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 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:16 pm

The latter is what I'm addressing really. The game is designed to encourage the player to interact with/kill the hostile NPCs. The idea that killing Bear is a 'choice' is therefore, I think, overstated.

Some reviews I wholeheartedly agreed with:

https://www.polygon.com/reviews/2020/6/ ... l-violence

The Last of Us Part 2 depicts individual people who are instead ruthless, capable, yet self-absorbed, and whose perception of violence is limited to how it affects them and their chosen family members. They are almost unbelievably unable to see the bigger picture. Part 2 ends up feeling needlessly bleak, at a time when a nihilistic worldview has perhaps never been less attractive. Its characters are surviving, but they’re not learning, and they’re certainly not making anything better.

Maybe the most surprising thing that The Last of Us Part 2 offered me was the surety that, while the game was made with great skill and craft, we are actually much, much better than Naughty Dog thinks we are


https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxqnxy/ ... t-2-review

The Last of Us Part II feels complacent, yet also preoccupied with its predecessor. Every facet of the original game has been expanded and enlarged in the sequel, but not actually improved. It is as if its only inspiration is the original game, and the well of pop culture it was drawing from. There is practically nothing here we haven’t seen and done repeatedly throughout previous Naughty Dog games. It sets out to surpass its predecessor, but the only meaningful contrast between them is in its even more oppressive bleakness and violence. It digs two graves, fills them with blood, and then just strawberry floating wallows in them.


I absolutely did not hate this game. I enjoyed a lot of it. I just think it's an extremely flawed product and nowhere near the standard of the first.

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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 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:33 pm

Ah yeah, I remember in the first game where Joel 'learned' to use Ellie for his own selfish needs while torturing and murdering people.

The game ends with Joel murdering a bunch of medical staff who are trying to save the world and lies to his Ellie's face about it. Definitely not bleak.

The whole story of 2 is about them learning, what the strawberry floating strawberry float is that review even talking about :lol:

THE WHOLE POINT OF THE GAME IS THE JOURNEY THEY GO ON TO SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE, something Joel never did.

How are people this stupid? How can they not see the irony in saying the characters only care about their immediate family members when that Joel's defining strawberry floating trait?

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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 OrangeRKN » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:35 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
The game then pulls its twist - that Abby is also a playable character, and you will play out the same three days from her perspective. This forces the player into empathising with Abby, a previously hated figure, in a way that a film or any other medium cannot. While the first half with Ellie opens with a strong player connection and then erodes it, switching you to playing as the once-villain does the opposite. Of course the story and in-universe perspective of Abby also contributes to showing her as a likable protagonist rather than hated villain, but it's the playing as her that primarily forces the player's connection to her.

I genuinely thought that was a) very well done, and b) wouldn't be possible in anything other than a videogame. One of the unsettling things reading about people's reactions to that game is how many people remained hateful of Abby and unwilling to accept Ellie as a flawed and tragic character rather than a hero. For all the talk of the themes being obvious they apparently really aren't for a significant number of people.


Covered this, but I the twist came too late for me and felt like restarting a game that was already pushing its length. And you absolutely can achieve this in other mediums, it's a technique directly lifted from film for example and I've read several novels with split/opposing pro/antagonists. It's new to gaming yes, but like I say I think they fumbled the execution.


To clarify I'm not claiming that you can't have multiple opposed protagonists with different perspectives in other mediums, but that the direct connection between player and protagonist forcing the player to empathise with the character is unique to videogames. If progression and the "win state" is reliant on your playing as the character then you have to buy in somewhat to that character's actions. I've not experienced this deliberate use of it in another game, and it's particularly interesting to me because in general when I think of the unique qualities of videogames as an interactive medium I think of emergent behaviour and player choice. TLOU2 is very much not doing that as a linear game (and in fact relies on being linear to force the character's perspective), so it made me reconsider what makes games unique.

A common criticism of modern ND games is that they are trying to be like films to the detriment of being games, and while I don't buy into that myself as a criticism (because I think film-like-games is a valid experience to create) I don't think that criticism can be leveled at TLOU2 when it wouldn't be the same as a film. That was completely unexpected for me going in based on the first game.

Obviously not everyone agrees or had the same experience - there are people who finished the game and still hated Abby which I struggle to understand, and there are also reviews wishing the two halves of the game were interleaved (I think OPM is one of them) which I don't agree with because I think that would work against the effect describe above.

