Spoiler Discussion for Those That Have Completed the Game

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plan6

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@phillipcat: its weird, Jackson was doing all those things and somehow managed to avoid being jack booted thugs.

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ThePanzini

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@phillipcat: Not according to Druckman, the vaccine is to be taken at face value showing Joel is willing to risk all of humantiy to save Ellie.

"As for the whole ending...I've heard you talk about how some plot points are cliched, and the one that probably bugs us the most is Ellie being immune. And the only reason that's in there is so you could get that choice in the end. There's this progression of character for Joel, and how far is he willing to go for Ellie? It progresses from like, willing to put his life on the line, willing to put his friends on the line, and eventualy he's willing to put his soul on the line, and he's willing to sacrifice all of humanity. And at the end you could argue that last conversation, HE'S EVEN WILLING TO PUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH ELLIE ON THE LINE. IN ORDER TO PROTECT HER."

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PhillipCat

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#153  Edited By PhillipCat

@thepanzini:

Because joel is not a scientist. He doesnt have a clue. Niether does any other firefly. They even say that doctor was the only one... well no duh he was the only one... because he was delusional.

Seriously, let's think about this. A. What type of doctor is he? An MD? Mds dont know how to develop vaccines. Is a researcher? Researchers dont know brain surgery.

B. Hospitals arent equipped for developing vaccines. Hes going to need to sequence Ellie's and the cordyceps genome to understand what makes it different. Remember, shes not actually immune. Shes still infected. Shes only infected with a mutated version.

C. Fungal infection vaccine.... okay... sure....

D. Let's say he does somehow finds a way to sequence this and replicate the mutation... how does he plan to mass produce it?

E. How does he plan to mass distribute it?

I can tell you, as a scientist, any instrumentation he has is completely useless. Those things need constant attention and calibration every day

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PhillipCat

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@plan6:

Jackson, the town that still has brushes with different factions.... is that the sword you want to die on?

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Diamond_Lime

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#155  Edited By Diamond_Lime

@phillipcat: What @thepanzini is saying is, that the writer of the first game expects the player to take what is being said as the truth, and nothing else. No room for debate.

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ThePanzini

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#156  Edited By ThePanzini

@phillipcat: Yes of course thinking practicable a vaccine would never happen, but thats not the point, the vaccine its just a plot device to show how far Joel would go.

If you think critically every book, movie or tv show could be broken apart, would Ellie really win a fight against David.

All the information we have in game the notes, surgeons recorder and Marlene telling Joel its the only way suggest to the player the vaccine is possible, the game communicates nothing to doubt this.

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PhillipCat

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@diamond_lime:

So we are just back to poor writing of the doctor being a magic man that can find a vaccine (for a fungus) that millions upon millions of others couldnt over the course of 20 years and he has all the supplies (which would be non existent 20 years later).

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Diamond_Lime

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PhillipCat

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@thepanzini:

The game also doesnt communicate anything to doubt Sara being a prophet. But as outside observers we can use reason and logic to know the religion is bullshit

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plan6

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@plan6:

Jackson, the town that still has brushes with different factions.... is that the sword you want to die on?

Are you under contract to argue like this? Every post you make about this game has some level of passive aggressive snark or straight up insults the poster. Maybe reign it in a bit? It doesn’t make your argument stronger if you treat people like shit.

By the admission of the game itself, FEDRA moved to authoritarian tactics to control Boston during the crisis, including, but not limited to restricting movement. They to hunt down Joel just for leaving the city. If you comparing the living conditions in Boston to that of Jackson, there no doubt that Jackson is both safer and people are all and all happier.

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PhillipCat

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#161  Edited By PhillipCat

It would be ironic though if the doctor did give a shot to everyone thinking he did develop a vaccine (for a fungus) and since there is no trials they all just had a heart attack and died due to the vaccine being made with contaminated ingredients... being that they sat around for 20 years

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PhillipCat

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@plan6:

You may want to read your edit a few posts again and this post if you want a bit of irony.

Yeah, jackson is definitely on a lesser scale. But they dont do anything different. People are designated for patrols. The rest obviously need to check in and get permission to leave.... or... why do you think jesse had to sneak out?

