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Thread: The Last of Us Part II: Battle Tendency

  1. #41

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  2. #42

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    Got through TLOU2, the story is fine to say the least, itīs pretty ambitious and bold, but it requires an open mind, and real engagement from the player, hence has no mainstream appeal really and is supposed to polarize, which is kind of ironic considering itīs the sequel to one of the most successful and beloved games of the predecessor console, plus itīs really heavy (have not read many reviews but this explanation, while still too short, sums it up accurately https://explosionnetwork.com/article...-part-ii-works).
    The problem though is in-between the story progression, meaning when you actually play, since it lacks variety to a certain degree, it feels overlong and towards the end you have the feeling of just getting through the actual gameplay in order to see what happens next in the story. The review Robby posted pretty much states this correctly (though imo he is dead wrong on the story and theme part, itīs a fitting sequel( if you actually needed one, to the first game) both thematically and for the characters (Joelīs story was pretty much over with game 1). There is hardly anything new to the first game besides new foes with some new aspects, new environments (which look great to be honest) and a few new weapons. Everything else is pretty much the same, which was fine to a certain extent for game 1 since it was shorter and had additional aspects to them, but for part 2 it gets boring towards the end, and the only thing keeping you playing is the attachment to the story.

    So while i can definitely see people having valid and substantial criticism of the game (which is why i agree that the huge amount of perfect scores are overblown) considering the high degree of required investment coupled with the declining level of enjoyment of actually playing the game rather than dissecting the story, itīs obvious, at least from what i have read, that the backlash is mostly about things beyond the game itself, whether itīs political, schadenfreude and so on.

  3. #43

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    Spoiler:
    My friend told me the last of us 2 is getting bad fan reception because they have two lesbian characters who are in a relationship, is this true, if so it’s really sad that people are this immature

  4. #44

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  5. #45

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    Yeah. No. I'm sure there are people like that but there is definitely other things than that pissing people off. As seen by multiple streamer reactions.

    EDIT: this is a reply to Shiebs.



  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by KzTxL7 View Post
    Yeah. No. I'm sure there are people like that but there is definitely other things than that pissing people off. As seen by multiple streamer reactions.

    EDIT: this is a reply to Shiebs.
    That makes me both a little relieved and upset, I'm relieved that people aren't tearing down a game for having an LGBTQ relationship in it, which would be sad that in 2020 if we still have that many bigoted people that give it negative reviews for that alone. And it makes me upset because that means that there must be something actually wrong with the game, like game play or it's story, and I loved the first game, and was super excited for this new one, I still plan on buying it but haven't read any major spoilers or watched any game play vids as I'm trying to go in knowing as little as possible, so I don't know why it's getting such bad reviews

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiebs View Post
    Spoiler:
    My friend told me the last of us 2 is getting bad fan reception because they have two lesbian characters who are in a relationship, is this true, if so it’s really sad that people are this immature
    It is part of it, apparently this already started when info was leaked, i completely missed that.
    Coupled witb a certain event in the game, plus some misdirection by the director, and a pretty demanding storyline, you get this outcry.
    I have seen some well articulated and in-depth criticism that i agree with to a certain extent, but most criticism is actually immature.

  8. #48

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    There are people reviewing it poorly because they've been upset ever since Left Behind that Ellie is LGBTQ, there are people reviewing it poorly because Naughty Dog is vocally "progressive" but follows regressive business practices, there are people reviewing it poorly because they feel like it's a thematic betrayal of the first game, there are people reviewing it poorly because it's tedious and overly long, etc., etc.

    The review-bombing, which started the moment the game released and before 99% of people had even dipped into the game, was typical entitled gamer bullshit, but it doesn't mean every critic of the game is motivated by some petty personal issue. Yeah, some of it's immature and should be ignored, but there are some good reviews out there that actually engage with the material and come away unsatisfied.

    FWIW, I've also seen a lot of folk whose opinion I respect come away loving the game, and that's ok too. I'm very certain I won't be one of them, but Naughty Dog has a degree of craft and polish to their games that's practically unparalleled, so it's easy to see how that's the main takeaway for some. Whether the human cost of making that kind of game is worth it is an entirely different question, but the game does exist independently of its development and can be judged as such.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatermoog View Post
    there are people reviewing it poorly because they feel like it's a thematic betrayal of the first game
    how is that even possible lol, have these people not played the first game.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Gaimon View Post
    how is that even possible lol, have these people not played the first game.
    That would be 100% my take, but it's out there.

