Anthony and Joe Russo, best known as directors of blockbuster films like Avengers: Endgame, have stated The Last of Us: Part II as "one of the greatest games ever made".
The quote comes from a recent IGN video in which the pair is presented with various chase sequences from video games, and asked to rate them. When Uncharted 4: A Thief's End's Madagascar chase is shown, Joe calls the series "one of the best action gaming franchises of all time".
Later in the video, The Last of Us 2's hospital sequence in which you encounter that boss is presented. Again, Joe is quick to praise the game, calling it "one of the greatest games ever made" and saying the camerawork is "a page out of [Steven] Spielberg's playbook". It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Hollywood directors are impressed with what are some of the most cinematic, movie-inspired titles available, but it's always nice to hear it every now and then. Other games shown in the video include Resident Evil Village, Crash Bandicoot 4, and It Takes Two, but it's Naughty Dog's post-apocalyptic sequel that impresses the Russo brothers most.
In related news, The Last of Us is being adapted for TV by PlayStation Productions and HBO, and star Bella Ramsey has called it "very respectful of the game" in a recent interview.
[source youtube.com, via gamesradar.com]
It's definitely one of the games ever made, that's for sure.
Apparently Scorsese’s favourite game is Gun Gun Pixies.
Oh dear, you’re going to wake the trolls…
@rachetmarvel I heard it sold a lastillion copies which is just shy of the morbillion tickets morbius sold. Sony is truly on a streak here with this games and morbius. The question is will TLOU1R and kraven the vegan outsell TLOU2 and morbius.
EDIT: before someone calls me a “troll”. I enjoyed both morbius and TLOU2. But I wouldn’t call TLOU2 a “GOAT” contender, not even close.
They will probably also tell you that avengers end game is the greatest story ever told, it isn't, it's a great movie and a lot of fun, that's all.
@Victor_Meldrew I doubt they would say that about their own movie. Also, we all know The Room is the best story ever told.
Before anybody eats this article up without salt... (game you love) is not going to be for everyone. I have major issues with TLOU2's pacing myself, but I can see why the Russos love the cinematics in it. ND are known for their amazing set pieces and it stands to reason that two directors would praise it from the lens they're so used to seeing through.
I loved Death Stranding for its lonely open world, delivering packages to people I barely come into contact with, but that's not everyone's cup of tea either.
TLOU2 was dunked on for so many reasons, some of which I agree with and some that I don't. As a game, it's very well made. As a story, its writing wandered too much for me. As a cinematic experience, it has great composition and acting throughout.
Naughty Dog are definitely in a tier of their own when it comes to their set pieces and sequences, there's no doubt about it.
He's not played a game.
Got some popcorn, but without salt. So I came here. Any minute now...
Definitely one of the greatest within its genre.
But yeah the comments here should be fun.
Couldn't get into this game at all myself, but in a lot of ways, objectively speaking it probably is. Perhaps in at least some of those ways it won't ultimately stand the test of time though. For example and most obviously, graphically. So it won't be tip of the spear stuff forever, but sure, it's undoubtedly up there with the best of them on its merits!
I agree… and linear narrative heavy games aren’t even my jam!
it is a great game i just didnt like what they did to the characters we loved
Of course anything Naughty Dog or Rockstar makes is GOAT material. If you appreciate immersion and realism you know it's these 2 devs. My only gripe with TLOUII is the short and somewhat easy trophy list. I mean Grounded mode should have been a requirement for Platinum, 😁😁 I beat Grounded in PT1, it's only the MP trophies that kept me from Plat. All in all gameplay wise PT2 is light years ahead, I mean just look at that sniper scene, goodness!
I'm not sure even to this day I can call any of Naughty Dogs releases fully fleshed out games. They all just felt like action movies or dramatic episodes of thrillers with game play tacked on until you watch the next episode or play the next on rails simple and silly action set piece. Depth in game play is lacking and I almost can't really say they feel like fully fleshed out games at all. Everything is so simplified and scripted especially the climbing for the sake of climbing in the Uncharted games and the combat so easy and set up that it feels like a carnival shooting range.
So in that sense it makes sense that they get praise from film makers that do the same for their industry.
Their projects are experiences for sure, but the greatest games ever made, not quite.
