The Last of Us - It can't be for nothing (Part II announced)

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me after finishing the game:

Image

Ending spoilers:
The last fight with Abby was the most painful thing ever. A shit ton of work must've gone into that fight alone because it almost felt like one of those proof-of-concept demos you only see at expos where they show you the promises of the next gen. Every cut and punch was followed by an organic reaction. For some reason it was even worse than fighting Ellie because the possibility of Abby dying was much more real and I'm pretty sure I've never ever reacted to my own agency being unleashed onto another person's body in a game in this way before. This alone is a masterstroke, among many sure, but it was in this moment that the fakery and tricks of every other game become so obvious and the fully realized complexity (in which you took part in) of Abby hit you in the face and you become horrified, for the first time ever in a game, that you might end someone's life just by pushing buttons.

At some point after dodging and dodging for minutes I accepted that I might hate Ellie a little, and the ending, if she killed her. I was ready to see her lose her soul, but started to worry about what I would lose in the process. How would I ever play a game the way I used to? But it had to end and it did... with relief.

It took Ellie everything to get the opportunity to kill Abby and everything again to not use it.
And yeah Cil, I saw your post now after I posted mine, the ending is kind of like that too and that's what I also told M4 in messenger few hours ago - eventually you kind of stop praying for Ellie's soul and start praying for your own.

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Sorry, can I bump this?

Mainly for like Bacon. You have to play this game, but I fear it may be tool late if you've already made up your mind.

Cilogy wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 1:28 pm
At the risk of turning this into a rant, I want to say some stuff on this game (without having finished it yet). I think I know where it's headed in terms of its messaging and themes, and I wanna strike while the iron is hot in my mind.

It's ironic that many online critics of the game haven't played it, because the most profound things in this game actually hinge on you ... you know ... playing it.

There's a tiny thing about the game that I particularly love and seems to encapsulate what Naughty Dog are trying to get across here:
Throughout the early parts of the game, playing as Ellie, you come across a lot of seemingly insignificant non-infected enemies who have names. Like when you stealth kill one in an area, another enemy will call out to them.

Initially I thought, "huh, that's a cool little detail". Because you don't see that in big games like this that have a lot of killable NPC's. They're cardboard cutouts for you to grind through until the "boss" at the end, right?

When you get to Abby's story it becomes crystal clear why. Obviously, the reveal that Abby is the daughter of the doctor Joel kills is shocking enough. But you also follow Abby through the WLF camp, and you are forced to confront many of the characters you killed as Ellie.

Cue the shocking realization of what ND are attempting and then me setting my controller down and putting my face in my hands. The game isn't about Ellie or Abby. It's about me. It's about you. The gamer. What do you think of this? Are you willing to put your own biases and/or love for Joel and Ellie aside for a moment and understand the consequences of their actions? Are you willing to confront your own?

I mean, any game is ultimately about the gamer in one way or another, but TLOUII plays with that in a different way. It forces you into disagreeable or uncomfortable scenarios that make you question the characters, and maybe yourself if you are open to it. Perhaps there are other games that do this too, I just haven't played many of them. Off the top of my head, Assassin's Creed III or Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons have elements similar to this.

The game isn't trying to punish you or be deceitful like many people seem to be crying about. It is offering you perspectives of different characters, and allowing you the gamer to project all of your biases onto them.

It's a perfect foil to the first game, which is a singular and emotional ride that keeps you basically in the head of one man. This game is less of a sequel and more of a challenge to what TLOU does. It's saying, "hold on, you did all this shit in the first game, and here are the consequences. Not only that, here's why the character you hate may be justified in their actions."

It annoys me that many folks are either dismissing this or missing this point entirely. It's the crux of the experience of playing this game. If anything, the game is a rebuke of people like Bacon or people who watch games for a few minutes over a stream rather than actually experiencing it themselves.

I'm not saying I have any more authority or intelligence on this game than the next person, or that my opinion is any more or less valid, or even that this game isn't flawed or messy in some ways. But I do think there is a shallower, visceral way of reacting to the game, and there is way to let yourself trust it and let it take you on whatever journey it wants you to have.

It must be fascinating to be Druckmann or any of the other creators behind this game right now, seeing how the reaction is unfolding. Because it seems to be happening the way the story of their game intended.
If that makes any sense.

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I hope he'll read the last page and this one, eventually.

And I want to say, guys... It's been rough for the past couple of months for all of us, it may be like that for a good while, but reading your opinions here, and now this latest train of thoughts from both you Cil and prince, that shit holds me together. How well put together, thank you. 🙏

I know it may sound silly but it's the truth, stuff like that feels crucial to me. One of our main comfort zones - going to cinema, is gone. A lot of our other comforts were put aside over night. Luckily, games kept on coming and it looks like Part II is really the one to finish this gen, just like the first one did in 2013. This may not be escape from reality a la Animal Crossing, but sometimes darker overtones, and on this scale, on this level of immersion, is just what is needed for the soul.

Again thanks for discussing Part II with so much thought put into it.

