• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

|OT| The Last of Us Pt II |OT| Oh Ellie...I think they should be terrified of you

iorek21

Member
Feb 6, 2017
1,164
1,574
460
Brazil
Some comments about Abby’s story:
It relies too much on coincidences to be believable:
She magically meets Joel and Tommy while being chased by a giant zombie horde in a almost frozen region with daily scouts, wut?

She magically falls into a pool when she slips up from that crane thing on the skyscraper

Manny comes out of nowhere to save her from Tommy, just so that he can die later

While being close to starvation and obviously dehydrated, she manages to fight an armed Ellie for a while, only going down after several slashes

I really like Abby’s story, but this stuff is really bad writing
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isa

Clear

Member
Feb 2, 2009
10,533
4,497
1,100
Some comments about Abby’s story:
It relies too much on coincidences to be believable:
She magically meets Joel and Tommy while being chased by a giant zombie horde in a almost frozen region with daily scouts, wut?

She magically falls into a pool when she slips up from that crane thing on the skyscraper

Manny comes out of nowhere to save her from Tommy, just so that he can die later

While being close to starvation and obviously dehydrated, she manages to fight an armed Ellie for a while, only going down after several slashes

I really like Abby’s story, but this stuff is really bad writing
I've got a laundry list of issues with the writing in the game, but none of the things you mention are overly problematic. Yes they are contrivances, but none of them rise to deus ex machina levels.

The core problem with the writing in the game is that it fails to build points of identification between the player and the characters on the way to what should be big emotional payoffs. As a result its all a bit flat and ends up leaning more towards nihilism than tragedy.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Isa

D'Ghost

Member
May 8, 2020
1,112
2,461
500
I've got a laundry list of issues with the writing in the game, but none of the things you mention are overly problematic. Yes they are contrivances, but none of them rise to deus ex machina levels.

The core problem with the writing in the game is that it fails to build points of identification between the player and the characters on the way to what should be big emotional payoffs. As a result its all a bit flat and ends up leaning more towards nihilism than tragedy.
I think this game does a lot better than any other game to date that very thing. The "what would do for your loved one" after having been "intentionally inflicted this loss/pain" in this "specific manner" by some strangers. It then morphs into "at what point do you stop to avoid losing yourself completely, as well as those around you"... they also did that well. It's a much more different story from the first that had a fairytale like ending.
 
Last edited:

psorcerer

Member
May 1, 2012
1,798
2,525
920
My biggest takeaway from the whole thing - They shouldn't have made a sequel to Joel & Ellie's story. They should've told a new story about the conflict between the Seraphites & WLF, with Abby, Yara & Lev caught in the middle. That was the most engaging part of the game & I would've liked to spend more time getting into it.
That would be the best.
But they wanted to sell millions of copies.
 

Keihart

Member
Jun 23, 2013
3,662
1,696
745
yeah on grounded they need to fix the ia during stealth:

-they still come in a room full of corpse just to freeze, talk and getting stabbed by me, they have zero sense of preservation or awareness
-sometimes they talk like they have companion around them even if they are alone (because i already killed everyone)
-they still have the reaction of a slug when i charge them with melee weapons, from when they see me to when they start shooting there is always that 2-3 sec pause, you can see the survivor walkthorught of cohhcarnage that exploit this shit to death
-less fucking chat, more action, sometimes they are happy to call someone's death with name, last name, bank account number while i'm literally butchering them
-a lot of names are repeated and very few dogs have names, i only heard one dog name in like 25h, it was that difficult to have unique names for every enemy? i mean they are not infinite hordes, they are always a finite number so having 4 amir and 10 lauren is a bit of a strange choice and easily fixable (is this a limited memory thing? like they have zero memory to spare for original names?)
-made them shoot more frequently.

