The Last of Us 2 SPOILER DISCUSSION. Page 19

  • ZuluHero 17 Jul 2020 20:56:08 9,708 posts
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    Can you imagine that people are actually avoiding this thread because of spoilers? ;)
  • davidfowles 18 Jul 2020 14:01:58 324 posts
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    Joel being killed was spoiled for me by some review or preview article saying that something happens then you head off with your girlfriend for revenge. If it’s not the “women in fridges” trope then that only leaves the “mentor sacrifice” cliche and it was pretty obvious Joel would be murdered.

    I did think perhaps they might have attacked and killed a bunch of people at the settlement though. The narrative convenience of Abby running into Joel immediately was fucking idiotic.

    I’d anticipated a scene where Abby tells Ellie “Joel murdered my father and condemned the human race” but I never got that. They let it peter out by revealing that Ellie knew why they attacked all along, and that Ellie is just an asshole.

    I think that was the point the game became a massive slog, because I had no interest in seeing the player character succeed.
  • PazJohnMitch 18 Jul 2020 17:01:40 16,569 posts
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    ZuluHero wrote:
    Can you imagine that people are actually avoiding this thread because of spoilers? ;)
    I avoided this and the other thread until I had finished the game.

    Although Joel was not spoiled directly for me I knew there was a big event at the beginning. So when Abby said she was hunting someone it was obvious who and what would happen.
  • heavy_salad 20 Jul 2020 15:44:25 1,204 posts
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    To wade in on the "false advertising" thing, I really liked what they did. I saw some trailers, but otherwise went into the game completely blind; I managed to avoid any of the leaks or spoilers that made it onto the web.

    I knew it was going to be some sort of revenge story from the trailers and gathered there was going to be something to trigger that but from the way the trailers were framed I didn't expect it to be Joel. I thought the most likely was going be some sort of massacre of the people of Jacksonville. So when it was Joel that was obviously a big shock to me. Probably one of - if not the most - shocking scenes I've experienced, definitely in a game. Right up until they showed his gravestone I thought he was somehow going to make a miraculous recovery :D then I think I had to turn the game off for a bit and take a minute to process.

    I didn't see it as 'false advertising' in any way. I thought it was a brilliant switch-a-roo.
  • Gibroon 24 Jul 2020 09:33:16 2,397 posts
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    Finished this game last night. Still quite shocked with it all. I got a bit of fatigue with the game halfway though, mainly with the OCD of looking through everything searching for stuff.

    I don't get the whole internet rage stuff about the story. Sure it makes out Ellie to be a bit mental but living in such a world would put anyone in some questionable ethical situations which I think the game handled very well.

    This is Naughty dogs story to tell, it was their decision and entitled to it. You don't pick a book up, read it, then say that story is not how I would have written it. Why do it with games?

    Got more to say but I'm at work and unable to think much more than, "what an amazing game I just played".
  • Tuffty 29 Jul 2020 07:57:56 4,766 posts
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    Still playing this so I don't want to hear any ending spoilers but there's something I felt I had to share. So far the way the game has ben narratively structured has really actively hurt the storytelling for me. Its made me question why Ellie is going so far into all this for Joel. That scene where Ellie learns the truth and makes the promise of never talking to Joel again loses a lot of its weight when you realise that they must have made up at some point because you know Ellie wanted to have a movie night with him at the time he did get killed. So Ellie is acting the revengr obsessed psycho over Joel which kinda makes sense at the start but over time less and less so, presumably they'll show a moment where she forgives him and it kinda makes sense but even so that's coming near the end of the game. Putting all that aside I was interested to play as Abby cause I know second half of the game is about her and heard in passing its a better experience than Ellie's.

    So I'm playing it and there's a point where a clicker is attacking Abby in this scripted moment as she's squeezing through a gap. As she's shuffling back and the clickers screaming and musics building I was suddenly hit with this realisation that she was gonna be fine. Because we see her in day 3, we know she lives until then. So again, the narrative structure of jumping between times completely robs any tense moment of survival in the moment knowing shes gonna live. And then I realised there's probably another 10 hrs or so of feeling like this until we catch up again.

    Its not great.

    Edited by Tuffty at 08:01:47 29-07-2020
  • Derblington 29 Jul 2020 09:35:22 34,422 posts
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    That’s like complaining LotR isn’t worth watching because you know they deliver the ring and everything is ok in the end. You can do tat with almost every game, movie, tv show, book, etc.

    You’re ignoring all the details along the way. Stop thinking about how it ends.
  • Tuffty 29 Jul 2020 09:58:43 4,766 posts
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    @Derblington Not really the same comparison. LOTR doesn't show Frodo reaching Mt Doom and then decides to continue the story by cutting to him 3 months prior to show how he gets there for another 10 hrs before resuming. I fully get it, you have to build Abby up, explain her motivations, her personality etc so you're meant to feel conflicted by the end. I'm saying for a game that wants to keep throwing her into dangerous situations, the intended effect of building tension in these fight or die moments gets lost on me. You don't feel that in the original because its told in a linear sequence. Hell even playing as Ellie for the first half Im going through it thinking whether or not she's gonna make it, its not certain. But with Abby it is and yet the game is trying to convince you otherwise.

