The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheats!

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:42 am

I'm enjoying the Abby section a lot. She's a great character and some of these encounters have been brilliant.

When the game isn't trying to be edgelord with its use of shock tactics it's a fun, and gorgeous, action game. The bit from the very first trailer ("clip her wings") came and went and it's as needlessly cruel in context as out, but I've just sort of assumed that every few hours or so there's going to be a scene with arbitrary extreme violence so I just sort of let it wash over me.

I agree with Jason Schrier though; it's definitely too long at this point. The combat is fun but extremely one-note, same with the exploration. The game has played its hand and now it's just padding itself out towards the inevitable conclusion.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Songwriter » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:53 am

Just keep playing.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:57 am

I will just keep playing. Until we reach the heat death of the universe, apparently.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Captain Kinopio » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:19 am

Your going through it at some lick if you're already to the clip her wings part.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:53 am

Yeah I've not really played anything else since I got it. Which is a plus! It's a great feeling game.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Fade » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:45 am

Tafdolphin wrote:I personally think the opening of the Abby section is mean to be an "Oh gooseberry fool" moment but that's not my major reservation. My problem is that it's taken 16 hours to say 'murder is bad.'

I'm actually enjoying this bit more as the characters aren't, you know, deplorable. It's still cheap as strawberry float though: laughed out loud at Bear reappearing.

I think the whole reason you play as Abby at the start of the game is enough of a clue for most people to figure out the game is trying to present two sides of the same story. But there were still a lot of people who finished the game and still wanted to kill Abby so I think there's plenty of un-empathetic or just plain stupid people out there :lol:

I do find it funny how so many people are like "hurr durr game says killing is bad" I've watched a few podcasts with Neil on and he makes it clear that that's not what they're trying to say at all, heck I remember when the first game came out he said He'd do exactly what Joel did if it was his daughter.

The focus is more on how Joel's actions have shaped Ellie's responses to things. That scene with Nora for example is more "Ellie is becoming Joel" rather than "Dis bad okay, lol"

Joel took away her purpose in life by stopping her from helping the Fireflies so ever since that moment she's been drifting through life with no real purpose, then she has a purpose again, to get revenge, but she takes it way too far because of all of the built up trauma she's been through. It's like a drug addiction, to where she even lies to Jessie at one point about stopping once they find Tommy.

Abby's story is kind of similar, but in reverse.

Also it's kind of annoying how every time you see extreme violence you assume it's being used to shock you rather than for s narrative purpose, especially when the whole game give you the choice to inflict that kind of violence anyway.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Zilnad » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:13 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:I will just keep playing. Until we reach the heat death of the universe, apparently.


:lol:

It is really long, isn't it? I'm planning to give it a second play on the PS5 so I'm hoping it'll squeeze in nicely between my launch games and Hitman 3 in January. To be honest, it's length is enticing me to go back and get stuck in all over again.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:34 pm

Fade wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I personally think the opening of the Abby section is mean to be an "Oh gooseberry fool" moment but that's not my major reservation. My problem is that it's taken 16 hours to say 'murder is bad.'

I'm actually enjoying this bit more as the characters aren't, you know, deplorable. It's still cheap as strawberry float though: laughed out loud at Bear reappearing.

I think the whole reason you play as Abby at the start of the game is enough of a clue for most people to figure out the game is trying to present two sides of the same story. But there were still a lot of people who finished the game and still wanted to kill Abby so I think there's plenty of un-empathetic or just plain stupid people out there :lol:

I do find it funny how so many people are like "hurr durr game says killing is bad" I've watched a few podcasts with Neil on and he makes it clear that that's not what they're trying to say at all, heck I remember when the first game came out he said He'd do exactly what Joel did if it was his daughter.

The focus is more on how Joel's actions have shaped Ellie's responses to things. That scene with Nora for example is more "Ellie is becoming Joel" rather than "Dis bad okay, lol"


But what is it saying about Ellie becoming Joel? What is she doing in that moment and what is the game saying about that action?

She's killing someone and the game is saying that's bad

Joel took away her purpose in life by stopping her from helping the Fireflies so ever since that moment she's been drifting through life with no real purpose, then she has a purpose again, to get revenge, but she takes it way too far because of all of the built up trauma she's been through. It's like a drug addiction, to where she even lies to Jessie at one point about stopping once they find Tommy
.

That's the plot yes. But the underlying message is the same from the very start of the game to where I am now, 20 hours in. The problem is, the game hammered that point home at around hour 5 and has spent the rest of it's runtime stating it in more and more obvious ways. It's repeating itself every new story beat.