Couple of minor story quibbles mid-game, I thought it was bloody brilliant. Fantastic, tense 3rd person survival horror with surprisingly decent stealth and ai compared to the 1st game. I've been playing re2 remake (which is also legitimately bloody brilliant) but that boss from the article stands alongside anything from that game. I've had the itch to play on ps5 and just try out the scene replays with high ai but low enemy health and make it like a john wick simulator. It also was a huge step forwards in terms of accessibility and I think that often gets missed, it may be the games biggest legacy
100% agree. It's a masterpiece in my eyes. No other game or piece of media has managed to stir that amount of emotion in me, as well as being an absolute dream to play and to look at 🤤 Bravo, Naughtydog!
Anyone who thinks otherwise is utterly and objectively wrong of course 😉 I'm sure there's no one who thinks otherwise, right?... 🙄
@KundaliniRising333 "They all just felt like action movies or dramatic episodes of thrillers with game play tacked on until you watch the next episode or play the next on rails simple and silly action set piece. "
You people talk like this, you think playing ND games on the hardest modes is child's play?! With comments like this I feel ND should just remove Difficulty options and bump it up to Crushing/Grounded by default so your likes can actually sweat a little. Uncharted 4 on Crushing, that "gotta make it to the beach" part is harder than Souls bosses and requires incredible skill. That Pittsburgh underground in TLOU was almost impossible even just swerving all those clickers and bloater on Grounded... don't make it look like they're point and click games. I blame ND even for going on and adding silly things like infinite ammo and gun unlocks, who's going to take the gameplay seriously when they use those.
@SinfulDestroyer Imagine still actually caring what ANYONE'S opinion of the game is after all this time - let alone these two hack directors. "Avengers:Endgame" is an absolute trainwreck of a movie.
Both games in this series are not my kind of game but i can see the attraction and i can see that they are quality games so i can get behind people saying they think they are some of the best games ever..i can respect what people see..for me diablo 2 and diablo 3 were 2 of the best games ever but if i'm honest i can probably name about 30 games from different genres that i think are contenders..what ever happened to personal preference?
It's probably one of the best linear stories in games, and the Russos wouldn't be doing what they do if that wasn't what they value most.
It's not what gets me most excited, but you know, horses for courses and all that?
Its one of the best on PS4 for sure, all time though? Nah as it suffers from some big pacing issues by the end and should have ended sooner.
@TheArt their games can come off as extremely easy or the most soul crushing experiences ever. You know from people's comments of describing ND games as 'shooting galleries' or 'walking sims' what mode they played on, and you can't shame ND for providing such a range of experiences different in a single game.
And side point, TLOU 2 is probably one of the most meticulously crafted games visually and gameplay wise it is so satisfying and responsive, and fun to play. But one of the greatest ever? Hmmm, I could think of many that come before it.
From a pure gameplay standpoint, it’s definitely one of the best third person shooters ever made. Nothing else on the market before or since feels like it. It’s insanely smooth and natural in its combat scenarios and the combination of stealth and going loud is very well balanced.
The game is at its best on harder difficulties and using both stealth and combat during the same encounter.
However I wouldn’t call it a best game of all time. The excellent shooting/stealth hybrid gameplay is let down by a relatively weak plot (it has its moments that I won’t spoil for people who haven’t played it, but don’t expect Part 1’s level of story telling), characters (most of whom are unlikable and unsympathetic), and that it sort of takes a dump on the first game’s entire moral message.
It’s a flawed game. Very flawed. It’s the technical excellence and amazing gameplay that kept me going. The story, writing, pacing, and characters were all a huge disappointment in my opinion. Basically it’s the one game I truly feel conflicted about how to grade it.
Honestly, Part I didn’t need a sequel. What they should have done was take that gameplay loop they crafted for Part II and told a war story. They could have set it during the Vietnam War and explored the same themes and ideas as what TLOU2 explored (namely revenge and the hatred every person struggles with) from the viewpoint of an American soldier fighting the Viet Cong and the NVA.
Combine that gameplay with a Vietnam War setting and it would have been a fantastic exploration of the subject matter. I think being a sequel to TLOU hurt it immensely and destroyed the message of both the first game and the returning characters like Ellie.
It's a great game but it's not a GOAT to me. Too long.
@SinfulDestroyer What? Who said anything about me hating the game?
I don't really see them as much an authority on the matter. In fact, I see this more as accrediting Naughty Dog as being one of the great cinematic visions in the game industry. Which the Russos WOULD be an authority on.
