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The Last of Us Part 2

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4 hours ago, Tetchy said:


I

Spoiler

 

have completed it and, unlike with TLOU  I feel no compunction to straight away go back through the game, if ever. 

 

The storyline which seems to have driven the Gamergaters wild, is of no issue to me. I was born, live & work in Brighton, so multiculturalism & gender diversity have been a constant in day to day life. 

 

My issue with the storyline is the way in which it’s being told. It’s inefficient and purely lazy writing, which given the effort of the technical production seems counterproductive to me.
 

At the core of the storyline you could have had a really tight 15-20 hour game, introducing all of these issues by way of the main characters. But they didn’t, they went for the more is more approach, and for me, that broke the core of TLOU, which was the relationship between characters.


Not just between Joel & Ellie, but between any of the characters. I literally couldn’t have cared less about Abby & any of her cronies, Or Jesse & Tommy, or even Dinah & Ellie or L and Y. To me, none of the relationships were founded well enough, so when bad things happened to them I didn’t care about it. 

 

I get that the game is meant to be about revenge, and then the traumatic guilt of dealing what you’ve done, but the way it was told doesn’t work for me. There are other ways to get that across in a story, and as well as include other relevant social commentary, which could be a lot better than the way this was told IMO.
 

Anyway, rather than derail things in this thread by running close to the spoiler edge line, I’ll digress to others still playing, and head over to the other thread for a peek at others opinions.

 

 

It might not work for everyone but they’ve attempted something that’s never been done before and not really possible in other mediums.  How is it lazy? 

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3 minutes ago, Stanley said:

It might not work for everyone but they’ve attempted something that’s never been done before and not really possible in other mediums.  How is it lazy? 

Ditto. I think I'll have a lot of criticisms of the way the narrative has been handled when I finish it, but lack of ambition probably isn't one of them.

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Just now, Spacehost said:

Ditto. I think I'll have a lot of criticisms of the way the narrative has been handled when I finish it, but lack of ambition probably isn't one of them.

There was probably one instance where I thought the game might drag, but luckily it didn’t, they slowed the pace a little but then followed it with utter magnificence right until the end. 
 

I thought the story was bold but more importantly served the gameplay perfectly. I played it every night for a week - can’t remember the last time I felt that compelled to continue, probably BOTW, and I really missed it when it was over. Still think about it a lot :)

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1 hour ago, Stanley said:

It might not work for everyone but they’ve attempted something that’s never been done before and not really possible in other mediums.  How is it lazy? 

 

The ambition is not in question, but even lazy people can have grand ambitions, but it’s whether the effort pays off.
 

For me, this did not.


It’s wholly reliant on blinds & double bluffs. You’re the good guy because a tragic event happens which propels you on a crash course with an antagonist but wait, are they the bad guy because look at this flashback and what you’re doing now. Now let’s repeat that for character B. Oh my, isn’t this a world of blurred lines & compromise that you probably didn’t realise was possible!


It’s lazy storytelling IMO, poorly paced and there is a more engaging, efficient, and frankly better, way of telling this story.

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My biggest criticism is how on the higher difficulties the combat becomes more of a puzzle (just like in the original). I get very little enjoyment out encountering tough and intelligent enemies when I have little more than 1 Molotov cocktail, 3 shotgun shells and 1 arrow. Far too often I found myself restarting an encounter because I missed a shot, or just simply not bothering at all and just figure out the fastest way out of there.

 

In NG+ you can choose Custom difficulty. I've set enemies to the highest difficulty and resources to plenty. Now I'm having fun setting traps, causing distractions and all that.

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1 hour ago, Tetchy said:

 

The ambition is not in question, but even lazy people can have grand ambitions, but it’s whether the effort pays off.
 

For me, this did not.

Spoiler

It’s wholly reliant on blinds & double bluffs. You’re the good guy because a tragic event happens which propels you on a crash course with an antagonist but wait, are they the bad guy because look at this flashback and what you’re doing now. Now let’s repeat that for character B. Oh my, isn’t this a world of blurred lines & compromise that you probably didn’t realise was possible!


It’s lazy storytelling IMO, poorly paced and there is a more engaging, efficient, and frankly better, way of telling this story.

