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The Last of Us Part 2

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A polarizing game to be sure. What is interesting to me is that you either loved the game or hated it, not much in between. Anyway, what’s done Is done.

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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So last night I was able to visit a friend after weeks of being stuck at home,
and she was saying that she didn’t like how often the story jumps around from character to character.

I can understand that complaint, but I’m curious to those of you who have played it,
does that count as a negative/con for you?  How do you feel the game handles it?

Is it to good effect, or is it a hindrance like my friend was saying?

In the first game I LOVED the intro as Joel’s daughter, and I was kinda hoping the whole game would play that way.

And then later in the game, the only other time you take control of a character that’s not joel,  it’s an incredibly powerful moment, at least for me.

Playing Ellie instead of Joel for that chapter really made me feel like, okay I need to learn how to use this weapon she has, and I need to be extra careful because I’m a vulnerable teenager, and it’s the middle of winter, and my partner isn’t with me right now!

     
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I would have been happier with less character changes. Especially who you play in this game. But, it is a post holocaust game where there is no winners, only survival so it’s something we have to live with.

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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Rancho - 14 July 2020 10:36 PM

By objective I’m referring to a piece of art’s abilities to achieve its desired goals with MOST people. It does not help with only 5% of people love or hate something

Someone might have a goal when creating art, but the way art is received is never objective. If a majority of people think X about art, that isn’t objective, it’s just that those people share similar subjective views.

Rancho - 14 July 2020 10:36 PM

SIDENOTE TLOU2 is not a groundbreaking story. There are plenty of pieces of media that have similar stories

All heist movies get you to root for the bad guys. THE PEOPLE LITERALLY STEALING MONEY

Plenty of Cowboy movies have depicted revenge as being bad.

I personally think the story and the way it’s presented is pretty groundbreaking and something that could have only been achieved in video games. At one point you’re watching a loved character get brutally killed, the next you’re playing as the killer. You have to physically control that killer, which is much different to switching perspective in films. It’s hard to deal with and it’s purposely designed that way. Also, in heist movies the “bad guys” are usually presented as charming and affable individuals that are fun to root for. In the Last Of Us 2, there are no good or bad guys—just flawed humans.

Rancho - 14 July 2020 10:36 PM

What I find really interesting is that because this is THE LAST OF US. Made by NAUGHTY Dog. We give it waaaay more attention then the game really deserves Sometimes this attention make the game look worse then what it really is. Other times it make the game look better.

Well… yes, it’s a Last of Us game, it’s made by Naughty Dog, and therefore it gets a lot of attention because the first game was excellent and the studio are known for putting out high quality games. But this game is more than just its name and developer and I’m sure it would have got lots of attention regardless.

Rancho - 14 July 2020 10:36 PM

I sometimes I put an unfair amount of attention on a specific negative aspect of the game. Similarly some people sing unearned praise for this game.

Ellie and Abby are both at different points in their journey. But Ellie doesn’t let Abby go because she cares about her. Up to that point, all Ellie could think about Joel was his death. But in that moment, she remembers him sitting on his porch. She remembers when she was willing to forgive Joel. She’s broken through and is able to let Abby go. Just my take.

Rancho - 14 July 2020 10:36 PM

Nope but sure as shit there are 100s of hours of people discussing it anyways. Even though this is just another average game with some great elements and a generic story.

Have you played the game?

     
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I think this game is mediocre in terms of storytelling, but excellent in terms of engineering, gameplay and art. To start off, the game is flat out sexist, in a silly unrealistic and cartoonish kind of way.
Every single male character in the game is killed, including Abby’s love interest and Joel. The fact they killed Joel, a very beloved character, to bring in Abby just shows that ND is being full on divisive. There is even one part where a woman and a man are armwrestling, and the woman wins. Like I get it, men are weaklings and women are dominant in ND’s world.
Then there is the pacing. There are sections that are like half an hour where nothing happens. They are trying to make us feel something, but I honestly was not invested in any of them. I just wanted to get back to the gameplay. Neil Druckman obviously wants to do movies, and I think he should stick to that, because at least movies are edited properly. I had the same problem with UC4 that I also thought was the worst in the series. Compare that to TLOU 1, which had a brilliant balance between downtime and action.
Then there is the character motivations.
Abby is a Scar killing machine like no other, and then she meets 2 Scar kids and now she abandons her group that she had spent years with and turns against them, just for these two kids that she just met. Her very close friend Manny even gets shot in front of her and she could care less. Ellie And Tommy had killed all her friends including the love of her life, and what does she do when she is about to slit Ellie’s throat. Let her go.
Before Ellie confronts Abby the first time, she was about to go back home without killing Abby, although Abby killed Joel, and she is the only reason she started her journey to begin with. But then when Ellie settles down later, she changes her mind again, and wants to kill Abby again. When she is about to kill Abby she changes her mind yet again.
The whole thing sounds like it was written by an amateur. Neil Druckman’s background is programmed and maybe he should leave the storytelling to some capable writers.