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ThePanzini

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#163  Edited By ThePanzini

@phillipcat: I pretty sure using reason and logic people wouldn't have fungus growing out of their face, at some point you have to suspend your disbelief. A vaccine is far easier than simply walking off being shot.

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PhillipCat

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#164  Edited By PhillipCat

@thepanzini:

The fungal infection taking control of a body isnt unbelievable or unrealistic. New diseases are being born all the time. Old microbes are mutating all the time.

Having a health bar comes with the media format. Theres no getting around that other than a game no one would want to play

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ChiefBeef123

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Overall I really enjoyed the game. I didn't feel much empathy for Ellie once she started on her murder/revenge streak. I started enjoying the game a lot more once it switched over to Abby's story. I found those characters a lot more relatable and fleshed out than the characters in Ellie's story.

I think the game should have ended with the scene of Ellie and Dina happily living on the farm. It felt really forced that Joel's brother shows up, guilt trips Ellie for a few minutes, and then suddenly she flips back to being purely obsessed with revenge. It wasn't believable at all. She was living a happy, safe life with Dina and her child after everything she's been through. Why would she abandon all that?

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PhillipCat

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#166  Edited By PhillipCat

@chiefbeef123:

She wasnt okay. She was suffering from PTSD bad which was what the barn scene was for. I think you can open her notebook and read more about what she was dealing with mentally. And that is the reason why Abby is unsympathetic. In case you weren't aware how much they tortured joel, they kneecapped him, sliced him up and continued to beat him with a golf club. It wasn't quick. It happened over night. And the only one that showed remorse was owen.

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ChiefBeef123

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#167  Edited By ChiefBeef123

@phillipcat: True, but Abby was seeking revenge for killing her dad (the Firefly surgeon) in the same way Ellie is seeking revenge for her killing Joel.

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bondfish

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I guess I am one of the few that really enjoyed the game (think seems like few) is it perfect, no. I think the pacing isn't great and the combat isn't that interesting, yet it is satisfying and the shooting feels like you just shot a guy in the face and has impact. Is the game brutal, no, other games and media are worse than this game. I think what makes it that or why people think its that is getting attached to the characters and then having to do something they don't want to do. I think the reveal at the end, and my interpretation of the revenge is that Ellie never not the chance to forgive Joel like she wanted to try which is why she is willing to go all the way with revenge because she feels like she has to, was a great pay off to me. Once again not a 10/10 but it's a damn good game.

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PhillipCat

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#169  Edited By PhillipCat

@chiefbeef123:

Theres a complete difference between killing in self defense (the doctor held up a scalpel to joel and said he would let him take her) and in the defense of others (what the doctor was going to do was straight up murder) versus hunting, mutilating, maiming, torturing and murdering someone in front of their daughter figure. They even spit on his corpse in front of her. Again, every single one of them said he deserved worse. No one showed remorse other than Owen. The worst thing ellie did was beat up Nora before killing her and was obviously shaken up about it.

And by the way, on my 2nd play through I caught a few other psychological tricks the developers used to illicit emotions. You play in the aquarium as abby and it's all lit up and clean and bright. As Ellie is dark and shady. As Abby Mel has her coat open. As Ellie she has it zipped up

So I'd disagree that its along the same vein.

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cigaro

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#170  Edited By cigaro

@chiefbeef123 said:

Overall I really enjoyed the game. I didn't feel much empathy for Ellie once she started on her murder/revenge streak. I started enjoying the game a lot more once it switched over to Abby's story. I found those characters a lot more relatable and fleshed out than the characters in Ellie's story.

I think the game should have ended with the scene of Ellie and Dina happily living on the farm. It felt really forced that Joel's brother shows up, guilt trips Ellie for a few minutes, and then suddenly she flips back to being purely obsessed with revenge. It wasn't believable at all. She was living a happy, safe life with Dina and her child after everything she's been through. Why would she abandon all that?

I definitely disagree. The scene where Dina confronts her in the kitchen is pretty powerful. You can tell that Ellie is suffering. You can see shes skinnier than she was, as she mentions she hasnt been able to eat.

Not to mention the walking terror she had in the barn.

