The other ludonarrative dissonance issue of The Last of Us Part II (and so many other games)

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bigsocrates

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Pausing from discussion of whether the story is "good" or "bad" I'd like to take a moment to talk about The Last Of Us II's other ludonarrative issues. Chief among them is the fact that this is a game that's clearly designed for you to scour every inch of its carefully crafted levels (most of the gold trophies are for finding everything, the game is designed for you to be constantly short on necessary supplies, etc...) and yet it's constantly bugging you to move on and get going. There are a ton of games that are designed this way, with characters who try to rush you even though the game mechanics clearly intend for you not to rush. In The Last of Us Part II there's something of a nod to this issue, with your character sometimes responding that they're looking for supplies, which I liked, but then if you spend more than 30 seconds looking around an environment the game itself starts bugging you with a "hit L3 for a hint" icon on the screen, accompanied by a little chime. To my knowledge you can't turn this off. I never needed a hint but it did serve to really annoy me when I was trying to figure out a puzzle and especially open a safe. Like dude, you intentionally made the safes require careful scouring of the environment to open and now you're going to bug me that I'm not doing it fast enough? This always made me feel a little stupid.

Of course the in game hint system isn't really narrative, but there are times when you really do need to be rushing from a narrative perspective and the game still wants you to search the environment (because it has safes or other optional areas that wouldn't be there if it didn't.) This is a constant issue in video games, the "we have to hurry" where there is no need to hurry, but I really felt in TLOU II. I would have been able to spend less time searching, of course, if the characters could carry more than 3 bullets at a time, so there is a disconnect between the mechanics (which force you to constantly scrounge for resources) and the narrative, which wants you to hurry. There's a point in the game where you have to advance on a sniper and while your companion comments on his amazing aim I was more impressed by his ability to hold multiple clips of ammunition at the same time. He probably took 25-30 shots at me, so clearly he must have magical pockets. There's definitely a tension between the game's mechanics that limit what you can carry and its supposedly propulsive narrative. Maybe if they didn't insist on carrying so many different guns they could do what actual people do and carry one or two guns and enough bullets to actually be able to use them!

While I'm complaining about these petty issues, I'd also like to complain about locked doors in this game. There are four types of doors in TLOU Part II. There are doors you can just open, doors you can open with more effort (holding down the triangle button) that usually lead to the next section of the level, doors that you can't open at all and can't even try to interact with, and locked doors. Most of the time locked doors indicate that you need to find another way around, like through an outside window or a crack in the wall, but on maybe 4-5 occasions you need to advance the narrative to open them. I spent way too much time trying to find a way around these doors because the game had trained me mechanically that locked door=find another way in. Not always. In one area you actually have to try to leave the building in order to open an internal door, because something happens that keeps you from leaving and the locked door is actually part of your path out.

In the game's defense I think that either your character or a companion will say something like "there must be a way around" if you're actually supposed to open the door, but they don't say anything if it's a story door, so the first couple times they didn't say something I didn't get that that was a clue that this door couldn't be opened yet. This is a very petty complaint, but I got pretty frustrated trying to open doors until I figured this out. The locked door in the theater is especially annoying because the way you actually open it is some old-school PC adventure game silliness.

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cikame

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I saw a video where the player had to break open a window to get into a building, it was the only way in, but pressumably the area had been looted and picked over for the last 25 or so years so that window should have been long gone.

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ThePanzini

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Before starting I turned off all the hints, I pretty much murder everyone and pick the place clean. I can only recall being told to more on once in 15 hours, The Last of Us 2 has been really good in this regard.

Ludonarrative dissonance is such an odd complaint at some point you have to craft a level otherwise you'd be walking down barren empty streets.

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bigsocrates

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@cikame: If we're going to start getting into that stuff then there are a lot of other issues. Chief among them...where are all the goddamned animals? You see roaches and squirrels in a few areas, but for the most part this game has zero wildlife. There are enemies who use bird calls, but there are very few birds. We all know from our recent experience that if humans leave an area for like 5 minutes animals will immediately move in. There have been raccoons living in Central Park for a long time, and it's not like New York City is an abandoned wasteland (or at least wasn't until a couple months ago.)

