The Last of Us Part II - Out now

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Rapidly-Greying » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:37 pm

Zilnad wrote:How did you get the PS5 early?!


That's exactly what I was thinking. The firefly picture is beautiful,give her a good lick out tonight. It's the least she deserves.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Fade » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:06 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:
Captain Kinopio wrote:When you think on the characters for any length of time and go over their actions, they’re just strawberry floating awful people. I’ve just done the Joel death scene again and seeing what Abby does to him, her character just kind of feels all over the place.

Also what happened to Tommy throughout this game. At the start he’s reluctant to go after the Wolves but at the end after hunting them down, killing a bunch and having 18 months back home he’s suddenly desperate to go after them again?
.


Abby has basically been raised as a child soldier, I think her wanting revenge on Joel for murdering her dad, destroying the organisation she so obviously thought (and thinks) of as her home, and preventing a cure from being found makes perfect sense. She has more development through the story through Yara and Lev, which is why she spares Ellie and breaks the cycle of revenge - it still takes Ellie coming after her in the epilogue for Ellie to have the same development.

I wouldn't say Tommy was reluctant to go after the wolves - he was clearly wanting to, but under a lot of pressure from his wife over protecting Jackson. It's why he sneaks out on his own and tries to stop Ellie from following him. Other than being spared at the end little happens to Tommy that could justify him changing his mind, why wouldn't he still want Ellie to finish things? It's "sudden" after 18 months because of the information he gains - that felt a bit handwaved to me in setting up that final chapter, but it did make sense as a plot point.

I think it's good how the game lays bare how flawed the characters are considering the amount of killing you do in gameplay. The first game portrays Joel and Ellie almost heroically as the protagonists without really addressing how violent Joel is and Ellie becomes (until perhaps right at the end, but even then Joel is sympathetic in saving Ellie). I loved how in this game Tommy especially appears almost monstrous with you following in his wake of torture and murder as Ellie, and the sniper section with Abby was brilliant (and well foreshadowed). The player's shift in perspective is so well done.


Fade wrote:I found the end of this quite narratively jarring.

The game asks you to keep trying to kill Abby even after its made her a character you don't want to kill


It makes you the player not want to kill Abby because you've played through her perspective, but it makes sense that Ellie would still want to kill her, right? It had parallels with MGS3 for me in the final fight with the Boss - although there Snake does share in some reluctance, he still sees it through where I the player didn't want him to. I don't think a dissonance between the player and the player character is necessarily a bad thing.

What the final fight with Abby did was make me feel very uncomfortable and worried, which lead to great relief when Ellie finally lets Abby and Lev go. That let the game finish on a final moment of release without being a happy ending.

Here's the thing though, the game shouldn't make me do things like that if the story would make the player more sympathetic.

For example, in sections where the game asks you to press a button, if I don't want to press it then maybe the character should just carry on with their action anyway.

Otherwise it creates awkward moments that kill the cinematography.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Samuel_1 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:22 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:
Captain Kinopio wrote:When you think on the characters for any length of time and go over their actions, they’re just strawberry floating awful people. I’ve just done the Joel death scene again and seeing what Abby does to him, her character just kind of feels all over the place.

Also what happened to Tommy throughout this game. At the start he’s reluctant to go after the Wolves but at the end after hunting them down, killing a bunch and having 18 months back home he’s suddenly desperate to go after them again?
.


Abby has basically been raised as a child soldier, I think her wanting revenge on Joel for murdering her dad, destroying the organisation she so obviously thought (and thinks) of as her home, and preventing a cure from being found makes perfect sense. She has more development through the story through Yara and Lev, which is why she spares Ellie and breaks the cycle of revenge - it still takes Ellie coming after her in the epilogue for Ellie to have the same development.

I wouldn't say Tommy was reluctant to go after the wolves - he was clearly wanting to, but under a lot of pressure from his wife over protecting Jackson. It's why he sneaks out on his own and tries to stop Ellie from following him. Other than being spared at the end little happens to Tommy that could justify him changing his mind, why wouldn't he still want Ellie to finish things? It's "sudden" after 18 months because of the information he gains - that felt a bit handwaved to me in setting up that final chapter, but it did make sense as a plot point.