I just finished Hillcrest on Hard+ and was reminded of...
... the exhilirating car chase that makes me sweat every time. Like U4's Madagascar chase condensed into couple of erratic, energetic, full on blockbuster minutes. Excellent. And how wonderfully downplayed and laidback Jesse is.
𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒕. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒅𝒊𝒅𝒏'𝒕 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒕 𝑱𝒂𝒘𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒘𝒊𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒐𝒐𝒍.
- 𝑫𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒔 𝑽𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒖𝒗𝒆

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How many of these gifs do they have? :lol:
𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍 𝒅𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒕. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒅𝒊𝒅𝒏'𝒕 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒕 𝑱𝒂𝒘𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒘𝒊𝒎𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒐𝒐𝒍.
- 𝑫𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒔 𝑽𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒖𝒗𝒆

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Ruth wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 6:56 am
i honestly don’t get how people can write these long ass paragraphs without having played a game

people like that are absolutely part of this toxicity they claim to be calling out

like i’m not even playing this but i’m emotionally invested in this drama for some reason
The "long ass paragraphs" post I made literally explains why I feel the way I do and am waiting to play the game? I'm responding with long paragraphs because the mob mentality here is literally embarrassing to see to a point its discomforting to see on here.

I'm not reducing anyone's opinions here to a single sentence, reduced to laughing emoji's, or telling someone who loves the game to shut up in large text. "People like Bacon"? Fuck off. I haven't seen minutes of this game, dude. I didn't make my mind up, I want to play this thing, but it's hard to want to do so when every worry I have is attacked or insulted as "entitlement" or responded with hurtful comments by fans/creators. The thing I've seen in droves is the wave of blowback to the original backlash. Creators relegating confused and upset fans to manbabies because the fans think the story is underwhelming. Imagine loving something so much you become an asshole to try and defend it against those who have issues with it. Sounds like a form of "entitlement to me."

When I play this later on, I'll probably just DM Brendan/prince about it bc if this thread is anything to go by, there's a select grouping in here I never want to talk about this franchise with. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise then that some of them don't actually read my posts anyway.

Continue you guys' circle-jerk and continue to make people who are hesitant or unable to play the game feel like shit without ever actually encouraging them to do so.

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the creators poured seven years of their lives into this game, are getting death threats, and you’re mad they call out trolls and toxic people? i can’t go into and read druckmann’s twitter without getting called a moron for liking it. there’s one side perpetrating hate and toxicity, and it’s not the people who like the game.

edit: i’d also like to say i apologize if i’ve come off as overly dismissive in here. even the post this edit is on. when/if you ever play it, i’d be more than happy to discuss it rationally with you.
Last edited by Michaelf2225 on June 26th, 2020, 4:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Bacon wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 4:16 pm
Imagine loving something so much you become an asshole to try and defend it against those who have issues with it.
I think you underestimate how well we understand that that can be bad and overestimate the weight and credibility of your concerns - concerns, not issues. An issue is when you've played the thing and disagree with it, a concern is when you haven't, don't know exactly how it plays out, but know enough to be worried. So this whole time you think we're arguing with what you think are issues but they aren't.

You're just not doing yourself any favors like this and forget us or the game, you're not giving yourself the chance to like this when you play it. We'd be happy to discuss it when you do though so let's look forward to it at least. I think you'll like at least some of what you're really worried about.

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I've been quiet because the final hours brought me to an emotional place previously unexplored not just by any game but any media period, and I'm still untangling these feelings. I'm overwhelmed.

What I do know is this: TLOUII is instantly a top ten game for me, maybe even top 5, and it should be treated comparable to great literature or cinema.

Before I'm ready to say more, I did a brief thread about TLOUII I'll share here:




One last quick point: TLOUII is Kojima as fuck.
I don't just mean the obvious Abby-Raiden comparison (that too) or the MGSV-esque stealth gameplay, but also that over time the game embraces a kind of graphic absurdity alongside the hyper-grounded. Examples: the Scar boss Abby fights on Scar Island (with his face getting Joker-ized, pure Kojima villain there), or the nightmarish surrealism of the Rat King, or even the sniper mini-boss has shades of Quiet, Sniper Wolf or The End. Not to mention, of course, rival militarized groups vying for control, each entrenched in their jingoistic ideological radicalism.

-Vader

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Yeah I can't wait to hear Kojima's thoughts on this, been checking his twitter a few times and nothing yet though.

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Bacon wrote:
June 26th, 2020, 4:16 pm
Continue you guys' circle-jerk
Wow, okay then. Or, you know, those of us who have actually played it just genuinely love the game? You’re the one who kept dropping in to tell us we couldn’t compare it to MGS2, and how disappointing it is, and now how we’re just “circle jerking.” I was skeptical of the leaks, but played and enjoyed it immensely. I literally can’t stop thinking about it.

I agree some of the language has gotten hyperbolic, but you have to understand that the conversation around this game has become so toxic that when you come in here and say “no way is this like MGS2” or say “‘violence is bad’ is the entire thematic point“ without having played it, you’re poisoning the conversation further, and making those with genuine reactions to having played it feel like you’re a part of the crowd that is knee-jerk undercutting it. Nothing wrong at all with feeling conflicted about the leaks (as I said, I was too), or even with not enjoying it after you’ve played it and want to share your opinions. Hell, nothing wrong with saying you’re skeptical with what you’ve seen going into it. BUT, saying “violence bad” is what it all boils down to is just simply not true, and you could even watch a video of the ending to understand that. The final portion of this game wasn’t even leaked in the initial plot summary.

And look, I think people are also getting riled up because the way this conversation has played out is (as some have already pointed out) exactly what the game is advocating against.You’re getting a strong reaction because many people have been touched and inspired by the message, and division and conflict is the last thing we want to see right now.

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