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

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How do you rate TLOU2 story

1 8 14.55%
 
2 1 1.82%
 
3 5 9.09%
 
4 3 5.45%
 
5 5 9.09%
 
6 7 12.73%
 
7 4 7.27%
 
8 4 7.27%
 
9 7 12.73%
 
10 11 20.00%
 
Total:55

I just finished the game and damn I hope we get a spinoff series/sequel with Abby and Lev.

The action parts going in the hospital and down the tower was so immense. Gimme more of that!

Last edited by hinch - on 25 June 2020

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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 does 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 instaneous. 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 severly 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 crticisms 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.

Saying I'm projecting with nothing concrete is a very convenient argument that doesn't really say much. I could come up with hundreds of reasons why he softened, perhaps something like you mentioned about how he became like a town figurehead. Maybe his past four years has been exactly the same as meeting abby, but they instead join the town. Perhaps Joel hated himself for betraying Ellie like he says in the scene right before that when talking to Tommy. Sometimes people tend to get reckless when they feel they've fucked something up. I could come up with all kinds of ideas because just like in a lot of literature, you don't always know the ins and outs of causation. Sometimes you are required to use your imagination. Generally when parts are left out, it's because in the end, it really doesn't matter, nor is it entertaining or concise to watch every single events causes and effect. 

The point being, if you can't bring yourself to suspend disbelief, you are doing a purposeful disservice to the narrative. 

Personally, I am happier to have a concise narrative with 20 hours of story that doesn't hold my hand through every characters formative whims. I honestly find that kind of narrative storytelling insulting and childish. 

I haven't finished the game, so my opinion on the execution may change, but currently I think the only problem in this argument is that we have a difference in what we each consider to be good storytelling.



KLAMarine said:
Naughty Dog should work on an alternate ending where Ellie kills Abby and Ellie approaches Abby's kid (the person on the boat Abby was trying to flee with), explains to the kid why she killed Abby and then tells the kid that if they want revenge, they should come seek her.

Ellie is unable to kill the kid but she will defend herself if attacked. The cycle of vengeance will end with one of the two.

Dunno, just tossing ideas out there.

Spoiler!

Nah. Its good Ellie's story is done. She moved on at the end. Probably went back to Jackson. Its bittersweet but at least she would find peace.

If anything, ND will follow through the story of the Firefly's. Going with Abby+co since they are the true 'protagonists' of the story.

Last edited by hinch - on 25 June 2020

At iron megalith
Just as a follow-up note, I'm not saying you are wrong to prefer storytelling to be linear, or wrong to want exposition showing Jo getting soft.

I'm saying that personally I can look at the events that happened, and just by noticing it's four years later and everyone is comfortable, I can understand how Joel's situation might have played out. I would rather play and see the murder quickly to establish a plot, than to linearly start the game four years earlier as an aging Joel who is slowly becoming a less violent character over time. That just does not sound enjoyable or interesting or necessary for me to accept that Joel for some reason or another tried to help someone and got deaded.



chakkra said:
Dante9 said:

Something like that would have been better, yes. I actually expected Joel to die, but not like this. The problem is that the story from Abby's side is not set up properly and her as a character isn't built up with sufficient time in order for us to care for her even one bit. She just shows up like this roid raged monster that brutalizes Joel and we're supposed to appreciate "her side of the story".

If someone you love was murdered while trying to do something good, I think you would be able to see "your side" of the story.

Well yeah, but that doesn't make it better for a fan of Joel that has had no previous exposure to Abby whatsoever.



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theprof00 said:
taus90 said:

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..

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.

In the first game Joel is shown to be extremely suspicious of everyone, even Henry and Sam. That's how he has survived for so long. That, and by being brutal when it has been necessary. He has done some bad things, yes, but losing your daughter like that and being thrust into an apocalyptic situation will make things pretty meaningless for anyone. He was just a regular dad in the beginning.

Ellie made him open up and brought a small measure of hope and meaning into his life again, he was not about to lose a daughter for a second time. So we understand why he did what he did to save Ellie. Players who have kids themselves can of course appreciate this more deeply. He's not a villain in the most basic sense, just a tortured man.

From Abby's point of view, what happened to her father was of course horrible and wrong as well. (By the way, it's not like Ellie's surgery was a surefire thing to save mankind anyways, all they had was an immune girl and a scalpel and high hopes really.) People get that, but it's a multifaceted thing that was handled pretty poorly with how Joel just gets taken out right away, when there were a thousand ways of making something more complex and compelling storywise. Of course it's pretty realistic and impactful in the sense that sometimes horrible things just happen out of nowhere, you don't see them coming and you just have to deal with it. Life is precious and it can be taken away in a second. But the way they did this here is making it really hard to feel sympathy for Abby, and on top of that we are made to play as her afterwards, which is really pushing it. It's intentional of course, ND wanted to shock us but it seems to have backfired pretty badly.



theprof00 said:
iron_megalith said:

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 does 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 instaneous. 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 severly 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 crticisms 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.