(and this is on survivor)

these are not difficult fix to make imo, it's not like re-writing the entire IA, just make them more active and less chatting and let them avoid room with 5 allies cadavers please.

in general wlf are more retarded and chatty than scars, but reaction time are basically the same.

it still remains a good ia, especially during gunfights where time reactions are faster.
I've heard names for dogs in every area i've played so far, i'm currently at the hospital and there is a San Bernardo called Bear.
I don't know if every enemy has a name, but i've gotten plenti of names called out, i know they are at least not random and they are attached to a specific npc.
And yes, they are very slow to react when they get startle by you, once they are in alert tho, good luck charging into them to melee lol.
Mind you i haven't gotten that far into the game, but i've replayed every encounter several times.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Hostile_18

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Mar 22, 2017
12,641
18,023
930
When shit doesn't go according to plan but everything works out in the end....
Thats core of the game, its what I like about it so much. This game is not about getting perfect stealth or having the perfect plan, in harder difficulty you might not have resources to pull it off, so you improvise.
 
  • Like
Reactions: D'Ghost

D'Ghost

Member
May 8, 2020
1,112
2,461
500
Thats core of the game, its what I like about it so much. This game is not about getting perfect stealth or having the perfect plan, in harder difficulty you might not have resources to pull it off, so you improvise.
I went into that place dark and thought maybe I just 2 shot this clicker easy with the silencer, if anything, just move around. Wasn't expecting the cluster fuck that was going to unravel.

Miss press on the controller and shut down the flashlight... light comes back up and suddenly all hell is breaking lose. I was like "okay then"; I'm just gonna pick each clicker+bloater through that door since they can't get through that wall....... but that's where you're wrong kiddo.....

Ran out of shotgun ammo and didn't even notice while panicking. The funny thing is that bloater mauled 2 clickers, helping me out in the end.
 
Last edited:

Arthimura

Member
Dec 20, 2015
156
55
295
I finished the game last night. It's 10/10 for me.

The game has a pretty fair duration, but i didn`t want it to end.

Combat and exploration are amazing. The story is full of surprises, gave me MGS2 feelings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Soulsborne

Woggleman

Member
Jan 1, 2020
903
1,295
410
I love how things can just go south at any minute and when you manage to actually stealth an entire section you feel so good. I remember I ran out of ammo without even noticing and the enemy shouted at me that I forgot how to count so I ran as fast as I could to get out of cover then threw some bombs and there was bits and pieces of the enemy all over.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: D'Ghost

D'Ghost

Member
May 8, 2020
1,112
2,461
500
I love how things can just go south at any minute and when you manage to actually stealth an entire section you feel so good. I remember I ran out of ammo without even noticing and the enemy shouted at me that I forgot how to count so I ran as fast as I could to get out of cover then threw some bombs and there was bits and pieces of the enemy all over.
Panicking in this game happens a lot. And it feels sooo good.
 
Last edited:

Arthimura

Member
Dec 20, 2015
156
55
295
I love how things can just go south at any minute and when you manage to actually stealth an entire section you feel so good. I remember I ran out of ammo without even noticing and the enemy shouted at me that I forgot how to count so I ran as fast as I could to get out of cover then threw some bombs and there was bits and pieces of the enemy all over.
It's the best thing about the combat, imo.

I played some stealth games in the past that you are so punished by being spotted that you end up save-scumming or turtling your way through the level.

In TLOU2, you have the tools to be stealth, but if you end up being spotted or without stealth resources (arrows, silencer, knives, etc) you can improvise, and the combat is balanced in a way that doesn't make you feel like you are acting like Rambo.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hostile_18

Business

Member
Mar 22, 2018
458
730
360
Some comments about Abby’s story:
It relies too much on coincidences to be believable:
She magically meets Joel and Tommy while being chased by a giant zombie horde in a almost frozen region with daily scouts, wut?