As far as the gameplay goes, I think it is great. Everything from the first game is improved and streamlined, especially the stealth. I had a problem with how fast some enemies detected you in the first game, but here, it is much more reasonable. Even the clicker, before he detects you, gives a warning so you can hide. The new boss fights are exhilarating and thrilling, and I like the Uncharted type of action sequences.

The art is breathtaking, and it goes to show how talented the artists at ND are. They even take care of the smallest details, like when Tommy was shooting a loud gun, I was startled and so was Ellie in the game. Then there is the cool way the glass shatters, or the snow falls off trees when you touch them.

Overall I give a 10 to gameplay and a 5 to pacing and storytelling and the cartoonish and unrealistic portrayal of sexes. It deserves like a 7/10 definitely not the crazy score some journalists are leaving it.

     
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SoccerDude - 17 July 2020 11:09 PM

To start off, the game is flat out sexist, in a silly unrealistic and cartoonish kind of way.
Every single male character in the game is killed, including Abby’s love interest and Joel. The fact they killed Joel, a very beloved character, to bring in Abby just shows that ND is being full on divisive. There is even one part where a woman and a man are armwrestling, and the woman wins. Like I get it, men are weaklings and women are dominant in ND’s world.

Lots of people in the game get killed, both men and women. Mel, Nora and Yara are women that get killed. Tommy and Lev are two males who survive.

All men aren’t shown as “weaklings”, since the head of the WLF is a man and Jesse and Manny are both shown to be powerful allies in a fight.

Finally, the reason Joel was killed wasn’t to bring in a female character, it was to be the entire driving force of Ellie’s journey.

(By the way, women can win arm wrestles against men. Shocking, I know.)

     
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I’m really surprised to hear people comment on the portrayal of sexes as “unrealistic.”

In the first game Joel’s daughter is killed right at the beginning

And to me it’s an emotional gut-punch!

I’m struggling to see how Joel’s death can be viewed as ‘divisive’?
Let’s take other similar media as an example like the walking dead.

We really thought some characters held up the narrative as the protagonist, only to have them killed off in a similar way.

Understand Joel lived in the post-apocalypse for something like 10 years before he met Ellie, and time only marches forward.  It only makes sense for him to eventually become and old a vulnerable character.

Lastly I understand some people treat Naughty Dog like gaming royalty, but some of the design decisions in Crash Bandicoot and Uncharted verge on making the game unplayable!
With Crash I can’t beat the levels where you run towards the camera pepsi-man style, and in uncharted, I’ve talked before about how bad the bullet sponge enemies are… for no good reason!

Even CTR is not quite as good as mario kart, or Crash Bash not quite as good as Mario Party.  even in TLOU 1, the difficulty almost had me throwing the game out.  I started over on easy, and eventually powered through.

All that to say, from where I am on the debate, it doesn’t sound like anything is changed really.  It sounds like it is every bit as flawed as any other Naughty Dog project.

And I really don’t understand why people keep mentioning the ‘sexist’ spin on it.
People can be strong or flawed, attractive, ugly, stacked, flat, etc regardless of their genitals or hormones. 
And when people fail to understand the emotions of those in relationships in a post-apocalypse world, well I think that’s forgivable.

I can think of some lovers I wanted to kill.
And if there weren’t going to be more lovers after I killed them maybe I would think twice about it.  (But probably not.  They were the worst LMAO.)

     
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I played the first game on hard, and thought it was pitch perfect, but Im also the gamer that does not think every game should be played on easy for players enjoyment. It depends on the game, Take the uncharted series, that game it doesnt matter the difficulty bc nathan is supposed to be a one man army like indiana jones or other action heroes. Meanwhile if you play the last of us on easy, the game is no longer surviving a zombie apocalypse but a straight up action game. That is not the type of ambient story telling naughty dog is trying to tell there.