It's interesting that you never bought in to Ellie's desire for revenge, or mistakenly thought the game would be a revenge plot. I imagine the lack of that arc in player expectation would contribute towards the game feeling drawn out.

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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 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:46 pm

Did you play Spec Ops: The Line Orange? It did everything TLoU2 attempts 10 years earlier, but in a much more interesting (and I think successful) way, including playing with player agency/culpability in a much more explicit manner.

Fade wrote:Ah yeah, I remember in the first game where Joel 'learned' to use Ellie for his own selfish needs while torturing and murdering people.

The game ends with Joel murdering a bunch of medical staff who are trying to save the world and lies to his Ellie's face about it. Definitely not bleak.

The whole story of 2 is about them learning, what the strawberry floating strawberry float is that review even talking about :lol:

THE WHOLE POINT OF THE GAME IS THE JOURNEY THEY GO ON TO SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE, something Joel never did.

How are people this stupid? How can they not see the irony in saying the characters only care about their immediate family members when that Joel's defining strawberry floating trait?


I'm not at all sure what you're saying here. The review isn't of the first game and Joel is dead in the second. Regardless, excusing a narrative flaw as a character trait is nonsensical. These aren't real people, they're characters designed to serve a narrative purpose.

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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 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:56 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:Did you play Spec Ops: The Line Orange? It did everything TLoU2 attempts 10 years earlier, but in a much more interesting (and I think successful) way, including playing with player agency/culpability in a much more explicit manner.

Fade wrote:Ah yeah, I remember in the first game where Joel 'learned' to use Ellie for his own selfish needs while torturing and murdering people.

The game ends with Joel murdering a bunch of medical staff who are trying to save the world and lies to his Ellie's face about it. Definitely not bleak.

The whole story of 2 is about them learning, what the strawberry floating strawberry float is that review even talking about :lol:

THE WHOLE POINT OF THE GAME IS THE JOURNEY THEY GO ON TO SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE, something Joel never did.

How are people this stupid? How can they not see the irony in saying the characters only care about their immediate family members when that Joel's defining strawberry floating trait?


I'm not at all sure what you're saying here. The review isn't of the first game and Joel is dead in the second. Regardless, excusing a narrative flaw as a character trait in nonsensical. These aren't real people, they're characters designed to serve a narrative purpose.

Spec ops is good but it straight up lies to the player to achieve the same effect, which honestly feels pretty cheap in retrospect.

LOU2 just puts actions that were always there in a different context which I feel is more powerful, Spec Ops goes "Haha, got you! He was crazy all along!"

I'm saying the criticisms make no sense because the second game is very consistent with the first game in terms of the bleakness of it's world and it's character's motivations.

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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 Edd » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:03 pm

The most ridiculous part of the Polygon review is them comparing and criticising ND's fictional post-apocalyptic world to the apparent selflessness and unity happening in America in 2020.

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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 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:03 pm

But that review is saying the same thing I was: that the player becomes clued into the fact that revenge is a fools errand extremely quickly but the characters never catch onto this despite being subject to the same context. The game goes out of its way to hammer home how wrong the cycle of violence is, but the characters never learn this, even way beyond the point where they should have.

And if Spec Ops is cheap, TLoU2 is bargain basement. Spec Ops is fully upfront with its motivations and intent, whereas this game just repeats the message over and over in increasingly unsubtle ways.

Edd wrote:The most ridiculous part of the Polygon review is them comparing and criticising ND's fictional post-apocalyptic world to the apparent selflessness and unity happening in America in 2020.


This is true. It's a bizarre line in an otherwise good review.

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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 OrangeRKN » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:14 pm

I've not played Spec Ops: The Line and really should - it's one that came onto my radar after it gained its critical status and I've just not had an opportunity to pick up. My understanding from what I've gathered is that it does reflect on the player and their involvement with player choice, which is not what I felt TLOU2 was trying to do. I could be completely wrong though! So yeah can't really comment on what it does similarly or differently.

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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 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:20 pm

@Taf What are you talking about? No it's not, it's uses cheap narrative devices to obscure the truth from you again and again and then pulls the curtain down every so often.

Ah yeah, that white phosphorus scene was really subtle, when the game showed me that dead mum holding a baby to make me feel bad, super subtle, definitely no match for the last of us with it's slow introspective character development :lol:

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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 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:22 pm

Fade wrote:@Taf What are you talking about? No it's not, it's uses cheap narrative devices to obscure the truth from you again and again and then pulls the curtain down every so often.