She magically falls into a pool when she slips up from that crane thing on the skyscraper

Manny comes out of nowhere to save her from Tommy, just so that he can die later

While being close to starvation and obviously dehydrated, she manages to fight an armed Ellie for a while, only going down after several slashes

I really like Abby’s story, but this stuff is really bad writing
I agree with these and I’d add

Other examples
Captured alive by the scars to sacrifice later instead of killed on the spot, why would they risk injury or death in the heat of the same battle they have been trying to kill her to now suddenly wanting to catch her alive.
Captured by the WLF at the hospital only to be left completely alone so her friend that happens to pass by rescues her with 0 opposition.
Finds her dead friends at the aquarium and right there Ellie also forgot a map with her exact location so Abby can find them.
 
Last edited:
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Isa and iorek21

evanft

Member
Dec 25, 2009
296
314
790
What weapons upgrades are considered the best?

I'm on Seattle Day 1. Absolutely loving the game. Still blown away with the animations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: El Sueño

AV

Gold Member
May 31, 2018
4,366
8,868
635
Leeds, UK
What weapons upgrades are considered the best?

I'm on Seattle Day 1. Absolutely loving the game. Still blown away with the animations.
I always went with stability first since shitty aim is literally baked into the game to make it more "grounded".

But, that also depends on what aiming options you have toggled.
 

Geki-D

If you don’t like the games I like you’re a bigot
Dec 6, 2017
3,969
4,826
665
What weapons upgrades are considered the best?
I'd suggest stability and then damage. You're gonna want more precision over anything else. After that, scope for the rifle and other sights.
 
Last edited:

tassletine

Member
Oct 24, 2007
1,167
335
1,065
Having completed the game now. I think it works as a story.
As a story to compliment the original, it works. I thought it was pretty good, and Abby was by the most interesting character -- However much I hated her, she's the one who sticks out here. She lives and breathes - more so than Ellie.
Ultimately having Ellie thinking about Joel at the very end, having had her opportunity for revenge, and realising she still feels terrible (because it was her who pushed him away) was fitting.
Realising that it's her and Abby who are 'The last of Us' because they couldn't let go of the past (whilst everyone else was moving on) was good. They both paid the price. It was decent.

Having said that -- As a sequel to the original I think it was a mistake -- I think Druckman was too myopic with his vision, and whilst he's entitled to it -- the preaching and framing of the story is so wildly over the top as to make it seem like fan fiction in parts.
I'm sad that ND didn't have the courage (or the skill) to write more meaningful stories revolving around Joel and Ellie and instead went for the easier, more commercial route, pandering to social subjects etc, and pushing lots of easy to reach buttons regarding politics, violence, killing of animals etc. We've seen this so many times before.

The problem is really that games have been doing this plotline for ages and no matter how much you dress it up, you're fighting decades of been there, done that, so whilst I think that Abby is a decent character I care no more for her in the end than I do for Solid Snake in the end. Ellie on the other hand has been REDUCED as a character just to make Abby come off in a better light. You can tell this because her sidekicks are all much more homoginised that she is -- and they had to be this way because if they actually had some character you would be drawn towards them -- and that would make Ellie look worse.

The game pulls these sorts of tricks so often as to ultimately hobble it's self and it becomes confusing. I'm sure Druckman has lots of intellectual arguments as to why each character does what they do, but ultimately you just have to ask what the point of it all was, as it wasn't for the gameplay or any real emotional peak. So many times I felt like the game was investing vast resources in trying to teach me something subtley, just to shy away at the last moment, or conversely blow it with some over the top crucifixion scene or something.

So. It's a good, even great game. The story certainly isn't as good as the first one as it lacks a strong emotional bond, but it's far better than most games.
I think could very well hit home with the younger generation as the story is one of blind revenge and trying to recapture a past, which seems very topical right now.

In retrospect it seems like the original LOU could have always have been Teenage fiction for women, we just didn't realise it. It definitely IS now, and I think that's the main problem here. The marketing was trying to tell you it was something else -- But really this story just wants to compete with Hunger Games and Twilight etc. It wants to stir up the emotions of young women.
It would have been far better for Druckman etc. if they had just come out and said this was their aim, rather than using cheap tactics to get more sales. Because of this it comes across as far too muddled to even make much sense. Not muddled for a videogame but definitely too muddled for the story he wants to tell.
 

bellome

Member
May 5, 2017
239
331
320
6 hours in and the game is simply awesome.