She was not living a happy life. No matter how much she loved Dina and the baby.

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Whitestripes09

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@cigaro: I honestly can't tell if you're joking or not.

We're here to discuss the story of this game, right? I'm not here to give a review on it. I'm giving my take on the story that I read.

Its fine that you disagree with my opinion or anyone else's in here.

To play my opinion down though because I didn't get to "experience the intricate layers" of whatever neck-beard pretentiousness you're talking about is a dick move.

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Topcyclist

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Yeah. For all the discussions last of us 2 gets for the usual suspects (too violent for the mainstream sold product, too long (most rushed and binged it in a week of release to avoid spoilers, making it feel dragged, uneven pace/plotting which was experimental storytelling methods which can hit or miss uninitiated, claims of agendas or some story element leak that was misrepresented, and an overall just imperfect launch out of their control) Last of us 2 has some great player customization that all games should try out. I was able to beat it about 16 hours and got less of the dragging feeling due to helpful hints i turned on and adjustments of difficulty on the fly. I learned early that sometimes running was viable so not ever encounter was 15 min of slowly taking out goons. It ended up being more manageable even if i felt the length cause being forced to finish it before spoilers.

The hate it gets is wholely due to some really just not liking it for legit reasoned reasons. The other, are some like my friends who refuse to play it cause agenda this that. They read leaks and assumed they told the entire 20-hour experience.

I think our need to review and criticize things works better with something that's not so thick with symbolism and meaning. It ends up with us getting plenty of clickbait think pieces and youtube videos to attract masses who wanna hear how their taste is valid and the game is awful for this that and the third. Obviously the game isn't some profound thing or bad thing for different people, I just think it's one of the few times the story needs to marinate longer than a week or two before everyone jumps in to say how poorly everything was done. It reminds me of movies like fight club, or Psycho...bad examples but critics hated those originally, you get the point. It's a bit off on how a normal story is told and the story is mostly straight forward, could use trimming but it has something there, that doesn't merit the vitriolic hate and 2/10 scores etc. That said it's expected of a more grim story and theirs ways to do grim and still have people walk away satisfied.

My age-old favorite example with a similar plot...Hunter x hunter.

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Intradictus

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@whitestripes09: I mean, no offense, but I value someone's opinion on a movie a lot more if they've seen it than if they've read a write up of it, same with games, same with books. You definitely get to have an opinion on the story, but if you want to not get that sort of response it helps to actually play/watch/read the piece of media you're discussing

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TwoOneFive

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Abby is 100% what Mel said. A POS

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theonewhoplays

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I think shortening the first half of tLoU2 a little might have benefited it, as the story/pacing isn't as tight as the first game. But regardless, finished it yesterday and enjoyed it quite a lot. As with the first game, it finishes strong and I can wholeheartedly recommend it for fans of the first. I played on hard, with the 'listening' mechanic turned off, i.e. the most intense and 'fun' way of playing it.

Ellie's flashes to Joel in the farm segment and in the ending hit me pretty hard. Those were the emotional highlight for me. But I honestly enjoyed Abby's segments more on the whole, and having tlou1 characters as boss battles was great. It's probably the only game I've played where the game tells me to mash square and I'm thinking "should I really?". During the last fight I even waited so long pressing the last square that Abby got up again... The faces the both of them make during that fight are haunting.

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theonewhoplays

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Abby is 100% what Mel said. A POS

Funny thing is - every time a character lambasted Abby or Ellie all I could do was nod my head and think "fair enough, you're right". And Joel had it coming considering all the shit he did on and off screen. But that didn't stop me from empathizing with the characters' plights. It's a messed up world with messed up characters. At least Abby tried doing what she thought was the right thing in the end, while Ellie just couldn't let it go.

Anyway, the only thing about tlou2 that pissed me off was Kotaku spoiling the baby on their front page, almost completely deflating the tension of the cinema confrontation. I mean come on the game was just released, and anyone who had gotten to the Abby part would immediately put two and two together. Honestly, if the Santa Barbara section had not been there I would have been really bummed out, because a major part of tLoU's appeal to me is the tension of where the story is going, and considering the whole game is a damn massacre, I wasn't sure how the cinema confrontation would play out. Thanks to the Santa Barbara part, at least they didn't spoil the final ending. Now that I think about it, the Farm epilogue is pretty much the anti-Uncharted 4 ending.