I think it's good how the game lays bare how flawed the characters are considering the amount of killing you do in gameplay. The first game portrays Joel and Ellie almost heroically as the protagonists without really addressing how violent Joel is and Ellie becomes (until perhaps right at the end, but even then Joel is sympathetic in saving Ellie). I loved how in this game Tommy especially appears almost monstrous with you following in his wake of torture and murder as Ellie, and the sniper section with Abby was brilliant (and well foreshadowed). The player's shift in perspective is so well done.


Fade wrote:I found the end of this quite narratively jarring.

The game asks you to keep trying to kill Abby even after its made her a character you don't want to kill


It makes you the player not want to kill Abby because you've played through her perspective, but it makes sense that Ellie would still want to kill her, right? It had parallels with MGS3 for me in the final fight with the Boss - although there Snake does share in some reluctance, he still sees it through where I the player didn't want him to. I don't think a dissonance between the player and the player character is necessarily a bad thing.

What the final fight with Abby did was make me feel very uncomfortable and worried, which lead to great relief when Ellie finally lets Abby and Lev go. That let the game finish on a final moment of release without being a happy ending.
Just finished, totally agree with Orange. The game makes you feel uncomfortable, but this is a testament to its art; it is a stellar piece of work regarding the bitter cycle of revenge. If you stare long enough into the abyss, the adyss will stare back at you.
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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Dual » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:29 pm

Zilnad wrote:How did you get the PS5 early?!


:lol:

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Zilnad » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:41 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:
Captain Kinopio wrote:When you think on the characters for any length of time and go over their actions, they’re just strawberry floating awful people. I’ve just done the Joel death scene again and seeing what Abby does to him, her character just kind of feels all over the place.

Also what happened to Tommy throughout this game. At the start he’s reluctant to go after the Wolves but at the end after hunting them down, killing a bunch and having 18 months back home he’s suddenly desperate to go after them again?
.


Abby has basically been raised as a child soldier, I think her wanting revenge on Joel for murdering her dad, destroying the organisation she so obviously thought (and thinks) of as her home, and preventing a cure from being found makes perfect sense. She has more development through the story through Yara and Lev, which is why she spares Ellie and breaks the cycle of revenge - it still takes Ellie coming after her in the epilogue for Ellie to have the same development.

I wouldn't say Tommy was reluctant to go after the wolves - he was clearly wanting to, but under a lot of pressure from his wife over protecting Jackson. It's why he sneaks out on his own and tries to stop Ellie from following him. Other than being spared at the end little happens to Tommy that could justify him changing his mind, why wouldn't he still want Ellie to finish things? It's "sudden" after 18 months because of the information he gains - that felt a bit handwaved to me in setting up that final chapter, but it did make sense as a plot point.

I think it's good how the game lays bare how flawed the characters are considering the amount of killing you do in gameplay. The first game portrays Joel and Ellie almost heroically as the protagonists without really addressing how violent Joel is and Ellie becomes (until perhaps right at the end, but even then Joel is sympathetic in saving Ellie). I loved how in this game Tommy especially appears almost monstrous with you following in his wake of torture and murder as Ellie, and the sniper section with Abby was brilliant (and well foreshadowed). The player's shift in perspective is so well done.


Fade wrote:I found the end of this quite narratively jarring.

The game asks you to keep trying to kill Abby even after its made her a character you don't want to kill


It makes you the player not want to kill Abby because you've played through her perspective, but it makes sense that Ellie would still want to kill her, right? It had parallels with MGS3 for me in the final fight with the Boss - although there Snake does share in some reluctance, he still sees it through where I the player didn't want him to. I don't think a dissonance between the player and the player character is necessarily a bad thing.

What the final fight with Abby did was make me feel very uncomfortable and worried, which lead to great relief when Ellie finally lets Abby and Lev go. That let the game finish on a final moment of release without being a happy ending.


RKN is bang on. For me, playing that final scene, I was thinking "I don't want to hurt Abby, why am I doing this, I want to stop but I can't. I have to do it but why? Why?" It felt to me like my thoughts were probably the exact same thoughts going through Ellie's head in that moment and then she decided to stop.

Okay, so I'm not great at putting my thoughts into paper but the final scene was done excellently and was a perfect ending. The game is strawberry floating incredible.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Chocolate-Milk » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:13 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:
Chocolate-Milk wrote:


I don't think this is TLOU2.

