Did the game need so many shooting passages? (spoilers)

#1 Edited by Raineko (431 posts) -

I think this game is absolutely amazing, I love the emotional story and the relationship between the two protagonists. The dialogs are good and you really feel with the characters. However, something threw me off the entire time: the constant shootouts with bandits/scavengers. Seriously, it completely detached me from the characters sometimes.

Joel litterally murders hundreds of people in the course of the game. Should a good character really do that? Was that really necessary, Naugthy Dog?

The combat is fun, but not if you constantly do it. I mean if you had to kill 2 or 3 dudes every once in a while to protect you and Ellie it would have been awesome but if you fight one army after another it becomse ridiculous. How are 2 people able to kill so many bandits and are fine in the end? That is just beyond unrealistic imo.

I would have loved it much more if there had been more story and less shooting. And seriously the last part of the game reminded me of Max Payne.

What do you think? Did the game really need that?

#2 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2341 posts) -

Joel isn't a good character

#3 Posted by Scroll (601 posts) -

But isn't that half the point? Joel isn't a great guy and why not kill a load of bandits? And the other part is video games and its fun to shoot things in video games.

#4 Edited by Yummylee (22538 posts) -

Joel had most likely already killed hundreds before the game even began. 20 years is a long time, and Joel admitted that he has been on both sides of conflict, as the one being ambushed and as an ambusher.. If anything Joel is one such character where his mass-murder spree actually fits, given the harshness of the world and how it's shaped him. Though I do still agree that the game does have a few combat portions they could have done without. Like the part where you've just found Ellie after she rode off into that farmhouse during where you're reunited with Tommy.

#5 Posted by Live2bRighteous (315 posts) -

Joel litterally murders hundreds of people in the course of the game. Should a good character really do that? Was that really necessary, Naugthy Dog?

I've always wondered the same thing about Drake... Drake has at least killed over 1000 people in his life... throughout the three uncharted games. The thought of killing that many people never seems to cross his mind though.

I guess it's just a Naughty Dog thing.

#6 Edited by Yummylee (22538 posts) -

Joel litterally murders hundreds of people in the course of the game. Should a good character really do that? Was that really necessary, Naugthy Dog?

I've always wondered the same thing about Drake... Drake has at least killed over 1000 people in his life... throughout the three uncharted games. The thought of killing that many people never seems to cross his mind though.

I guess it's just a Naughty Dog thing.

No, it's a video games thing.

#7 Edited by Raineko (431 posts) -

Joel isn't a good character

Okay, I didn't mean to say he is an angel but in the dialogs with Ellie and in the scenes where he cares about her, it really seems that he is good. I'm not saying he should not kill people. I'm saying he shouldn't kill hundreds. And in this case it is of course not Joel's fault but rather Naughty Dog's imo. It just feels weird to me.

#8 Edited by el_stork (65 posts) -

I don't think Joel is a good character.

But morality aside I suppose I can see why taking out so many guys might strain your suspension of disbelief. Still you're rarely facing more than 5 or so dudes at once and the game forces you to be stealthy and strategize as opposed to just soaking up bullets. The combat isn't exactly realistic but I think it's still withen the realm of possibility, unlike, oh say, Uncharted.

#9 Posted by SomeDeliCook (2341 posts) -

A video game where you only kill a few enemies through the entirety of the game would be a cool little art piece and experience, but not a AAA game. It'd be boring to replay a game like this if there's only a handful of encounters and 1-2 hours inbetween of just walking around exploring.

Playing a game in similar setup to Half-Life 2 is a great first experience and you want to skip the action parts at some point to just find out the story, but on your second playthrough those unskippable bottleneck moments of story and downtime become the parts, at least for me, I would love to skip.

On my second playthrough of Last of Us, I'm enjoying the combat sections more now that I know exactly how all the mechanics work and the require slow paced story sections are testing my patience, even if I still enjoy the story.

#10 Posted by DarthOrange (3893 posts) -

@raineko said:

@somedelicook said:

Joel isn't a good character

Okay, I didn't mean to say he is an angel but in the dialogs with Ellie and in the scenes where he cares about her, it really seems that he is good. I'm not saying he should not kill people. I'm saying he shouldn't kill hundreds. And in this case it is of course not Joel's fault but rather Naughty Dog's imo. It just feels weird to me.

If ever there was a game where mass homicide felt appropriate to the story, it would be this one. Did you finish the game? The torture scene and the stuff in the hospital make it pretty clear what kind of person Joel is.