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Kemuri07

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#178  Edited By Kemuri07

Finally finished this game. If you want to get an approximation of this games' themes: the main menu when you start playing features an empty boat ominously swaying the storm. After you beat the game, the boat ends up on a beach with sunlight in the background.


I'm definitely in the "love the shit out of this" camp. Considering that I haven't been the biggest fans of Naughty Dog--aside from Uncharted 2, I didn't care about any of the Uncharted games, and I thought the original TLOU was far from the cinematic masterpiece people were hailing it as--I was surprised by how much this won me over. Yes, this is a dark story of revenge, but there's so many moments that had me legitimately smile and bask in the beauty and warmth of these characters. That if it wasn't for senseless bloodshed and war, that they could have a better life.

This is the bar that next-gen games have to meet.

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Kemuri07

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#179  Edited By Kemuri07
@theonewhoplays said:

I think shortening the first half of tLoU2 a little might have benefited it, as the story/pacing isn't as tight as the first game. But regardless, finished it yesterday and enjoyed it quite a lot. As with the first game, it finishes strong and I can wholeheartedly recommend it for fans of the first. I played on hard, with the 'listening' mechanic turned off, i.e. the most intense and 'fun' way of playing it.

Ellie's flashes to Joel in the farm segment and in the ending hit me pretty hard. Those were the emotional highlight for me. But I honestly enjoyed Abby's segments more on the whole, and having tlou1 characters as boss battles was great. It's probably the only game I've played where the game tells me to mash square and I'm thinking "should I really?". During the last fight I even waited so long pressing the last square that Abby got up again... The faces the both of them make during that fight are haunting.

That fight was harrowing. And seeing Abby's exhausted face as she came at you again and again. I was just so happy that Ellie lets her go.

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theonewhoplays

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#180  Edited By theonewhoplays

Am I the only one who completely missed the significance of the moths on the loading screen and in Ellie's notebook until the epilogue where they spell it out?

I've also noticed that when ever people discuss Joel, the focus is almost only on the ending of the first game. But tLoU shows repeatedly that keeping his family safe is all that mattered to him, regardless of the cost. The whole intro shows this. Also, he and Tommy were hunters, likely killing innocents for money and equipment, traumatizing Tommy and tearing them apart.

The scene where Joel tortures the cannibals is one of my favorite examples of the subtle storytelling in the game. Notice how calm and matter of fact and almost professionalism he is while torturing those guys? He's good at it. He's done it many times.

I didn't know Joel would die before playing the game, but the second he met Abby I understood what would happen. Honestly I though it would be unrelated to the cure, and instead being another part of his dark past coming back to claim him.

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Humanity

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#181  Edited By Humanity

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.

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Hooyman

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I thought it was a brilliant touch to have the NPCs calling out the names of those killed in combat. Fit great with the game's emphasis on consequentialism. Has this been so widely implemented in a game before?

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Diamond_Lime

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#183  Edited By Diamond_Lime

@hooyman: That name calling actually made me laugh at first. It reminded me of those Heavy Rain bug videos.

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Humanity

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@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.

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@humanity: haha interesting anecdote, I thought each NPC came with a pre-assigned name. I maybe overestimated the amount of attention they gave to the mechanic.

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Kemuri07

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#186  Edited By Kemuri07

I actually never ran into problem of hearing the same names being uttered in a single combat session. I do agree that that stuff is a bit too...on the nose to the point that it does become kind of humorous.

What works much better is when you're sneaking around, and you're just hearing all the NPCs in their normal patrols, shooting the shit and acting like normal people. Made me feel a bit bad when I was about to unleash Ellie, the little murder wonder-kin, on them.

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plan6

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Abby is 100% what Mel said. A POS

Its funny because the first thing I thought about Mel was “Ah the girl who said they shouldn’t leave any loose ends happens to also be a doctor who now has regrets about the murder she took part in. Glad to see it’s all about her. 100% cannot trust this girl.”