I don't think the intention is to make you feel guilty for doing things, it's to make you feel guilty for wanting Ellie to do those things and supporting her. It's not a player-driver narrative, you're very definitely playing as the character with their own motivations, and this sometimes forces you to be uncomfortable, but not guilty about their actions. The gameplay makes you empathise with the protagonists, it doesn't let you decide their character.

It's less "why would you, the player, do this" and more "why would you, the player, want this". I think the distinction is important.

When it comes to killing the dogs you can otherwise avoid though...

That seems like an arbitrary distinction to me. If I'm supposed to empathise with the main character, a woman who's seeking revenge for the murder of a loved one, then why should I feel guilty for wanting her to succeed? Plenty of protagonists make immoral choices in service of their goal. That's what makes the characters interesting, and their stories engaging. Should I feel guilty for every cowboy Clint Eastwood shot? Everyone John Wick killed over his pet dog?

I don't buy that the intention isn't to make you feel guilty for doing things, either. Giving every NPC a name solely for others to cry out when they're killed. The writhing and gurgling of mortally wounded enemies. The pained whimpers from killed dogs. All of it is designed to evoke an emotional response from the player. But killing bad guys for this reason or that has been the raison d'etre of video games for 40+ years. People have been conditioned to think killing enemies is fun. And it is, even here! The combat is really enjoyable! So trying to make the player feel bad about it just falls completely flat, and feels really forced.

What's worse, though, is when you're not even given the choice. I've just tracked down Nora and been presented with a cutscene in which Ellie corners and interrogates her, and then picks up a length of pipe. You know full well she's going to kill her, but the cutscene stops dead just before it and prompts you to press square. And again. And again. It purposely makes you commit the deed, and won't progress until you do. And then Ellie goes home looking completely broken. They deliberately frame it as being your fault. Ellie does a bad thing, and they go "Look what you've done. That's awful. How could you."

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by DaveDS » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:50 pm

Fade wrote:Here's the thing though, the game shouldn't make me do things like that if the story would make the player more sympathetic.

For example, in sections where the game asks you to press a button, if I don't want to press it then maybe the character should just carry on with their action anyway.

Otherwise it creates awkward moments that kill the cinematography
.


But you're suggesting the game should not do things that it is very deliberately trying to do, and shouldn't create emotions that it's very deliberately trying to create. It's not a movie it's a game and it has used that to create these situations that you simply cannot get in passive mediums like movies. Your suggestion would take so much away from those moments. I guess it just didn't work for you, but it completely worked for me, I might have felt similar emotions during those moments but can fully appreciate that's what made them so effective.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by DaveDS » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:58 pm

Chocolate-Milk wrote:
OrangeRKN wrote:
Chocolate-Milk wrote:


I don't think this is TLOU2.

I don't think the intention is to make you feel guilty for doing things, it's to make you feel guilty for wanting Ellie to do those things and supporting her. It's not a player-driver narrative, you're very definitely playing as the character with their own motivations, and this sometimes forces you to be uncomfortable, but not guilty about their actions. The gameplay makes you empathise with the protagonists, it doesn't let you decide their character.

It's less "why would you, the player, do this" and more "why would you, the player, want this". I think the distinction is important.

When it comes to killing the dogs you can otherwise avoid though...

That seems like an arbitrary distinction to me. If I'm supposed to empathise with the main character, a woman who's seeking revenge for the murder of a loved one, then why should I feel guilty for wanting her to succeed? Plenty of protagonists make immoral choices in service of their goal. That's what makes the characters interesting, and their stories engaging. Should I feel guilty for every cowboy Clint Eastwood shot? Everyone John Wick killed over his pet dog?

I don't buy that the intention isn't to make you feel guilty for doing things, either. Giving every NPC a name solely for others to cry out when they're killed. The writhing and gurgling of mortally wounded enemies. The pained whimpers from killed dogs. All of it is designed to evoke an emotional response from the player. But killing bad guys for this reason or that has been the raison d'etre of video games for 40+ years. People have been conditioned to think killing enemies is fun. And it is, even here! The combat is really enjoyable! So trying to make the player feel bad about it just falls completely flat, and feels really forced.

