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The Last of Us Part 2


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27 minutes ago, Uncle Nasty said:

Comparing this to MGSV is like comparing Toploader to the Rolling Stones, let's keep our heads guys.


Ground Zero was even better than MGSV and way way better than TLOU2. 
 

Ground Zero is blackpink, TLOU2 are like a1. 

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7 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

Seattle Day 2

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Hillcrest eh? This is where the real Dark Souls begins!

 


Just got there myself but decided that was a good time to break for today. 
 

Got tomorrow and Tuesday off work. Good times. 

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It seems strange that, in a game where every detail is so lavishly presented, there is only one animation for a stealth kill. Even when I approached clickers from the front and initiated, it played an awkward version where they seemingly spun on the spot so it could play the same animation it always does. The early game seems to want you to stealth kill a lot, too, so it become immediately noticeable. 

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1 hour ago, Uncle Nasty said:

I still think it's a poorer stealth game than Manhunt, in that there's no risk/reward or gamble when you're doing a stealth kill. It's pretty much hit Square to win. In Manhunt you had the three increasingly graphic ways of killing with each weapon, depending on how long you dared to hold the kill button, but doing so exposed you to being discovered. In Last Of Us it's always the same outcome and always the same animation, with no incentive or visual feedback to discern between a quick messy kill or a beautifully planned and executed, well, execution.

The risk/reward is it all going wrong and being spotted then swamped by enemies vs conservation of resources. 
 

You discern how beautifully planned and executed the kill is by whether their body is discovered whilst you’re still trying to stealthily take down the rest. 
 

There are at least 20 occasions where you have the opportunity to make the most of the stealth options. Anyone can take 1/2 enemies out stealthily but it takes really sound planning to wipe all 5/6 of them without alerting anyone. 

1 hour ago, Broker said:


Are you actually so stupid that you think people can’t understand things they haven’t done? The extremely basic stealth gameplay is pretty clear from videos and playing other games. And I don’t recall signing up to have what I can and can’t discuss policed by someone as terminally boring as you. 

I think what you miss from watching and not playing this, is the fairly relentless tension which ratchets up the importance of stealth and the risks of getting it wrong. That is partly governed by the difficulty level. 
 

Let’s all keep things civil in here as well. I’m partly saying this out of self-interest; I was certain I’d give this 10/10, 10+ hours into the game and now I’m not so sure. When I complete it, I’m going to read through those critical reviews and see whether their views resonate with me. 

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So have spent the evening ( post day 3 spoiler)

playing as Abby . Curse this game for making me enjoy playing as this total badass . And for empathising with her . ITS ELLIE I LOVE GODDAMMIT


Really is the best game .

 

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Spoiler

Abby's full name in this is Abby "the arbiter" Raiden.

 

While it's still overall very well written and the characters and dialogue are exemplary the point that it's trying to make with this second half turn is super ham fisted. And I would just as soon played the story entirely from the one end. 

 

Not finished yet like so maybe this section will grow on me. 

 

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It's not a stealth game though. Stealth is just a tool in a pretty large shed. Comparing it to Hitman is a bit weird, that's a completely different game. It's a bit like me saying TLoU 2 is a better shooter than Hitman. Comparisons with MGS make more sense because they share certain mechanics, like grabbing enemies and using them as shields and being able to shoot while prone. And there are definitely things that TLoU Part 2 does better. It has much weightier feedback, better melee (the dodge is awesome), better level design and much more enemy variety. Better set-pieces too. And a way better story on top. And some actual progressive elements instead of Kojima's sex doll fetish, but that's another story.

If it isn't the game with some of the best gameplay in the third-person genre, it's certainly near the top. Heck, a certain chapter in this was a better Resident Evil than the recent 2 and 3 remakes. There is nothing dated about this.

 

Can really recommend Noah Caldwell Gervais' incredibly in-depth analysis by the way. Posted it in the spoiler thread. He wasn't extatic about the first game and spends an hour explaining why, but he thinks the second is a much better game and spends another hour explaining why.