But I guess that's still me interpreting their words in my own way. In my words, The Last of Us is one of the greatest games of all time. And that's the ONLY Naughty Dog game that deserves that prestige.
Agreed. The pacing was a HUGE issue.
It drug on far too long. I would have been content cutting out the opening exploration arc in Ellie’s story and roughly half of Abby’s plot line. Some parts of the game just drag on and on with no end in sight. And nothing important comes of that drag.
I hated the story but loved everything else, I platinum it while having a good time and moved on. I waiting for the day ND finally unveils their new IP and the start of a new era for the studio.
Both Endgame and TLoU2 suffered from the same issues - weak writing and weren’t nearly as good as their first parts (TLoU Pt1 / Infinity War). They were still decent though, just not as good as what came before 🤷♂️
There’s a reason it’s the most awarded game in video game history
I agree, thought it was great!
I can only agree!
What a game! Easily one of my favourites of all time for the brilliant storytelling alone.
I'm actually playing through it on Grounded. Except for the writing and overall storytelling, it's a massive step up from the first game. Grounded feels like how this game is meant to be played whereas playing on easier difficulties is more of an experience, and a experience that feels lacking in depth. Grounded mode forces you to use every bit of your skill set, every tool at your disposal, and every last bullet matters.
I'm completely blown away by some of the intricacies of the AI especially. Advancing enemies with their guns pointed in your direction aren't omnipresent bots, but can be flanked outside a limited cone of vision, snipers especially will need to adjust their scope on you, if only for a brief moment, if you subtly change position. Stalkers know when you're vulnerable, and can run you into other unheard allies when injured so they can tear you to shreds in an instant.
Each kill is a brush stroke. Blood and brain matter ooze down walls as enemies gurgle and express a convincing death rattle. It's brilliant.
If only that genius was applied to the story, the lore, the real world implications regarding disease, and the research that should have been put forth when studying military factions, and cults. The Seraphs especially are disappointing. The have a dogma, a doctrine, but seemingly execute their enemies by hanging and disembowelment without any reason, when their would be one. The Branch Davidians, People's Temple, even the Manson Family and Ant Hill Kids has some reason behind the madness. I guess it's to aide in their mystery, but this background could have given Lev some desperately needed depth.
Everything in the game's story is so heavy handed. It lacks the subtleties of Grounded mode. Where the systems meld together to make something ugly in the best of ways. It doesn't feel like I'm seeing a story play out amongst real people. It feels like I'm watching a melodrama with, admittedly, amazing voice work. A melodrama where the theme is beating you over the head with a golf club or lead pipe. But I think it's a better story to talk about than to experience.
Without a doubt, it's well polished accessible game, easily 10/10 for most people.
I thought it was boring. TLoU peaked with the first game, now that's being milked dry.
Now Uncharted, there's a best game ever contender!!
I love TLOU and am a big Naughty Dog fan, I'll take whatever praise the game gets because it's true. And I don't wanna sound like an *****, but these two can take their praise and shove it up where-I-shall-not-name.
Zero respect for these two and their words and nobody should've asked for their opinions on video games. Stick to your damned cinema...
I remember days when we got bullied for playing video games and a-hs like these two would tell people to "grow up". Now everybody's jumping on the video game bandwagon, seeking success and clout. smh.
The first one yeah, not the last of us part 2 no.
No other game even comes close to TLOU2 for immersion and narrative, as far as I'm concerned. My wife, who rightfully scorns (most) video game writing for the remedial, unevolved, uninspired nature of it, played TLOU2 with me from start to finish. We were both so utterly gripped by how harrowing and sophisticated it is on every level. I recently started a second playthrough even though I swore, when credits rolled the first time around, that I would never put myself through that again. It feels rather like a war I miss, because playing other games (and I play a lot of 'em!) won't give me the feeling that TLOU2 gave me, which has been wired into my nerves and muscle memory.
Agreed. it probably didn't help that the support cast was pretty weak compared to the original. Dina was a dumb dumb. Abby's WLF friends weren't very interesting. And I don't even remember the name of the one guy that drives the car in that one section with Ellie or Abby's friend from the whistle guys.
I still liked Abby and Ellie though which is probably what got me through it in the end.
I feel like it should have been one of the GOAT but it fell far short of the mark for me where the story was concerned.