That part about Abby might have been cutting, but Mel doesnt like Abby for other reasons than Abby being brave enough to help out two Kids.

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Diamond_Lime

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#188  Edited By Diamond_Lime

@humanity: I didn't have it repeat a name on me, at least I don't think so anyway, but one of the first things to be shouted out was "OH MY GOD THEY GOT SEAN", which is what triggered my initial connection to Heavy Rain.

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ShadyPingu

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#189  Edited By ShadyPingu

@humanity: Interesting take. I said earlier in the thread that I found the Ellie section to be boring, narratively-speaking, while I was engrossed by the Abby section because the factions are explored more deeply and Abby herself is a more dynamic character.

I ended up wondering if my experience would've been improved if the game alternated chapters: Ellie Day 1, Abby Day 1, Ellie Day 2, Abby Day 2, etc. I can't imagine that possibility wasn't discussed at ND internally, and I realize they had good reasons for splitting the game in two. It just really killed my interest in the first 12-15 hours. If I go for a 2nd round, I probably won't play the Ellie section. How did the structure land with you?

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Humanity

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@shadypingu: I had similar feelings on both sections but oddly enough I only found the Ellie section narratively boring in retrospect. At the outset of the game and throughout the first 15 hours or so I was fully engrossed in wanting to find out more and seeing how this journey will end. The way they start introducing flashbacks as playable sections I was expecting them to keep fleshing out the wolves with individual character vignettes until the last encounter. So I was taken completely by surprise when not only the game shifted to a permanent character swap but it actually moved back in time.

I agree that there must have been a lot of conversations in the office how they would actually handle the back half of the story. The transition is initially incredibly jarring for many reasons. They sweep the rug out from underneath you just as Ellie reaches some sort of emotional climax of her arc and then place you in the shoes of a then very unlikable character. This coupled with the gameplay ramifications of realizing you now have to adapt to a new set of skills after getting very comfortable with how Ellie played is also an unwelcome change. It's a ballsy move to suddenly pull the game back and make you place with all these characters you don't know and currently don't care about so it's hard to empathize with Abby and her pals at the start and I was just going through the motions. But as you mentioned, the exploration of the WLF faction members and their relationships to one another is so much richer than anything Ellie had to offer. I would also argue that many of the levels in the back half are a lot more interesting to play through as well. Climbing that skyscraper is great. The Hospital basement was really cool. The island was a very interesting look of a solution to the infestation problem through complete isolation. I thought the back half sort of flowed a lot more smoothly. For instance I had Abby a lot more upgrade at the end of her section than I did Ellie when I regained control of her in California, which is odd because I definitely was a lot more thorough in scavenging early on whereas with Abby I began to play a lot more loosely towards the end as I wanted to just get to the end of the game. I just think you are exposed to more materials in her sections.

As to whether it would work to intertwine the character chapters? From a gameplay perspective I think it would have worked better but I do think the story wouldn't have the same emotional weight to it that way. As jarring and rough as that transition initially is, the narrative is better for it towards the end when you've had time to bond and grow with your WLF pals. Personally when I finally caught up to Ellie as Abby and reenacted that scene where you shoot Jesse from her perspective - seeing Ellie jump up and start talking about Joel I had this feeling of how completely inconsequential that first half was. Abby has seen all the people she cared about die one way or another and in the process been forced to betray her faction and here is this scared little girl screaming about something that seems to have happened a lifetime ago.

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The day after I finished the game, I was pretty into the idea of sticking with the alternating format of the prologue/epilogue, but over time I think they made the right choice. One thing that doesn't get mentioned enough is how the play styles of the two characters amplify how their chapters are supposed to feel.

Ellie had settled into a mostly peaceful life as a zombie hunter in a remote, cold climate that didn't often invite outsiders. She'd learned to be an infiltrator and a sneak, someone who did quiet but rewarding work that nonetheless went unnoticed by the wider world. She'd had such a great purpose left behind by the memory of the loss of her first romantic partner (who really should've had at least a minor appearance in this game) taken from her by, ironically, the one person that gave her purpose as an adult. This is how her peak interests being methods of escapism - music, early spacefaring, ancient history - in some ways signal how she will respond to Joel's death. Without the man who granted her a life she felt prepared to give up for the Rileys of the world who didn't have her "luck", how was Ellie supposed to value the lives of anyone else?