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On 27/06/2020 at 19:09, Stanley said:

Seriously? Do you use the jump button then attack or just fall, attack? 

 

Here's a gif where it's done after a rope swing. :)

 

 

This dude has some good gifs. None of those are really spoilery, but just to be safe:

 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Bonus Sunhi gif.

 

 

This puts most action movies to shame.

 

Edit:

https://www.resetera.com/threads/the-last-of-us-part-ii-ot-every-last-one-of-them-no-spoilers.229669/post-38285581

 

The multiplayer with these 'dated' gameplay systems is gonna be brilliant.

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I completed the game tonight, I loved every moment of it and it’s gonna be weird not inhabiting that world again which I have done every night for the last week. I haven’t been this compelled to complete a game in ages, it just didn’t let up. There was a bit maybe just past half way where I thought it might start to sag a little but then some new elements were introduced followed by my favourite sequences in the whole game. 
 

It’s just immense, it was like being in an action movie playing out in real time. Just every minute little detail is dizzying. 
 

Suppose I’ll have to head over to the spoiler thread now to discuss stuff more, because even just discussing the combat is spoilers to go into any depth. 
 

I've never played a game though that feels so natural in how the encounters play out - it didn’t feel like stealth, oh I’ve fucked up, firefight - it was just always this exciting array of choices and outcomes that all blend perfectly. One thing I really admired was that it didn’t do that thing all stealth games do by having alert levels which reset that feel so false, and I never questioned whether I was in cover or not, there’s as little interference  as possible between you thinking and you acting and the game adapting accordingly and convincingly, and being extremely rewarding. 
 

Joint position with Breath of The Wild as games I enjoyed the most this generation. 

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I did have one bit today where the Infected clearly had been briefed on how far away they were allowed to be kited, and that they had to run back and resume their starting position until I came back, and then if I crossed this invisible line they could run as fast as they like towards me. Felt extremely goofy.

 

Bit of an immersion breaker but the fact I only remembered it now hours later with a mental shrug speaks to how rarely anything like that happened at all.

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I didn't only write STEALTH... MGSV...but nevertheless, I'll reiterate. 

 

As someone who simply does not enjoy stealth games and sight cones and fail states for getting spotted and waiting in the same spot for enemies to complete their pathing routines and all that, this hits a real sweet spot for me. It's aggressive stealth, all about as much quick, quiet, localised violence as you can manage while constantly being on the move, and constantly pressured by the AI, no matter the enemy type. 

 

When that approach reaches the tipping point, and it becomes a full on action game, it comes alive even further, but you can still transition back into the aggressive stealth mode by clearing your particular corner of the map and moving away from the hot spot you've just created. By all means, take out the shotgun to alleviate the pressure, but get moving once the job is done. 

 

That's why I made the comparison to MGSV which is much better as a versatile stealth game, and one which I played for 250 hours, but not as good as an action game. Compared to the combat in the first game, this also has a vastly improved and much more varied set of tools and so the resource management decisions you make are far more nuanced than health/molotov. 

 

I literally could not give a fuck how anyone else chooses to spend their time or money in this hobby, nor if they watch this rather than play it, but I will say that it's the impactful, adaptive, aggressive decision making which I enjoy about it so much, and that's something you can't experience without making those decisions for yourself. 

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9 hours ago, Stanshall said:

@Talk Show Host I should be upfront that I don't enjoy stealth games for the most part, so MGSV is the ne plus ultra for me. Stuff that's pure stealth has no appeal. To that end, TLOU2 is perfectly balanced, on the aggressive extreme of the stealth spectrum. That's what appeals to me. 


I understand :) There is good stealth in this game for sure and I find it very enjoyable myself. I just wouldn’t put it up there with the best stealth games mainly because the design is so flat compared to them. Just a quick thought on the many ways you can stealth through a level or take down enemies in Conviction for example shows what I’m arguing I think.