Meanwhile in a Seattle where there are probably a few thousand humans left there are fewer animals than there would be if you went to Seattle today. How are there all these abandoned buildings but only like 50 rats in the whole city?

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CreepingDeath0

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#5  Edited By CreepingDeath0

@bigsocrates: I'm only a few hours in but I've seen 2 wild rabbits and a cat. Haven't kept track of rats.

I fully agree with the feeling of gYou must rush! But also make sure to loot everything because you are never coming back here". So far the most damaging thing to my enjoyment the game has done is to go from Ellie urgently needing to leave Jackson, consumed by the need for revenge to.... X amount of months later, hey let's check out some random buildings and dawdle around looking for gas to open a gate that you could probably just climb.

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bigsocrates

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@creepingdeath0: There are a few animals, for sure, but nowhere near the number you'd see in the real world.

It's not just dawdling. The characters put themselves in enormous danger in order to accomplish minor things. "Oh look, another dark basement full of infected. This should be fine! I don't need to think of another way to accomplish my goals."

I also forgot to mention in my post how many vending machines there are with like 2 candy bars in them. Leaving aside the silliness of candy bars healing gunshot wounds, they say there are no heroes in the world of The Last of Us, but what about all the looters who emptied these machines except for two candy bars that they kindly left for Ellie? Why did they leave one or two candy bars? Were they Zagnuts? I would understand if they were Zagnuts. Even during the apocalypse you need to draw the line somewhere.

@thepanzini I don't know whether you were moving quickly or whatever but this game constantly pinged the "press L3 for hint" icon at me while I was trying to unlock safes or do other stuff in the environment. I also did not see a way to turn it off. I also strongly disagree with your take on ludonarrative dissonance. Yes it's silly to complain about in like a Mario game, but if you're trying to tell a "real" and "grounded" story that's supposed to be meaningful then you should commit to actually telling that story, and not incentivizing the player to do things that no human would do in that situation. You need to have stuff in levels, sure, but you don't need to scatter them full of random collectibles. Ellie is on an urgent, deadly, mission but she still has time to pick up and look through trading cards. Later in the game you can also find a bunch of state quarters. Seeing as you can only hold a few bullets maybe ditch the quarters and use that room for ammunition that would save your life? There are games that don't do this stuff because they are committed to the truth of their narrative and to telling a meaningful story.

A game should not be compared to Schindler's List when it compromises its storytelling for these kinds of mechanics. The characters in the cut scenes are totally different than the characters in the game proper, and that seriously damages the storytelling. It's fine if the designers want to prioritize gameplay over story, probably even the right decision, but you don't get to have your cake and eat it too by claiming you're telling this deep and immersive narrative and then also telling the player they should spend time searching for random collectibles instead of pursuing the characters' actual goals.

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Arcitee

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Because I am playing it mostly stealthy I find there is no ludonarrative problem from fully exploring the areas.

I am slowly and methodically moving around and clearing the areas as she would need to do her mission.

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BoOzak

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#8  Edited By BoOzak

@bigsocrates said:
Yes it's silly to complain about in like a Mario game, but if you're trying to tell a "real" and "grounded" story that's supposed to be meaningful then you should commit to actually telling that story, and not incentivizing the player to do things that no human would do in that situation. You need to have stuff in levels, sure, but you don't need to scatter them full of random collectibles. Ellie is on an urgent, deadly, mission but she still has time to pick up and look through trading cards. Later in the game you can also find a bunch of state quarters. Seeing as you can only hold a few bullets maybe ditch the quarters and use that room for ammunition that would save your life? There are games that don't do this stuff because they are committed to the truth of their narrative and to telling a meaningful story.

I've probably mentioned this before in these forums but this is why I hate 'Gwent' so much in The Witcher 3, it makes zero sense in the context of the world and even breaks the fourth wall in it's descriptions of characters. (but I guess the jokes on me for taking the game too seriously...)