#11 Posted by Raineko (431 posts) -

A video game where you only kill a few enemies through the entirety of the game would be a cool little art piece and experience, but not a AAA game. It'd be boring to replay a game like this if there's only a handful of encounters and 1-2 hours inbetween of just walking around exploring.

Playing a game in similar setup to Half-Life 2 is a great first experience and you want to skip the action parts at some point to just find out the story, but on your second playthrough those unskippable bottleneck moments of story and downtime become the parts, at least for me, I would love to skip.

On my second playthrough of Last of Us, I'm enjoying the combat sections more now that I know exactly how all the mechanics work and the require slow paced story sections are testing my patience, even if I still enjoy the story.

Well maybe that is true, but for me this is not a game at all you play several times. I am someone who likes challenging games but TLOU is definitely not one of them, I just wanted to have the experience and enjoy the story. I don't think I am gonna play the game again, I mean the gameplay is good but it's nothing groundbreaking.

@raineko said:

@somedelicook said:

Joel isn't a good character

Okay, I didn't mean to say he is an angel but in the dialogs with Ellie and in the scenes where he cares about her, it really seems that he is good. I'm not saying he should not kill people. I'm saying he shouldn't kill hundreds. And in this case it is of course not Joel's fault but rather Naughty Dog's imo. It just feels weird to me.

If ever there was a game where mass homicide felt appropriate to the story, it would be this one. Did you finish the game? The torture scene and the stuff in the hospital make it pretty clear what kind of person Joel is.

That scene didn't seem so bad to me at all because

1. He only does it because he is worried about Ellie and

2. the guys he kills are completely generic, lifeless "bad guys".

#12 Posted by Yummylee (22538 posts) -

@raineko said:

@darthorange said:

@raineko said:

@somedelicook said:

Joel isn't a good character

Okay, I didn't mean to say he is an angel but in the dialogs with Ellie and in the scenes where he cares about her, it really seems that he is good. I'm not saying he should not kill people. I'm saying he shouldn't kill hundreds. And in this case it is of course not Joel's fault but rather Naughty Dog's imo. It just feels weird to me.

If ever there was a game where mass homicide felt appropriate to the story, it would be this one. Did you finish the game? The torture scene and the stuff in the hospital make it pretty clear what kind of person Joel is.

That scene didn't seem so bad to me at all because

1. He only does it because he is worried about Ellie and

2. the guys he kills are completely generic, lifeless "bad guys".

1. Everyone he kills in this game is to keep him and Ellie alive

2. So those two are fine but all of those other ''lifeless bad guys'' aren't?

#13 Edited by Raineko (431 posts) -

@Yummylee

Imo they are only those generic lifeless bad guys because you kill so many of them. But again, I kind of misphrased that in the first post. I don't think that Joel is a very good character. I just think it's over the top with the killing in terms of realism. I just don't think the game needed that much.

What if the individual enemies would have been more challenging but there were only one fourth of them in the game? I think I would have loved that more.

#14 Edited by M_Shini (551 posts) -

I would hardly say Joel is a good character, and there is dialogue to suggest he killed innocent people just like the other bandits just for a few supply's so i don't really think he is much different from most of the humans in the game and the only redeemable thing he has done is taking care of ellie which even for half the the game he really doesn't care to do even that. He is a big asshole and a horrible person that deserves to go to hell and have horrible things done to him for eternity.

Anyway there is quite allot of the game that is pretty much just walking around 'quiet moments' that for a actual game it feels decently paced for what it does the only thing i didn't like was that there was too many weapons just for the sake of it.

#15 Edited by Yummylee (22538 posts) -
@raineko said:

@Yummylee

Imo they are only those generic lifeless bad guys because you kill so many of them. But again, I kind of misphrased that in the first post. I don't think that Joel is a very good character. I just think it's over the top with the killing in terms of realism. I just don't think the game needed that much.

What if the individual enemies would have been more challenging but there were only one fourth of them in the game? I think I would have loved that more.

You're right, it does go a bit overboard, but again by AAA videogame standards it's still a brave new step considering... well, this:

@el_stork said:

But morality aside I suppose I can see why taking out so many guys might strain your suspension of disbelief. Still you're rarely facing more than 5 or so dudes at once and the game forces you to be stealthy and strategize as opposed to just soaking up bullets. The combat isn't exactly realistic but I think it's still within the realm of possibility, unlike, oh say, Uncharted.