  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Gaimon View Post
    how is that even possible lol, have these people not played the first game.
    Or failed.to comprehend the underlying narrative, considering how many people the protagonist of the first game was a hero.

  12. #52
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    I'm just not down with the pacing of TLoU2. I don't really have much a problem with the story (found it rather meh really, didn't really care for a lot of the characters, and the overcranked bleakness wasn't doing it for me. Sheesh even Walking Dead knew when to dial it back a bit), but all the flashbacks and walking bits just got annoying after awhile. I know they wanna tell a drama but going the Man of Steel route really didn't help the narrative any. Why, oh why, didn't they just do separate campaigns for this game? Story would've been more cohesive, better paced and you can understand where the other side is coming from better. Gameplay wise though, pretty fun, just the first game's combat ratcheted up a bit, more open areas and giving you more options for stealth. Did get irked how some enemy just have eagle eyes and can spot you from a distance when your not even that close to them. I know they're going for realism but some of the getting alerted parts were BS. But otherwise, same ol same ol, grab parts, conserve ammo, pick your kills where you can and enjoy the exploration. Won't lie, it's a pretty game and did like the visuals and settings. But the story really made it a chore to get through for me.
    Get nuts or go crazy trying.


  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiyamotoMusashi View Post
    Or failed.to comprehend the underlying narrative, considering how many people the protagonist of the first game was a hero.
    I don’t know how people got this idea and seeing why some of the butthurt exists for the 2nd game makes it even dumber.
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    I've often wondered about that myself; seems like being supported by people who only want you there so the world can end in fire (with you going to Hell in the process) would be somewhat off-putting
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  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Green_vs_Red View Post
    I don’t know how people got this idea and seeing why some of the butthurt exists for the 2nd game makes it even dumber.
    Despite the first game making it pretty obvious like tatermoog partly stated what it was about, people wrongfully saw it as a more traditional story of hero saving damsel and while doing that saving himself, and those people are mostly now jumping and acting out with what happens in the second part.

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro View Post
    I'm just not down with the pacing of TLoU2. I don't really have much a problem with the story (found it rather meh really, didn't really care for a lot of the characters, and the overcranked bleakness wasn't doing it for me. Sheesh even Walking Dead knew when to dial it back a bit), but all the flashbacks and walking bits just got annoying after awhile. I know they wanna tell a drama but going the Man of Steel route really didn't help the narrative any. Why, oh why, didn't they just do separate campaigns for this game? Story would've been more cohesive, better paced and you can understand where the other side is coming from better. Gameplay wise though, pretty fun, just the first game's combat ratcheted up a bit, more open areas and giving you more options for stealth. Did get irked how some enemy just have eagle eyes and can spot you from a distance when your not even that close to them. I know they're going for realism but some of the getting alerted parts were BS. But otherwise, same ol same ol, grab parts, conserve ammo, pick your kills where you can and enjoy the exploration. Won't lie, it's a pretty game and did like the visuals and settings. But the story really made it a chore to get through for me.
    Spoiler:
    Because you first are supposed to feel the same way Ellie feels, angry and full of vengeful thoughts, massacring everything in your sight until you actually get to her, before seemingly getting to fulfill said revenge, and then immediately they turn the thing upside down by revealing Abbyīs side of things and underlying how she basically did the same thing to Joel you were trying to do with Ellie to her for the last 10 hours or so. The immediate change-up of the perspective is intended and pretty much the most crucial thing about the narrative, and spending time as her, seeing her story and her relationships over the next 10 hours is supposed to show how futile Ellieīs goal is, among other things. You are supposed to feel angry initially when the perspective changes, because nobody is interested in playing as the character that was the target of hatred for the entire game until that point, just like Ellie is not interested in knowing anything about her beyond the person she feels she needs to kill, Abby is objectified as the evil that needs to be killed, just like Joel was for her.
    Whether this experimental approach works or not, people should definitely decide that for themselves, but from what i have seen so far, the majority of "critics" do not get this far, hence why i stated before the game requires both an open mind and dissecting not only what happens but also what is being said, and even the facial expressions.
    Completely splitting the "campaigns" might work better for the pacing (you basically almost finish an entire game, just falling short of the supposed end goal (which it actually never supposed to be) but would miss this entire point.