With TLOU it bothers me less because at least the collectibles actually make sense in it's world and it isnt too far fetched that the character would at least look at something they find interesting between looting draws for scraps.

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TheRealTurk

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You know a game that did this well? Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Oh, you want to explore do you? Well, while you were dicking around hacking everyone's email, those terrorists got impatient and murdered all the hostages you were supposed to be rescuing. Better luck next time.

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Kemuri07

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eeeeh... I think this is petty as all hell and doesn't really diminish the storytelling of TLOU2. That and the argument is kinda dumb: That because TLOU2 commits to realism in its storytelling, then everything HAS. TO. BE. REAL. Because we can take that argument to the point where it stops being a video game. Namely: Well, Ellie gets shot multiple times but never has a bullet wound. FAKE! Ellie suffers a life-threatening wound and is able to deal with it with some alcohol and bandages. NOT REAL!

At some point you do have to concede with the fact that this is a video game, and while I understand that the tone and the nature of the game makes some of the video gamey aspects glaring in comparison, you do have to meet this game in middle in order to suspend your disbelief. Like you do with any fiction.

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bigsocrates

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@kemuri07: TLOU 2 does NOT commit to realism in its storytelling. It commits to hyping its storytelling as realistic but it utterly fails to follow through. That's a separate point.

I think there's a big difference between suspension of disbelief for things like health kits and inventory space (which are issues but not really what I'm talking about) and what kind of behavior the game encourages. The game spends a lot of time and money setting up characters to behave in certain ways, but how they behave in cut scenes is totally different from how the game incentivizes you to actually play them. They're totally different people. It doesn't have to be this way. There are lots of games that do a better job of aligning character behavior in the game vs. through the story, but there are also a lot of games that just don't seem to care, and it takes away from games as a storytelling medium. You say you have to "suspend disbelief" with any fiction, but of course there are lots of examples of fiction where you don't have to suspend disbelief because they are set in the real world with realistic behaving characters. Even in movies or shows with fantastical or sci-fi elements the characters don't behave in totally different ways depending on the situation. They don't shout at each other about having to rush to save someone and then spend 10 minutes searching through a burning building for a special quarter to complete their collection.

The idea that "it doesn't matter, it's just a video game" sells the medium short.

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Kemuri07

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@kemuri07: TLOU 2 does NOT commit to realism in its storytelling. It commits to hyping its storytelling as realistic but it utterly fails to follow through. That's a separate point.

The idea that "it doesn't matter, it's just a video game" sells the medium short.

Not even remotely what I'm saying. Because it's like complaining about a movie because it's not real, or because it's just "fiction." You have to make concession with the medium that you're viewing your entertainment. And just like you have to accept the tools of film being used to express storytelling, you have to except the tools of gaming mechanics being used for story telling as well. So I don't have a problem with a health hud, or the game indicating where I needed to go because it's still a video game. That's not a criticism--it's just facts. So complaining about why there isn't an abundance of wild life, or why this didn't happen and blah blah blah just defeats to purpose. I look at it the same way as people who whine about plot holes in movies: "I don't know how you enjoy anything."

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plan6

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#13  Edited By plan6

LoU2 biggest sin is way to many encounters. It is the problem with their commitment to bullets being super lethal is that the encounters don't have a ton of back and forth without a large number of humans to murder. And then they need to make a AAA video, which requires so many encounters. There is a single running combat where I ripped through what felt like 45 people.

But the biggest ludonarrative dissonance sin of video games(and movies) is making bows super easy to use and more lethal than guns. There is a reason we don't use those things in combat any more. They a super hard to use, they tire you out and they are not super lethal. My DYI arrow flying from my modded compound bow(who's super complex pulley system is magically immune to damage) isn't going to rip through someone wearing really rugged all weather gear. A head shot is just as likely to bounce of someone's skull as kill them. The only game that gets away with this is Horizon, who's bows were made from super tech robot dinos and fired magic arrows. And the few guns you used in that game murdered everything.

