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The encounter design in The Last of Us Part 1 kind of sucks, and pales in comparison to its sequel

GooseMan69

Member
I hate to say this, because it’s one of my favorite games, but repeat playthroughs expose the games weaknesses quite a bit.

The biggest problem is that the game often railroads you into playing on its own terms, which stifles player agency and creativity. Situations are presented as stealth sections, but then the game pulls the rug on you and forces you into combat for no reason. I don’t have a problem with action sequences in stealth games. Plenty of great stealth games have them. The problem here is that the game sends mixed messages to the player. You think “oh I think I can sneak past these guys”, and even if you successfully keep yourself hidden, the game will force you into a fight you were trying to avoid. Examples:



Bills Town- Before breaking into the school, there’s a section where you can silently take out some infected. No how matter how quietly you do this, you will cross a threshold where the game spawns aggro enemies behind you, forcing you into combat.

Pittsburg - There’s a tank that follows you around for a bit in this area. At first, it appears you can sneak by it undetected. But no matter what you do, you will be attacked by it once you cross a certain threshold in the level. The game also spawns aggro enemies at this point.

The game also arbitrarily decides that you have to kill all enemies in an area before progressing. There’s multiple areas where I snuck through, found the exit, only to be told I have to kill everyone first.

Then there’s the issue of enemy spawns being janky as fuck. This game has “monster closets” galore. Financial district after Joel and Ellie rifle cutscene is prime example. If you try to stealth this section, enemies will keep spawning in random corners of the map that you thought you already cleared. This is because the game wants Ellie to shoot a certain amount of enemies. And she doesn’t shoot if you’re in stealth. So the game is essentially trying to force you into a combat encounter.

Another prime example is invisible sniper section. I remember finding a second story window in one of the houses with a perfect vantage point to take out the sniper. Problem is, there is nobody operating the rifle. It’s literally a floating gun. This must have been an oversight, I’m sure they didn’t intend for there to be a window where you can see into the sniper den. Because the only way to progress here is to do the scripted QTE fight with the sniper.

To be fair, there are plenty of sections that ARE stealthable. These are by far the best gameplay sequences. I really wish they could have had more of that.

Fortunately, Part 2 is a fucking masterpiece in encounter design. It alleviates most of the issues above. It has a “sandbox” feel, where the game gives you huge levels, and tons of mechanics and tools to experiment with. The majority of combat arenas can be exited at any time, making stealth a far more viable option. NPCs organically occupate the levels, instead of being awkwardly spawned in. Just so, so much better.

Story be dammed, the gameplay and encounter design of Part 2 is so fucking far ahead. I can’t justify saying Part 1 is a better game. I just can’t.

I wonder if the remake will alleviate any of this. I know the AI looks way better, but it doesn’t seem like the encounters themselves are designed any differently. Shame.
 
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SpokkX

Member
I agree with everything said here.

I actually think part 2 is better in every single area (except possibly music). Especially encounters are improved yeah
 

SlimySnake

Member
PS3 game bro. What are you even talking about? Did you forgot?
MGSV was also a ps3 game but didnt have any of these issues and allowed you to play it as a true sandbox.

Those were just remnants of ND's old design habits from the first Uncharted game where they would artificially pad the length of the game by respawning enemies or bringing new enforcements making every gunfight a slog. U4 removed this and TLOU2 followed. This game shouldve addressed these issues rooted in ND's game design since 2007.
 
MGSV was also a ps3 game but didnt have any of these issues and allowed you to play it as a true sandbox.
Comparing MGSV to TLoU is just wrong
Those were just remnants of ND's old design habits from the first Uncharted game where they would artificially pad the length of the game by respawning enemies or bringing new enforcements making every gunfight a slog. U4 removed this and TLOU2 followed. This game shouldve addressed these issues rooted in ND's game design since 2007.
 

Hugare

Member
That's what 7 more years of experience and better hardware can do to game design

I'm pretty sure that they feel the same way as you do

2013 game will still be a 2013 game tho

MGSV was also a ps3 game but didnt have any of these issues and allowed you to play it as a true sandbox.
While having a piss poor narrative that doesnt even comes close to TLOU

Naughty Dog focused on narrative, Kojima focused on gameplay. Both games have their streghts and weaknesses.
 
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R6Rider

Gold Member
Not really. Part 2 has a lot of similarities with MGS V.
John Candy Reaction GIF
 
Hard disagree. My first experience with it was last year with the remake and thought it held up very well. Not TloU 2 levels, but still far from sucking.
 

GooseMan69

Member
Ehh... MGSV is truly open world and TLOU2 is not. When you have a much wider space to play with things are much different. Comparing MGSV to TLOU 2 is downright insane.

Part 2 isn’t open world, but the combat arenas are similar in size to many of MGS Vs outposts.
 