Ah yeah, that white phosphorus scene was really subtle, when the game showed me that dead mum holding a baby to make me feel bad, super subtle, definitely no match for the last of us with it's slow introspective character development :lol:


I never said it was subtle. I said it was better.

And I'm going to check out here as we're getting to a "No YOU'RE wrong" level of engagement.

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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 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:33 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Fade wrote:@Taf What are you talking about? No it's not, it's uses cheap narrative devices to obscure the truth from you again and again and then pulls the curtain down every so often.

Ah yeah, that white phosphorus scene was really subtle, when the game showed me that dead mum holding a baby to make me feel bad, super subtle, definitely no match for the last of us with it's slow introspective character development :lol:


I never said it was subtle. I said it was better.

And I'm going to check out here as we're getting to a "No YOU'RE wrong" level of engagement.

Well of course we're getting to that, you're saying it's upfront when it's factually not, it intentionally deceives the player multiple times, how else was I meant to respond :lol:

I know, but by calling LOU2 unsubtle and then bigging up Spec Ops it implied you thought it was more subtle, sorry.

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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 jiggles » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:57 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
jiggles wrote:
jiggles wrote:Predictions:
- Pleasantly surprised by total absence of the Bury Your Gays trope. Complains about misleading marketing campaign selling the game on the trope
- Positive on Abby’s design
- mixed on lev. Mostly decent trans depiction, but falls short of handling it as well as he would have done
- rightly calls out the shitty handling of black characters
- Marvels at the quality of the game but wrings hands at human cost of crunch needed to make a game to this standard
- Dislikes Ellie’s arc. Thinks the game is way too long. Hates everything from the farm onwards. Is appalled that the idyllic life for a queer couple is picturesque conservative Americana


Tar how did i do :lol:


Pretty well! The farm prediction was super interesting actually, and I actually never picked up on the imagery there (although I'm sure the whole thing was inspired by Christina's World):

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Pretty well? PRETTY well?!

My first prediction was almost *exactly* word-for-word what you ended up writing yourself. :lol:

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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 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:25 am

Taf. You posted the original polygon review after release. As your argument against playing it straight away or part of it.
Are you actuallly completing this game spoiler free and having read no reviews before playing and completing this?

Your whole jouney smacks of a forewarned is fore armed approach.

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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 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:45 am

Tafdolphin wrote:But that review is saying the same thing I was: that the player becomes clued into the fact that revenge is a fools errand extremely quickly but the characters never catch onto this despite being subject to the same context. The game goes out of its way to hammer home how wrong the cycle of violence is, but the characters never learn this, even way beyond the point where they should have.

And if Spec Ops is cheap, TLoU2 is bargain basement. Spec Ops is fully upfront with its motivations and intent, whereas this game just repeats the message over and over in increasingly unsubtle ways.

Edd wrote:The most ridiculous part of the Polygon review is them comparing and criticising ND's fictional post-apocalyptic world to the apparent selflessness and unity happening in America in 2020.


This is true. It's a bizarre line in an otherwise good review.


You don't have to answer as this is an extremely personal question but have you ever experienced a real addiction?

Of course we, as the players, can clearly see that the characters are on the wrong path and that their thirsts for revenge are destroying their psyches and damning everyone around them. But the characters themselves are blind to that. Even if they understand it's the case, they can't acknowledge it to themselves. Ellie is addicted to revenge.

Can't you understand it from that perspective? To essentially say that Ellie and Abbie should just snap out of it is completely missing the point and incredibly naive.

Also, have you played Spec Ops recently? I have and, although it's still decent, it really hasn't aged all that well from both story and gameplay perspectives.

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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 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:45 am

I don't know what that means...?

And I knew no spoilers going in, not even the Abby half.

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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 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:49 am

Taken from the NHS website - "Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you."

Ellie is addicted to revenge. Even faced with the horrendous consequences of her actions she can't admit she has a problem and her only way to cope is to keep going and see it through.

How are you not getting that?

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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 That's not a growth » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:58 am

I think Taff was replying to denster, your messages were at the same time.

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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 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:06 am

It was. I didn't see your post Zil

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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 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:07 am

Ah, I see that now. Sorry!

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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 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:09 am

Naughty dog said they wanted to show her hunting pigs at the farm. To show she still had that bloodlust and need to hunt and kill.


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