Finally, in a Plague's Tale - Innocence: When they tell you to hunt a boar with a sling. I said out loud to my wife "No one in this studio googled what a sling is or how it works. Or this girl has a death wish." Want some real history in your game, have me hunt a pigeon with a sling and then eat it like its chicken.

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bigsocrates

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@kemuri07: I wasn't complaining about the lack of wild life, I just commented on it when someone brought up windows as another example of how the world is unrealistic. There's not a lot of wildlife because wildlife is expensive to make in video games and that's fine. I also don't have a problem with the HUD or other video game stuff (like repetitive animations etc...) because those are inherent to the medium.

What I DO have an issue with is the game claiming to tell a serious story and then also giving the player incentive to dick around searching through stuff when they're supposed to be rushing. That's not inherent to the medium. That's a choice. It's a choice to create a game where the plot tells you to do X but the mechanics tell you to do Y. That's not inherent to the medium.

It would be like a movie where characters are trying to escape from a burning building but they pause to have a long Kevin Smith style conversation about pop culture. Unless the movie were specifically trying to be a parody most people would agree that was bad.

You're totally missing the point by claiming that this is inherent to the medium. It's not. There are lots of games that don't have collectibles or that have plots where characters are not under time pressure. When you combine "you are in a rush" with "the mechanics and even trophies incentivize you to dawdle" you have dissonance, and it's totally a choice. It also undermines storytelling because the characters' actions and attitudes in cut scenes are totally different from their actions and attitudes during gameplay.

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Kemuri07

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@plan6 said:

LoU2 biggest sin is way to many encounters. It is the problem with their commitment to bullets being super lethal is that the encounters don't have a ton of back and forth without a large number of humans to murder. And then they need to make a AAA video, which requires so many encounters. There is a single running combat where I ripped through what felt like 45 people.





See. This is a far more reasonable and understandable criticism of the game. It was my big criticism of the first game, and it's probably going to be my same criticism for this one. It's less of an issue of ND's supposed "bad writing," and more of the problem with the expectations of AAA gaming. These things become a lot more apparent when there is a focus on the brutality of violence and how it effects people.

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plan6

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#16  Edited By plan6

The writing in the game is fine. Many of the complaints about it "not being logical that they would let this person live" and makes me think those players miss all subtext. I can't get 8 people in my office to agree on the time for a conference call, so I don't know why folks think that the 8 people who are clearly not all hardened killers to be all about murdering that just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The behavior of the characters seems overwhelmingly human, which is why the frustration around them refusing to talk exists. That is the narrative of the game, which boiler plate revenge story.

I don't even have a big problem with the collectibles in LoU2. They seem in character for someone who just naturally does that as part of searching for supplies. Like any form of collecting, it becomes ingrained to keep an eye out. And it serves the narrative that constantly reminds the player of the better person Ellie could be, nerdy, caring and charmingly awkward.

Edit: Now the 30 pounds of fire arms she carry around and can somehow swim in something that bothers me every time it happens.

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Arcitee

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@plan6: lol every story, movie, game etc that shows a character swimming effectively in anything other than a swimsuit is unrealistic and was written by people that did have swimming or lifeguard training. We had to train once in full regular clothes (to see what it was like) and we all thought we might die from everything absorbing water and weighing us down.

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Kemuri07

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@kemuri07:

It would be like a movie where characters are trying to escape from a burning building but they pause to have a long Kevin Smith style conversation about pop culture. Unless the movie were specifically trying to be a parody most people would agree that was bad.

That's a bad comparison for a number of reason. Mostly because the game doesn't force you to go explore if you don't want to. The Seattle segment is a great example of this, since it tells you fairly early where you need to go to progress to to the next story area. You do not need to check those places if you don't want to. More importantly, the game contextualizes what you're doing so if you do go off on your own, dialogue between the two characters serve to continue the story or provide insight between characters. So no, nothing like riffing on pop-culture.