A bit too many "soap opera" moments in my opinion (I prefer tlou tone to this) but still impressive.
 
Last edited:

tassletine

Member
Oct 24, 2007
1,167
335
1,065
Finally finished it yesterday. It's good, but it ain't great. Here's my long-winded, rambling two cents.

Let's get the good stuff out of the way - the visuals are unbelievable, the animations are smooth, the voice acting and motion capture are some of the best in games. The sound design is excellent, and a big improvement on the first. The little details that ND puts in their games are all here and they're really impressive, mostly in the way characters react to their environments and each other. The stuff you're doing is, on the surface, fun - you're essentially playing MGS5 or Hitman.

The first issue, though, is that it's not those games. It's very deliberately clunky and sluggish, because that's obviously what they're going for with the turbo-realism slant. I played and loved Uncharted 4, and even though it was too long, I didn't feel it, because it actually played well and had a captivating story. And let's be honest, this game is way too long. Somewhere around 7 hours too long. By about two thirds of the way through I just wanted it to be over, because you spent the vast majority of the game either watching cutscenes or running around environments hitting the triangle button. The amount of actual time I spent in danger was very low, and when I was in danger, I felt like I was controlling someone stuck in a puddle of mud.

And yet, my GOTY last year was RDR2. A game far, far, far longer, with about the same ratio of gameplay to non-gameplay, and a game heavily criticised for playing like shit. Why? Because the story and the characters in RDR2 were fantastic. So good that I could overlook some pretty glaring issues. My main problem is that that doesn't exist in TLOU2. Let me make this very clear - I don't give a shit about Ellie being a lesbian, Abby having bricklayer arms, that thing that happens near the beginning, or that character that shows up. You can have a great story with all of the above.

My core problem is that it's just an incredibly poorly written game with absolutely no likeable characters, each of which has completely illogical motivations or character development.

Everything starts fine - long winded set up building to Joel's execution, very well done. If anyone watched the promo material for this game and assumed you'd play as Joel for most of it, that's your fault, it was never going to happen. But already, so early on, we get a chance to play as Abby, and this blows the entire mid-game "reveal" out of the water, because obviously we're going to play as her again. So the plot happens, Ellie swears revenge, and then we play the game for 10 hours. We learn that Ellie already knows what Joel did, so now there's no big dramatic reveal to her that might make her rethink her actions, it's purely revenge. There's some who-slept-with-who drama, a pregnancy, a lot of political commentary which others find understandably offputting. Whatever, I can deal with all that, as long as it goes somewhere.

Ellie hunts down the people she hates one by one and kills them all with basically no issue whatsoever. The game revels in glorious murder, actively encouraging you to find fun and interesting ways to slaughter people, and then pauses every so often to mope about it. If this works on you, fair enough, but it's been done to death and it just isn't effective any more. She finds out one of them is pregnant and later we're supposed to feel bad because this character insisted on being out in the field instead of protecting her unborn child, because she's her own damn woman. Alrighty.

So, we make the switch to Abby, and all the built-up tension is immediately dissolved as the game resets and we play out a story with an ending we already know. We spend a lot more time walking around the world pressing triangle and listening to the plot. She's rescued by some kids, one of their arms is busted, so you spent hours tracking down supplies to fix the arm, only for Lev to immediately run off to see the mother he knows will disown him. Lo and behold, we go after him, the mother's dead, then after everything we did for her, Yara dies and neither Ellie nor Lev barely seem to register it. This happens several times throughout the game - characters that are supposedly friends die and not a single fuck is seemingly given by anyone. If that's "the point", then great, but don't expect your audience to care either. Abby completely abandons the wolves for.... some reason? And is quite happy mowing down dozens of her old friends and allies to help this one kid out. I'm sure not a single wolf ever saved Abby's life.