What's worse, though, is when you're not even given the choice. I've just tracked down Nora and been presented with a cutscene in which Ellie corners and interrogates her, and then picks up a length of pipe. You know full well she's going to kill her, but the cutscene stops dead just before it and prompts you to press square. And again. And again. It purposely makes you commit the deed, and won't progress until you do. And then Ellie goes home looking completely broken. They deliberately frame it as being your fault. Ellie does a bad thing, and they go "Look what you've done. That's awful. How could you."


Didn't feel any of that in the slightest, in fact I think the game couldn't have made it clearer through it's structure and perhaps it's entire point, that while you're controlling the character, it's 100% their motivations that you're playing with, whether you agree with them at the time or not. There are a number of moments in the game that this is made abundantly clear. As with everything though, not everyone will interpret things the same way.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by DaveDS » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:11 pm

Captain Kinopio wrote:Also what happened to Tommy throughout this game. At the start he’s reluctant to go after the Wolves but at the end after hunting them down, killing a bunch and having 18 months back home he’s suddenly desperate to go after them again?.


He was reluctant because the WLF were a big unknown to them, could have been a huge army, as they were, it was clear he didn't really mean the things he was saying, Ellie even asks him if it's really him talking. Still the next day he was gone.

At the end of the game the situation is very different. Now there is 1 woman and small child to go after, not a complete unknown, he's also now separated from his wife and crippled, has nothing else really to fight for but revenge for his brother.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by OrangeRKN » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:05 am

Chocolate-Milk wrote:They deliberately frame it as being your fault.[/is] Ellie does a bad thing, and they go "Look what you've done. That's awful. How could you."


I never thought this at all. It's completely "look at what Ellie has done". Player choice doesn't enter into it because it's not even an aspect of the game's narrative.

The trick this game does so well is that for a lot of what Ellie is doing, you as a player don't think it's awful. Joel's death makes you want to see Ellie get revenge just as she wants it, but that desire gets confounded and unravelled. That torture moment with Nora is absolutely one where the player is thinking "I don't want to do this", it's a key moment in the player questioning what they want to happen. The subsequent effect on Ellie made me sad for her, not guilty for "making" her do it - that's not how it's set up. I never felt like the game was blaming me for what Ellie did, how even could it? I feel guilty for having wanted her to go down this route, but of course I'm not responsible. In what way do you feel like the game was telling you you were?


Am I right in saying you've not finished it then? Wary of accidental spoilers!

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by sawyerpip » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:59 am

OrangeRKN wrote:
Chocolate-Milk wrote:They deliberately frame it as being your fault.[/is] Ellie does a bad thing, and they go "Look what you've done. That's awful. How could you."


I never thought this at all. It's completely "look at what Ellie has done". Player choice doesn't enter into it because it's not even an aspect of the game's narrative.

The trick this game does so well is that for a lot of what Ellie is doing, you as a player don't think it's awful. Joel's death makes you want to see Ellie get revenge just as she wants it, but that desire gets confounded and unravelled. That torture moment with Nora is absolutely one where the player is thinking "I don't want to do this", it's a key moment in the player questioning what they want to happen. The subsequent effect on Ellie made me sad for her, not guilty for "making" her do it - that's not how it's set up. I never felt like the game was blaming me for what Ellie did, how even could it? I feel guilty for having wanted her to go down this route, but of course I'm not responsible. In what way do you feel like the game was telling you you were?


Am I right in saying you've not finished it then? Wary of accidental spoilers!


I completely agree with ORKN on this. I haven't completed the game yet, I'm fairly early on in the second half of the game, and while I feel like I could guess the general way the game was going to go as it unfolded I think the execution of it has been great.

I think perhaps it comes down to how you see the game. I think if you start looking it as almost a role-playing game where you put yourself in Ellie's shoes then yeah, I can see why it would be jarring when you have to keep going through with some of the horrific things that happen when in reality you start thinking maybe you would choose to walk away. But I don't think it's ever sold that way, it's clearly Ellie's story and the point is that as things progress we realise it's a dark path, but we have to keep interacting as she cannot let this idea of vengeance go, no matter where it will take her (or by extension us). I don't think it ever tries to blame the player (so far at least), but the interactive nature let's us get more into Ellie's frame of mind.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Chocolate-Milk » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:17 am

Maybe I'm wording it poorly. I don't disagree with Ellie's actions or motives. I'm actually enjoying the descent into darkness. I've killed everyone and everything in my way since the beginning, I'm fully onboard with the revenge story.