Also it's kind of annoying how every time you see extreme violence you assume it's being used to shock you rather than for s narrative purpose, especially when the whole game give you the choice to inflict that kind of violence anyway.


Well firstly the game absolutely doesn't give you the choice. It specifically goes out of its way to make sure you the player is an active participant in such violence; the Nora scene does not let you continue unless you Press Square To Beat. Most combat arenas have exits that are only accessible once all enemies are dead.

There's a reason there are no non-lethal options: the single moral of the game would fall apart without you killing almost everything you see.

And secondly, it is absolutely designed to shock. The fidelity of the violence on display is horrific, from the slow, deliberate animations to the disgustingly amazing sound design. This was one of my issues with the marketing; it was showing off this fidelity completely out of context and it was... gross. Now I've seen it in context I still don't believe it's justified.

I love the Rashomon thing it's doing. I'm really enjoying the way it feels to play. It's a great experience. But there's a delusion of grandeur here that leaves a sour taste in my mouth and a hollowness at the centre of the whole endeavour.


EDIT: Trans character just got deadnamed. Check off another prediction

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Captain Kinopio » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:50 pm

You're so wise

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:52 pm

Captain Kinopio wrote:You're so wise


Not at all. It was evidently very predictable.

EDIT: Still going with Abby. When it's not pontificating it really is excellent

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Denster » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:54 pm

Dead named by religious fanatics with zero tolerance for anything or anyone different to themselves. Some criticism arose at the time of release for it but i found it consistent with how those people would behave towards a person making the decisions they did. It strengthened the bond between Abby and Lev for me.

Forgot to ask - many people loved the museum bit. Did you?
As a fan of the first game.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Denster » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:15 pm

Also Ellie becoming joel is not the issue.
The games theme isnt vioence is bad. Its that revenge is not the answer you think it will be.
That what you have to do, who you have to kill or hurt or leave behind to achieve that revenge incurs a cost.
To you. Your life and the person you have to become.

The trauma and the need for survival shaped joe in the first game but we also know he demonstrated a ruthlessness and savagery at times as well.
He then receives a chance at a life and a relationship that he never dreamed possible and actually feared too.
This led him to make choices. Including the ultimate one at the end.
That decision sets in motion this second game and sets Abby and Ellie on their paths. The game then asks what does revenge mean?
Is it the answer or is it an awful path that leads you on taking you to places you never thought you would go, stripping you of all the good qualities that you own. Removing your humanity far more than the fungus has to the infected around you and the world has to its remaining survivors.
Its an ambitious aim and the game does resort to cheap tricks. Drukmann admits this.
The debate is how well it achieves it.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Zilnad » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:17 pm

Yeah I also don't get the issue with the dead name. Obviously in real life it's an awful and abhorrent thing to do to somebody but I'm not about to throw my toys out of my pram because intolerant cultists are being intolerant. Completely fits in the context of the story. What else are the cultists going to call him?

Last edited by Zilnad on Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Fade » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:51 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Fade wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I personally think the opening of the Abby section is mean to be an "Oh gooseberry fool" moment but that's not my major reservation. My problem is that it's taken 16 hours to say 'murder is bad.'

I'm actually enjoying this bit more as the characters aren't, you know, deplorable. It's still cheap as strawberry float though: laughed out loud at Bear reappearing.

I think the whole reason you play as Abby at the start of the game is enough of a clue for most people to figure out the game is trying to present two sides of the same story. But there were still a lot of people who finished the game and still wanted to kill Abby so I think there's plenty of un-empathetic or just plain stupid people out there :lol:

I do find it funny how so many people are like "hurr durr game says killing is bad" I've watched a few podcasts with Neil on and he makes it clear that that's not what they're trying to say at all, heck I remember when the first game came out he said He'd do exactly what Joel did if it was his daughter.

The focus is more on how Joel's actions have shaped Ellie's responses to things. That scene with Nora for example is more "Ellie is becoming Joel" rather than "Dis bad okay, lol"


But what is it saying about Ellie becoming Joel? What is she doing in that moment and what is the game saying about that action?

She's killing someone and the game is saying that's bad

Joel took away her purpose in life by stopping her from helping the Fireflies so ever since that moment she's been drifting through life with no real purpose, then she has a purpose again, to get revenge, but she takes it way too far because of all of the built up trauma she's been through. It's like a drug addiction, to where she even lies to Jessie at one point about stopping once they find Tommy
.

