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

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Deer/Dur
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Did you skip the part where I said "at the beginning"? Like I said, my grip with the narrative is not with Joel being killed, it's the way they used his death right from the get-go to trigger a journey of revenge that ends exactly in the most stupid possible way:

"Oh wait, I just killed a bunch of dudes to get my revenge because you, Abby, killed my dearest person, but you know what, never mind, revenge is for the weak. Go live your life with Lev, it's totally ok. Stay safe out there. I'm gonna go home and try to learn how to play the guitar, because I'm missing some fingers now.

XoXo, Ellie".

The game and its characterization are about more than just revenge, in Ellie's case she's driven by anger, guilt, self-loatrhing, the existential despair of not knowing her place in the world, etc. Motivations that precede Joel's death and color her choices as the path of vengeance leads her further into the proverbial heart of darkness.

The problem is basically that you are either too stubborn or too stupid to admit that there's a lot more going on in the story than a simplistic revenge plotline.
 
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Nankatsu

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The game and its characterization are about more than just revenge, in Ellie's case she's driven by anger, guilt, self-loatrhing, the existential despair of not knowing her place in the world, etc. Motivations that precede Joel's death and color her choices as the path of vengeance leads her further into the proverbial heart of darkness.

The problem is basically that you are either too stubborn or too stupid to admit that there's a lot more going on in the story than a simplistic revenge plotline.
Read my other post after the one you quoted :messenger_winking:
 

EruditeHobo

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Whats trying about it? If your game is ostensibly nothing more than progressing through a linear level to then deliver a linear cut-scene with zero player agency you might as well cut out the middle man and make a movie instead.
Right. So TLoU1 should have had a bunch of branching options in terms of the story being told, right? With multiple endings? Otherwise, it should just be a movie?

There are lots of ways to care about player agency and/or engage the gamer in ways which are NOT directly related to branching storylines based on player decision, aka the illusion of choice. Devs don't have to game-ify the story itself to that degree to make something meaningful. Whether or not TLoU2 worked for you or not, this is obvious when we look at lots of single player narrative-oriented games, as Freeman points out above.
 
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Freeman

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Whats trying about it? If your game is ostensibly nothing more than progressing through a linear level to then deliver a linear cut-scene with zero player agency you might as well cut out the middle man and make a movie instead.
Ok, then go watch a movie and don't buy the next ND game. It's no like they've hid it.

Most games don't have branching storylines and those that do tend to have juvenile things like good/bad/real ednings. Only a few games handle this sort of thing well.

I wish you guys would name the games you like so I could nitpick them and talk nonsense too. I bet plenty of you criticize TLoU2 then go play some weebo games with even more glaring "issues".
 
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Woggleman

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Any game no matter what can be nitpicked to death. They told the story they wanted to tell and I have no issue with that but the player actually has a lot of freedom in how to approach the gameplay.
 
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Deer/Dur
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Read my other post after the one you quoted :messenger_winking:
I did and you still don't seem to recognize that there's more than basic vengeance at play in terms of motivation. Revenge may be what puts events in motion, but its only a driving force briefly in Abby's story (which is 90% a redemptive arc), and by the end of Ellie's story is no longer a factor.

What people seem to miss is that Ellie's quest for vengeance ends before the showdown at the theater. She's done at that point. Everything that happens after that point is about her, not avenging Joel. The point of the whole Santa Barbara segment is to show a character who is literally looking for death because she is overwhelmed by guilt and self-loathing, not a desire for retribution.
 
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Kadayi

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Right. So TLoU1 should have had a bunch of branching options in terms of the story being told, right? With multiple endings? Otherwise, it should just be a movie?
If you're going to make a big thing of player agency, then there needs to some agency in the play. Doesn't have to be a lot, but it needs to be there.

There are lots of ways to care about player agency and/or engage the gamer in ways which are NOT directly related to branching storylines based on player decision, aka the illusion of choice. Devs don't have to game-ify the story itself to that degree to make something meaningful. Whether or not TLoU2 worked for you or not, this is obvious when we look at lots of single player narrative-oriented games, as Freeman points out above.
Then cite them.
 