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I will completely take your word for it. Sounds a whole lot more varied than TLOU2 from what I've read. This is gameplay which features stealth, rather than a 'stealth game' with all that the genre implies, and none of which has ever interested me. 

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Speaking of MGSV, I feel as though if ND make a third chapter it could benefit from going a bit more open world, like MGSV so successfully did. The combat scenarios are very sandboxy and I feel it would compliment the gameplay to have more control over when and how you engage with enemy.

 

Rather than full-on open rolling terrain like Days Gone, it could be a more tightly-controlled and dense urban environment, but still let the player choose when, where and how they approach the missions, and how much prep they do beforehand. Perhaps more of a hub-and-spoke model, where you have a freeform overworld area that you can scavenge and explore at your leisure, populated mainly by infected, and more linear 'dungeon' spokes that you travel down to tackle the main objectives. I've not played Uncharted Lost Legacy but I get the impression it experiments with this structure. It would mean they have to loosen the storytelling reigns a lot but games like Arkham Knight show that it can be done well.

 

The story and setting of TLOU2 already feels like it would lend itself to an open structure and I wonder if ND considered that approach before falling back on a more traditional linear setup.

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Ugh . No no no . These games work so well because they are linear . Not everything has to be a sandbox . The worst part of uncharted LL was the “open world” part. You would

lose all the tension in tlou if you can just skirt round areas that look at bit dodgy , or think “I’m

not going that way cos that’s where the enemy is“. Or being able to “tool up” before heading into any risky situation as opposed to having to go into a infected area with 3 bullets and a pair of scissors .


This game relies so much on the feeling of never being safe . If you remove that and have giant areas where you can safely sit without fear of attack , or being able to prepare your inventory ( maybe buy your ammo from a shop, right?)  , then you destroy that. 
 

You may as well ask for Resi 4 to be open world . Heathen! 

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5 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

Ugh . No no no . These games work so well because they are linear . Not everything has to be a sandbox . The worst part of uncharted LL was the “open world” part. You would

lose all the tension in tlou if you can just skirt round areas that look at bit dodgy , or think “I’m

not going that way cos that’s where the enemy is“. Or being able to “tool up” before heading into any risky situation as opposed to having to go into a infected area with 3 bullets and a pair of scissors .


This game relies so much on the feeling of never being safe . If you remove that and have giant areas where you can safely sit without fear of attack , or being able to prepare your inventory ( maybe buy your ammo from a shop, right?)  , then you destroy that. 
 

You may as well ask for Resi 4 to be open world . Heathen! 


I actually thought the open world with the car was one of the highlights of the game and so different to what we are used to.

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24 minutes ago, PeteBrant said:

Ugh . No no no . These games work so well because they are linear . Not everything has to be a sandbox . The worst part of uncharted LL was the “open world” part. You would

lose all the tension in tlou if you can just skirt round areas that look at bit dodgy , or think “I’m

not going that way cos that’s where the enemy is“. Or being able to “tool up” before heading into any risky situation as opposed to having to go into a infected area with 3 bullets and a pair of scissors .


This game relies so much on the feeling of never being safe . If you remove that and have giant areas where you can safely sit without fear of attack , or being able to prepare your inventory ( maybe buy your ammo from a shop, right?)  , then you destroy that. 
 

You may as well ask for Resi 4 to be open world . Heathen! 

 

As games like TLOU2 get more and more realistic and dynamic I think the 'beautiful corridor' structure starts to show its age. I already felt this with Resident Evil 4. Environments in the real world are open, and the player is supposed to be in control. Done right, more player agency can only be a good thing.

 

TLOU2 already uses a explore/scavenge/action/"quiet bit" setup and that could easily translate to a more open structure. It wouldn't have to fall into the lazy tropes used by other open world games, of maps strewn with icons, merchants and clumsily tacked-on side quests. I'd trust ND as the type of developer who could shake up the formula and come up with a really compelling hybrid of tightly-controlled open world and sandbox gameplay.

