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Last of Us 2 discussion

Ultimately yes, but I'm speaking from scene to scene. At the start of the game, the game VERY MUCH sets up a revenge arc for Ellie, with Abby as the villain. I'm kind of stunned why you are disagreeing on that fact. Thats literally what they do.

And the game then spends the next 25 hours of gameplay deconstructing that arc and showing you that's not what the game is about at all.

The thing is, even now, you're referring to Abby as 'the villain.' You continued to see the game as a revenge plot as you played the rest of the game.

I have a feeling you were let down by the ending, when
Ellie lets Abby go.

If that's the case, you not only missed the whole point of the game, but you're also the reason the game was written in the first place.

Abby is not a villain for the entirety of the game, but she is for the start of the game. The positive attributes of Abby that you refer to, are not revealed to the player until much later in the game.

Yes, but those positive attributes of Abby always existed. Which is the point the game was making.

In our rush to frame ourselves (as Ellie) as the 'hero' and the protagonist, and Abby as the 'villain' and the antagonist worthy of nothing but death, we dehumanised Abby.

Which of course, is false. In the game world, she's a living, breathing, thinking and feeling person, just like Ellie or anyone else.

In regards to Joel, he is a sacrifice by the writers to shock the players and rewrite Ellie's character in service of a plot

You think it was out of character for Ellie to come hunting after the people that killed Joel? Or out of character for her to 'break bad' and get all murder-ey?

Remember, this is a girl whose father figures are Joel and Tommy, hardened mass murderers, torturers, Hunters and worse. Both are depicted (and explained by Ellie) as teaching her how to torture people for information, to never trust anyone and kill people, and so forth.

She was effectively raised by two NE men. I dont see her as being prepared to do as they do to be an assassination of her character at all.
 
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Angry Joe gave the game a pretty fair review I think.

Even in that review, as he plays the game, during the Abby sex scene he says 'She killed Joel, do they think I'm supposed to care about her?'

It's the fact he cant care about Abby, because she killed Joel, which is the whole point the game is making.

Its showing us (as Ellie) how we dehumanise the 'other'. How we frame them as villains. And (like with Ellie) how hard it is to let that hatred go.
 

The is bad story wise because of the order in which events are presented to us. We should have played her a bit before her father was killed by Joel. We should have seen her fight infected and saving innocent lives for no better reward than doing so is a good thing do. Not for too long. Let's say about two hours. Then a friend comes and tell her that a raving madman killed her father and the hospital personnel for no apparent reasons. Then I believe that she would have been better accepted as a character. The game would have been a lot more appreciated by the fan and the story would have felt a lot more "acceptable ?".
 

And the game then spends the next 25 hours of gameplay deconstructing that arc and showing you that's not what the game is about at all.

The thing is, even now, you're referring to Abby as 'the villain.' You continued to see the game as a revenge plot as you played the rest of the game.

It is. After the game shown you how brutally Abby murders Joel, it is almost impossible to come back from that. The game tries so hard to make you like Abby, but it just didn't work for me.

I have a feeling you were let down by the ending, when
Ellie lets Abby go.

If that's the case, you not only missed the whole point of the game, but you're also the reason the game was written in the first place.

The reason I was let down by the ending, was because it was predictable, unsatisfying, and went on for too long. The entire last act feels tacked on and unnecessary.

Yes, but those positive attributes of Abby always existed. Which is the point the game was making.

And yet it did such an effective job at portraying Abby as a villain initially, that I found myself unable to see her otherwise later on. They tried very hard to make me like Abby, by having you play with the dog twice and Abby getting all the lovely toys, but it fell flat for me.

You think it was out of character for Ellie to come hunting after the people that killed Joel? Or out of character for her to 'break bad' and get all murder-ey?

Everything about how it played out, and how it was portrayed, felt out of character. The sheer brutallity of it all does away with everything that made Ellie such an interesting character. And while it may have been the writer's intent to make her unsympathetic, what we're left with is but a shell of the original character. This is no longer Ellie, and it comes off feeling like they simply rewrote her to facilitate Abby as a main character.

Its showing us (as Ellie) how we dehumanise the 'other'. How we frame them as villains. And (like with Ellie) how hard it is to let that hatred go.

But that sentiment rings hollow in light of how the story goes out of its way to have characters behave dumb. They deliberately have characters withhold crucial information from each other, in order for this to work, and it feels like a cheap trick. It doesn't feel like a believable narrative.

This is a bad story wise because of the order in which events are presented to us. We should have played her a bit before her father was killed by Joel. We should have seen her fight infected and saving innocent lives for no better reward than doing so is a good thing do. Not for too long. Let's say about two hours. Then a friend comes and tell her that a raving madman killed her father and the hospital personnel for no apparent reasons. Then I believe that she would have been better accepted as a character.

It might have helped, but ultimately I don't think this is the biggest problem with the story. I think the biggest flaw of the story, is its mixed message (violence is bad, but yay violence) and the entire concept of trying to make Abby the new character. If this was not a sequel to The Last of Us 1, then it may have been received a lot better.
 
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No, it's really not!