Maybe my interpretation of it is wrong, and it's likely coloured by my previous Rambo reenactments throughout the game- hell, if I actually had the choice, I still would have done it- but that particular scene just felt like they were blaming it on you, rather than Ellie's own narrative choices. Handing you a weapon and saying "You enjoy all the killing, that's why!"

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by HaruKazuhira » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:31 am

I plan to unload most of my thoughts on the topic of choice when I finish the game. Glad these discussions are happening tho, because there's a lot to be said.

So I wasn't expecting to be hit by a gut punch from that moment with Ellie and Joel at the end of the second flashback. OOF, I felt the tension in that scene. Also going further into Day 2 and on my way to the Hospital. Love how these areas are designed with how you explore off the beaten path but it's not too overwhelming. Feels more natural. Also GODDAMN, that ambush when you start interacting with the workbench almost gave me a legit heart attack lol. Bravo ND ">,>

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Denster » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:47 am

Thoughts on the ending.

While Ellie is on the farm she gets flashbacks of Joel's face as he lies dying or dead. She cant deal with the fact that her revenge bid ended on Abby's terms. But when she's on the brink of victory (?) she gets a very brief flashback of Joel (as he sees her approaching him while he's sat on his porch). That helps to bring her back to herself and she makes the decision to spare Abby. For me this means she retains a little bit of her soul and humanity (despite what she's done) and its a more nuanced and realistic ending for me. That last scene with Joel is wonderful (and heartbreaking) and I like that the game ends on an ambiguous but potentially redemptive ending. I also like that if Ellie hadn't set out again for vengeance both Lev and Abby would be dead. That again, for me, adds a redemptive angle to it. Both characters ending up with a shot at some kind of life.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Denster » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:49 am

HaruKazuhira wrote:I plan to unload most of my thoughts on the topic of choice when I finish the game. Glad these discussions are happening tho, because there's a lot to be said.

So I wasn't expecting to be hit by a gut punch from that moment with Ellie and Joel at the end of the second flashback. OOF, I felt the tension in that scene. Also going further into Day 2 and on my way to the Hospital. Love how these areas are designed with how you explore off the beaten path but it's not too overwhelming. Feels more natural. Also GODDAMN, that ambush when you start interacting with the workbench almost gave me a legit heart attack lol. Bravo ND ">,>


I shat myself at that bit. Sneaky bastards.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Rodders9 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:56 am

Managed to get the platinum trophy this morning.

The last of us 2 is a great game that I very much enjoyed playing. However, I have listed some of my annoyances below. Don’t read unless you have finished the game.

It wasn’t clear that they wanted me to run into the buildings on the first sprinting section - I ran away into nature and died during my first attempt at that!

It wasn’t clear that at first I had to sprint after Nora but then stop sprinting in the section immediately before catching her. I died on my first attempts during both these tempo changes.

The open areas felt a bit overwhelming to thoroughly search.

There should have been a way to stop accidentally leaving an area (that you couldn’t return to) during item searches.

Some of the walk and talk sections were frustrating because it wasn’t clear if I should be continuing my search for items or not. The answer was yes in some sections and no in others.

I fully bought into the revenge storyline which made playing as Abby (especially during earlier flashbacks before she did the deed) difficult - I even killed her [myself] a few times where possible to achieve some satisfaction. This came to a head when I had to fight Ellie as Abby. I really didn’t want to hurt Ellie and had to disconnect to progress the game. A good story should make you want to continue to play, not put the joypad down, IMO.

Despite these annoyances, I loved playing the game. Moreover, I cannot see what all the online fuss about the story ruining the game was about.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by OrangeRKN » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:58 am

Denster wrote:
HaruKazuhira wrote:I plan to unload most of my thoughts on the topic of choice when I finish the game. Glad these discussions are happening tho, because there's a lot to be said.