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buenoblue

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You shouldn't have an ending about how killing is bad and mercy is good if you've killed 10's of people who were more or less innocent already.

If that is what you took away from the game...

I wont bother even comment on the rest, play it again and pay attention this time.
Tomb raider did the same, along with uncharted and many games. Why have a story where the character thinks killing is bad when all you do in the game is kill people?

No one is forcing naughty dog to put combat in these games. If naughty dog is that against killing on a moral level then make a game with no killing!

If your whole game mechanic revolves around slaughtering dozens of people I don't think basing your whole story on how the two main characters can show mercy to each other is a good idea.

Naughty dog should of just took the combat out, or told a story that embraced the slaughter. A story that showed that sometimes killing is the right thing to do.
 

Bartski

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I wish you guys would name the games you like so I could nitpick them and talk nonsense too. I bet plenty of you criticize TLoU2 then go play some weebo games with even more glaring "issues".
lmao yeah, especially among top local vehement critics of "bad writing"
 
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EruditeHobo

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If you're going to make a big thing of player agency, then there needs to some agency in the play. Doesn't have to be a lot, but it needs to be there.
I don't know what he said about player agency... people talk a lot about things when they are promoting a product. What does this have to do with my overall point, which is about game-ifying a story in direct response to someone that said "there should be multiple endings" which you seemed to kind of defend? If you are defining player agency solely as branching paths which have direct impact on how the story unfolds, I think that is probably too limiting IMO. But again, I don't know what he said, and if you brought up his specific points I missed that in your posts... not that it matters much, the conversation quickly evolved beyond that particular point it seems to me. And even if I agreed there's no player agency in TLoU2, I am still confused about some stuff you've posted about gaming experiences overall.

Either way, in attempting to look at your overall thinking, which Freeman did and I did but you seem to have sort of ignored all that, is less whataboutism/relativism & more trying to apply a seemingly general view to a less-radioactive particular subject. IMO at least.

So, regarding the following: ----V

Right. So TLoU1 should have had a bunch of branching options in terms of the story being told, right? With multiple endings? Otherwise, it should just be a movie?
... thoughts about this above query, specifically?
 

Nankatsu

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I did and you still don't seem to recognize that there's more than basic vengeance at play in terms of motivation. Revenge may be what puts events in motion, but its only a driving force briefly in Abby's story (which is 90% a redemptive arc), and by the end of Ellie's story is no longer a factor.

What people seem to miss is that Ellie's quest for vengeance ends before the showdown at the theater. She's done at that point. Everything that happens after that point is about her, not avenging Joel. The point of the whole Santa Barbara segment is to show a character who is literally looking for death because she is overwhelmed by guilt and self-loathing, not a desire for retribution.

Ellie's vengeance quest ends at the theathre? There's no sense in that lol.

You seem to forget that Tommy visited at the farm and in that specific part is pretty clear that Ellie is not done with revenge.
 

Kadayi

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What does this have to do with my overall point, which is about game-ifying a story in direct response to someone that said "there should be multiple endings" which you seemed to kind of defend? If you are defining player agency solely as branching paths which have direct impact on how the story unfolds, I think that is probably too limiting IMO. But again, I don't know what he said, and if you brought up his specific points I missed that in your posts... not that it matters much, the conversation quickly evolved beyond that particular point it seems to me. And even if I agreed there's no player agency in TLoU2, I am still confused about some stuff you've posted about gaming experiences overall.
You seem to be putting an awful lot of words into my mouth, none of which I actually said, versus you jumping to spurious conclusions as to what you think I said and then running with them, whilst at the same time abjectly failing to answer the one I posed to you. You said this: -

There are lots of ways to care about player agency and/or engage the gamer in ways which are NOT directly related to branching storylines based on player decision, aka the illusion of choice. Devs don't have to game-ify the story itself to that degree to make something meaningful. Whether or not TLoU2 worked for you or not, this is obvious when we look at lots of single player narrative-oriented games, as Freeman points out above.
And I asked you to cite them. I want to hear at length about these many ways.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
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Ellie's vengeance quest ends at the theathre? There's no sense in that lol.