Saying I'm projecting with nothing concrete is a very convenient argument that doesn't really say much. I could come up with hundreds of reasons why he softened, perhaps something like you mentioned about how he became like a town figurehead. Maybe his past four years has been exactly the same as meeting abby, but they instead join the town. Perhaps Joel hated himself for betraying Ellie like he says in the scene right before that when talking to Tommy. Sometimes people tend to get reckless when they feel they've fucked something up. I could come up with all kinds of ideas because just like in a lot of literature, you don't always know the ins and outs of causation. Sometimes you are required to use your imagination. Generally when parts are left out, it's because in the end, it really doesn't matter, nor is it entertaining or concise to watch every single events causes and effect. 

The point being, if you can't bring yourself to suspend disbelief, you are doing a purposeful disservice to the narrative. 

Personally, I am happier to have a concise narrative with 20 hours of story that doesn't hold my hand through every characters formative whims. I honestly find that kind of narrative storytelling insulting and childish. 

I haven't finished the game, so my opinion on the execution may change, but currently I think the only problem in this argument is that we have a difference in what we each consider to be good storytelling.

Suspension of disbelief does not apply in this scenario. There are boundaries to that. When your characters act so out of place, that is not an excuse that you can use. That's outright bullshit.

Last edited by iron_megalith - on 25 June 2020

I am glad that I was not the only one here who loved the story. I think ND did the right thing by not re-telling yet another Joel & Ellie story, instead they focused on Ellie and a brand new character.

Spoiler!
At first, I hated Abby and hated her motivations, thaught that it will be a mediocre romance-line, yet it to=urned out that she is a way more complex human-being and just another victim of the situation just like everyone else. And man, that part where she fights Ellie or Tommy.... probably the closest we got to a true horror-scene in the game, and this was done by pitting you against characters I actually cared for. Genius! And the setpieces managed to build up an absolutely exhilarating second part of the game, that for me managed to get it in line with the first part, no questions asked.

I kind of hope this is the last game in the series, though that's how I felt about the first game as well, and look how great this one turned out. I know it's not a popular opinion right now, but I think that Druckman managed to grow into one of the finest storytellers in the gaming industry

Edit:

Spoiler!
The flashback scene, with Ellie and Joel, in the natural history museum, was the real goodbye scene for Joel. It was so pure and perfect and captures exactly the reason why Joel did what he did in the first game. He had come full-cicrcle and his story needed to end. Abruptly. Violently. Like it so often happens even in real life.


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John2290 said:
hunter_alien said:

I am glad that I was not the only one here who loved the story. I think ND did the right thing by not re-telling yet another Joel & Ellie story, instead they focused on Ellie and a brand new character.

Spoiler!
At first, I hated Abby and hated her motivations, thaught that it will be a mediocre romance-line, yet it to=urned out that she is a way more complex human-being and just another victim of the situation just like everyone else. And man, that part where she fights Ellie or Tommy.... probably the closest we got to a true horror-scene in the game, and this was done by pitting you against characters I actually cared for. Genius! And the setpieces managed to build up an absolutely exhilarating second part of the game, that for me managed to get it in line with the first part, no questions asked.

I kind of hope this is the last game in the series, though that's how I felt about the first game as well, and look how great this one turned out. I know it's not a popular opinion right now, but I think that Druckman managed to grow into one of the finest storytellers in the gaming industry

Edit:

Spoiler!
The flashback scene, with Ellie and Joel, in the natural history museum, was the real goodbye scene for Joel. It was so pure and perfect and captures exactly the reason why Joel did what he did in the first game. He had come full-cicrcle and his story needed to end. Abruptly. Violently. Like it so often happens even in real life.

Neil, is that you?

It's kind of off-putting for not being able to express my love for a game without having some vitriol thrown into my face. I didn't talk down on anyone for disliking the game, nor would I do it, so in the very least if you don't have anything even remotely constructive to say I would appreciate if you would not respond to my posts in this thread anymore.



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John2290 said:
hunter_alien said:

It's kind of off-putting for not being able to express my love for a game without having some vitriol thrown into my face. I didn't talk down on anyone for disliking the game, nor would I do it, so in the very least if you don't have anything even remotely constructive to say I would appreciate if you would not respond to my posts in this thread anymore.

Calm down, it was a joke.

Sure, I won't reply again.

Yeah, I know it was a joke, and now I feel a bit silly lashing out like that But I guess this was something that was built up in me for the last couple of days. Every post I made in most forums seems to put me on some kind of "wrong side of the fence" position for really enjoying this game. Still, reading it back after a short time made me realize that a). it's my fault for taking games way to seriously, becoming defensive, and b). I really need to sleep more :)))



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