Also TLOU2 is a survival horror game with an emphasis on Survival. You are generally out matched and out classed, so it is imperative for you to find equipment that will help you survive. It is not that hard to work into a head canon that Ellie might want to search abandon places to ensure that she's well prepared.

Opinons are opinions I guess, but you just come off as being uncompromising to a ridiculous degree. Cause I don't have any of the issues that you seem to have. And it has nothing to do with me "not respecting video games as a story telling medium."

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bigsocrates

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@kemuri07: The game doesn't "force" you to go off and explore, but it incentivizes it. It clearly intends for you to do it, especially if you look at trophies. There are trophies for visiting every area in the Seattle open world area, for finding every collectible etc... It's definitely an intended way to play the game and it doesn't make any sense from a story perspective. You can say "well Ellie is supposed to be scrounging materials" but she came from a settlement with a reasonable amount of supplies. She was even permitted to take a horse with her. It's also something that you are expected to do not just for equipment (which you quickly fill up on) but for comic book cards.

I used the Seattle area because it's early in the game and I didn't want to give spoilers, but my biggest issue with this was actually when you get to the Seraphim island, there's a literal war going on, everything's on fire, you're racing to save Lev from his mom, and Abby is still searching for state quarters! It is beyond absurd. If you don't like comparisons, which I was using to avoid spoilers, just imagine that scenario in an actual movie. The hero is racing through a burning town trying to rescue their friend and pauses to pick up and examine some quarters for their collection. I mean, you are free to say "no a movie would totally do that and it would be fine" but you are...wrong.

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Efesell

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I dunno I think this would be petty and ridiculous in the context of most games but most games are not as clearly trying to escape the orbit of just being video games in the same way I think this wants to.

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bigsocrates

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@efesell: This is exactly my point. Again, I don't care about this stuff in a Mario game or even something like Xenoblade. It mildly irritates me when games have companions nagging you to rush just because I don't like being nagged, and I think that it's weird that so many games have plots that are super time sensitive even when the game itself is full of side content (this happens all the time in JRPGs, where an evil force is going to blow up the world and you have to rush to stop it, but you also have time to go to a casino and bet on chocobo races) but in a game where it's trying to tell this deep and meaningful story it just seems to undercut that. If you're trying to tell a grounded and realistic story you should incentivize the player to behave like a real person would in that situation.

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Kemuri07

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@bigsocrates:

But this is what I mean when I say you’re being uncompromising. Either the game is not realistic and therefore it’s totes ok to have these game elements or it tries to be realistic and than that realism needs to apparent in every aspect of the game, which I think is kind of bullshit. Because it turns this argument into an either/or argument that is just fucking unrealistic to expect from a video game. And at the end of the day, that’s what TLOU2 is—a video game.

Because none of these things are things you have to do. The game might allow you wiggle room to go exploring if you so choose to. so this sounds like less of the games problem and more of a “you” problem That’s why your movie comparison doesn’t work because a film doesn’t work that way, whereas a video game does.

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bigsocrates

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@kemuri07: First of all, calling people's arguments "dumb" or "bullshit" is not a productive way to have a conversation. It's not going to convince people of your perspective it's just going to ratchet up the hostility. There are ways to disagree with people without being insulting, and it seems really weird to be repeatedly insulted over something as trivial as my opinion on a video game.

Falling back on "this is just how video games are" is not a compelling argument to me because there are games that avoid these traps. Firewatch is literally a game about wandering around in a park, but when it puts you in a time pressured situation it doesn't expect you to wander around and look for random stuff unrelated to what you're doing. Other games only include collectibles during points of the game when the characters have time to search around for things and not during the high pressure story scenarios. Someone else gave the example of Deus Ex having bad guys execute hostages if you dawdle around too much, giving you consequences for your actions. This is not something inherent to the medium.