You seem to forget that Tommy visited at the farm and in that specific part is pretty clear that Ellie is not done with revenge.
**End of Story Spoilers follow for obvious reasons**


If you were paying attention she turns down Tommy's demand because the revenge motive has faded for her. She feels guilty because she feels like she owes Tommy and she cannot follow through, her guilt is the whole point of the scene. Its why she defends him after Dina effectively runs him off.

Her decision to chase down and face-off with Abby follows her PTSD flashback in the barn, not that conversation, because it forces her to accept how broken emotionally she is at this point in her life. It seems like a flip-flop because she is on the surface happy and content living in quiet domesticity with Dina and JJ, but as soon as her guard drops the anxiety comes for her with a vengeance! Its why she can't sleep, she's haunted by her failure and perceived weakness.

The point of her journey to Cali is to face Abby, to face her fear. Its why when she finally comes face-to-face with her at the pillars, there's no joy or triumph in it. If you listen to Ellie's internal monologues over the course of the chapter you'll notice that she shows no fear for her own well-being, but does worry that Abby has already been killed or turned before she finds her.

At first you might think this is because she needs to exact personal revenge, to feel the blade as it glides into her breast so to speak, but if you listen carefully and follow the subtext the actual reason is she needs the confrontation more than anything. If she dies as a result of the face-off, no biggy, her pain will be over, but if for whatever reason she is unable to face-down Abby, its literally a fate worse than death for her. A perpetual limbo of never knowing, and a slow torturous death of the spirit as her demons of doubt and failure consume her soul.
 
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Freeman

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You shouldn't have an ending about how killing is bad and mercy is good if you've killed 10's of people who were more or less innocent already.



Tomb raider did the same, along with uncharted and many games. Why have a story where the character thinks killing is bad when all you do in the game is kill people?

No one is forcing naughty dog to put combat in these games. If naughty dog is that against killing on a moral level then make a game with no killing!

If your whole game mechanic revolves around slaughtering dozens of people I don't think basing your whole story on how the two main characters can show mercy to each other is a good idea.

Naughty dog should of just took the combat out, or told a story that embraced the slaughter. A story that showed that sometimes killing is the right thing to do.
You continue to talk nonsense. ND is very aware of how violent and visceral the game is, they use it all the time in their favor.

You'r incapacity to understand anything beyond surface level doesn't make ND bad at what they do.

Both TLoU 1 and 2 answer a critique that ND always was subjected to, that violence in their previous games was simply ignored. With TLoU they decided to go the other way and make violence front and center, your violent acts have consequences, both on the story and on the characters themselves. Joel's actions at the end of the last game(whether justified or not from his PoV) come back to haunt him, Ellie has PTSD and fucks up her life during the game, Abby wasted years of her life after something that only brought her misery and Tommy is all bitter at the end.

Ellie's vengeance quest ends at the theathre? There's no sense in that lol.

You seem to forget that Tommy visited at the farm and in that specific part is pretty clear that Ellie is not done with revenge.
At that point it has much more to do with guilt than revenge. The game even acknowledges that by having Dina pointing out that Tommy is being a dick. Ellie just can't let that go, just like Abby couldn't let it go. Ellie also has survivors guilt and probably regrets her treatment of Joel and her unwillingness to understand him.

At the end of the game there is no point in killing Abby, she is all washed up, she is moving on, Joel wouldn't have wanted Ellie to become like that, the entire point of him taking the risk of staying in Jackson was for Ellie to have a shot at a normal life.
 
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EruditeHobo

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And I asked you to cite them. I want to hear at length about these many ways.
No worries, can do that. :messenger_ok:

In this case, when talking about "player agency", I think that sort of thing is done on a spectrum. On one extreme end, there is a choose your own adventure style of game, in which every choice the player makes impacts the game -- choices change the narrative, they change the gameplay, and the options for paths to take to complete the game are numerous. That's a version of total player agency, or at least as close as you could get in a narrative, contemporary "AAA" title as far as I can tell.