    Edited by Tuffty at 10:02:07 29-07-2020
  • Derblington 29 Jul 2020 10:04:20 34,422 posts
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    But you know LotR is a trilogy going in, so anything that happens in the first couple of films was never going to stop them.

    Point remains: stop focusing on the bit you know and get involved in the details along the way. Knowing Abby is going to survive an encounter isn’t really the point of it (or games in general - you can be fairly sure the playable character is going to reach the end in every game). If you break it down in the way you are you’re just ruining it for yourself.

    Edited by Derblington at 10:05:35 29-07-2020
  • Mark1412 29 Jul 2020 10:05:36 1,932 posts
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    I feel that's missing the point of Abby's story. It's not about whether she makes it, it's about what it costs her as a character and what she has to do to to reach that point. I suppose if the only thing that matters is whether a character lives then you know everything you need to know but that would be an odd way to look at stories. I knew frodo made it because I'd read the book, but still got swept up in the film. Surely it's the journey that matters?

    Edited by Mark1412 at 10:07:19 29-07-2020
  • Gibroon 29 Jul 2020 10:25:41 2,397 posts
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    I think the game is showing what the consequences of revenge can be. Once revenge is served, another person will then have reason for revenge. This just leads to more deaths and heartache. Also Abby and crew did not kill Ellie and co after offing Joel because "they would be no better than them", a theme that comes back to haunt Abby as if they had offed the rest of them her friends wouldn't have ended up being dead.

    It's a grim world that makes pretty much everyone a murderous nut job with only a few tangible morals tied to their friends and crew.
  • ZuluHero 29 Jul 2020 10:29:14 9,708 posts
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    With all these comparisons to LotR, maybe it should have been called; The Last of us 2: There and back again.

    Edited by ZuluHero at 10:29:51 29-07-2020
  • You-can-call-me-kal 29 Jul 2020 10:39:03 22,324 posts
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    Gibroon wrote:
    I think the game is showing what the consequences of revenge can be. Once revenge is served, another person will then have reason for revenge. This just leads to more deaths and heartache. Also Abby and crew did not kill Ellie and co after offing Joel because "they would be no better than them", a theme that comes back to haunt Abby as if they had offed the rest of them her friends wouldn't have ended up being dead.

    It's a grim world that makes pretty much everyone a murderous nut job with only a few tangible morals tied to their friends and crew.
    Yeah, agree. He first game touched on why people are motivated to do the things they do, but it still had goodies and baddies. This one really breaks the whole thing open and shows everyone to be layered and complex. W
  • Tuffty 29 Jul 2020 12:58:01 4,766 posts
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    @Derblington I know full well what the intention of making this choice to go back is. But you can't try to simultaneously portray this world where characters can die so quickly and viciously and have the threat of that looming over the player character while also armed with the knowledge that your character makes it through it all just fine actually. Not because you read what happens in the ending but because the games story gives you that information naturally. Maybe if Abby shows up on day 3 with an obvious disfigurement like a missing eye? Makes the player question what happened, builds up the interest, still maintains how dangerous the world is as you play through Abbys sections wondering which encounter will leave her scarred and still ties in narratively to the idea of how far does one person go for revenge. Otherwise we just maintain that main characters in these games have plot armor which undersells the setting.

    Again, I'm saying this as someone who hasn't beaten the game, so I'll see how it goes.
  • Derblington 29 Jul 2020 13:37:54 34,422 posts
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    I don’t think that threat is ever really looming in a narrative sense. The only time it occurs is when you, as a player, fuck up and then you try again until you progress.

    The world is dangerous, and you’ll go through plenty of that, but like any story you’ll only die at the point the writers decide the character does. The journey is the important part, experiencing the danger

    Edited by Derblington at 13:41:33 29-07-2020
  • Blancrabello 29 Jul 2020 21:19:25 32 posts
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    Personally I am split down the middle. It reminds me of a Tarantino Film. Lots of flair visually. Absolutely great scenes and characters. But narratively dosnt quite hang together as a coherent whole. Plus killing the main character from the first game is just a silly narrative choice. Subverting expectations isn't what I would call original or good story telling, and I don't think any famous partnerships in storytelling would have become famous if their authors or screen writers had killed them off in their second showing. IMO they've probably killed the franchise killing Joel.