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Flabagast

Member
Part 2 is infinitely superior to the first one in nearly every way imho, and Part 1 seems to not do enough to bring the game up to par.

Part 2 was really a super impressive game I thought.
 

Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
Part 2 isn’t open world, but the combat arenas are similar to size to many of MGS Vs outposts.
Uh huh. And MGSV has far more stealth mechanics and ways to sneak around which TLOU 2 doesn't. MGSV is designed around stealth and has a whole rating system dedicated to it.

Please stop comparing a game that's purely designed around stealth and wide open spaces versus more linear and action driven mechanics. You are comparing apples to oranges and make yourself sound absolutely silly.
 

JaksGhost

Member
I agree with everything said here.

I actually think part 2 is better in every single area (except possibly music). Especially encounters are improved yeah
Isn't that the point of a sequel? Especially in video games you're supposed to build upon the foundation set by the prior game.
 

GooseMan69

Member
Uh huh. And MGSV has far more stealth mechanics and ways to sneak around which TLOU 2 doesn't. MGSV is designed around stealth and has a whole rating system dedicated to it.

Please stop comparing a game that's purely designed around stealth and wide open spaces versus more linear and action driven mechanics. You are comparing apples to oranges and make yourself sound absolutely silly.

Lol calm down. MGS V is certainly more of a pure stealth game. I’ve played that game for an obscene amount of hours, so I know. It’s just hard not to be reminded of MGS V when crawling around on the ground in big levels with different paths and hiding spots, and then laying on my back to pop a headshot with a silenced pistol. Lmao.
 
I agree with everything said here.

I actually think part 2 is better in every single area (except possibly music). Especially encounters are improved yeah
Him not so sure, the second game is too long, the story is less focused and impactful (still better than pretty much any game made outside ND). 2 does a lot of things better than 1, and it has a bigger scope.

The encounters are tense and the game lends itself to multiple playthroughs.

However, the environments are smaller than in tlou2 and offer less space for different approaches.

The ambiance in the second game, like the build up to the storm in Seattle can't be matched.
 

SpokkX

Member
Isn't that the point of a sequel? Especially in video games you're supposed to build upon the foundation set by the prior game.
Yes!

A therefore releasing a reskin of the first game AFTER the second at full price while lacking all new gameplay features is - bad to say the least
 

JaksGhost

Member
Yes!

A therefore releasing a reskin of the first game AFTER the second at full price while lacking all new gameplay features is - bad to say the least
You have the option of not buying it. Naughty Dog isn't putting a gun to anyone's head. Most of the complaints are based in FOMO because they don't want to give them full price for the game.
 
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ChiefDada

Member
You have the option of not buying it. Naughty Dog isn't putting a gun to anyone's head. Most of the complaints are based in FOMO because they don't want to give them full price for the game.

Lol, I was literally about to type this. Those complaining about the price are doing so because they do in fact value this remake at some level. Naughty Dog is flattered, I'm sure. Vast majority of us don't bother bitching about the price of the latest Madden install. Why? Because we couldn't care less about the game. It's not for most of us and that's fine for EA as well since they didn't make the game for us. Same principle applies here!
 
MGSV was also a ps3 game but didnt have any of these issues and allowed you to play it as a true sandbox.

Those were just remnants of ND's old design habits from the first Uncharted game where they would artificially pad the length of the game by respawning enemies or bringing new enforcements making every gunfight a slog. U4 removed this and TLOU2 followed. This game shouldve addressed these issues rooted in ND's game design since 2007.
Uncharted 2 has that same thing where it throws waves of enemies at you in certain sections. I don't think UC2's gameplay holds up very well.
 
Lol, I was literally about to type this. Those complaining about the price are doing so because they do in fact value this remake at some level. Naughty Dog is flattered, I'm sure. Vast majority of us don't bother bitching about the price of the latest Madden install. Why? Because we couldn't care less about the game. It's not for most of us and that's fine for EA as well since they didn't make the game for us. Same principle applies here!
I agree this isn't for the people who are upset. Not making the game for new fans as well as long time fans/customers is shitty though. Not sure why in the world you're defending that by agreeing we shouldn't complain. This is the new Sony, just cut throat business now nickel and diming their most loyal customers. A more consumer friendly company would've had long time fans in mind as well as new ones and would've offered a discount. Gamers should think from the perspective of the fans, the customers and not the business side since we are the ones ultimately spending our hard earned money on their products.
 
Part Two is a great game. You could completely ignore the story and skip cutscenes and it would still be great just based on levels and gameplay.

