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“SPOILER THREAD” - The Last Of Us Part 2


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I have not finished the game yet, but nearly keep clicking on spoilers in the other thread.

 

So.... as some people will be coming to the end of game - it seems like a good idea to have a thread just for players that’s have finished. 

 

 

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Ending spoiler

 

 



 

The ending is stupid. Ellie loses everything to try enact some revenge she never needed. It went totally against the character they had been building and the game could have ended halfway through with the same outcome. 

 

 

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The final few hours

Spoiler

felt like a drag to me. I was ready for it to wrap up once we'd caught up to date with Abby and returned to the theatre scene. As much as the combat has more variety here, I felt like I'd had enough by that point, and the last stretch doesn't add much of interest. It's weird having such cardboard villains in that part as well, seeing how hard the game has worked to create moral ambiguity up to that point. And that last punch up was ridiculous - like that daft scene out of They Live, when it would have been good for them both to realise they were in no shape to fight anymore, and call it a day.

 

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41 minutes ago, pledge said:

Have you played the game or that's from watching a stream/reading about the ending?  The second half of the game is better than the first so I'm glad it didn't end. Totally disagree that she never needed it.

I watched a full playthrough of it. I don't get this concept of having to have played through it personally, I played all of the original, I don't have a ps4, I watched someone else play through it, but I still observed the story and can have an opinion. 

 

Really great game and looked amazing, just the pay off in the ending was just not there. Just felt empty. The final fisticuffs made no sense at all. 

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I got quite a kick when I found this



9OpjSce.png

 

Spoilered image because it's technically not safe for work. It's line art of cocks and boobies.

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So, I really enjoyed it. I felt like it was perhaps slightly too long, but that’s perhaps a testament to my own attention span than anything else.

 

At points, it felt a bit like cupboard rummaging simulator but I had auto-pick up turned on so this limited a lot of my annoyances. I thought the accessibility stuff was immense, and I used the navigation assistance to help when I got a bit unsure as where to go (again, I hate being lost in games so I very much appreciated that, at the chance it was short-changing me some exploration. 

 

Super spoilers then:

 



I’ve started to read some reviews and thoughts about the decisions and content - lesbian, transgender stuff etc. Particularly the dead naming stuff gets brought up a lot. I am nowhere near qualified to comment with any authority on that, so won’t. 

 

I loved the arcs. Abby was a girl who’s father was killed, sought out revenge and murdered him in a very brutal way. Ellie is on the same journey and basically becomes Abby, but stops short finally of killing her father’s killer... unlike Abby. 

 

But it’s hard to hate Abby, as she redeems herself by caring for the kids. Ellie has this with Dinah, but forgoes it for the revenge. Only her redemption isn’t rewarded. Damn!

 

I also thought the evolution of Abby was interesting. From a girl with her dad to this “woman who looked like an ox”, even with armpit hair (which I caught the light reflecting off as I was trying to take some portrait action shots). She’s shown as growing to be masculine, but the sex scene reminds you that she’s vulnerable despite her physicality (also very surprising how graphic that was). I’m not really educated well enough to talk about the symbolism here.

 

I enjoyed the flipping backwards and forwards in the fights between Ellie and Abby, but also with who I wanted to win the most (or who I wanted to hurt the least). 

 

I was going to go and read through reviews and threads on it, but I think I’ll just leave it. I really enjoyed playing it and the story, I could nitpick but for me, it’s as close to a 10/10 game I think I could want and I think Naughty Dog have really perfected their craft here. You can see all the little lessons from their earlier games popping up.

 

So, roll on the inevitable multiplayer. Standalone F2P Wolves vs. Scars anyone?

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1 hour ago, MattKB said:

So, roll on the inevitable multiplayer. Standalone F2P Wolves vs. Scars anyone?

I'm curious if they'll tone down the brutality for a multiplayer game.