Thing is, the whole

Spoiler

"I'm doing bad things"

angle is so absolutely stunningly obvious from the get go that I don't think it's trying to be clever-clever about it. Again, not finished yet though (20 fucking hours in! Hire an editor Druckmann, we're not paying by the hour).

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@Tetchy

Careful with spoilers please. There's a spoiler thread for that type of detailed discussion.

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It's certainly ambitious but I don't think it's a narrative slam dunk. Some character beats are super hamfisted, and I share some scepticism with the lumpy structure. Fair enough it's a 25 hour game, not a film or a TV show, but that doesn't mean you can throw out the rulebook when it comes to pacing and structure.

 

I still loved it, but more for its qualities as a game, in contrast to the original. I don't think it ever quite got to the point of justifying its own existence in narrative terms, for me personally. It doesn't feel like a story that was yearning to be told, rather one that they came up with because commercially everyone expected it.

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I'm quite far in and honestly I'm loving the narrative. Maybe lateish game spoilers follow? Don't read if you haven't finished the game:

 

I love swapping to Abby and discovering her motivation and I'm finding her character far more sympathetic than Ellie's

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29 minutes ago, Stanley said:

There was probably one instance where I thought the game might drag, but luckily it didn’t, they slowed the pace a little but then followed it with utter magnificence right until the end.

 

Please tell me this is immediately after Day 3...

Spoiler

I thought this game was in masterpiece territory, but having done the first few sections with Abi it's beginning to feel like it's dragging. I'm still enjoying the action, but there's a nagging feeling of starting again with a new character, which isn't sitting right with me. I think playing as Abi is a great idea, but I expected it to be a short section of the game. I can't shake the feeling of wanting to get back to that last scene with Ellie, but it feels like a bit of that tension is being lost with how long this bit is. 

 

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4 minutes ago, df0 said:

@Tetchy

Careful with spoilers please. There's a spoiler thread for that type of detailed discussion.

Hmm, don’t think there is anything on there which could even remotely count as spoiler, just an indication of my feelings in response to Stanley.

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On 02/07/2020 at 12:07, Kevvy Metal said:

Friendly AI running around was a bit jarring in the first game, but it's so, so much better in this one. They stay behind you for the most part. They also never, ever alert the enemies, and are far more helpful in this one. 

Weird thing - I played through the whole game and don't think I ever saw an ally alert the enemy. Then I played one early part again in NG+ and D got seen and chased by clickers when I was on the other side of the room. She jumped back up to where we'd entered the area and they lost interest. No idea what triggered that.

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26 minutes ago, Hylian said:

 

Please tell me this is immediately after Day 3...

  Reveal hidden contents

I thought this game was in masterpiece territory, but having done the first few sections with Abi it's beginning to feel like it's dragging. I'm still enjoying the action, but there's a nagging feeling of starting again with a new character, which isn't sitting right with me. I think playing as Abi is a great idea, but I expected it to be a short section of the game. I can't shake the feeling of wanting to get back to that last scene with Ellie, but it feels like a bit of that tension is being lost with how long this bit is. 

 

 

Certainly for me, I was a little worried for an hour or two post Day 3 that I was losing interest. I think you'll get back into it fairly soon.

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3 hours ago, Tetchy said:

 

The ambition is not in question, but even lazy people can have grand ambitions, but it’s whether the effort pays off.
 

For me, this did not.


Edited for sure 

I think there’s much more to it than that, and more importantly it serves the gameplay, but I don’t think it’s fair to level the ‘lazy’ criticism at it. 

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1 hour ago, Spacehost said:

At the macro scale it's fine, but there have definitely been instances where they weren't hitting the beat the same way they did in the first.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Doing the Stalker intro, then going outside for literally 30 seconds, then immediately back inside for more Stalkers is the obvious one. I think breaking that up with something might have worked better.

It's minor, but the first game was pretty impeachable pacing wise, so that's probably the only reason I've been picking up on it.

 

I've literally just replayed that bit, and again totally disagree. 

Introduction of something > expand on that idea immediately in next section is very "videogame design 101" but this game is meant to catch you off guard as much as possible, so they way they've inserted calm moments like that totally works for this game. 

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12 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

I've literally just replayed that bit, and again totally disagree. 