But elsewhere on that spectrum there are lots of other games, in which the player can be compelled to play the game one way, or another, or another, due to perhaps many different factors. And through those particular playstyles, those players get fairly unique experiences. Given the possible depth in terms of the gameplay in TLoU2, it seems pretty clear to me that these kinds of choices exist. In fact, I made my OWN choice during my playthrough, and it greatly improved my experience of playing the game.

I was going through the game and struggling a bit in the early/middle stages; I was clearing areas meticulously, collecting everything, restarting encounters if I didn't get enough stealth kills, etc... and I wasn't thrilled with it for a first play through. The choice I made to emulate the more seamless gameplay videos, which allowed for more mistakes, improvisation, and much more heavily leaned on some of the depth of the game, greatly impacted my overall enjoyment of the story/game and infused a proper sense of desperation to game progress.

The player can make those kinds of choices throughout; they can be based on sections of the game, or based on the character you're controlling, or based on what's happening in the narrative or what's happened to the characters, or how FAR you are in the narrative... all those choices, without any/many of them being actually FORCED, are directly facilitated by the depth of the gameplay. That's player agency.

Whether you find this compelling or not or whether you think this counts specifically as "player agency" or not, that's going to be up to you... but it's obvious that these gameplay choices do/can radically impact the experience of playing the game, if not the narrative within the game. And I think that is probably at least relevant to what Druckmann was talking about... because he has to think about those things, there's no reason to have the gameplay variety available to the player without having a considerable awareness of player agency, even in a "linear" game. But that said, I don't know what he said about player agency. I'm not sure it's really all that relevant to the overall discussion.

So! Since you've giving me the benefit of the doubt with regard to me putting words in your mouth (honestly wasn't doing it maliciously, just trying to understand your point) I'll do the same with you regarding your non-responsiveness to the bulk of my argument, and the specific example I brought up... so you'll answer my question now right?

You think since the player can't impact the story of TLoU1, or Uncharted 2, or even God of War which has open world elements which really don't impact the story... because of that they should just be movies? Is that not what you were suggesting? Because I don't know how else to take "linear levels and linear cutscenes have zero player agency" and "you might as well go make a movie", because all of that kind of ignores the central defining element of games, linear or not... which is gameplay.
 

Dr Kaneda

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I wish you guys would name the games you like so I could nitpick them and talk nonsense too. I bet plenty of you criticize TLoU2 then go play some weebo games with even more glaring "issues".
This is my take. I couldn't give a fuck about the "story" in games like Mario, Zelda, Resident Evil, DMC, Bayonetta, Gears etc..So I'm not going to sit there and go "Resident Evil has such poor writing". I'm not invested in those stories nor care enough about them to remotely care about their quality and analyse them. So to me when I see people be super nitpicky and hyperbolic about TLoU2 it tells me that they believe that it's a story worthy of that level of critic, it's a story worth dissecting, it's a story worth thinking about, it's a story worth holding to that high standard, which is honestly a compliment in and of itself.

I'm not saying everyone must think TLoU2 has the best story ever OMG 10/10!!, far from it. But again the level of discourse around it tells me that by in large whatever people critiques of it are they still care about it enough it actual critique it, which is no mean feat for a video game.
 

Freeman

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This is my take. I couldn't give a fuck about the "story" in games like Mario, Zelda, Resident Evil, DMC, Bayonetta, Gears etc..So I'm not going to sit there and go "Resident Evil has such poor writing". I'm not invested in those stories nor care enough about them to remotely care about their quality and analyse them. So to me when I see people be super nitpicky and hyperbolic about TLoU2 it tells me that they believe that it's a story worthy of that level of critic, it's a story worth dissecting, it's a story worth thinking about, it's a story worth holding to that high standard, which is honestly a compliment in and of itself.

I'm not saying everyone must think TLoU2 has the best story ever OMG 10/10!!, far from it. But again the level of discourse around it tells me that by in large whatever people critiques of it are they still care about it enough it actual critique it, which is no mean feat for a video game.
100%.

It's just clear that this game discussion was contaminated by people that are doing so in bad faith.

I hate ME3, hate it and I understand someone being disappointed by a sequel in a series they like, but the nitpicking of TLoU2 just doesn't come off as honest to me(most of the time at least).