 

TLOU2 is an extremely graphic game but it never felt gratuitous to me as it doesn't revel or linger on it; if anything it's disturbing in its matter-of-fact-ness. Transpose that to a multiplayer setting – with all the predictable juvenility of some portion of the player base – and the tenor is quite different as the violence is no longer in service of a narrative, it's just an infinitely repeatable charnel house.

 

It's an odd one as the mechanics are excellent and a great fit for competitive multiplayer, but I'm not sure I want to be matchmade against the people it'll likely attract.

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I've got so many issues with this game, that honestly, I don't know where to start. And looking at the replies in the main thread, I really don't have the will or energy to fight for my opinions, as I just don't think this product is worth that effort.

 

In short:
 

Spoiler

 

-The ending is beyond stupid, especially the "revelations" within the epilogue

-The pacing is horrific

-The incidental dialogue between Ellie and Dina is just ABSOLUTE TRITE

-The violence is just way too much to the point of titillation. TECHNICALLY it's an achievement, but fucking hell, it's tasteless.

-The gameplay, well... where is it? When it does exist, it's fun and serviceable, but it's just padded by sprawling sections of nothing. Very pretty nothing, but bloody hell, it was tedious to the point of tears.

-As a technical achievement, it's a marvel, it really is. The art direction is stunning and I don't know how they managed to get this running on the PS4. I hope they can work such wonders in the future with a new Uncharted installment.

-That "Take on me" scene... So close to just turning everything off at that point.

 

 

But looking at the vast majority of the posts in the other thread, I feel like I've been experiencing a completely different game to everyone else.  I've read a lot of reviews from all over the spectrum over the past day, and this one is the one that is very close to my own opinion https://fextralife.com/the-last-of-us-2-an-honest-review/

 

That's all I've got to say about the game, For those who disagree, I'm happy you're enjoying it, but I just don't get it. I think, as an overall experience, it's average and I personally had a "great" time with the first game.

 

As a note, I'm not going to respond to any replies to this post. The polarising discourse is just way too exhausting for me to enter in to. I just wanted to have my tuppence.

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The last time I was this out of step was probably Before the Storm, which I rate as the only good game in its series. Whereas the majority considered it an extra, less engaging chapter, rather than a well-written detour into a supernatural-dodging world in which its characters became relatable.

 

It's what I expected the original to be like when I read its hype, not a David Cage take on a Stephen King.

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On 22/06/2020 at 10:05, BadgerFarmer said:

The final few hours

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felt like a drag to me. I was ready for it to wrap up once we'd caught up to date with Abby and returned to the theatre scene. As much as the combat has more variety here, I felt like I'd had enough by that point, and the last stretch doesn't add much of interest. It's weird having such cardboard villains in that part as well, seeing how hard the game has worked to create moral ambiguity up to that point. And that last punch up was ridiculous - like that daft scene out of They Live, when it would have been good for them both to realise they were in no shape to fight anymore, and call it a day.

 

 

I think this articulates much of what I thought about the last hour or two. 

 

 

 


 

The theatre showdown feels like the natural place to end the main narrative to me. Have that epilogue at the farmhouse by all means (I honestly thought the first time you were at the farmhouse it was going to end on multiple different occasions and would have felt content with that, whether that be on a more optimistic or pessimistic note) but the final boss fight ultimately being Ellie just felt daring and right to end the game on after all it had done.

 

Everything after that felt dragged out and unnecessary and I don't really feel like it added anything thematically. As you say, I found the portrayal of the villains in the last section extremely strange. Some of the main ideas running the game were about humanisation and that everyone has their own story and you should probably take the time to listen to it. The game is structured like it is literally because of these ideas and ending it at the end of day 3 would have created beautiful symmetry. Instead you have this cartoonishly evil final group of villains and it's back to being a videogame where the enemies are disposable pieces of meat, bereft of any real context, and they don't matter again. Very odd. Not enough to ruin what came before but a bit disappointing.