The Last of Us is a long game, and while they do pepper in a lot of lengthy stretches where you're just roaming around the environment solving minor traversal puzzles, they have to also balance it with combat. Though again, I agree that they got to be a bit heavy-handed with how much combat they put in here, but it's by no means (least for me) as overbearing as it was in something like Uncharted 3. Plus, I really enjoy their style of combat/stealth hybrid they concocted, and the small trickle of new stuff and upgrades would sometimes make new combat encounters exciting to weave them into your tactics.

Plus you should also remember that the game takes place over a number of seasons (even if the main bulk is set during Summer), so it's not like the kill-count is racketed up over just a day. As it is, though, The Last of Us is still an action/adventure game; while it would have been interesting for ND to simmer down the combat where it borders on being more of an Adventure game, that's unfortunately not the type of game Naughty Dog would have been allowed to make... for now.

#16 Posted by Raineko (431 posts) -

@yummylee said:
@raineko said:

@Yummylee

Imo they are only those generic lifeless bad guys because you kill so many of them. But again, I kind of misphrased that in the first post. I don't think that Joel is a very good character. I just think it's over the top with the killing in terms of realism. I just don't think the game needed that much.

What if the individual enemies would have been more challenging but there were only one fourth of them in the game? I think I would have loved that more.

You're right, it does go a bit overboard, but again by AAA videogame standards it's still a brave new step considering... well, this:

@el_stork said:

But morality aside I suppose I can see why taking out so many guys might strain your suspension of disbelief. Still you're rarely facing more than 5 or so dudes at once and the game forces you to be stealthy and strategize as opposed to just soaking up bullets. The combat isn't exactly realistic but I think it's still within the realm of possibility, unlike, oh say, Uncharted.

The Last of Us is a long game, and while they do pepper in a lot of long stretches where you're just roaming around the environment solving minor traversal puzzles, they have to also balance it with combat. Though again, I agree that they got to be a bit heavy-handed with how much combat they put in here, but it's by no means (least for me) as overbearing as it was in something like Uncharted 3. Plus, I really enjoy their style of combat/stealth hybrid they concocted, and the small trickle of new stuff and upgrades would sometimes make new combat encounters exciting to weave them into your tactics.

Plus you should also remember that the game takes place over a number of seasons (even if the main bulk is set during Summer), so it's not like the kill-count is racketed up over just a day. As it is, though, The Last of Us is still an action/adventure game; while it would have been interesting for ND to simmer down the combat where it borders on being more of an Adventure game, that's unfortunately not the type of game Naughty Dog would have been allowed to make... for now.

I do agree that the combat was innovative. Stealth-killing people, shooting them with various weapons, distracting them, meleeing them, blowing them up with bombs or sneaking past them. Still several times in the game I thought "Okay come on guys, enough of this." Maybe because I played through the game in 2 sessions in felt too ridiculous to me.

But just with Ellie, a 14 year old girl, I murdered like at least 30 people, I mean seriously? (And I did try to sneak past enemies several times).

#17 Posted by wemibelec90 (1831 posts) -

I think that Naughty Dog has made some very good story/character-driven games this generation. I also think that their shooting-based games play terribly. I didn't enjoy playing any of the Uncharted games or The Last of Us, but I needed to play through them in order to see the stories they told.

I will also say I think they earned it a lot better with Joel and his willingness to kill so many people. I believed it a lot more than I did with Nathan Drake. Joel is a fucked up guy who is willing to do whatever he needs to in order to get what he wants. It may not be a deep character, but it was an interesting one and much better justified than any other video game protagonist who murders a bunch of people that I can think of.

#18 Posted by Sterling (2700 posts) -

I do think the amount of people you fight is over the top. I mean, this hunter pack, how many fucking dudes do they have just hanging out. It seemed like way too many people. I think encounters of living people should have been way less. Or keep the number of encounters, but half of each attacking wave, and make them smarter enemies. Infected I think was fine, it was just the hunters that seemed out of place.

Also the argument of balancing it with combat, I don't buy that. There are other things you can do, like more puzzles. Or platforming. But if you need the combat, throw in more infected, more spread out.

#19 Posted by CaLe (4052 posts) -

I found the human fighting/killing parts of the game to be very enjoyable. I didn't really see it as myself killing human characters though, more that I was solving a puzzle, testing my abilities as a player of video games. I'm able to detach those moments from the story moments and enjoy both separately for what they are. Sometimes the line between them blurs, and that's when some awkwardness can creep in, but generally I'm fine with it all. Saying that, I would in fact like to play a game that did have a more realistic kill count throughout its story, and that might be really coolーbut I wouldn't change anything about this game.