Another example is Uncharted, only reason Drake gets criticized for being a mass murder is that ND succeeded to make him much more human an relatable than most other games at the time, making people pay attention to things they would usually just ignore.
 
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Kadayi

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In this case, when talking about "player agency", I think that sort of thing is done on a spectrum. On one extreme end, there is a choose your own adventure style of game, in which every choice the player makes impacts the game -- choices change the narrative, they change the gameplay, and the options for paths to take to complete the game are numerous. That's a version of total player agency, or at least as close as you could get in a narrative, contemporary "AAA" title as far as I can tell.
You don't need to be AAA to do these things. Zaum with Disco Elysium proved that last year to universal acclaim. The game will take you to the same final destination but the narrative experience given the multitude of options available for you as the player will likely be quite different versus that of other players you know. In that regard you truly own your experience, and that's a key difference between the possibility space of gaming as a narrative medium versus TV, Film or Books.

But elsewhere on that spectrum there are lots of other games, in which the player can be compelled to play the game one way, or another, or another, due to perhaps many different factors. And through those particular playstyles, those players get fairly unique experiences. Given the possible depth in terms of the gameplay in TLoU2, it seems pretty clear to me that these kinds of choices exist. In fact, I made my OWN choice during my playthrough, and it greatly improved my experience of playing the game.

I was going through the game and struggling a bit in the early/middle stages; I was clearing areas meticulously, collecting everything, restarting encounters if I didn't get enough stealth kills, etc... and I wasn't thrilled with it for a first play through. The choice I made to emulate the more seamless gameplay videos, which allowed for more mistakes, improvisation, and much more heavily leaned on some of the depth of the game, greatly impacted my overall enjoyment of the story/game and infused a proper sense of desperation to game progress.

The player can make those kinds of choices throughout; they can be based on sections of the game, or based on the character you're controlling, or based on what's happening in the narrative or what's happened to the characters, or how FAR you are in the narrative... all those choices, without any/many of them being actually FORCED, are directly facilitated by the depth of the game play. That's player agency.
See to me, that's just navigation. If take say Dear Esther for example. A beautiful if at times haunting experience, but you're essentially walking through an unfolding Art film. I'm not opposed to that sort of thing , but it needs to be done right to be effective. I was particularly struck by What remains of Edith Finch in the regard though, but there at least there's a bit more interactivity in terms of driving the narrative and knowing where it's leading (Gregory's Story in particular was a highlight) . Though I think a key part of its success its brevity. It's hard to go wrong with a short contained experience, that isn't trying to be all and everything (Journey & Portal spring to mind as well).

You think since the player can't impact the story of TLoU1, or Uncharted 2, or even God of War which has open world elements which really don't impact the story... because of that they should just be movies? Is that not what you were suggesting? Because I don't know how else to take "linear levels and linear cutscenes have zero player agency" and "you might as well go make a movie", because all of that kind of ignores the central defining element of games, linear or not... which is game play.
I'm not saying they should be movies, I'm just questioning why if linear narratives is what you're all about, whether film or TV might not be a better storytelling medium for you at the end of the day. Naughty Dog spent 7 years making TLOU2. That's an insane amount of time and effort to put into an endeavour, just to tell a fixed narrative with no deviations throughout. In contrast CDP went into Pre-production on Cyberpunk 2077 in 2016 and not only is that game going to be a complete time vampire behemoth but it's leveraging the actual strengths of the medium to the fullest which is interactivity both from a narrative, and game play perspective. Is it going to look as pretty at TLOU2? Nope. Are gamer's really going to care? Outside of a few graphic whore threads, not remotely.
 

Nankatsu

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The game even acknowledges that by having Dina pointing out that Tommy is being a dick.
So let me get this straight: going by your logic Dina calling Tommy a dick automatically deletes the whole revenge quest out of the picture? Ok.



The entire point of him taking the risk of staying in Jackson was for Ellie to have a shot at a normal life.
With this I agree. Shame the game didn't take more emphasis on that.
 

