@diamond_lime: it only tripped up for me during quite literally the last fight of the entire game right before the pillars on the beach when they called out for “Amber” twice in the same combat encounter. Other than that it was very effective and a nice touch.
Humanity's forum posts
After what seems like a really long time I've finally finished this game.
I liked it a lot but I was most surprised by how much I grew to enjoy Abby's section over Ellie's. Some people say that it's a cheap trick but I honestly think the entire second half of the game is a perfect example of humanizing the enemy and showing you the other side of the conflict. It was also strange that Abby's story had so much more nuance. There were actual characters with their own motivations and you saw Abby slowly start to let go of her past and try to be something more. In stark contrast the entire first half with Ellie is just a bloodthirsty revenge tale devoid of any real depth. She just wants to kill her and thats about it. You get a few decent conversations with side characters but it's not especially memorable.
Also in terms of pure gameplay I grew to really enjoy Abby. At first I groaned at the new weapon set, the empty skill list and the idea that I would have to build up another character 15 hours into the experience. Looking over her skills and partly due to being tired of sneaking around all the time I started playing the game a lot more aggressively and I think the combat was a lot more fun this way than my completely stealthy approach with Ellie. This is because Abby's skills are very offensive in nature and her arsenal is also a lot more deadly. The only exception weirdly enough was the crossbow which somehow seemed weaker than the regular bow which would regularly take out foes even when I did miss the head. So not only did I grow to enjoy the narrative a lot more in the back half but the gameplay as well to the point where playing as Ellie in California felt odd and limiting.
I think a lot of folks already discussed the emotional beats. I generally enjoyed most of it. Owen was a great character. The Abby sex scene was a bit awkward while the kiss with Dinah was probably the most realistic rendition of two animated characters kissing that I've ever seen. I'm still not sure if the game was trying to hint at Abby being a transgender character or not. She is jacked up in a way that seems very unnatural for a typical woman, even a very fit one, but it doesn't really change anything for me one way or the other.
I know people will cry heresy at this but I would be absolutely OK if they made another one of these several years down the road. The universe is great and it would be interesting to see it lets say 50 years down the road.
The very basic answer is “stop doing that” although as with all personal quirks it’s much easier said than done.
From my own experience I can tell you that it’s just something you have to force yourself into. There was a time when achievements defined my gaming experiences. I had to check to see if there would be any I was missing and instead of concentrating on enjoying the gameplay I would sit back and cheese out 25 headshots or whatever because I needed that achievement. This was very detrimental to enjoying games as I was constantly constrained by some arbitrary task list in the back of my head. What really helped was moving from X360 to a PS4 in the beginning of this generation. Suddenly my gamer score was gone, and I had zero attachment to PS4 trophies, and it all just stopped mattering. These days even when I game on the XB1X I don’t actively check achievements. Once I beat the game I might look them over and aim to get some that appear fun but I’m never collecting 100 feathers again.
Maybe in your case you just need a clean break from grind mills like MMOs and play a few really great linear, narratively focused experiences to see the value in a tightly paced package rather than a never ending buffet bar. Possibly experiencing definite closure when the credits roll will help you break from endlessly chasing a constantly moving goal post. If finances are an issue try picking up some older discounted games with a rich story. The Epic Game store is constantly giving away free games that fit this criteria. I played What Remains of Edith Finch thanks to their giveaways, something I normally wouldn’t feel justified even $20, and I ended up absolutely loving it.
For people with an Economic background - what was the end result of game prices shifting from $50 to $60? Did developer wages increase along with product quality? Were games no longer a sustainable product at a $50 price point? I ask as someone that really knows nothing of the market and inner company earning reports etc.
I’m lucky enough to have a steady job that I’m able to do remotely - but this also means that not much has changed in my life in terms of free time apart from cutting out the short commute to the office. Also since I’ve actually retained the exact same workload except now processed through a slower virtual machine conduit, I feel a lot more burned out on staring at monitors at the end of my work day and less inclined to jump right into games.
That said I don’t have much of a backlog to begin with. Each year a few online friends and I exchange Steam games as Christmas gifts so I’ve a few titles like Evil Within 2 lying around that I haven’t touched, but generally I’m up to date on everything I’ve wanted to play. Currently The Last of Us 2 is really kicking my butt in terms of play time. I’m really curious about the story and I’m enjoying the gameplay and performances quite a lot but I can’t seem to play it for extended periods of time. I’m genuinely astounded by the people who bought it release day Friday and were done with it by Monday.
@fourthline: But to what end? How does a reference to something happening now in the real world elevate the story of that game?
Like many have said maybe you just need to take a break from gaming again. What you're saying is incredibly insulting to the hard working people in game development - specifically the coders, animators and so forth that work insane hours to bring these games to life and aren't compensated nearly as well as the company heads that merely supervise these operations. I would only advise that despite your apparent frustrations you take a step back and realize how difficult it actually is to release working, well realized games.
@fourthline: Last of Us 2 started development shortly after the first game which was released in mid 2013. Given that they took a year long break (probably not even that long) the game has been in development for around 5 years or and the story is something that needs to get ironed out early on so they can start crafting the pieces required to actually represent it. So while I can understand wanting games to evolve and I agree some things need to take dramatic steps forward, you can't possibly think that the developers of this game they've been making for 5 years should suddenly "reassess" and go back to the drawing board because an important world even cropped up weeks before it's release date? How would this work? You would want them to take the incredibly bespoke and personal story and add COVID-19 to it somehow in this fictional world they've created? How much work do you think it would actually be to scrap entire areas from the game to somehow include this narrative? I mean this with no offense but that is either incredibly ignorant or very arrogant.
Eric Pope presents Poper Space
From watching a few videos on it the idea is at least interesting for being a departure from the boilerplate Battle Royale formula.
Having your teammates turn into invisible ghosts upon death that can continue to roam the map is definitely an interesting choice and I’m curious how it could be used in high level play.
Being able to win a match by holding the crown for 40 seconds is also a novel idea that encourages active engagement.
The one thing that didn’t look all that great is the time to kill. I generally dislike the way engagements in battle totaled are split second affairs that sent you back to the lobby but this seems to be going in the opposite extreme. Players appear to take a long time to die even from weapons like the rocket launcher (whatever it’s called in-game). Hopefully it is something they can tweak, although I haven’t played the game myself so maybe when you’re actually playing you don’t feel it. As a spectator it sure looked like it took a bit to gun someone down even as they were running away from you.