That's the plot yes. But the underlying message is the same from the very start of the game to where I am now, 20 hours in. The problem is, the game hammered that point home at around hour 5 and has spent the rest of it's runtime stating it in more and more obvious ways. It's repeating itself every new story beat.

Also it's kind of annoying how every time you see extreme violence you assume it's being used to shock you rather than for s narrative purpose, especially when the whole game give you the choice to inflict that kind of violence anyway.


Well firstly the game absolutely doesn't give you the choice. It specifically goes out of its way to make sure you the player is an active participant in such violence; the Nora scene does not let you continue unless you Press Square To Beat. Most combat arenas have exits that are only accessible once all enemies are dead.

There's a reason there are no non-lethal options: the single moral of the game would fall apart without you killing almost everything you see.

And secondly, it is absolutely designed to shock. The fidelity of the violence on display is horrific, from the slow, deliberate animations to the disgustingly amazing sound design. This was one of my issues with the marketing; it was showing off this fidelity completely out of context and it was... gross. Now I've seen it in context I still don't believe it's justified.

I love the Rashomon thing it's doing. I'm really enjoying the way it feels to play. It's a great experience. But there's a delusion of grandeur here that leaves a sour taste in my mouth and a hollowness at the centre of the whole endeavour.


EDIT: Trans character just got deadnamed. Check off another prediction


I dunno, maybe finish the game first and look at those moments in context?

Yeah but why is it bad? It's not just because of the violence, the violence is there to highlight her deteriorating mental state.

Exactly though, if the story had non lethal options the narrative would make no sense, thus: ludonarrative dissonance.

Right but you're acting as if those moments are like something from manhunt. Most of them have a narrative purpose.

It's like people forgot all the strawberry floated up gooseberry fool Joel did, yes the graphics in this make the violence more visceral, but most of them have parallels with Joel in the first game.

I guess because they painted him in a more sympathetic light people were okay with it?

I feel like because this game makes you reflect on Ellie's actions more it has made people far more uncomfortable with the violence. Because I'd argue for example the David scene in the first game is far more violent, the context just paints the violence as more justified so the player doesn't feel as bad about it.

That goes for the entire first game really, the violence is just glossed over as part of a means to an end, where as here it's put under a microscope and the consequences are highlighted which despite a similar level of violence makes people far more uncomfortable.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Zilnad » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:54 pm

I think a lot of people look at Joel the same way they look at Walter White and Rick Sanchez. A completely flawless, loveable hero.

They're completely wrong, of course.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Fade » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:55 pm

Zilnad wrote:Yeah I also don't get the issue with the dead name. Obviously in real life it's an awful and abhorrent thing to do to somebody but I'm not about to throw my toys out of my pram because intolerant cultists are being intolerant. Completely fits in the context of the story. What else are the cultists going to call her?

Him

But yeah, I agree, I just watched Slaughterhouse Rules and the main bad guy is homophobic the entire film, because he's a bad guy.

It's the entire reason he's running away in the first place and it's literally the only time it happens in the game, not only that but it's used to start a conversation between Lev and Abby, not just for shock value or to be insensitive.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Zilnad » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:00 pm

strawberry float, I don't know how I remembered that wrong. Sorry, fixed it now. Honest accident.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:17 pm

Best. Aquarium. Ever.

Seriously, I love aquariums and now I really want to go to Seattle to see if they really have a giant octopus in the gift shop.

Needless to say I'm enjoying the Abby section much more than the Ellie bits. I'd go so far as to say this alone should have been the game, especially as there's still no sign of the end and it's... starting to outstay its welcome. There's no doubt in my mind it should have finished by now.

EDIT: I actually don't have an issue per se with the handling of Lev, it's just that games can't seem to include trans people without going out of their way to point out they've included a trans person and the way they usually do that is by deadnaming them.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Captain Kinopio » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:42 pm

My only issue with the Lev trans stuff is that I found it pretty dull. Scars were the most intriguing part of the game for me but wasted with no real exploration of what they were about and presented as antagonistic because of very well trodden and not very interesting intolerant gays/trans are bad behaviour. Just felt to me like the assumption was that this was a worthy inclusion because it raised trans issues rather than actually being an interesting or impactful angle on the story.

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PostRe: The Last of Us II - Update to add lots of stuff, inc. Grounded mode, perma death and gameplayer modifiers. And cheat
by Tafdolphin » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:47 pm

The Scars are good in a cartoon villain sort of way, but they're also the most troperific and unbelievable part of the game. They're just such a cliché that I can't really take them seriously.

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