The first game dealt with some dark themes but was still a fun game to play and experience. The second game was just dark and dull from beginning to end. Gameplay and graphics were great but I have no desire to ever play it again (for comparison, I played the first game at least 10 times and am looking forward to playing the remake next month).
It’s just a shame they went for shock value rather than writing the story we all wanted. But that would have taken some real writing skill.
ND get way too much credit for the writing choices they made in TLoU2 - I personally thought it was lazy and a huge waste of the incredible characters and world they built in the first game. I don’t think there’s anywhere near as much anticipation for a third game as there was for the second.
It just reminds me of TWD TV show - TLoU Pt1 was peak TWD (seasons 1-6). TLoU Pt2 was season 7/8 TWD (when they lost half of their viewers). If there is a third TLoU game, (like TWD show) I don’t think it will fully recover - even though the show did improve in the last few seasons. The damage was already done.
Welp, agree to disagree.
He is dead wrong.
Last of us 2 was great. But it has some serious pacing issues. The writing, and package as a whole, wasn’t as tight as the first one.
The last of us is the greatest game ever if you want to kill dogs though. Which I personally didn’t gain too much enjoyment from.
Last of Us 1 was better all around. Just not as pretty… so I guess there’s one reason to buy the remake.
Neither are the greatest game ever though, come on.
This game was amazing. So much hate for it because of Joel and the design of Abby. But the revenge story is enjoyable, people don't want to see their fav character held accountable for their actions, Abby's hate for joel is justified.
@TheArt calm down there buddy, I played on the difficulty 1 above standard I think it was called hard and I didn't even know there were cheat unlocks.
Your hard and my hard may be way different. Nightmare modes are not what the game intended and that's why they are so punishing. It's nowhere near the same type and contextual difficulty that is baked into souls games. There is no comparison.
All that aside. To assume my opinion is based on playing on easy with cheats is just sad, and just because my opinion of ND games is different than yours does not mean yours carries more validity simply because you adore them.
Hahaha he's not much of a reference regarding storytelling since his movies are soulless trash for soulless generation. I think his approval actually proves that TLOU 2 is mere fanfiction since Annie left ND.
@BritneyfR_ee marry me please
TLOU2 is certainly better than Avengers: Endgame, but that’s not saying much. TLOU2 is a great game though, just not greatest of all time by any means.
I would say in the case of TLOU2 that grounded is the way to play it. I think that is the difficulty ND built first and then toned it down.
I haven’t beat it on that difficultly yet, but it really ratchets up the tension because every single bullet counts in every engagement. It forces you to exploit every single skill you have just to survive one encounter.
@KundaliniRising333 it's just your description of the game as simplistic, going as far as to call the combat easy, does make one wonder.
Guess I don't know what else needs to be fleshed out. It's like saying Life is Strange or Edith Finch need rpg and shooter elements or they aren't fully fleshed out.
@OrtadragoonX I. May have to try it out, however I'm not sure I can bring myself to start that very poorly paced story again. Having to spend hrs of the game watching cutscenes, etc can be quite the barrier to jumping back in. It just drags so incessantly in spots where it feels unnecessary.
I'll definitely think about it, but absolutely won't be buying into the remaster of a remaster releasing soon. Unless it is priced for what it is.
Grounded on part 2 is not permadeath or is it permadeath as well?
You can turn permadeath on or off in Gounded. But if you start a permadeath run you can’t change it.
The game’s ideal difficulty is Grounded with Permadeath turned off. Permadeath is for Sadists and Speedrunners. It only takes one wrong move to get wrecked by Stalkers on Grounded.
Play without Permadeath. It’s definitely an adrenaline rush. Which is the best way I can describe Grounded difficulty.
probably because both of them are movies
First game was much better ,but hey , you can't argue with preferences.
It was that good I’ve lost all interest in the franchise.
Unironically a based take.
You look at the history of gaming, take a gander at influential titles like the original Mario Bros., Half-Life, Silent Hill, Elder Scrolls, Minecraft, Dark Souls, God of War, Bloodborne, Burnout, Castlevania, Metroid, Doom, and countless others. You look at all of these and pick...TLoU Part II? It's not that opinions can be wrong or anything but, I mean, come on now.
Gameplay and technical side of the game was great, but unfortunately severely hampered by awful writing, bad pacing and egregious narrative decisions.