Same thing with something like jedi: fallen order. In that game you are a former jedi student who tried to forget his powers after the jedi purge. The purpose of the game is for Cal to relearn his powers through struggle, defeat, than triumph. If you play it on easy, you become a terminator cutting down enemies with no problem. The lead combat dev said they wanted to make the game even more like a dark souls type game but disney/Ea would not allow that of course.

For the record yes I know you will still get all the same story cutscenes from easy mode that you do on hard mode, but I insist that some of the ambient gameplay story-telling vanishes on easy mode for some games.

     
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Pinchpenny - 19 July 2020 04:36 PM
SoccerDude - 17 July 2020 11:09 PM

To start off, the game is flat out sexist, in a silly unrealistic and cartoonish kind of way.
Every single male character in the game is killed, including Abby’s love interest and Joel. The fact they killed Joel, a very beloved character, to bring in Abby just shows that ND is being full on divisive. There is even one part where a woman and a man are armwrestling, and the woman wins. Like I get it, men are weaklings and women are dominant in ND’s world.

Lots of people in the game get killed, both men and women. Mel, Nora and Yara are women that get killed. Tommy and Lev are two males who survive.

All men aren’t shown as “weaklings”, since the head of the WLF is a man and Jesse and Manny are both shown to be powerful allies in a fight.

Finally, the reason Joel was killed wasn’t to bring in a female character, it was to be the entire driving force of Ellie’s journey.

(By the way, women can win arm wrestles against men. Shocking, I know.)

Lev is trans. Owen, Joel, Jesse, Manny, and Isaac. Pretty much every single male character in the game is offed. And the head of the WLF. What a powerful man that we didn’t even get to fight. And those formidable allies all dropped like flies. The only reason uncle Tommy made it was to give Ellie incentive to go back, but not before Abby seriously injured him. And I know a woman can beat a man in arm wrestling, but what was the point of that scene besides rubbing it in our faces. If you don’t think this game is sexist, try switching all the roles and tell me if people on the far left camp and journalists won’t burn this game at the steak.

     
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Celebreon - 19 July 2020 05:43 PM

I’m really surprised to hear people comment on the portrayal of sexes as “unrealistic.”

In the first game Joel’s daughter is killed right at the beginning

And to me it’s an emotional gut-punch!

I’m struggling to see how Joel’s death can be viewed as ‘divisive’?

I was squarely talking about the second game. I agree that scene you mentioned from the first game was very sad, and the story there was leaps and bounds better.

As far as the divisiveness, if you don’t believe me, just go see the metacritic user score.

Celebreon - 19 July 2020 05:43 PM

In uncharted, I’ve talked before about how bad the bullet sponge enemies are… for no good reason.  even in TLOU 1, the difficulty almost had me throwing the game out.  I started over on easy, and eventually powered through.

All that to say, from where I am on the debate, it doesn’t sound like anything is changed really.  It sounds like it is every bit as flawed as any other Naughty Dog project.

And I really don’t understand why people keep mentioning the ‘sexist’ spin on it.

As for the uncharted games, I didn’t find the games difficult at all. Granted I played on medium, so I don’t know how hard of a setting you used. You could kill enemies right away if you scored headshots (if they are not wearing a helmet) or with some of the more serious fire power like the desert 5.
The first time I played TLOU, I finished it on normal. More recently, I finished it on hard, and I had a better time with it because the resources were more scarce so it was more strategic. I love stealth, so I always try to use stealth in TLOU, and like I mentioned before, some of the enemies are way too sensitive, and detect you even if you are sneaking properly. Also, a feature that both TLOU games desperately need is the ability to move corpses, like in far cry games or Dishonored. It’s very frustrating that the enemies are alerted because you can’t hide a body.

I think this game has more flaws especially when it comes to the pacing. Like UC4, there are long stretches when nothing happens and it gets boring.

As far as the sexist part, if you switched the table such that every important female in the game died, and every male that mattered made it, folks would be calling this game sexist.