 

With Uncharted, I feel as though ND totally nailed it with UC2, and UC4 felt, to me, like a hangover from the previous generation. After two stellar TLOU games I'm not sure making a third in the exact same vein would serve the series well. It could easily evolve into something more on PS5.

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I think Naughty Dog calls it wide linear and I like that approach. It's more focused than open world and more open than linear games. It's already way more open than the first. There is still enough space to explore, with optional stuff to find, and the combat spaces are open enough to allow for different approaches, escape runs etc. It's the best of both worlds in my opinion. Going full open world would add nothing. It made everything look incredibly samey in The Phantom Pain and you often end up with copy paste outposts or whatever.
Uncharted 4/TLL did the same. Much more open than the PS3 games, with bigger combat areas and more ways to play around in them.

I'd say that bit in The Lost Legacy that Game Maker's Toolkit made an episode about is basically the same as Seattle when you first enter it, only this time with a horse instead of a jeep.

I'm the other way round. More wide linear games and less open world games next-gen please.

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Spoiler

I think doing something like Seattle Day 1 but on a far bigger scale could be spectacular. Sneaking into buildings and experiencing largely linear, contained experiences, but also having this wide open space to explore, with the issue of finding a safe camping ground every night.

 

Not unlike a grounded Stalker, to be honest.

Seattle Day 1 spoilers. Thought it might be a suprise that's better experienced without spoiling for some.

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Just now, Vemsie said:

Going full open world would add nothing. It made everything look incredibly samey in The Phantom Pain and you often end up with copy paste outposts or whatever.

 

I reckon there are enough assets and open areas already in TLOU2 to make a compelling 'box' shaped environment rather than a series of corridors. MGSV is pretty expansive - I'm thinking something a lot denser and obstacle-strewn that doesn't need a vehicle to cross.

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Re: open world argument, spoiler for Seattle day 1:

 

Spoiler

If not fully open world at least as ‘wide’ as the early Seattle area where you’ve got about a square mile of space to explore - that section felt really fresh and emergent and I was disappointed there weren’t more areas like that (so far - still not at the end!). 


Edit - what @Spacehost said, basically. 

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1 minute ago, Pob said:

 

I reckon there are enough assets and open areas already in TLOU2 to make a compelling 'box' shaped environment rather than a series of corridors. MGSV is pretty expansive - I'm thinking something a lot denser and obstacle-strewn that doesn't need a vehicle to cross.

Let's not forget, when you went anywhere near a settlement or whatever, MGSV became very constrained- either via geography limiting you to a few ways in and out, or because you were exposed if you strayed far from the buildings, etc etc. The environments of TLOU could be equally or more constrained within a wider play area.

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I actually prefer the ‘wide linear’ approach ND take to a full blown open world like MGS V which was ultimately a bit empty anyway. I like the bespoke design of LOU2 which still offers plenty of space for improvisation by the player. 

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I'm on day 3 and I like it but it feels like a missed opportunity. So many enemies in this compared to before, you often get swamped pretty quickly with limited hiding options. AI is smarter which is cool, it feels more organic, but you need more options at your disposal. For example, disabling enemies by kneecapping the would be great. Shooting a gun out of hands etc. I want more ways to deal with the increasing number of people with guns. 

 

It's a better game with infected, Naughty Dog are not good at raw shooting because there isn't enough depth to the gameplay. The fist game had just enough, it limited the amount so each area felt like a little puzzle of sorts. 

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2 hours ago, Spacehost said:

Let's not forget, when you went anywhere near a settlement or whatever, MGSV became very constrained- either via geography limiting you to a few ways in and out, or because you were exposed if you strayed far from the buildings, etc etc. The environments of TLOU could be equally or more constrained within a wider play area.