Finally the story re-converges at the point we knew it was going to many hours ago. Okay, the big fight! Abby spares the pregnant girl when Lev looks at her and makes a sad face, aaaaand for some reason, even though she's killed hundreds and hundreds of people, and Ellie has killed all of her close friends, she lets Ellie go, because they needed to squeeze more game out. We get to what should have been the epilogue at the farm, Ellie has some panic attacks, and leaves her partner and her child to go off on yet another very brief rampage. She witnesses a horrid slave camp and kind of cares, but doesn't, hunts down Abby and lets her go, to the surprise of no-one.

There is absolutely nothing interesting or smart about "ahh, now you play as da bad guy! maybe she not so bad, now maybe you feel bad!". Nor is there anything interesting or smart about these characters finding forgiveness at the very last second while simultaneously destroying everything else around them. The juxtaposition between what Neil considers very dramatic scenes and what the same characters do constantly in-between is headache inducing. It simply doesn't work. The motivations and actions of almost every character in this game are done purely for dramatic effect and hold no weight whatsoever. The narrative is so broken and disjointed that by the time things are supposed to be wrapping up, it's hard to care any more about characters you haven't seen in 8 hours. Honestly, I completely forgot that Jesse was killed, because the game resets immediately afterwards and then Jesse is never mentioned again when you return to Ellie.

Thanks for reading my blog. A huge congratulations to everyone that worked on this game except Druckman. It could have been a masterpiece if the story wasn't a disaster. This thing is Game of Thrones all over again.
I don't think it's that bad, but I did keep wandering why anyone would want revenge in that situation,
when almost every character there would have had their parents/best friend/sibling killed by someone/thing. I mean, when you grow up in an environment like that things become normalised pretty quickly and she would have had a lot of people to empathise with. It wouldn't have been so much of a big deal.

The doubling down on realism here only made the plot's problems stick out more, as the only sane conclusion you can come to is that the lead characters are psychopaths -- which may very well be the point -- but doesn't work in a videogame context as we ALWAYS play psychopaths. Such a confused story.
 

Keihart

Member
Jun 23, 2013
3,662
1,696
745
I got to the blueballs mid section of the game, this is gonna have such a pay off towards the end, i can feel it.
I was waiting for things to go wrong exactly where they did since it was what it made sense in a revenge story, still not dissapointed. I hope things get worse.
 
Last edited:

Geki-D

If you don’t like the games I like you’re a bigot
Dec 6, 2017
3,969
4,826
665
What guns are actually worth upgrading? The starting pistol/rifle?
Yeah, along with the bow. I'd recommend only upgrading damage on the shotgun then leaving the rest till last seeing as you'll be using it a such a close range that stability is pointless and it's other stats are decent enough at default.
 

Bartski

Member
Jan 15, 2020
654
1,231
490
Katowice
on "survival" - definitely stability on the silencer handgun and silencer durability, later on - the bow. Stuff you can thin out larger groups with quietly from a distance.
 
Last edited:

D'Ghost

Member
May 8, 2020
1,112
2,461
500
What weapons upgrades are considered the best?

I'm on Seattle Day 1. Absolutely loving the game. Still blown away with the animations.
Rifle scope + damage boost. Shotgun clip+ (for Ellie). Then whatever else you fancy.
 

BluRayHiDef

Member
Aug 21, 2015
1,325
2,043
645
After 22 hours and 48 minutes on Survival difficulty, I've reached the part at which Abby confronts Ellie at the theater. This game is amazing; its gameplay is tense and its story is suspenseful and darkly adventurous.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hostile_18

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Apr 9, 2009
30,767
9,242
1,420
I finished the game last night. It's 10/10 for me.

The game has a pretty fair duration, but i didn`t want it to end.

Combat and exploration are amazing. The story is full of surprises, gave me MGS2 feelings.
Of course it did. It has a couple of strong parallels to MGS2.

- Abby's chapter and relationship to Lev resembles Joel and Ellie's journey in TLOU1. Raiden's chapter mimics the events of MGS1.