    Edited by Blancrabello at 21:20:04 29-07-2020
  • ZuluHero 30 Jul 2020 00:11:26 9,708 posts
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    I think George RR Martin, or Robert Kirkman would disagree.
  • You-can-call-me-kal 30 Jul 2020 05:04:34 22,324 posts
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    The flashbacks with Joel have incredible pathos because of him dying at the beginning. It’s like you really miss him, just like Ellie. I’m not sure any other piece of content let alone a game has ever done that before. I just wanted to stay in those flashbacks with Joel. It’s masterful stuff and it being unusual (I.e. original) is nothing to criticise it for.
  • Frogofdoom 30 Jul 2020 06:51:03 17,220 posts
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    Thats how it was for me as well Kal, it clearly didn't work for everyone but it did for me. I had the exact journey they wanted me to and absolutely loved it.
  • Blancrabello 30 Jul 2020 09:46:14 32 posts
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    ZuluHero wrote:
    I think George RR Martin, or Robert Kirkman would disagree.
    And they have every right to. But I'd argue the setting in which they base their stories is the overwhelming reason for this and is consistent. If Joel had died to a random zombie attack I would have said fine. But the scripted convenience of Joel's death isn't, for me, consistent. I feel they had a lot of set ideas for the narrative before writing the plot and then tried to write around these moments. Which is incredibly difficult to do. But, I'm not part of the writing team so that is a mere supposition. As for the Joel scenes. I wholeheartedly agree, they were the best parts and many a time had me teary. And that so many enjoyed those scenes most tell me a great many people had emotionally invested in Joel from the first game. Which makes it, in my opinion, a poor choice to kill him off. Or at least kill him at the start. One thing is for sure the story has had everyone talking about it. I wasn't to also reiterate that I thought the game play and scenes moment to moment we're absolutely brilliant. I'm looking forward to a PS5 play through again on grounded! (Maybe with resources at normal for a bit of extra fun.)
  • Rum_Monkey 30 Jul 2020 10:49:32 1,959 posts
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    The best compliment I can give the game is that I immediately wanted to replay it to experience it all over again. Its very rare that I'll replay a game.

    It's an amazing journey and probably the best game I've ever played.
  • You-can-call-me-kal 30 Jul 2020 10:55:27 22,324 posts
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    But those scenes with Joel are as powerful and enjoyable as they are because he died.
  • Switch-v85 30 Jul 2020 10:58:48 4,249 posts
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    I felt the same, I'm actually not far off finishing it for a second time and if anything it's made me appreciate what they've managed to achieve even more. Incredible game.
  • PierrePressure 30 Jul 2020 11:32:47 1,260 posts
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    The whole experience was draining but I took that as a good thing. It had me through the emotional wringer on numerous occasions and I initially wanted to jump back into it but thought I'd let some more time pass before I go again.

    Maybe save it for the PS5.
  • ZuluHero 30 Jul 2020 12:04:54 9,708 posts
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    I couldn't play it again as it was way too long for me, but having not seen anything about it before playing it I was on tenterhooks; Was shocked when Joel was killed, Was angry at Abby and wanted to kill her in revenge, Was confronted by her motives, had my beliefs questioned, came around to Abby, ended up disliking Ellie (and Joel too somewhat), the full gamut. Pretty good indication of a good story really.

    What's all this talk of PS5? Are PS4 games backwards compatible or something? Or do people think there will be a PS5 version, like there was for PS4 with the first?
  • You-can-call-me-kal 30 Jul 2020 12:39:34 22,324 posts
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    ZuluHero wrote:
    I couldn't play it again as it was way too long for me, but having not seen anything about it before playing it I was on tenterhooks; Was shocked when Joel was killed, Was angry at Abby and wanted to kill her in revenge, Was confronted by her motives, had my beliefs questioned, came around to Abby, ended up disliking Ellie (and Joel too somewhat), the full gamut. Pretty good indication of a good story really.
    This was very much my experience as well, and imo exactly what was intended (and successfully executed).

    For me it’s a rare example of a game embracing the storytelling potential of the medium, rather than just being ‘cinematic’.
  • Tomo 30 Jul 2020 12:48:58 18,835 posts
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    You-can-call-me-kal wrote:
    ZuluHero wrote:
    I couldn't play it again as it was way too long for me, but having not seen anything about it before playing it I was on tenterhooks; Was shocked when Joel was killed, Was angry at Abby and wanted to kill her in revenge, Was confronted by her motives, had my beliefs questioned, came around to Abby, ended up disliking Ellie (and Joel too somewhat), the full gamut. Pretty good indication of a good story really.
    This was very much my experience as well, and imo exactly what was intended (and successfully executed).

    For me it’s a rare example of a game embracing the storytelling potential of the medium, rather than just being ‘cinematic’.
    +2

    Although I didn't end up actively disliking Ellie. I liked Abby a lot more than I did initially. But I felt horrendously sorry for all of them in the end.

    On Joel dying: it made me pine for the interactions between him and Ellie throughout. The parallel scenes with Abby and her father didn't convey nearly the same sense of emotion. He was a bit of an irritating person, despite being virtuous in his pursuit. Again, I think this was supposed to make you feel more aligned with Ellie's plight at that stage.
  • Tomo 30 Jul 2020 12:52:35 18,835 posts
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    Fwiw, I finished it a few weeks ago and I still catch myself thinking about it every now and then. It's a Top 5 game for me. Definitely the best narrative game I've played. The productive values and attention to detail in it are absolutely ludicrous too. There is so much detail in the environments, even the ones you spend 5 seconds walking through. Really feels like they used the lengthy development time well.
  • Dolly 31 Jul 2020 23:09:37 3,647 posts
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    Yeah, it's really stayed with me too. Have started and abandoned 3x different (well rated) games since and none have stuck as a result. Desperate to replay TLOU2 again but want to be strong and play it on PS5 at launch on a new shiny telly.
    So weak doe....
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