The game is not a revenge arc, where the protagonist has something bad happen to them, then murders their way through a series of mooks and minor Bosses before confronting the BBEG and riding off into the sunset.

You're used to that arc. It's used in literally nearly every action movie ever made, ever, from Commando to Rambo II, to Taken to the Punisher to whatever.

And never once, in all that time, have you humanised the protagonists victims. The protagonist is always the 'hero' and 'justified' in their murderous quest. The antagonist (and their cronies) are always the 'villains' and dehumanised and deserving of murder. The protagonist is the good guy. The antagonist is the bad guy.

This game is not about following that worn out story. What it does is cast a light on the hypocrisy of that story, and shine a light on how we dehumanise people. It shows the so called 'hero' from the POV of the people he or she ruthlessly murders. It shows you there is no 'hero', and there is no 'villain'; those things are subjective labels placed on people by other people, and they vary from person to person, depending on that persons perspective.

And yet it did such an effective job at portraying Abby as a villain initially, that I found myself unable to see her otherwise later on.

That is the entire point of the game.

Abby is clearly (generally) a good, kind, merciful and nice person, who had a loving, kind and caring father brutally murdered, her world turned upside down, and doomed to spend her entire life in the zombie apocalypse by a terrible murderous man (Joel).

It's no co-incidence that Abbys story mirrors Joels. She loses someone she loves (her loss of her father mirrors Joels loss of his daughter), regains that connection when she bonds with Lev (in the same way Joel does with Ellie), is forced to make a terrible decision (murdering her own WLF comrades to escape with Lev), and escapes to find peace.

Joel followed the same arc in the first game, but he was also a murderous, torturing monster. Abby on the other hand generally speaking (other than her murder and torture of Joel) is not.

If you played the game, with no knowledge of Joel or Ellie, just as Abby, as a standard revenge arc for her (track down the man that murdered your father, and destroyed any chance of a cure), you would feel the same connection with her as the 'hero', and the 'just' character of the story, and would see Joel as the evil villain deserving of what he got.

The fact you couldn't empathise with her, is the whole point. It should have you questioning why?

The answer is you made her into the villain in your mind the instant she killed Joel. You dehumanised her and hated her. Her feelings, her ambitions, her life; none of that mattered anymore. She was the 'other' - the 'villain' - and someone who now only exists to be confronted and killed.

It was a confronting and bold choice for a game to make. To shine a light on this uncomfortable truth, by making you play someone who - despite being a good person - is someone we have already labelled as the 'other' and can never stop hating.

Even at the end of the game, I found myself unconsciously pushing the Square button hoping it would kill Abby.

If I could critique the game, it's that it was too smart for its own good.
 

The is bad story wise because of the order in which events are presented to us. We should have played her a bit before her father was killed by Joel. We should have seen her fight infected and saving innocent lives for no better reward than doing so is a good thing do. Not for too long. Let's say about two hours. Then a friend comes and tell her that a raving madman killed her father and the hospital personnel for no apparent reasons. Then I believe that she would have been better accepted as a character. The game would have been a lot more appreciated by the fan and the story would have felt a lot more "acceptable ?".

The point of the game is you're supposed to hate her. You're supposed to feel difficult playing her. It's supposed to make you feel uncomfortable.

All the rage for Abby, and all the rage for being forced to play her (which has - darkly ironically - led to actual death threats against the actress who voices her) was intentional.

The fact it made you uncomfortable playing a character you had already dehumanised, shows us something about ourselves.

If you're one of those people that hated playing her, and could never feel anything for her - Good; thats the whole point.
 

The point of the game is you're supposed to hate her. You're supposed to feel difficult playing her. It's supposed to make you feel uncomfortable.

All the rage for Abby, and all the rage for being forced to play her (which has - darkly ironically - led to actual death threats against the actress who voices her) was intentional.

The fact it made you uncomfortable playing a character you had already dehumanised, shows us something about ourselves.

If you're one of those people that hated playing her, and could never feel anything for her - Good; thats the whole point.
If I don't have pleasure playing a game, if I do not have fun in playing it. If I can't connect with the character I am supposed to play, then the former applies. These are the reasons for which I will not even buy the game. It is a bad game with a bad narrative.
 

If I don't have pleasure playing a game, if I do not have fun in playing it. If I can't connect with the character I am supposed to play, then the former applies.

Its that inability to connect with Abby is what makes the game so fascinating. The game was designed that way. To make you think about why you cant feel for her, when (really) she is no different to Joel (indeed she mirrors him, in a nicer and more caring package), the very character whom we hate her for killing.

Particularly in today's world where everyone is divided among left v right, SJW v RWNJ etc, with each side convinced of its own moral superiority and demonising the other. Where we can bomb countries and not care about the people we kill, or where the colour of ones skin or the place of ones birth makes one the 'other' and not worth the same rights or empathy as other people.

The game is making a statement about how we (as human beings) do that (dehumanise and turn people into villains, to justify our own position and prejudices, and make the other something only worthy of hatred and being killed).

Its genius.

Arguably it's far too smart for its own good.

Its fascinating (and horrifying) that the same people that 'dont get it' are the ones literally threatening the actress who voiced Abby.