The story telling and level of detail take it another level.
 
none of the complaints are due to hardware limitations.
e.g., the original ghost recon on PC ran on a pentium II w/ 128mb of ram, had large maps, lots of persistent enemies (i.e., when the game started, the enemies were already on the map, and even when killed, the bodies would stay), let you stealth it if you wanted, didnt aggro-spawn enemies, etc.

spawning enemies and forcing you into situations is a gameplay/story design chosen by the developers.
is it lazy? yeah, sometimes it can be, but everyone has deadlines and budgets, and what they did worked well considering their focus.
 

xion4360

Member
Is not a remake.

they need to define what a "remake" is better

at least in my opinion its like this

Remaster - Same product with enhanced resolution/performance [The Last of Us Remastered]
Remake - Same product with remade visuals (completely different textures, assets, enhaced animations ect, but fundamentally the same product) [Shadow of the Colossus PS4, Deamon's Souls PS5]
Reimagining - Completely new product based on original product [Resident Evil 2,3,4]

This counts as a remake to me.
 

Nickolaidas

Member
You have the option of not buying it. Naughty Dog isn't putting a gun to anyone's head. Most of the complaints are based in FOMO because they don't want to give them full price for the game.
There you have it, folks. Stop criticizing aspects you don't like in a game, because nobody's telling you to buy it.

And while you're at it, stop badmouthing movies, tv series and books you don't like because no one's telling you to watch/read them.
 

Kagey K

Member
You have the option of not buying it. Naughty Dog isn't putting a gun to anyone's head. Most of the complaints are based in FOMO because they don't want to give them full price for the game.
If they already paid for it twice, they don't have a right to complain because you said so?

Sorry Gatekeeper, tell us all what we should be talking about.
 

mxbison

Member
I wouldn't say they suck but they definitely pale in comparison to the combat encounters TLOU2, as most games in the genre do.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Well, yeah... It's a two generation-old game, my dude.
I have to give the OP props for attacking the PS3 game using the name of the remake in the thread title. The Daily Mirror, The Telegraph, and other amazing tabloids await ;).

Seriously though, beside making the encounters more dynamic by enhancing the AI or in some cases actually using AI dynamically orchestrated ones, it is still trying to be a faithful remake… but we will see.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
If they already paid for it twice, they don't have a right to complain because you said so?
That would be shit, not what people are saying. There is a hard on against ND of epic proportions. Every thread about TLoU2 has Abbie, woke vs anti wile war, Druckman indoctrination of users, etc… same trop in every thread. One pops up and someone throws a Molotov cocktail in.

Now about TLoU Part I, the remake, any thread even tangentially about it gets the same commando unit of people mostly shitting it up with the same mix of arguments: remaster Vs remake, greedy $70 price, mix of gripes about TLoU 2, waah waah we cannot criticise a game, a remake after a remaster, the remake looks the same as the remaster ( :LOL: ), etc…

Is all of that in good faith or platform trolling too? 🤔. Come on, be honest…
 

UnNamed

18+ Member
TLOU has a good gameplay but, as OP say, the mechanics are simply random. This issue is more evident when you rise the difficulty, at that point the games became just unfair.

One moment the game says "you can avoid stalkers if you want", one moment later is "fuck you, they hear you from the other side of the building". Or "Tips: you can counter stalkers" - game:"Rethought: don't try to counter stalkers!"
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
You see OP, ND can't really change the level design of tlou remake because that would involve having prone\dodge and some actual work on the ga... i mean because it is beloved by his fans as you can see in this very topic where everyone love tlou 1 level design to death even after 10 years, everyone would hate a way better level design for combat encounters and be forced to pay a trade off super high like starting a cutscene in a different random room or a different ally, because tlou drama and quality plot comes first and foremost from the generic room number 3845738 where the cutscene starts, it is basically impossible to make the plot work that way, if you don't know...now you know.

What a silly little topic.
 
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Filben

Member
I thought they meant to address these issues with the remake, saying they improved major gameplay aspects and make them compliant with part two? I remember my several playthroughs and noticed how rigged the game sometimes is and even bugs out completely with the enemy AI when you things "you're not supposed" to do. Never saw that in TLOU2.

Wow, and they really charge 70 EUR for the same issues and flaws we had nine years ago...

EDIT: Wait, I was thinking OP's talking about the remake. Apparently OP isn't.
 
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Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
Lol calm down. MGS V is certainly more of a pure stealth game. I’ve played that game for an obscene amount of hours, so I know. It’s just hard not to be reminded of MGS V when crawling around on the ground in big levels with different paths and hiding spots, and then laying on my back to pop a headshot with a silenced pistol. Lmao.
Calm down? I am not sure what part of my post you are referring too. If anything I am sitting here laughing at you and your asinine comparisons. Which circus did you come from? Cause it's sure is a funny one. 🤡
 

Skifi28

Member
Yeah, the game's PS3 roots really stand out. Many things should have been improved in combat and scripting, otherwise what's even the point of a remake? Just to swap better assets in and ask 80 euros?
 
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