 

I think what I really, really love about more open games is the opportunities they afford the player to take full control of the situation. To plan, observe, explore and execute with real player-driven intent, not just because the designers have a street lamp subtly shining on the path forward.

 

TLOU2 already has Ellie doing a lot of what, I feel, would be amazing if left in the hands of the player. A paper map that needs marking up as you explore, a radio that can be tuned to gain clues about where to find people, key locations having clear signifiers on the horizon that you journey towards (a la Breath of the Wild), street names and posters helping you to navigate, resources that can be scavenged to prepare you for the task ahead, areas that can be cleared of infected so that you feel a modicum of safety. With Uncharted 4 I feel as though the series reached the end of the line. With TLOU2 and PS5 I feel like there's something even greater for the series to evolve into.

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14 minutes ago, nakamura said:

I'm on day 3 and I like it but it feels like a missed opportunity. So many enemies in this compared to before, you often get swamped pretty quickly with limited hiding options. AI is smarter which is cool, it feels more organic, but you need more options at your disposal. For example, disabling enemies by kneecapping the would be great. Shooting a gun out of hands etc. I want more ways to deal with the increasing number of people with guns. 

 

It's a better game with infected, Naughty Dog are not good at raw shooting because there isn't enough depth to the gameplay. The fist game had just enough, it limited the amount so each area felt like a little puzzle of sorts. 

 

Traps and other environmental hazards are really underused in this. With the improved AI, dismemberment and less linear levels, I thought the game would offer the opportunity of creating more situations for cleverly taking enemies out and enjoying the carnage. Even with the equipment it does give you, there isn't much of an opportunity to use it - some of the weapons and equipment I don't think I used even once and I'm nearly at the end.

 

I just wish they'd done more with the amazing world they created instead of prolonging it with the same activities. I mean things like chucking an electrical cable into a pool of water to electrify it; why not a skill tree that lets you drag enemies underwater to drown them, pulling/pushing enemies off ledges etc; setting traps in outdoor areas, using the environment to your advantage. It doesn't feel like they fully exploited this magnificent world by giving the player much new to do. Even the skill trees that are there are fairly inconsequential and boring - you never look forward to getting to the end of those trees and unlocking something that changes the game.

 

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1 minute ago, nakamura said:

I'm on day 3 and I like it but it feels like a missed opportunity. So many enemies in this compared to before, you often get swamped pretty quickly with limited hiding options. AI is smarter which is cool, it feels more organic, but you need more options at your disposal. For example, disabling enemies by kneecapping the would be great. Shooting a gun out of hands etc. I want more ways to deal with the increasing number of people with guns. 

 

It's a better game with infected, Naughty Dog are not good at raw shooting because there isn't enough depth to the gameplay. The fist game had just enough, it limited the amount so each area felt like a little puzzle of sorts. 


You can shoot enemies in the leg. You can also stun them with smoke bombs or by throwing bricks and bottles in their face.
I think you have more than enough options. Combat zones are so open and vertical that you can easily break line of sight. And there are many ways to hide, be it under cars, in grass, behind cover or in water (when available). And that allow you to go for stealth options, or setting traps etc. Basically set-up a new approach.
I actually thought the fights against humans were better than against Infected, mainly because they are more dynamic. Human enemies tend to communicate more, use dogs etc. but they are also easier to take out, whereas some Infected are more bullet-spongy. Human enemies force you to use your entire toolset. I disagree that you don't have enough options for that. You can stealth (from up close or from a distance with certain tools), you can snipe if you have modded your weapons for that, you can go prone, you can hide, you can melee and dodge, you have smoke bombs and traps, you can grab enemies and use them as a human shield, you can literally get the jump on them, you have molotovs, you can sometimes pit Infected and humans against each other. I mean, what more do you want?
It's that dynamic between stealth , running, melee and going full-blown Rambo that Naughty Dog does so well in my opinion, probably better than any developer out there.

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