 

It does so much magnificently well though. Though some of it was a bit on the nose, I feel like this is the first AAA game I've played since the first Bioshock where it uses its narrative to say something interesting about the nature of videogames and, even more importantly, it does so in a way which just wouldn't have the same impact in a movie. The moment as Abby when you return to the aquarium at the end of Day 3 and are picking your way through the aftermath of what you, without hesitation, did as Ellie hours earlier, but with so much added context, justifies the entire narrative conceit all by itself. 


One last thing - that island escape set-piece at the end of Abby's Day 3 is possibly the most technically impressive and well-choreographed things I have ever seen. Holy shit.

 

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@Majora 

Spoiler

Yep, Haven all lit up was fucking spectacular. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. 

 

Also agree it should have ended at the farmhouse after the fight at the theatre. For me that would have been the best note to end on. Bittersweet, but not clichéd. All through the proceeding scenes I was like, please just stop now, Ellie doesn't need to do this.

 

That being said, the final fight was more than somewhat cathartic, and it did kinda feel good to play as Ellie again for the final scenes.

 

Also, can we get some love for Lev? He's a great character. I have to be honest, his trans situation almost completely passed me by. When the other scars were deadnaming him, I thought the name was Billy, not Lilly, it was late last night and I clearly wasn't paying attention. All through the game with Lev I kept wondering why he had such a feminine voice, even though young kids are obviously voiced by women. It wasn't until the reveal that he was to be married off as some Elder's (read: old paedo) wife that the penny dropped. :facepalm: 

 

Some reading up has complaints for the trans community, specifically about the abuse Lev is constantly subjected to and the deadnaming. I think that's harsh on the devs, given the game's subject matter. I get that the community want simple acceptance without the need for depictions of abuse, but that would have been a touch out of place in this game, at least that's how I feel about it. Perhaps I'm wrong. 

 

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9 hours ago, Ferine said:

I disagree, I think the last part of the game is key to Ellie's story.

 

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Joel's great betrayal of Ellie was in taking away her choice, her "meaning" as he put it. Whether you agree with his decision or not, she never got to make one.

 

When Abby kills Joel, Ellie is forced to watch as she can do nothing to stop it, pinned to the ground and begging for it to stop.

 

Fast forward to after the theatre fight, Ellie is left helpless once again. At least one other person she cares about is dead, the person she loves is at the mercy of someone she hates and, again, there's nothing she can do about it. "Don't let me see you again", commands Abby.

 

The farmhouse isn't a resolution for Ellie. It's Dina's dream, not hers, so whilst she loves her partner and JJ – and no doubt does find some joy in her new life – in a sense neither the house nor the baby were her choice. She knows she should be happy but isn't because she's deeply traumatised and, unlike Dina, not talking about or dealing with it in any way. She doesn't sleep. She gets flashbacks that put her family at risk. Nothing is fixed for her, in fact things are worse. And then Tommy shows up – himself twisted by a new lack of agency, relying on Ellie as his proxy for catharsis – with what feels like a chance to change something.

 

When she discovers Abby in Santa Barbra, an emaciated shadow that she barely recognises, Ellie doesn't know how to react. She's been pushing herself forward fuelled by mantras of vengeance, but the monster she's been psyching herself up to deal with is... reduced. Abby doesn't lash out or resist, her first act after being cut down is one of compassion for Lev. Ellie's fuel of revenge and hatred is doused, but still she knows she can't let this go. But she doesn't go for the easy kill, she forces Abby into a fight; it isn't just about killing Abby, she has to beat her.

 

Only when Ellie has Abby at her mercy, once she's back in a position of agency, does she appreciate that killing her wouldn't change anything. Much as Abby's troubled dreams weren't vanquished by her killing Joel – itself a violent display of retaking control, refusing to let him die until she allowed it – but soothed by finding meaning elsewhere in helping Lev, Ellie now has to find her own way forward. As she once hoped to in forgiving Joel.