Not only they cant get past what Abby did, and still see her as the villain and 'the other' whom they hate; they also see the actress that played her in the same light.

Which is the exact mindset the game is shining a light on.

These are the reasons for which I will not even buy the game. It is a bad game with a bad narrative.

You've never even played the game yet you're arguing its bad?
 

You've never even played the game yet you're arguing its bad?
Yep. I watched streamers (love twitch tv) and played the first one twice to see the consequences of both choice. Watching the streams (yes, I watched two to be sure) I knew that I was right in not buying it. I have been wary of the games with the leaks and decided to not rush buy the game. I was also considering to buy two copies, one for me and one for my daughter but she saw the leaks too and told me to wait for streamers. This was a sound advice. I could not recommend this game to anyone. The first is superior in every way.

If I can't connect to a character in a story based game, then the game is a failure. Not only I can't connect, but I despise how the game turned out. Bad narrative from almost the beginning to the end. If the goal of this game was for us to hate the main character, it succeeded but it backlashed hard as many will not buy the game. I already see copies being sold in second hand stores. It never crossed my mind to sell my copy of the first game. It was even hard (relatively, I agree, to get your hands on a second hand copy of one). And to two dozens of second hand copies of TLOU2 in only two weeks I these stores is alarming and tend to be in accord with my views. Time will tell...
 

If I don't have pleasure playing a game, if I do not have fun in playing it. If I can't connect with the character I am supposed to play, then the former applies. These are the reasons for which I will not even buy the game. It is a bad game with a bad narrative.

You ever watched No Country for Old Men? Hamlet? Heck, how about the original The Last of Us?

There are plenty of stories where you don't really have fun, but the story is still gripping.

I mean, it's cool if you did not personally enjoy the story, or if it put you in emotional places you are not comfortable with, but that doesn't mean it's not a compelling story, nor that it was poorly structured.
 




Its genius.

Arguably it's far too smart for its own good.

Oh come on, are you listening to yourself?
This game is not as clever as it (or you) thinks it is. If it were the plot for a book or movie, it would be laughed at. It is bare bones. It barely qualifies as a story. It is predictable from beginning to end and has zero likeable characters. It is poorly structured and paced from a narrative and gameplay point of view.

When none of the characters are likeable, then there are no stakes. You don't root for anyone, and so you can't care for what happens to them. It is a fatal flaw for any story not to have any likeable characters.

And can we mention that it is also not particularly original? Some of you seem to be talking like this game is the second coming or something.

The fact you couldn't empathise with her, is the whole point. It should have you questioning why?

I had me wondering why I wasted time on the game. What was the point? It ultimately doesn't lead anywhere. There's no real conclusion or surprise to any of it. No character growth either.

The answer is you made her into the villain in your mind the instant she killed Joel. You dehumanised her and hated her. Her feelings, her ambitions, her life; none of that mattered anymore. She was the 'other' - the 'villain' - and someone who now only exists to be confronted and killed.

No, the game made her into a villain by framing the scene as such. Then it tries desperately to make the player like Abby, and it never quite works. The game really wants you (the player) to like Abby, and it fails. With no one left to root for, the game has no stakes, no excitement. It drones on and on, and outstays its welcome, leading up to a disappointing and empty conclusion. Also, the entire last act is redundant and doesn't really go anywhere.

It was a confronting and bold choice for a game to make. To shine a light on this uncomfortable truth, by making you play someone who - despite being a good person - is someone we have already labelled as the 'other' and can never stop hating.

Writing a poor story where every character is unlikeable, is not a bold choice.
 
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The game really wants you (the player) to like Abby, and it fails.

Not with me it didn't. I dug her. The aquarium scenes helped, similar to various bonding times between Joel and Ellie.

It's cool, man. For the sake of all our smiles and our free time, I think this conversation is getting cyclical. No need for us to keep grappling over something we disagree on.
 

You ever watched No Country for Old Men? Hamlet? Heck, how about the original The Last of Us?

There are plenty of stories where you don't really have fun, but the story is still gripping.

I mean, it's cool if you did not personally enjoy the story, or if it put you in emotional places you are not comfortable with, but that doesn't mean it's not a compelling story, nor that it was poorly structured.
You're talking to a horror movie fan here. And I did play the original. You clearly read only one post and draw erronous conclusions. This is not a movie or a book, it is a game.

A game must make you connect with its character(s) or otherwise it will fail. Apparently, sales are going down the drain already. This is a poor story, badly presented.
 



If it makes y'all feel any better, I think Breaking Bad is good, but kinda overrated, so maybe my opinion is trash.

I don't think anyone's opinion is trash. And I don't think anyone is wrong or right to like The Last Of Us 2 or Breaking Bad. People can like and dislike things for a variety of reasons that may be very personal.

A good friend of mine has the worst taste in movies. Whenever he recommends a movie, it is a pretty clear warning to me and my other friends that the movie is probably really bad (and we often joke about it). But that's not because his opinion is invalid, but because he can enjoy the sort of cheese that would be off putting to me. He enjoys these movies in a different way, and on a different level. When me and him do agree on a movie, that usually means the movie is really great. Because it has just the right amount of what I like and what he likes.
 
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