" Different people process loss differently and all, but that just wouldn't have been my response. When I lost my parents -- especially my mom -- I couldn't think about anything else for some time. I couldn't play video games or anything. Just nothing that normally interested me still did. So I mean it's a minor and optional and really insignificant aspect of the game, but I thought that stuff like that felt out of place and generally divorced from the mood that the developer's were attempting to craft in the corresponding contexts.

Manny was also an unwelcome addition to the cast of characters for me; my least favorite. Not that there wasn't room in Abby's crew for an Hispanic character, but Manny stuck me as really nothing more than a crude racial stereotype of how Latinos supposedly are. You know, he's a womanizer, he's obsessed with drinking, all that sort of thing. I found it annoying and lazy. I can't help wishing that more effort had been put into his characterization than that.

Okay, so I think many if not most of you by now know that I believe gender identity is bullshit and, to that end, I suspect may be wondering what my take on the character Lev and his arc was. (I'll refer to Lev with male pronouns because he's a fictional character and I figure that if I can suspend my disbelief in zombies and such for the purposes of a game, it then is only fair that I should also be able to suspend my disbelief in gender identity for purposes of absorbing the game on its own terms.) Well...being as Lev's entire character arc is his transness, as in he seems to have no other distinguishing characteristics besides being transgender, it seems very apparent to me that he was included purely in order to convince ignorant, narrow-minded religious bigots like me that gender identity is totes for real. Did it succeed? Noooooooope. If anything, it reinforced my pre-existing opinion that gender identity is simply a crude, anti-feminist way of resisting patriarchal social roles. Lev, it turns out, is male because he has shaved his head and wanted to be a soldier instead of the involuntary wife of a political leader. He is male, in other words, because he wishes to resist forced feminization. (As much only makes me all the more grateful for the game's inclusion of characters like Abby who get to be largely gender-conforming without having to be transgendered.)

One also can't help but notice that, even by the standards of this game's world, Lev's character arc stands out as uniquely dramatic. None of the people who question Lev's gender identity in this game are people, they're monsters. They all want him dead for being trans, including his own mother. I mean even that misogynist asshole who accosts Dina and Ellie for their sexuality is shown apologizing to the latter and gifting her sandwiches. (Get it? "Make me a sandwich" is an infamous refrain of sexist men, so Seth apologizes to Ellie by making her and Dina sandwiches. I found that chuckle-worthy anyway.) The message seems to be that you'd have to be a crazy religious psychopath who'd murder their own kid in cold blood to question gender identity. Yar. Somehow I's not sold by that rationale.

None of this is to say that there's no room for trans-identified characters in video games in my mind! It's all in the presentation, I think, if my love of Okami is any indication. Okami is a game promoting religious faith. I'm an atheist. I don't agree with all the logic presented in the game. But I've still fallen in love with the game anyway owing to its sheer sincerity and the beauty of its vision for the role of faith in the world. I don't have to actually agree with what a game is saying, if it's really saying anything, to love it! Similarly, as I've casually mentioned before, there's a PlayStation 5 game I'm really looking forward to playing in development called Goodbye Volcano High that narratively centers a non-binary character. And the main reason I'm interested in the game is precisely because...it narratively centers a non-binary character! That fact alone causes it to stand out in my mind as likely to feature a pretty unique storyline about a social phenom I remain curious about. I think it's important to retain an open-mind to the possibility of being wrong and continually seek to learn more. And whether or not I ever actually become convinced that gender identity is as real as someone's material sex, it'll still be worth the journey to see the world more fully from the perspective that says it is because it's one I simply don't currently understand very well. It's like with Okami: it's all in the presentation, I think. I just can't help feeling that something more could've been done with Lev as a character than was. The effort with regard to Lev just feels half-assed to me and it in turn adversely affects Yara's character arc too because her entire arc is built around her relationship to Lev.

Overall though, these are secondary qualms. Pretty much all games include some elements that don't sit perfectly with me. I appreciated this game's political even-handedness (I mean if we can think of Fedra as a right wing dictatorship, the WLF as a left wing dictatorship, the Seraphites as a sort of marriage of ISIS and deep green politics*), the efficacy of the way it steadily builds suspense and tension, and it's characters; especially Ellie's centrality and her characterization. Of all characters in video games, I'd say that Ellie is perhaps the one I most connect to. I mean I'm not a teenager anymore, but I was into punk when was one, I know what poverty and hunger are, I know what loss is, I am a loud-mouthed dyke, I hunt for food myself sometimes of necessity, I can relate to often making the wrong, human choices in life instead of the more rational and selfless ones, and I can relate to winding up seemingly alone in the world and to lots of other things about her, some of which I've already described above. And much more so than any of that, I appreciated the game's powerful message about how precious the simple things in life are and that we shouldn't be so anxious to risk them for memories or "justice", however we define it. That just really hit home for me. A lot of the games I love the most have similar themes about the importance of appreciating what you have in life rather than always living in the past or otherwise trying to undo things that can't be undone. It always hits home with me. The delivery here though stood out not just because the other examples are mostly smaller, independently-developed games, but more especially for its not-so-bittersweet-as-straight-up-unhappy conclusion. I mean the fact that Dina and J.J. are gone when Ellie returns after going after Abby a second time and she winds up totally alone in the world...which is pretty much where I am in life right now...and she can no longer even relive her memories of Joel anymore because of the consequences of the same aforementioned decision...yeah, this game's a tragedy straight up, but it needed to be to get that close to where I actually am right now and speak to me that directly and personally.

How would I score The Last of Us Part II on a scale of 0 to 10? I don't know, I don't really like doing numerical scores. Games mean more or less to me at different points in life based on what I'm going through at the time. Some endure more than others. You can be assured, however, that this game will appear in my top 10 of that 50 favorites list we do annually here, faring better than the original. As to exactly where yet, I'm undecided. I'll have to see how the game ages for me between now and then.

*BONUS: Observers of my profile details may have noticed that a book titled Deep Green Resistance appears on my list of favorite books. It's the at-length manifesto of an organization of the same name (not religious like the Seraphites) that calls for the abandonment of modern civilization on ecological grounds. Not sure I agree with all the contentions therein (if you know anything about the organization, you know that it is, in fact, a kind of personality cult), but the arguments are, incidentally, thought-provoking in a way I couldn't resist recommending.

Thank you for your well thought entry. You have deviated a lot but that help explain why those points meant so much to you.

And as you observed, there are plenty of nuggets of progressive agenda left on the game, but if you don't really pay attention or try to be upset by them they merge quite well and the game show a balanced position on representing right/left, gender, race, etc. They all have a lot of good and bad attributes associated with them.



duduspace11 "Well, since we are estimating costs, Pokemon Red/Blue did cost Nintendo about $50m to make back in 1996"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8808363

Mr Puggsly: "Hehe, I said good profit. You said big profit. Frankly, not losing money is what I meant by good. Don't get hung up on semantics"

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=9008994