While games cannot control what players do they can incentivize different behaviors. Sure you can play TLOU 2 while ignoring the collectibles entirely and just racing through the environments, but the game rewards you with trophies for collecting stuff and when you go to the chapter select it breaks down what you've collected and what you haven't. Collection is clearly at least one of the intended ways to play the game (there is no reward for getting through the story quickly, so while you can choose to do that the designers do not push you in that direction.) It is also in stark contrast to what the motivations of the characters should be in many situations. When the game's mechanics push you in a direction that's opposite from where it's story pushes you that creates dissonance and reduces the impact of the story. That's ludonarrative dissonance.

When this happens in a game where the story isn't important or at least not trying to be profound then I'm fine with it. If the designers want to say "it's just a video game, the story's just there as a carrot to push you through" I will meet them at that level. If, however, they say that the story is supposed to make meaningful commentary on humanity and the real world, and be treated like serious art, then it becomes more problematic. Having a game's plot tell you "race to save your friend!" while the mechanics tell you "search around this building for a Rhode Island quarter!" reduces the impact of the plot. If the character's motivations didn't matter to the designers in how I was intended to play then they matter less to me.

I'm not being uncompromising, I'm taking the designers at their word when they say that they want to create a game with an impactful narrative and message, and then criticizing them for ignoring that narrative when they designed some of the game's systems. I'm just not willing to have it both ways. If they want it to be treated as serious art then I will critique it like serious art.

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Nodima

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I suppose one thing that's being overlooked is the whole time compression thing that happens with video game stories. I think we can all agree that the story of The Last of Us 2 isn't happening in real-time, but I think it's harder to recognize that the things you are helping Ellie accomplish aren't exactly happening at the same rate of time you're experiencing them. There are segments in the game where it's clear that more time has passed in the day than it feels like for you personally; I ultimately spent roughly 10 hours with Ellie in Seattle across 3 days, but it only took me a day and a morning to experience that.

Tim Rogers made a great argument for what the looting sections of these games represent in his recent review of the original Last of Us (that unfortunately I can't immediately recall), but I think the interactivity of games can too easily obscure what is sometimes meant to be taken as an abstraction or metaphor, the same way seeing a man grab one magazine in an action movie can later excuse his infinite ammo during the climactic fight. I've been realizing I'm reading something of an absent parent vibe from this game, feeling more like I am guiding Ellie into good decisions that will help her survive her mission despite her redline rage. In some of the more dire combat scenarios, I've even found myself wondering if my problem is wanting Ellie too much to be Joel when she's her own person, both as a character and as a player character.

I've seen the thing and I think they are continuing to be really clever with how they marry gameplay to the character and the character to the player's interpretation of them. I don't feel as strong a need to be protective as I did a few hours ago and as such I feel back in a groove in a way I kept getting in my own way of earlier.

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bigsocrates

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@nodima: Is this accurate though? I know several days pass in Seattle and the game itself doesn't play all that out in real time, but there are also substantial cuts in the action. There are times when the screen cuts to black and the characters move from one area to another without you controlling them, or go to sleep, or whatever.

There's a point in the game where someone says that a trip will take about 2 hours and it takes...about 2 hours of gameplay to get through.

I don't see it as "this is an abstraction or metaphor" so much as "we are only showing you the interesting parts of this time period. Not the points where nothing happened, or where Ellie had to poop, or the characters were just taking a boat across the water but didn't encounter any obstacles."

In other words I think that the events depicted in the game are happening in real time, we're just not seeing all of every day. Only the artsiest fartsiest game would make you watch Ellie sleep, for example.

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Sweep

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#26  Edited By Sweep  Moderator

I'm less frustrated about this stuff. I didn't find the hints particularly obnoxious, and there were a couple of instances where I got stuck in a room and couldn't find the way forward, so that was actually appreciated.

I had to remind myself that the game has been designed to accommodate multiple playthroughs at varying degrees of difficulty. With the first game, on the grounded difficulty (with minimal supplies and no detective vision) the best path is often the one which avoids conflict, where you don't wipe the level and then have the freedom to run around and loot, and there are large chunks of the first game which you can stealth around enemies entirely. This, incidentally, is why the Ellie barricades every door behind her as she passes through, despite the fact you might have already killed all the enemies on the other side.