We're supposed to watch her rapid descent from a teen girl full of life and curiosity to a grief stricken anarcho-narcissist young woman who can't imagine anyone's pain and lack of sense of self matching her own. She carries a blade that never dulls, weapons that feel clunky and anxious in her hands. Her interactions with her mission-mates are mostly about how they can help her achieve her goals, and aside from Dina putting a literal pregnant pause on the immunity conversation Ellie is almost always the person that determines the next course of action or resolution of dialogue, even if it sometimes feels abrupt or unfinished. Ellie ends things, messily and recklessly, because all she wants is for things to end.

Abby, meanwhile, is a trained soldier in a large militia, and as the daughter of a surgeon demands order in her life. When she loses her father, she becomes obsessed with a single purpose of avenging his death, but in the pursuit of that vengeance pursues a fairly full life. She's adept with firearms, has a clever way with words, remains moderately knowledgable of modern science and often winds up in scenarios that make her feel designed to murder, but not necessarily built for it. Her combat scenarios are always more elaborate and thus more capable of killing her quickly, and she bears the brunt of the video-gamey aspects of this game. Which is actually a really good thing for her arc as a video game character, because it means her chapters are generically speaking more engaging, or attention grabbing. To that end she's also great at literally pummeling human and zombie enemies alike into submission, the same as she wrests this narrative from Ellie's shoulders and forces it on her own.

There's a cynical take that immediately reads all that and says, "well, what if we just got 10 more hours with Ellie and Abby's skill tree was just another facet of hers?" and I say...sure, that's probably a legitimately more fun game. But it isn't this game, which is such a fascinating example of intentional authorship both hammering the nail to the board emphatically and just barely missing the mark with practically every swing.

As I've been slowly replaying the game in anticipation of a sort of "director's cut" for a friend of mine who cares little about games but loved watching me play the first Last of Us, and watching the Twitch channel GirlfriendReviews' live playthrough of the game for further guidance on what presents and what doesn't without a controller in your hand, I really think this game has offered something pretty special to the conversation about narrative in video games that isn't as far away from a game like Celeste as players might initially think. The trouble comes when all the AAA, be all things to all people impulses add little ellipses to almost every interesting encounter and make a tight, weekend-long 18 hour tale of two ladies with a taste for satisfaction turn into a 35 hour endurance run of the mind and soul.

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ShadyPingu

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@humanity: That's all true. While changing the structure would solve my immediate problem of not being engaged by Ellie's story, the 2-part thing does pay dividends later on. Plus it might've even exacerbated the issue: maybe I'd resent Ellie even more if her murder spree was constantly pulling me away from Abby's redemption arc. I guess the obvious solution would be to... make the Ellie part more engaging? I feel like Dina and Ellie's relationship was supposed to provide that emotional grounding, but I didn't feel that they had the chemistry to pull it off. Ah well.

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plan6

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I sort of respect the LoU2 for making us play the final boss for the first half of the game. And making that boss one of the main characters from the previous game. But the last three hours of the game happen, with the lack luster melee brawl, and I’m way less into it.

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theonewhoplays

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#194  Edited By theonewhoplays

@shadypingu: The thing is, Ellie and Dina had plenty of chemistry, but when they reach Seattle and start going down the list, Ellie get so focused on her mission she almost forgets about Dina at times, and after she yells at her for being pregnant their dynamic changes for the rest of the game. You definitely get the feeling it's possible Dina and Jesse might have gotten back together if Abby hadn't shot him in the face. This is all intentional IMHO, but it does make the first part feel less engaging, and it should probably have been slightly shorter.

@plan6: I know where you're coming from, but I feel ending the game at the farm or having Abby kill Dina or Ellie, or worse, having Abby die in the theater, would have made the ending slightly unfinished. The "happy" ending feeling slightly off, then falling apart with Ellie having her panic attacks and visions of Joel, leading to the final confrontation, was one of my favorite parts of the game. I was almost as frustrated with her as Dina! Ellie's final vision of Joel and their discussion on the porch gave a great sense of closure to the story, and that last area helped pave the way for it. The fact that it heavily reminded me of the final episode of Breaking Bad (for various reasons) made me just like it more.