TLOU2, from a gameplay point, didn’t do anything new. It just perfected the third person action shooter movement and gunplay. It plays fantastically, but it didn’t invent anything new. It just polished it to perfection for that specific type of game.
But it wasn’t a Galaxy sized leap for the entire industry like Super Mario Brothers. SMB defined the 2D platformer; every 2D Platformer since 1985 has SMB’s basic flow and gameplay as it’s basis and builds on it from there.
It gets blind praise because a lot of the criticism was perceived to come from those of a certain political side so naturally others had to take an extreme position on the other end and pretend it had no flaws and was 'one of the greatest stories ever'.
In reality many of us simply loathed being baited and switched into playing as a sulky new character for half the game and having to endure her equally unlikeable NPC peer group.
Eh, it's good. Real good even. But it's more of an entertainment experience than a pure video game. I could see how the guy that's beyond reproach because he makes memories for 10 year olds might see it the way he does.
It's one of the few games i have played multiple times over. I put it up there for me with Arkham Knight and Witcher 3.
@theCHEESE haha that's great... 😂 thank you for letting me know. Why didn't I ever think of it like that?
I'm sorry this game so clearly bothers you.
Repeat it out loud long enough until you start to actually believe it.
The need for outside validation is laughable, and says a lot about you.
@darkswabber that’s fine people have to fill out the minority opinion
@KundaliniRising333 you know if you’re going to hate get some new damn material. “ND gamez don’t have good gameplay hurr durr ” has been played out since the ps3 gen. Uncharted 4 and lost legacy have great gameplay and people say TLOU part 2 has either the greatest third person combat in gaming or second best behind MGS Phantom Pain.
@Bleachedsmiles lol you act like they are the first to say this about the TLOU games tons of critics and gamers say the same thing it isn’t some outrageous statement
Man TLOU articles bring out people that you never see comment on any other articles it’s crazy i wonder why that is lol
@TicklefistCP that would make sense if it didn’t have great level design and the best or second best third person combat in a game ever possibly behind only MGS 5
Great game, but went on a little bit too long for me.
best or second best third person combat ever behind only MGS 5?
Big oof my man.
Graphically it was great. One of the best lookers last gen. But it just so fecking boring. Dragged out way to long.
Narrative and Cinematic games are a cornerstone of the industry, but for me personally, I don't play games for the Cinematic camera work.
Interesting use of the word recent.
Good graphics bad writing 🤷♂️
All flashy visuals with bad writing.
Must remind them of their own work.
It’s not my favorite game of all time, but it’s probably the most impressive game to me of all time.
@EddieGreenheart What issues did you have with the game's pacing? I loved it precisely because of its pacing and because the pacing of its split structure is directly tied to its themes. The pacing and writing is more akin to a novel than to a movie, which works for me because games are much longer than a flick. This allows games to take more narrative risks and meander a bit. But if you compare this game to something like The Witcher 3, which often gets praised as the pinnacle of video game writing, TLOU2 is comparatively laser focused. Basically all games are linear unless they involve some kind of time travel mechanic. For me TLOU2 succeeds because it dares to tell a video game narrative differently.
@kcarnes9051 After the character change, I thought it was a bit too long. Running around with someone else for 4-6hrs was a bit jarring when I played it. Other than that, I thought the game was a great technical achievement, especially how well it ran on PS4. Great scenes, script and acting but I felt those sections took too long and didn't loop around soon enough.
@Constable_What I don't think you're supposed to know the intricacies of the cult's ritual killings / beliefs because you're viewing the story through the eyes of characters who wouldn't know that information. Sure, you have Lev. But Abby isn't exactly about to have a sit-down to learn the ins and outs of the religion while on the run.
@EddieGreenheart I find that perspective very interesting. I think the whole point of running around as another character was supposed to be jarring. It's literally supposed to jar you into sympathizing with someone who was portrayed as being the villain. You needed to play as her for a long time to make you sympathize with her and to make the theater confrontation make sense thematically. The whole mission of the game is to put you in the enemy's shoes. To view the conflict from the enemy's perspective and see their valid grievances and suffering. To see how every side in a cycle of conflict has their rationale and can be viewed as both the hero and the villain. Making you as Abby fight Ellie in what felt like an end-game showdown was absolute genius from a thematic gameplay standpoint. And it couldn't have been done as effectively unless you had played as Abby for as long has you had. It may have dragged a bit, but it was necessary. Abby was exhausted by trauma by the time she arrived at the theater. And I think it was meant to be exhausting for the player in a way. This may have not been the case for you, but a lot of players I think made no attempt to sympathize with Abby because she killed their favorite character. They hated her so much that when it came time to play as her they couldn't let themselves connect, and their brain did gymnastics to find ways to hate that part of the game and reject it. I think if you try to come at it as a player a bit more dispassionately and give Abby an honest shake then that section of the game becomes a lot better.