 


This is more or less my opinion for the last hours. It is absolutely vital for all this to happen in order to distinguish Ellie’s character from Joel and give her the growth needed to understand her own motives and to let go of what he did. Revenge is just an excuse for Ellie in the grand scheme of things, she is essentially looking for a meaning, a meaning which was stolen from her. That is the true core of her rage.

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On 22/06/2020 at 09:23, carlospie said:

Ending spoiler

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The ending is stupid. Ellie loses everything to try enact some revenge she never needed. It went totally against the character they had been building and the game could have ended halfway through with the same outcome. 

 

 

 

I don't see how you can say she (or Abby) didn't need the revenge.  It's subjective - they felt they needed it.  I also thought it was totally plausible, though disappointing (as it would be IRL), that both characters felt that way.

 

In essence, I thought our characters all had motivations that were:

  • Plausible
  • Understandable

That were partially:

  • Relatable
  • Sympathetic

That were not:

  • Condonable

Those last few points are where the game fell down for me.  I could understand the characters' motivations, but I didn't support them.  I didn't actually want the character I was playing to achieve the task they, and therefore I, were trying to achieve, which left me demotivated for the whole length of the game.  It was an odd feeling, a bit like boredom even though the moment to moment action was tense and the environments beautiful and fascinating.

 

I think it's a fundamental flaw in the design of the game.  Yes, it's an interesting and emotional look at revenge, loss, obsession, violence, control, various other themes, and the complex characters involved all all "sides" of the various conflicts, but it's still a game; I need motivation to move forward, and the motivation they gave was not something I could invest myself in.

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I never understood Ellie’s anger at Joel, it just didn’t ring true or have enough weight that you would be so pissed at someone that they loved you enough to save you from death having your skull opened up. It just felt contrived to me.

 

I surprised myself by liking Abby more than Ellie by the end of the game as her arc was more rounded than than Ellie’s which felt artificially stretched.
 

 

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3 minutes ago, macosx said:

I never understood Ellie’s anger at Joel, it just didn’t ring true or have enough weight that you would be so pissed at someone that they loved you enough to save you from death having your skull opened up. It just felt contrived to me.

Ah, see I fully understood that. Prior to finding the fireflies, Ellie thought her life was going to make a difference to the world, that her life would have mattered (she literally says that to Joel in this game). Not only was she told that wasn't the case, she was lied to about it for two years until she finally confronted him. That's going to build a lot of resentment, and for some people, Ellie especially, that makes forgiveness an almost impossible task no matter the bond that's shared. 

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Yeah, I thought her anger was understandable.  Not entirely rational (it's not as though the Fireflies gave her a choice) but it's an emotion so it wouldn't be.  I also think (perhaps optimistically) she would have forgiven him in time.  That's a big part of her anger isn't it?  She never got the chance.

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1 minute ago, hushnecampus said:

Yeah, I thought her anger was understandable.  Not entirely rational (it's not as though the Fireflies gave her a choice) but it's an emotion so it wouldn't be.  I also think (perhaps optimistically) she would have forgiven him in time.  That's a big part of her anger isn't it?  She never got the chance.

Yep, she wanted to try at least (and the emotion from Joel after that scene was great!), but that was taken from her. 

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The thing with Abby's tale is you have to be on board with it. If that doesn't happen and you only want to play as Ellie then it all falls apart. I had serious reservations when it switched, not only back to Abby, but back to day one in Seattle. I really didn't want to go through three gruelling days again just to get to the same point in the story. But it did not take long for the game to win me over to the point I was heavily invested in Abby's story, arguably more so than Ellie's. It also gave nuance to the other characters, like Mel, Manny, Nora, and Owen. In other games they'd just be one-note bad guys, mini-bosses in the run up to Abby, the Big Boss. This game deconstructs that usual premise.

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