#20 Edited by Raineko (431 posts) -

Joel is a fucked up guy who is willing to do whatever he needs to in order to get what he wants. It may not be a deep character, but it was an interesting one and much better justified than any other video game protagonist who murders a bunch of people that I can think of.

The thing is, in most video games, I don't care, because most of them are just too "gamy". The story is whatever and it's just about the gameplay of killing those stupid AIs over and over again. But TLAO felt more like an interactive movie to me (in a good way). Heavy Rain had an outstanding story and it didn't have constant shootouts because it didn't need them. People wanted to see what happens in the story. And I'm not saying Heavy Rain is a better game, because I don't think that is the case.

Although the gameplay is cool in TLAO, those max payne parts really annoyed me after some time. I think that is also the only reason why I would only give the game a 9/10 because everything else I completely loved.

#21 Posted by Yummylee (22538 posts) -

@raineko said:

But just with Ellie, a 14 year old girl, I murdered like at least 30 people, I mean seriously? (And I did try to sneak past enemies several times).

Ah, see, now that's precisely the sort of attitude that would leave you with a stiletto jab to the eye! Yes, Ellie's only 14, but not only has she been trained by Joel, not only has she also observed him in his ways of killing, and not only is her father-figure on his deathbed, but she grew up in this world. Ellie knows nothing else besides the world people like the Hunters had to adapt to, and you compile all of these variables, and it's turned Ellie into a damn effective killing machine. Which is tough to swallow, but that's because it's supposed to be. That sort of brutality being inflicted by a 14 year old is supposed to take you back a bit, but that's what her travels and her love for Joel has turned her into. A desperate, hardened killing machine.

The fact that she even has Joel's super-hearing ability is a bit weird, but she's at least nowhere near as good in a melee fight and she still has to stick to stealth even more so than is required of Joel. I thought Ellie's growth into the killer she becomes was fantastic, because it's both shocking and tragic, but also believable given everything she's had to go through from her very birth.

#22 Posted by Jay_Ray (1127 posts) -

I can understand the complaint and I would have reduced some encounters by a bad guy or two. However the game takes place over a year and you rarely take on more than 5 guys at a time and there are a ton of encounters that if played right can be avoided by using stealth and distraction. I felt that the game was very balanced between action, tension, and quiet moments.

I think when you have a story that is very drama heavy and has realistic or relatable characters this will undoubtedly be a complaint. And like movies we have to accept that this is a trait for certain big budget titles.

#23 Posted by Encephalon (1334 posts) -

I think knocking a AAA game for an overabundance of combat, while a totally valid criticism, is also a moot point at this stage of game design. These big summer movie-type games will just require you to shoot a million dudes, end of line. Even The Last of Us - which has been cast, at least by the press, as actively pushing back against that stuff - is unrelentingly violent in a way that is only marginally more restrained than an Uncharted game.

The more salient criticism, at this point, I think, is where they wedge in the combat scenarios, and to what degree they serve (or hinder) the intended pacing or tone. There were definitely a few sequences, like the clicker scenario after you see the giraffes, where I was thinking, "No, Naughty Dog, there doesn't need to be combat here! You're ruining it! Just bring it in for a nice easy landing."

#24 Edited by Raineko (431 posts) -

@yummylee said:

@raineko said:

But just with Ellie, a 14 year old girl, I murdered like at least 30 people, I mean seriously? (And I did try to sneak past enemies several times).

Ah, see, now that's precisely the sort of attitude that would leave you with a stiletto jab to the eye! Yes, Ellie's only 14, but not only has she been trained by Joel, not only has she also observed him in his ways of killing, and not only is her father-figure on his deathbed, but she grew up in this world. Ellie knows nothing else besides the world people like the Hunters had to adapt to, and you compile all of these variables, and it's turned Ellie into a damn effective killing machine. Which is tough to swallow, but that's because it's supposed to be. That sort of brutality being inflicted by a 14 year old is supposed to take you back a bit, but that's what her travels and her love for Joel has turned her into. A desperate, hardened killing machine.

The fact that she even has Joel's super-hearing ability is a bit weird, but she's at least nowhere near as good in a melee fight and she still has to stick to stealth even more so than is required of Joel. I thought Ellie's growth into the killer she becomes was fantastic, because it's both shocking and tragic, but also believable given everything she's had to go through from her very birth.

I liked that she kind of "turned into a killer", I think the brutality that the last survivors show is one of the biggest aspects in the game and it also shows how fearless and courageous Ellie is. But even if she grew up in this world, didn't the hunters also kind of grow up in this world? With my sniper rifle I was mowing them down one after another.