That's not the recommended experience from a story standpoint, as you're going to miss out on a lot of the conversations and notes scattered around. However some people prefer playing in this way, and if you're trying to avoid combat and don't have that freedom to run around the level mashing triangle as you search for supplies then having a target hint for your destination is actually a big help.

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plan6

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#27  Edited By plan6

My biggest complaint now is that Naughty Dog knows nothing about dogs. You can have attack dogs in your game, but you can’t then try to make me feel bad because they are “good boys” that like to play fetch. That isn’t how dogs work. You don’t have an attack dog that straight up kills people off leash. Dogs don’t have friend or foe radar, they are just going to maul people with guns. I will feel bad for killing them because they are dogs, but you can’t twist the knife by making them out to be Air Bud with combat skills.

The cheap dog tricks are to much naughty dog. Also you don’t know how combination locks work.

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tophar01

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@cikame: If we're going to start getting into that stuff then there are a lot of other issues. Chief among them...where are all the goddamned animals? You see roaches and squirrels in a few areas, but for the most part this game has zero wildlife. There are enemies who use bird calls, but there are very few birds. We all know from our recent experience that if humans leave an area for like 5 minutes animals will immediately move in. There have been raccoons living in Central Park for a long time, and it's not like New York City is an abandoned wasteland (or at least wasn't until a couple months ago.)

Meanwhile in a Seattle where there are probably a few thousand humans left there are fewer animals than there would be if you went to Seattle today. How are there all these abandoned buildings but only like 50 rats in the whole city?

There seemed to be plenty of animals scurrying around, is it plausible there would be more? Sure, was the amount you see jarringly unrealistic, not really. You don't actually see that many animals if you go out into woods uninhabited by humans. Not to mention for most of the game you are in or near areas inhabited by human, or infected. Since infected apparently just attack any living thing that comes near them like Tommy's horse, and its still necessary to continually send out patrols to kill infected around Jackson then I definitely would not expect to just be seeing animals all over the place.

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dezvous

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I only skimmed this but you can definitely disable hints, I know because I did.

Not only that, there's an incredible option in the navigation accessibility options that enables a Dead Space-like 'hit L3 to have the camera swing to the direction of your next objective and draw a little arrow on screen' feature. So basically this functions as a manual hint system that only triggers when you want it to, brilliant. Loved it for knowing which ways would lead me further into the game and which optional ways I should explore.

This is accompanied by an accessibility sound but you can disable this by going into the audio options and turning the accessibility sounds mixing all the way down.

But yeah, there are a billion accessibility options for making the game play just how you want it to and I will never understand why some people seem to ignore these, including reviewers etc. I understand the whole "average user experience" thing but it's kinda goofy considering this is a videogame and it's about enjoying yourself, you owe it to yourself and the devs who went to all the trouble to put the options in just for you, to try to have the best time you can. My days of rapidly tapping a button to break free of something are over (unless Revolver Ocelot is at it once again), it's especially funny to me because tapping seems less equivalent to the in game action anyways. Holding something down actually feels a lot more like struggling to do something anyways hahah.

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north6

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#30  Edited By north6

There's something to this thread, but unfortunately in text it comes off as a little petty and self-serving. This is less to do with anything the OP typed and more to do with the video game medium and the topic, and how hard of an issue this is to point out with the proper nuance. There needs to be tutorial systems that recur throughout the game, and when narrative and gameplay ultimately clash from this, gameplay should win. That said - It's a subject of a yet to be made joseph anderson style video where you can give tons of examples and narrate your thoughts on how to make these situations less bad rather than thinking it's a problem that can be fixed, because *gameplay should always win*.

I'd imagine this is the sort of thing that studio leads dread discussing because it could spiral and waste thousands of hours of knob twisting and tweaking.

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gornogorno

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@bigsocrates I might be too late, but you can actually fix most gameplay related issues you have (except for the sniper level) by tweaking accessibility options.

Try messing with options, it may improve your experience with a game a bit

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