Introduction of something > expand on that idea immediately in next section is very "videogame design 101" but this game is meant to catch you off guard as much as possible, so they way they've inserted calm moments like that totally works for this game. 

I reckon it would have been far more effective if...

 

Spoiler

Stalkers didn't effectively disappear from the game for the next 3-4 hours. If you're going to drip-feed them, then space them out, rather than ramming two encounters together. The dread that you're encountering them drops off as you fight them, it needs some time to recharge.

 

The moment you climb back into the next bit, it's obvious that there's more Stalkers. It's not really a surprise, or if it's meant to be, t's not an effective one. I'm just like, "ah, more of these guys".

 

The calm moment isn't even a particularly calm moment- it's just a tiny walk between two combat encounters, like you'd get between rooms in Doom or something. It would be more effecting IMO if there was a bigger gap.

It's nitpicking but like I say, it's minor things like that which stand out.

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34 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

I reckon it would have been far more effective if...

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Stalkers didn't effectively disappear from the game for the next 3-4 hours. If you're going to drip-feed them, then space them out, rather than ramming two encounters together. The dread that you're encountering them drops off as you fight them, it needs some time to recharge.

 

The moment you climb back into the next bit, it's obvious that there's more Stalkers. It's not really a surprise, or if it's meant to be, t's not an effective one. I'm just like, "ah, more of these guys".

 

The calm moment isn't even a particularly calm moment- it's just a tiny walk between two combat encounters, like you'd get between rooms in Doom or something. It would be more effecting IMO if there was a bigger gap.

It's nitpicking but like I say, it's minor things like that which stand out.

 

It can't be too big though! Other wise you lose the knowledge of the first encounter. I just don't agree. 

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20 minutes ago, BadgerFarmer said:

Weird thing - I played through the whole game and don't think I ever saw an ally alert the enemy. Then I played one early part again in NG+ and D got seen and chased by clickers when I was on the other side of the room. She jumped back up to where we'd entered the area and they lost interest. No idea what triggered that.

I read that as chased by chickens and now I wish it was. 

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47 minutes ago, Tetchy said:

Hmm, don’t think there is anything on there which could even remotely count as spoiler, just an indication of my feelings in response to Stanley.

It's a massive spoiler. Sort it out.

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4 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

It can't be too big though! Other wise you loose the knowledge of the first encounter. I just don't agree. 

I was thinking, like, 30 minutes tops. Stick the second encounter

Spoiler

Just after the sewer level fake-out or something, possibly after a quick WLF encounter.

But I'm armchair designing at this point.

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3 hours ago, Hylian said:

 

Please tell me this is immediately after Day 3...

  Reveal hidden contents

I thought this game was in masterpiece territory, but having done the first few sections with Abi it's beginning to feel like it's dragging. I'm still enjoying the action, but there's a nagging feeling of starting again with a new character, which isn't sitting right with me. I think playing as Abi is a great idea, but I expected it to be a short section of the game. I can't shake the feeling of wanting to get back to that last scene with Ellie, but it feels like a bit of that tension is being lost with how long this bit is. 

 

Yeah that’s the bit I was referring to, my favourites sections and set pieces all follow on from that point. 

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There’s a lot of post-completion co versatile s going on here. Can’t they be moved to the spoiler thread to avoid the risk of ... well ... spoilers?

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For those who think Gustavo Santaolalla's tunes are just as lovely in this as they were in the original, here's a little mini-concert he did:

 

 

Infact, I rather like the way in LoU2 his music isn't used in the same way, which is great. Just enough of his stuff in there to remind you of things, but having that really contrasting stuff for most of it worked well I thought.

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Man, he looks...different from how he looked when he composed for the first game:

 

image.png.e78192aee3d036464ff84ba0ae8798fb.png

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To those of you grumbling about the film grain effect, are you playing on a base/slim PS4? My brother is playing it on a 4ktv with his slim at 1080p, and the grain effect is significantly more noticeable than it is when running at 1440p on my PS4 Pro on a 4ktv.

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Post- Day 3 spoilers

 

Spoiler

I’m really enjoying Abby’s, how can I put this, more direct approach to situations? I feel like the game is saying, “maybe shoot more things and toss some pipe bombs around”, which is much needed.

 

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