  15. #55

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    Learn to analyze the story before you start judging all the criticism as pointless or "didn't get it".

    While there are stupid complaints, there are legit ones out that highlight the fundamental problems with the confused narrative that doesn't match at all with the gameplay, character's being super one-note and only existing to be used as plot-devices in order to make the player feel bad, the constant repetition of brutal violence and pointless deaths in order to beat you over the head with the simple and utterly "NO SHIT" message of "VIOLENCE BAD", cheap emotional blackmail tactics and a general nihilistic tone that shows how there isn't much depth or talent to be found here aside from cartoony violence.

    Look at the actual characters. Look at the actual relationships. Look at the actual message. None of it is properly developed or established as much as game stating "character goes here, character says this, character does this. FEEL BAD" instead of properly establishing characters with any depth whatosever. Everything is fundamentally so ham-fisted that I wouldn't be surprised if people like it because it has blood, mature tone and gore and not because it is conveying anything meaningful with that.

    From the spoilers, I assumed that this might actually be a bold direction for ND. But instead it is fundamentally exactly like how I imagine ND to handle it. Polished surface but utterly shallow when looked upon closely.

    So much shit is skipped and then sloppily ham-fisted to you as you stand/walk around as the caricature characters then deliver their "sob" stories in forced dialogues just to make you feel bad about what is coming next. The worst thing about is that the game wants to take an attempt at critiquing the violence but don't seem to understand that just having NPC's with "names" or killing dogs isn't thoughtful commentary. It's just utterly stupid and makes the writers look like people who fundamentally don't even know what they want to really convey here.

    There is a reason why there were three different directors for this game and two different writers. The disconnect between what they want to convey, how they convey it and how that connects with the gameplay is fundamentally huge. This is basically like Batman vs Superman or Gantz in the regards that once you overlook the horrible shit, you will soon realize how basic and simple the message is and yet the writers struggled to convey it even in 20+ hours and that's while skipping doing any sort of heavy-lifting characterization-wise.

    IDK how anyone can call this "experimental" when Spec Ops the line already did the concept much better and that's not even including all the indie/Japanese titles that accompolish and explore the concept in much better and more subtle way.

    This is a modern Western work through and through where the writers use the most cliched techniques and emotional blackmail as a way to be like "VIOLENCE IS BAD. FEEL BAD" while I was just massacring everyone without a single care about either side or characters. I'm sorry but this is not deep. There is no depth to be found here.

    As someone who finished the Vinland Saga anime and read through the Farm arc literally hours before TLOU2 came out, the difference between the two works was super huge. Like Berserk to Gantz level of difference. One series wants to properly explore the ideas and gives it time, characters and scenarios that properly lay the groundwork while the other skips all that, pulls all the cheap trick in the book and tries to make you feel bad but once you overlook that, there is absolutely nothing to be found. Just mindless blood, bore and brutality.
    Last edited by HeartOfDarkness; June 27th, 2020 at 03:22 AM.

  16. #56

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    As usual, come off your high horse and learn to read, i clearly stated there are critics and criticism i agree with, first and foremost the dissonance between the actual gameplay, meaning actually playing it, and the story, so you basically have two disconnected parts which do not really fit together well, but this is neither a problem with the story in itself, nor have most actually been able to either comprehend or articulate this problem, since they are stuck with simplistic complaints.
    Most people not comprehending it and the game still having problems are not mutually exclusive, and having a nuanced opinion beyond "absolute garbage" and "masterpiece" is pretty rare, which i have stated several times.
    Everything else is just rambling.

  17. #57

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    Neir and Neir Automatata did the "replay the story a second time and switch your perspective to realize what you did might have been messed up" super well.

    And of course we've got freaking Undertale as the go-to example of a game going "hey, if you keep killing stuff just because its a game and you can, here's reasons to feel bad and think about what you've done."

    And so on. LoU2 isn't the first game to try and attempt this sort of thing so it doesn't get points for being brave or anything if the actual execution is bad.
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  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiyamotoMusashi View Post
    As usual
    I love how quick you are to ignore the very form of the product that you are discussing here. TLOU2 is a game. Not a tv-show or a movie. An element going against the very concept/form of the product is a pretty damn big of a deal. I'm guessing this is your first ND title or you simply haven't *really* noticed this but ND is pretty famous for being developers that fundamentally don't understand how to incorporate story with gameplay. These aren't different elements. These are the foundation of the entire product particularly for a game that wants to comment on violence. So when you get a game that is as serious as TLOU2 in terms of narrative but is soooooo stupidly fun in terms of just massacring those human NPC's, do you realize the absolute damage that does to the overall product?