But I do feel all of Sony's first party games I've played the last couple years have all had similar final boss battles, where you dodge once or twice, wail on the boss, and repeat. Uncharted 4, Spider-Man, this... Even the last boss of God of War was super simple compared to some other fights in that game.

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Humanity

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@theonewhoplays: I would have preferred if you get to the pillars and untie Abby and the game just shifted to a complete cutscene from that point on. The fist fight was a little too gamey for such an emotional finale. I honestly would have preferred to have had a QTE for the whole thing so it at least flowed a little better. You lose a lot of the weight from the encounter when seriously injured Ellie and malnourished Abby are slugging it out for so long.

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ShadyPingu

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#196  Edited By ShadyPingu

@humanity: That fight does feel like the culmination of TLOU's endgame idea of "what if we force the player to do something they may find morally repugnant, like shank a doctor?" Actually, the whole game is kind of an extrapolation of that idea, certainly the California epilogue.

Boy, given how much Vinny disliked the surgery room sequence in TLOU, this game is going to make his head explode.

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Humanity

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@shadypingu: Eh I wouldn't say the whole game is that but experiences will differ of course. For me personally I think that was the only moment in the whole game where I balked at doing the thing the game wanted me to do. When Abby was kneeling in the water waiting for that "strike" action I just sat there, like others mentioned in the thread, thinking it would eventually time out and we would get a scene of forgiveness but she just stands back up and starts swinging again. I don't really remember any other moment in the game where I physically stopped myself from doing something because as amazing as it looks and feels it's still just a game to me. I will kill attack dogs all day without flinching because they are an annoying enemy type. There is a strange disembodying effect of having complete agency over your character for the whole game and then suddenly having it stripped away for narrative purposes. Which is why I would advocate for that being a full cutscene instead of an interactive fight.

I would also love to hear an interview about how many different iterations of that ending they wrote before they settled on this one. The first game was powerful but in this very "clever" video game sort of way - wow I can't believe he would do that, does she know, doesn't she?? I can see them not wanting to repeat themselves. TLOU2 concludes on a bleak note in a very matter of fact sort of way. There is no clever reveal or shock value moment. It's very lifelike in that there is nothing extraordinary about it, but then again there typically isn't about human suffering. Abby was carrying the Firefly hope within her, probably partly in memory of Owen, and that hopes gets spectacularly crushed. Ellie breaks down and just lets them go and she loses Dinah in the process. There is no happy ending for anyone because life usually doesn't just magically arrange itself for you. I think that is kind of unique in it's own way, but it also is very flat as far as a videogame goes.

Also I was hoping to get your input on this thing: I'm not sure if this is correct but I'm of the belief that the trader who sold her the info to Abby about the Firefly house with the radio was actually working with the Rattlers, helping them round up more slaves. Now it's strange that the person on the radio she speaks with would know the details she used to verify her identity if they are in fact with the Rattlers. At the same time why would they direct her to head to where the Rattler prison camp was stating "we'll find you" ? I think it would be very much in the Last of Us style to have this group of slavers using the Firefly name to trick unsuspecting victims.

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Nodima

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I haven't watched the few interviews Neil Druckmann, Haley Gross and others have given since the game's release (mostly because I'm not a fan of the hosts of those pods) but apparently Sony/Naughty Dog have been producing a behind the scenes retrospective of the first game as a podcast that's moving on to the second game this week. Obviously it'll be very, uh, positive on the game and its production, but I'm sure given the amount of insight the Grounded documentary had into the making of the first game this podcast will have some pretty interesting deconstructive conversation going on.

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“Revenge is bad” is not a message that required a 30 hour game to get the point across. In the end the game felt self indulgent due to its length. Production, va, motion capture, characterisation all good but the story itself is just very predicable.

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Kemuri07

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@seventytwotransformations: considering teh amount of 100+ hours games of "shoot bad guys in face. repeat." I think 30 hours of a revenge story is more than fine.

It's about execution. That is far more important than just surprising me with plot twists.

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