- Despite taking up half of the game, Abby was barely shown in the marketing and of course is not on the cover. This is nearly identical to how Raiden was treated pre-MGS2.



Same energy.
 

TGO

Member
Sep 5, 2007
9,688
6,989
1,390
UK
After 22 hours and 48 minutes on Survival difficulty, I've reached the part at which Abby confronts Ellie at the theater. This game is amazing; its gameplay is tense and its story is suspenseful and darkly adventurous.
We'll see
I've waited for my new Sony 4K X95 to arrive before playing it so I can play it in all it's glory
 

DragoonKain

Member
Nov 13, 2013
4,912
7,798
980
Does anyone know if you missed one of the holsters if you can get it later? I googled it and am reading conflicting reports. I read one that said if you miss it you, miss it. But then I read that if you miss one of the holsters you acquire it in other spots later.

I missed the small gun holster in downtown, and I saw several people say they got it later on, so maybe it’s possible it appears in a safe or something later if you missed it originally?
 

evanft

Member
Dec 25, 2009
296
314
790
About 7 hours in. Still on Seattle Day 1.

The game is fucking awesome. I have pretty much nothing negative to really say. The gameplay feels like such a massive upgrade over the first that I want them to go back and remake TLOU to work with these mechanics. I LOVE the semi-open areas that give you so many different ways to approach situations. Attention to detail is immaculate. Music, like the previous game, is stunning. The level of violence/brutality is on another level.

One of my favorite moments was when I shot a woman in the face, her head exploded, and her partner called out her name, "SKYLER!" as she screamed while dying. Amazing.

Also, Ashley Johnson doing a cover of Take On Me? Fucking GOTY.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Clarissa

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Apr 9, 2009
30,767
9,242
1,420
MGS2 was a postmodernist tongue in cheek deconstruction of the linear game genre.
No, I wouldn't say that at all. In fact thats the first time I've ever seen anyone describe MGS2 that way. But of course thats also the type of game where multiple interpretations are welcome so you're free to have yours.
 

Zimmy68

Member
Jan 27, 2014
526
242
475
The Scars are cool but I wish Ellie could whistle back. She takes down 10 of them without blinking.
 

TGO

Member
Sep 5, 2007
9,688
6,989
1,390
UK
Been playing for over hours and so far it's definitely hasn't hooked me like the first.
But all I've been doing is watching cutscenes and walking 🤔
Also is Abby based on anyone, her face looks weird compared to other characters
And something is off with peoples eyes
Abby is like this most the time 😂
 

psorcerer

Member
May 1, 2012
1,798
2,525
920
No, I wouldn't say that at all. In fact thats the first time I've ever seen anyone describe MGS2 that way. But of course thats also the type of game where multiple interpretations are welcome so you're free to have yours.
Kojima is always seeking to destroy the 4th wall. There's nothing to compare.
MGS2 Raiden part was a parody on MGS. Including the commentary like: "you think you got here all by yourself?" implying that even the game itself is leading the player.
IIRC Kojima specifically said in a Wired interview that MGS2 was his first attempt at a postmodernist story.
 

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Apr 9, 2009
30,767
9,242
1,420
OK it's letting me play, this is better
Lol, the first few hours are just a walk-n'-talk prologue with some easy tutorial encounters. Rest assured this is the biggest game Naughty Dog has ever done. I think even many critics would agree the number of levels is not a problem.
 

mekes

Member
Jun 30, 2013
2,828
2,457
775
London, UK
I’m only a few hours in, but so far I find Ellie really annoying and quite like Abby. I’ve kept my nose out of most news for this game, instead just seeing the odd headline. I didn’t deep dive on spoilers but do know a (the?) big one.

Abby just seems a more believable character for the world. I don’t know how you have Ellie’s life experiences and turn out to be, her.

Worth throwing in, story wise this game has a lot of fucking improving to do until it starts to catch the first game. It’s a soap opera so far. And a bit annoying.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isa