Freeman

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So let me get this straight: going by your logic Dina calling Tommy a dick automatically deletes the whole revenge quest out of the picture? Ok.
I'm just saying that it makes it obvious that he is being a dick and Ellie has her own motivations, she isn't going because of Tommy, he was just a way for her to know where Abby is. Without that she wouldn't even have the option of going after Abby again, she had no idea where Abby was before. He created the opportunity for her to do it again.
 
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EruditeHobo

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I'm just saying that it makes it obvious that he is being a dick and Ellie has her own motivations, she isn't going because of Tommy, he was just a way for her to know where Abby is. Without that she wouldn't even have the option of going after Abby again, she had no idea where Abby was before. He created the opportunity for her to do it again.
Right... she's seems to be literally going through pretty intense PTSD, so at that point her decision is definitely not just about her either deciding to help Tommy OR just "wanting revenge". She's struggling with what should be a happy life.
 
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EruditeHobo

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You don't need to be AAA to do these things. Zaum with Disco Elysium proved that last year to universal acclaim.
Sure, I understand. I only limited it to "AAA" narrative mainstream games because that is the context of this conversation... we are talking about AAA narrative games in here. There are lots of things TLoU2 does very well which other, much freer/more interesting/more experimental games, even narrative games, do not do well, obviously. Because that's not even something those devs are aiming for, necessarily.

I'm only trying to say that we can have a problem with any particular game we want, anything we can think of... but I feel we have to at least take it on on it's own terms.

If take say Dear Esther for example. A beautiful if at times haunting experience, but you're essentially walking through an unfolding Art film. I'm not opposed to that sort of thing , but it needs to be done right to be effective.
Generally I agree with all of that. But my larger point remains, if I went into a Dear Esther thread or a What Remains of Edith Finch thread or a Firewatch thread or whatever -- pick anything even vaguely in this category -- and suggested there was something lacking because, I don't know, there wasn't a lot of depth specifically in terms of the gameplay itself offering the player options or choice in terms of how they navigated the game/story... I mean, of course there isn't. Because those games aren't trying to do that at all, right? That's not their thing. I haven't played everything you mention, but in general the ideas/experiences they are communicating are not reliant upon deep, multi-layered gameplay mechanics involving player choice; the depth of those experiences is found elsewhere, in other aspects of the game.

That deep gameplay which not only offers but I'd argue encourages player choice, that's what I meant by when referencing agency. And that is very much a part of TLoU2.

I'm not saying they should be movies, I'm just questioning why if linear narratives is what you're all about, whether film or TV might not be a better storytelling medium for you at the end of the day.
The answer is gameplay, I think, which is the principle element that defines TLoU2 in terms of how it functions, as well as a huge part of the way that the game explores the ideas being communicated to the user/audience.
 

Salmon Snake

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Finally finished it.
I do think the first one is better (it is really special game to me and one of my favorites of all time). Here's briefly some thoughts:

Most of the characters introduced in Part II just don't click with me. Like Lev and Yara, I just didn't care for them and:

the trans thing felt to me like a check off the box

But after finishing the game I think I like Abby. I'm not sure yet.

I do fucking hate that she killed Joe especially so early in the game. But she a had pretty good reason so can't blame her. Joel isn't exactly a "good guy".

I can't complain for the lenght of the game. It's great that we get AAA single player games that aren't open world and that last longer than 10-15 hours.
 

Dorohedoro

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I did the hospital part full stealth with everything set to Survivor, whew, took so many attempts. The enemies constantly turn around when their AI is cranked up all the way which make sneaking up on and/or trying to avoid them really hard at times, it's awesome tho. That reminds me, I tried to do the entire final chapter in stealth in my last playthrough on Hard+ and I was successful despite constantly reloading. Was. Up until the part where they pretty much force you go in guns blazing right before you get to the cells which was a bit disappointing but I guess they really wanted Ellie to brutalize them with dismemberments and all that good stuff.
 