So I wasn't expecting to be hit by a gut punch from that moment with Ellie and Joel at the end of the second flashback. OOF, I felt the tension in that scene. Also going further into Day 2 and on my way to the Hospital. Love how these areas are designed with how you explore off the beaten path but it's not too overwhelming. Feels more natural. Also GODDAMN, that ambush when you start interacting with the workbench almost gave me a legit heart attack lol. Bravo ND ">,>


I shat myself at that bit. Sneaky bastards.


I'm excited to reach that point on my second playthrough and place a pre-emptive trap mine right outside the door they come out of... :nod:

Already did similar in the TV station, it was glorious

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Denster » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:18 am

Nice.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by Captain Kinopio » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:19 am

Was no one else disappointed that they didn’t go further with making some of these areas feel distinct.

Naughty Dog are undoubtedly the best at set decoration in the games industry, truly peerless in how they can make an area look like a real setting and then decay it to fit in this world they’ve made. It’s honestly one of my favourite things about their games, to just explore the little toy sets they construct. When I made it to the end of the game though I was reminded of the quote by David Cage (I think) about the LA Noire facial animation (If I’m remembering this correctly). He called it an ‘interesting dead end’.

I think that’s how I feel about a lot of these environments now and where Naughty Dog should go next. I’ve no doubt that you could improve on the minutiae of the design of these areas, really stamp out duplicating items, make them bigger and inter connected better, pile in more tiny little details like individual stationery. But I got the sense a lot in this game that although I could appreciate that Incredible design work, it reached a level of diminishing returns whereby I wish these areas actually felt different rather than just looking that way and the amount of time and effort to improve it any more I just don’t think is worth it at this stage.

The TV Station, the subway, the hospital, the island, are all really memorable areas from this game for me but really just because of how cool and distinct they all looked. When I think back to what I did in them, and throughout the game its the same creeping around desks and shiv’ing people in the neck. The interactivity with these environments is really quite poor. One late game example is wandering through an immaculately designed kitchen seeing a box of lettuce and wondering if it would explode in leaves if I shot it, but no it just gets the same bullet mark texture as if I shot a wall. Couldn’t the tv station have had like some latent electricity dangers maybe causing you to think about where your fighting as TVs, computers and monitors explode causing secondary damage. The Subway and hospital should 100% have felt more horror like than they did and the island, why not make you go a bit survivalist bow and arrow to fit the theme.

I came away from this a bit like I did after Twilight Princess. This formula ND have his amazing and I personally absolutely adore their environments. But they’ve refined and polished that format now to such an extent that they really need to explore more what the game has you doing because they’re at risk of it becoming stale.

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PostRe: The Last of Us Part II - Out now
by OrangeRKN » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:56 am

I think there is a good amount of gameplay variety in encounters, and although it's more enemy-driven than environment-driven the environments do impact the gameplay also. Maybe you suffered from sticking to a stealth-takedown approach instead of actively mixing things up more?

The game is split between two differentiated characters each with a constantly evolving inventory opening new possibilities. Gameplay varies between combat encounters (with the option of stealth), exploration, traversal and puzzle solving. Broadly there are three classes of enemy in infected, wolves and seraphites. The infected are the most obviously differentiated with the different types - shamblers, stalkers and bloaters/the rat king bosses especially. Dogs have a big impact on the wolf encounters they are involved in if taking a stealth approach. The seraphites were most noticeably different to me for their use of bows and the brutes in melee. The encounters that combined the enemy types were some of my favourites, either in setting infected against humans (which is possible in a few different variations) or when the seraphites are fighting wolves with you caught between them.

The other biggest variations in gameplay for me would be the on-rails sections, the chase sections, the mini open-world section, the boat section, the Tommy sniper section, the use of water and swimming in certain encounters, the flashbacks and the boss fights. Basically I can think of loads of distinct sections in gameplay!

From a purely environment impacting gameplay perspective, which I think is what you're getting at, the encounters using water and the section with trip mines would probably be the best examples? You're right though that the environments aren't particularly interactive themselves in combat, it's the encounters laid on top of them where the gameplay is contained (other than all the glass windows you can smash as distractions). Environmental interaction is used more with the physics led puzzle solving, which I thought was really impressive for how intuitive they were to solve, even if the broad types of puzzle were fairly limited. Things like throwing ropes around to climb up or swing off, breaking open windows, or pushing around garbage bins as platforms.

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