    It wants to seriously tackle the question of violence for the narrative but then also makes the act of violence so much more fun in the gameplay that the subject matter in itself cannot be taken seriously whatsoever especially when there is absolutely no way to avoid the violence. No incentive for the player to REALLY think about their choice when every and all enemy encounters end with their death. I have no choice and stopped giving a shit early on and REALLY enjoyed beating the shit outta everyone. This isn't just a small thing; this is where the work itself is completely clueless to the form as well as what it really wants to convey.

    And yes, killing dogs will make some people feel bad. Just as I can create a game right now where the player is forced to beat the shit outta childrens, infants and fetuses and then point fingers at the player for killing them, without any form of choice, and making them feel bad. That is known as emotional blackmail because regardless of the talent, people will generally feel bad when you have to pointlessly kill someone particularly animals. That is not talent. That is not quality-writing. That is not bold or experimental. That is the cheapest trick in the book for getting an emotional reaction. The first game literally started off with killing off a child in order to achieve an emotional reaction from the players. Not quality writing or the fleshed out relationship between Joel or Sarah that made it emotional. But the pure implication of a child being gunned down and dying to achieve that effect. And that is the entire reason for this game's existent; it wants to simply make the player feel bad. It has NOTHING whatsoever to convey or to comment on beyond the needless emotional blackmail and violence.

    Not to mention that for a 2020 game, this feels very outdated and super old. MGS2, a game from 2001, can be played from the beginning to end without killing anyone yet TLOU2, a game released 19 years after MGS2, can't? And this is supposed to be looked at some kind of a ground-breaking new gen title? Just funny that the highly acclaimed title that is being considered to be ground breaking is apparently more simple and shallow than a game that came out 19 years ago. And this is not intentional as none of modern ND titles can be played without killing someone. It's not an intentional design-choice; it's a poorly implemented system simply because modern ND isn't really capable of creating gameplay scenarios that aren't run-and-gun or killing everyone. Again; the disconnect becomes more and more relevant as you start thinking about it.

    If you want ANOTHER example of the Neil's incompetency for not understanding ludo-narrative dissonance in his own work then look up Uncharted 4's Nathan and Rafe moment criticism and look up Neil's response to it. Here is the article if you want to read it. Basically, Uncharted is a series that has long been criticize for having a narrative that paints ND has a lovable hero while in the gameplay you kill 100's of people without any care or regret. In fact, the games cannot be completed without killing and most gameplay sections REQUIRE that you kill everyone before you move on. This particular criticism came to a head when in UC4 (directed/written by Neil, who directed TLOU 1 and TLOU2) Rafe, the main villain, in one of the scenes states how Nathan Drake will "not kill you in cold-blood" when the player had already been doing that for hours prior to that scene occurring. Neil's reaction to that criticism? Here is his response:

    I told all the people on the team, "This is my proudest moment, the fact that I came up with this trophy on this project." We were conscious to have fewer fights, but it came more from a desire to have a different kind of pacing than to answer the "ludonarrative dissonance" argument.
    Because we don't buy into it. I've been trying to dissect it. Why is it that Uncharted triggers this argument, when Indiana Jones doesn't? Is it the number? It can't be just the number, because Indiana Jones kills more people than a normal person does. A normal person kills zero people. And Indiana Jones kills a dozen, at least, over the course of several movies. What about Star Wars? Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, are they some sort of serial killers? They laugh off having killed some stormtroopers. And in The Force Awakens, we see that a stormtrooper can actually repent for the person he is and come around, and there are actually real people under those helmets.
    Yep, you read that right. Instead of acknowledging a very big flaw for the entire game that makes the characters as well as the interactive segments of the game very disconnected and created by very different people, he instead points to other movies and tries to justify it while missing the entire point. It also doesn't help that Uncharted 1-3 are lighthearted, mindless action set-piece type games. Uncharted 4, on the other hand, is a "mature" take on the series and is supposed to be a serious character-driven game. That's why the disconnect, that already existed before 4, is such a huge thing. You are being told by the game itself to take it seriously but then it turns around and says "yea, it's serious, realistic and gritty ......if you ignore the gameplay/interactive side of things" while killing off any chance of the game being taken seriously.