And the face stabbing sequence (Ellie's from-behind takedown move) that is such a shocking scene in the first moment, becomes kind of meh after you have seen it for the twentieth time. It made the David killing scene look definitely less dramatic to me than it should have been. Maybe that's just me.

#25 Edited by wemibelec90 (1831 posts) -

@raineko said:

@wemibelec90 said:

Joel is a fucked up guy who is willing to do whatever he needs to in order to get what he wants. It may not be a deep character, but it was an interesting one and much better justified than any other video game protagonist who murders a bunch of people that I can think of.

The thing is, in most video games, I don't care, because most of them are just too "gamy". The story is whatever and it's just about the gameplay of killing those stupid AIs over and over again. But TLAO felt more like an interactive movie to me (in a good way). Heavy Rain had an outstanding story and it didn't have constant shootouts because it didn't need them. People wanted to see what happens in the story. And I'm not saying Heavy Rain is a better game, because I don't think that is the case.

Although the gameplay is cool in TLAO, those max payne parts really annoyed me after some time. I think that is also the only reason why I would only give the game a 9/10 because everything else I completely loved.

Yeah, this game reinforced one thing I've thought since Uncharted 2: Naughty Dog should just make adventure games or something where they can focus on the characters and less on the not-so-stellar shooting gameplay.

#26 Posted by YOU_DIED (703 posts) -

@yummylee said:
@live2brighteous said:

Joel litterally murders hundreds of people in the course of the game. Should a good character really do that? Was that really necessary, Naugthy Dog?

I've always wondered the same thing about Drake... Drake has at least killed over 1000 people in his life... throughout the three uncharted games. The thought of killing that many people never seems to cross his mind though.

I guess it's just a Naughty Dog thing.

No, it's a video games thing.

Yea, it definitely is a video games thing.

#27 Posted by fraser (478 posts) -

To echo the "Joel isn't a good guy" sentiment of people above me in this thread, has anyone read Brendan Keogh's crazy full length book Killing is Harmless on Spec Ops: The Line? It's an interesting experiment/read, but there's a bit in it where he talks about Nolan North voicing the protagonist in Spec Ops and how it makes him feel about Uncharted (and every video game protagonist):

The Line isn’t about Nathan Drake going insane; it is about how Nathan Drake was always insane to begin with.”

This pretty much sums up Joel for me. People are talking a lot about how TLOU is the antithesis of Uncharted, but that it couldn't have been made if Naughty Dog hadn't made Uncharted first. I think I agree. Highlighting Joel's craziness and sinister motives seem like an explicit admission by Naughty Dog of the potential problems of their previous protagonist.


The one thing I'll say about the shooting sections is that I found the infinite ammo sections totally jarring in a game that requires you to always know how many shots are left in your gun. And that the compulsory run-and-gun moments took the fun away from the "take out these enemies however you want" ethos that made the rest of the game so enjoyable.

#28 Posted by project343 (2838 posts) -

I actually found myself constantly impressed at how frequently they resisted the urge to have shootouts. There are entire 20 minute sections of the game without any combat whatsoever. It's just you and Ellie hanging out, making your way through the ruins of a decayed society... it's almost peaceful.

#29 Edited by Roadshell (42 posts) -

I for one am kind of sick of the whole "you kill to many people for the story to be realistic" complaint that's been coming up all year with games like this, Tomb Raider, and Bioshock Infinite. Big action games need to give the player something to do inbetween the story sections. Get over it. If you just want to tell a story, make a movie.

And its not like this is some new "problem" either. Forcing the player to kill ten guys instead of one or two in any given action scene is pretty much just entrenched in the language of gaming at this point. It's a "genre convention" of sorts, like when people burst out in song during musicals. It's not realistic, but it goes with the territory so you just kind of have to accept it.

#30 Posted by outerabiz (666 posts) -

I agree there was too much shooting in the game, at some point i got numb to it and it killed the tension of battle. Also... it's not a games thing, it's a game designer thing where game designers think that if we dont get to shoot anything every 5 minutes we'll turn the game off. In games like ArmA or Dayz where you can go for hours without combat, the engagements are infinitely more intense and you can get a legitimate adrenaline rush when shots are fired unlike this where shooting someone is about as interesting as drinking a cold cup of tea. The best parts of the last of us are the parts with no combat or the parts in the beginning where you have 1 pistol and 2 rounds.

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