     
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Jdawg445 - 20 July 2020 03:54 PM

Same thing with something like jedi: fallen order. In that game you are a former jedi student who tried to forget his powers after the jedi purge. The purpose of the game is for Cal to relearn his powers through struggle, defeat, than triumph. If you play it on easy, you become a terminator cutting down enemies with no problem. The lead combat dev said they wanted to make the game even more like a dark souls type game but disney/Ea would not allow that of course.

Oh thank god they didn’t go the dark souls route. I am sick of every game wanting to be a a Dark Souls clone. Sometimes, I just want to enjoy the old school hack and slash fun of the old God of War/DMC games.

     
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SoccerDude - 22 July 2020 02:13 AM
Jdawg445 - 20 July 2020 03:54 PM

Same thing with something like jedi: fallen order. In that game you are a former jedi student who tried to forget his powers after the jedi purge. The purpose of the game is for Cal to relearn his powers through struggle, defeat, than triumph. If you play it on easy, you become a terminator cutting down enemies with no problem. The lead combat dev said they wanted to make the game even more like a dark souls type game but disney/Ea would not allow that of course.

Oh thank god they didn’t go the dark souls route. I am sick of every game wanting to be a a Dark Souls clone. Sometimes, I just want to enjoy the old school hack and slash fun of the old God of War/DMC games.

Disagree the biggest problem with fallen order is the lightsaber sometimes feels like a baseball batt but it’s a sword made of energy. it should dismember most enemies in one or two strikes. Also we should have saw some dismemberment but once again it is Disney, so we’re not going to see that.

ps uncharted on hard mode, the AI is still dumb they just add more and do indeed become bullet sponges.

I do agree with you on stealth in games, I feel like 70 percent of games include stealth mechanics and 60 percent of those do it wrong. If you are going to add stealth in your game I think two things need to be mandatory, which are the ability to go prone, and the option to move bodies. Say what you will about metal gear solids 5 story, but the gameplay was pitch perfect. You could be a ghost or a one man army like rambo. Both playstyles were fully fleshed out.

On a side note I feel like graphics keep getting better and better but enemy AI is still stuck in the ps2 era lol, especially when it comes to stealth. Im playing the ghost of tsushima right now and the enemy AI for stealth is laughably bad, like how it was in the last assassin’s creed game that I played which was number 4. And you can add ghost of tsushima to the list that encourages stealth but cant go prone or move bodies

     
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Everybody liked the ending of this game? I played the game in 4 days, it was very long, but the ending was upsetting.

     
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I personally loved the ending. I thought was very fitting to the story and themes and was overall satisfied.

Like I posted somewhere else after I finished the game, I’m one of those that really liked the game. Of course is not perfect and has its problems but overall was an amazing experience for me. I would give it an 8 or 9/10. Not quite as good as the first, but I was on board with what they were trying to accomplish here.

About the sexist thing, I understand why some people would have problems and I agree that ND takes it too far sometimes. Like in Uncharted 4 when Nadine takes on Drake and Sam in a fight. But in this case, being a female centered story I didn’t have much of a problem.

Also many of those complains that SoccerDude was talking about can be explained when you carefully see where each character is coming from and in what state they are.

Abby’s story takes place after she realizes that revenge doesn’t solve anything, killing Joel didn’t bring her any peace and she sees in Lev and Yara a chance at redemption, much like Joel in the first game. She does gets mad that her friends got killed and feels the need to go and avenge them but when Lev stops her she knows that killing Dina and Ellie won’t solve anything and that the more people she kills the more she puts Lev in danger.

On Ellies side, she thought she could be fine with not killing Abby, for Dina’s and the baby’s sake, but after time passes and PTSD sets in she realizes she cannot have peace until she kills Abby, just like Abby with Joel. When she is on the verge of doing it, she finally remembers Joel not as the dead one, but the happy one playing guitar and the one she wanted to try and forgive at the end and finally lets go of him. I figured she saw Joel and herself in Abby and Lev and was finally ready to forgive them and herself. So now she and Abby’s are on a same state of “peace” so to speak.

Anyway that’s my take but I know many people disagree and can see many problems in the story regardless and that’s fine. One of the reasons why I liked the game is how it gets so many different responses from people, like at the end you have a group of people that wants to kill Abby with a passion and get mad when she stops and another that doesn’t want her dead and even get very emotional (me included)

     
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I would have liked to have had the option to kill Abbie or let her live myself.

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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