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THEAP99

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I did the hospital part full stealth with everything set to Survivor, whew, took so many attempts. The enemies constantly turn around when their AI is cranked up all the way which make sneaking up on and/or trying to avoid them really hard at times, it's awesome tho. That reminds me, I tried to do the entire final chapter in stealth in my last playthrough on Hard+ and I was successful despite constantly reloading. Was. Up until the part where they pretty much force you go in guns blazing right before you get to the cells which was a bit disappointing but I guess they really wanted Ellie to brutalize them with dismemberments and all that good stuff.
I wanna do an all survivor playthrough but I’m hoping that they add difficulty trophies so I’m not doing it yet
 

Javthusiast

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Finally finished the game yesterday at 5 am. Bought it at launch but took my sweet time, and some other stuff came in the way. Nevertheless, what a fucking great rollercoaster ride it was. Took me exactly 42 hours this first playthrough. And call me crazy, but I didn't want it to end, I wanted it to be even longer, lol. I adore the game.

They did a fantastic job of making me like Abby, and I didn't even hate her in the first place even when I got spoiled by the leaks of certain scenes, cause I totally understood where she was coming from.

Also that last scene was so painful to play.

I didn't wanna hurt Abby at all by that point and and just wanted Ellie to finally let go of her hate, hell I wanted her to stay at the farm in the first place. So I was glad that she let Abby and Lev go in the end, but up till that moment where she let go of her in the water I thought oh no Abby is dead, and then I also had the thought that Lev would just kill her from behind and it would be even more tragic with both their deaths. Still a bittersweet ending, cause now Ellie is alone. Will she roam alone through the world, go back to Jackson, will Dina even wanna take her back?

A fantastic experience. Love the gameplay and encounters, the world and level design. My goty, followed by FF7R.
 

Dorohedoro

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Jul 15, 2020
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I wanna do an all survivor playthrough but I’m hoping that they add difficulty trophies so I’m not doing it yet
Doubt they'll add any difficulty trophies because it seems like they want everyone and their mother to platinum the game judging by how balls deep they've gone with all the accessibility options and a relatively easy trophy list. I suppose they could add them in their own separate list like Grounded mode in Part I but the question is if they'll bother. And if they did, they should still pop up as long as you have a cleared file with that difficulty.
 
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NobleClansmen

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Jun 11, 2016
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Beat the game last weekend. One of the best video gaming experiences I've ever had. Unlike most people here, I played TLOU2 directly after the first game. And tbh, I really, really like Abby.

Clocked-in at around 33 hours, can't wait togo back in with New Game+ and get the platinum.

Ellie had it coming. Joel had it coming. They were both in the wrong - the moment he set foot in that theatre and killed Abby's dad. Though, thinking clearly about it - The Fireflies are the main guys at fault here.

If they had asked Ellie and Joel what would happen - maybe, just maybe, Ellie would have agreed to die on her own volition.
 

Freeman

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Aug 23, 2013
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Him and Bill had more going on than we think.
No wife, no know girlfriend, associated with other know homosexuals, Tess was all over him and he was like "no thanks, I'm good". You can't tell me I'm pulling a Dumbledore here. I laid the groundwork for this twist and it flew over your heads, admit it.
 
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Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Apr 9, 2009
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Out of curiosity, was it mentioned what the Seraphite island was supposed to be in real life? I know tlou1 had a fake location (East Colorado University) but it was still based loosely on a real one (Boulder, CO)

The closest one to the space needle is Mercer Island from what it looks like in google maps.
 

Kadayi

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Oct 10, 2012
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Sure, I understand. I only limited it to "AAA" narrative mainstream games because that is the context of this conversation... we are talking about AAA narrative games in here.
You might think so, but that's not how I talk about games. I'm viewing gaming as an evolving medium across the board. Budget doesn't really factor into it in that regard, because I assess the strengths and weaknesses of a game within the frame of the experience and against its peers. Just as I'm not going to slam a film from yesteryear for having lacklustre special effects compared to today's efforts. I'm not going to slam an indie game for lacking the budget and bells and whistles of a modern AAA. The qualities of narrative strength, game play and the unison of those two elements extends far beyond the superficiality of that wow factor of visual fidelity, animation and scale simply being a step up from the year before. What looks great today will inevitably look second rate in a few years without question as technology continues to improve. Case in point I've recently been replaying the reboot Tomb Raider games in sequence. I can remember the first game came out in 2013 and at the time Lara looked incredible, but compared to the two sequels since she looks positively pedestrian now. However as a game within itself it still holds up relatively well regardless.