    This is like Mushashi becoming a wise person that cares about human life only for him to become like the main character of Kingdom and start killing everyone while the writer says that they are both consistent with each other and ignoring the very obvious inconsistent and confused message.

    This right here is an IMPORTANT THING to consider because Neil is also the creator of TLOU2 and his incompetency and lack of any solid-understanding of the connection between narrative and gameplay and how that can make or break the game. In this case, it completely destroys whatever the game is trying to convey or explore. Because just from a design-standpoint, it's already at odds with itself before you even start talking about the other stuff.

    As for the writing; I mean sure, if you ignore all the forced and out of character moment that starts the entire plotline of the game (like the golf scene, you know exactly what I'm talking about), the general lack of any character establishment, the slow-pacing and how utterly useless/waste of time it is considering that the characters that basically vomit their stories on you aren't even developed, understandable or empathetic. They are just empty cardboard cutouts that exist purely to make you feel bad for what happens to them. Otherwise, characterization in this game is basically non-existent with the best character moments being related to Joel, who is still by far the best aspect of the narrative.

    How can a game feel super-rushed and yet utterly dragged out at the same time? Unpack the story in your mind, unpack the character moments in your mind, unpack the conversations in your mind, consume them, take your time, think about them and tell me exactly how much of that
    A.) is actually relevant,
    B.) tells you anything meaningful about the character and isn't just background fluff dressed-up as characterization
    C.) doesn't comes across as empty words
    D.) doesn't just come out and spell out the basic character sob story
    E.) doesn't exist just to drag out the already paper-thin plot

    Feel free to elaborate. Because one thing I have noticed amongst ND fans or TLOU fans is that there is very little elaboration. Just "this is good" or "i cried so best game ever". Kind of a shame since people don't really want to discuss the actual quality of it; just merely praise it and then ignore any sort of discussion for it.

    As for the rambling; it's called discussion and critiquing.

    I hope you do try to respond with counterpoints and not cheap tactics to ignore the actual discussion that you yourself came to this thread to start.
    Last edited by HeartOfDarkness; June 27th, 2020 at 05:35 AM.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robby View Post
    Neir and Neir Automatata did the "replay the story a second time and switch your perspective to realize what you did might have been messed up" super well.

    And of course we've got freaking Undertale as the go-to example of a game going "hey, if you keep killing stuff just because its a game and you can, here's reasons to feel bad and think about what you've done."

    And so on. LoU2 isn't the first game to try and attempt this sort of thing so it doesn't get points for being brave or anything if the actual execution is bad.
    but the game isn't trying to do that though, it's not trying to make the player feel bad because the player doesn't have a choice at all it's all entirely the characters doing.

    and idk if you played the game or not but ellie's choice at the end isn't because she suddenly realized that violence is bad, she's still going to keep killing after that.

  20. #60

    Default Re: The PlayStation Thread

    That's literally what the game is trying to do right down to including dogs that the players have to kill or give names to enemy NPC's in order for the player to feel bad. Do I even need to mention Mel?

    Did you even play the game or watched it on Youtube?

    Also gotta love the ending. Hundred's of people dead, Ellie doesn't question shit. Timeskip, she now questions it.

    Brilliant character-writing, I gotta say. Just use timeskips as a shortcut to skip any genuine character-development. Who needs actual character-study and organic character progressive when you can just jump all over the timeline, show the character "changed", skipped any moment of "growth" and then whack you over the head with "VIOLENCE BAD".

    And then the credits roll. Neil personally comes to thank all the players for participating in his fifth-grade survey of "is violence bad?" that he randomly picked as the topic just 5 mins before the class.

    Also for the people that care about the LGBT stuff, don't bother. Go instead buy The Missing JJ created by Swery that presents these ideas with much greater respect and ability to explore it frankly and honestly. Support the creators that actually have the balls to be frank and honest instead of just marking the checklist.

    TLOU2 is nothing more than a pandering checklist progressive crap that basically uses these elements in the cheapest way to get people to praise it. And LOOK!! Look at the media's reaction. Nobody wants to really talk about Dina's character. But want to mention that this game has a lesbian character so it must be praised. Nobody wants to talk about Lev as a character. Yet the trans stuff is praised. Empty praises because they included a gay and a trans character. PRAISE ND! They broke new grounds!
    Last edited by HeartOfDarkness; June 27th, 2020 at 06:54 AM.

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