There are lots of things TLoU2 does very well which other, much freer/more interesting/more experimental games, even narrative games, do not do well, obviously. Because that's not even something those devs are aiming for, necessarily
Aside from the visual aspects what is it truly doing better though? The game play might be a step up from the previous title, but it's not really innovating in any way versus its peers. Is it a better stealth experience versus MGS5 or Hitman? Are the traversal aspects, puzzles or combat better than Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Where is it truly pushing the envelope of the medium exactly? From a narrative perspective it's not taking the medium in a bold new direction, or broadening the paradigm unlike say a Disco Elysium or Kentucky Route Zero. What gives?

That deep gameplay which not only offers but I'd argue encourages player choice, that's what I meant by when referencing agency. And that is very much a part of TLoU2.
What deep game play? What choice? The choice of how you're going to kill hundreds of people throughout the games length because the game play systems are designed solely around either sneaking and killing and not talking to people? Think about it like this, as Ellie you schlep all the way from Jackson to Seattle (apparently 860 miles) on your trusty horse Deadmeat which probably took at best a couple of weeks, through probably more likely a month or so given all the shit you likely encountered along the way, and then when you get there to play post-Apoc 'Where's Abby?' you spend most of your time just shivving rando members of the WLF into bodybags. Even though most of them had fuck and all to do with Joel's death (a bunch of disenfranchised ex-Fireflies did it). yet at no point do the games systems allow you to simply grab one (like in MGS5) and interrogate them as to Abby's whereabouts (or at least some clues) No instead, because "game play limitations" everyone's gotta die. Instead you've got to murderize your way to the next cinematic cut scene before you can get that kind of information around here Sir. Similarly after Abby realises that maybe just maybe the Seraphites aren't all bad, could the game not offer up a pure stealth, lets escape this island whilst things go to shit option? Nope. Instead you've gotta kill every motherfucker in the room, because once gain "game play limitations" I mean its kind of lucky that Lev killed his mum tbh, because otherwise you'd have had her yelling in your ear 'Noo!!! Why did you kill Jacob?" "Noo!!! why did you kill Belinda!!' All the way back to the boat. Bullet Dodged right there.

No wife, no known girlfriend, associated with other known homosexuals, you can't tell me I'm pulling a Dumbledore here. I laid the groundwork for this twist and it flew over your heads.
 
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Umbral

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May 7, 2020
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Beat the game last weekend. One of the best video gaming experiences I've ever had. Unlike most people here, I played TLOU2 directly after the first game. And tbh, I really, really like Abby.

Clocked-in at around 33 hours, can't wait togo back in with New Game+ and get the platinum.

Ellie had it coming. Joel had it coming. They were both in the wrong - the moment he set foot in that theatre and killed Abby's dad. Though, thinking clearly about it - The Fireflies are the main guys at fault here.

If they had asked Ellie and Joel what would happen - maybe, just maybe, Ellie would have agreed to die on her own volition.
Jerry Anderson had it coming for wanting to go forward with killing a child without her consent and not even wanting to inform Joel of what they were going to do. The coward didn’t even have the conviction to say he would do it to his own daughter. Hanging a lampshade on that scene by having Abby say “I would want you to.” doesn’t work either. Jerry is ethically a shitbag and a bad doctor. He’s also a pussy.


Marlene at least had the balls to tell Joel and know that she was in the wrong.

Part II falls apart when Ellie tells Joel “I was supposed to die in that hospital.” No, you weren’t and you didn’t think you were going to either. Part II is built on a retcon.
 
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Bartski

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Jan 15, 2020
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Out of curiosity, was it mentioned what the Seraphite island was supposed to be in real life? I know tlou1 had a fake location (East Colorado University) but it was still based loosely on a real one (Boulder, CO)

The closest one to the space needle is Mercer Island from what it looks like in google maps.
 

Woggleman

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Jan 1, 2020
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Maybe it was an island created by all that flooding. I would imagine the levy and dam systems have started failing. I bet New Orleans is underwater in that world.
 
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