@kcarnes9051 Man you said it all, you said it all 100%!
They clearly haven't played Xenogears.
@kcarnes9051 Fair point well made. I can get behind "revenge bad" and the fact that neither character got any satisfaction in their quest for revenge. And that there are always two sides to every story good, bad or otherwise. It was nice to come full circle and feeling empty was definitely the goal. For me, I would have preferred to break up each character's story a bit more across a playthrough or trim Abby's timeline a little bit. Didn't hate her at all, but I felt like it took a bit too long to come back around to Ellie.
Making you play as a psychopath and retconning Joel's defense of his surrogate daughter as an evil and selfish act was an interesting choice.
And by interesting, I mean stupid.
@kcarnes9051 Abby was a monster. The inability to sympathize with her is a good thing.
@Ambassador_Kong The game is about differing perspectives and how that can bring about violence and cycles of conflict. You don't need to agree with what Abby did to sympathize with her. You can still think she was technically in the wrong. But from her perspective Joel killed her father. I can't remember but does Abby even know that her father's procedure was going to kill Ellie? She was just a kid. From her perspective Joel shows up and just kills everybody. So having emotionally complex feelings about all the characters is possible. Even Joel himself was heavily implied multiple times to have done some terrible things before the first game just to survive, and we can still sympathize with him. And he's only initially delivering Ellie to the Fireflies for a paycheck. He's hardly a hero until he develops attachment. Everyone is making decisions in a morally difficult situation with incomplete information and without time and opportunity to be sure they're making the right call. This breeds conflict and we see it in our everyday lives. There's lessons to be learned here in how we view other people we are personally in conflict with. So from a certain perspective Joel's actions were evil and selfish. That is why his actions are displayed in a more sinister way in this game, to indicate that in this game we're observing a perspective shift. Joel remembers these events more negatively, but he simultaneously says he doesn't regret what he did. People can be emotionally inconsistent when remembering traumatic events when they experience guilt in hindsight internally while externally staying steadfast in their decisions. The acting in those scenes is so great because you can see the trauma on his face from committing those actions while staying stubborn in his belief that he did right. If you're being honest calling Abby a psychopath is a massive exaggeration, if you understand her motivations to get revenge for her father. She had far more humanity than you're giving her credit for. Joel brutally killed her father and just about everyone else who was present. From her perspective all those people who Joel killed were trying to save humanity.
@TicklefistCP yeah that would make sense if what I said wasn’t a commonly held opinion lol. Go anywhere on the internet from resetera to here and you’ll see that same opinion so big oof to you my dude
I definitely agree.
I want to see part 3.
@kcarnes9051 You learn the ins and outs of things by way of environmental storytelling, notes, and conversations.
But not for the cult, the only enviromental storytelling are anthropological things like their tools and such, and the murals they leave behind of their martyr. What really makes cults scary is that they're just people, usually people who were struggling and sought to better themselves in some way. People born into cults have such a unique perspective on the situation they're in, and it's an opportunity that's completely missed in TLOU 2.
Take notes in TLOU1 for instance... There were notes from Ish that detailed the start of the start of the infection from their perspective, and everyone that played a lotbof TLOU 1 will remembersomething from Ish because of just how engrossing it was. In TLOU2, the notes are mostly just "Where are you? I missed you. I waited here, but you're not here. I'm dead now." With "I'm dead now" sometimes being "I'm dead now, here's a safe combo".
It makes the factions feel really one dimensional, except for a few key instances. One notable one being the AWOL WLF soldiers, that is great storytelling right there.
It's clear the focus is on Abby and Ellie, but I think it made the overall story worse seeing as how more than just these two characters were central to the theme of revenge and its destructive cycle. The other important characters end up feeling like props or plot devices more than people in these women's lives. Except maybe Owen, but then he tries to execute a Detroit Urban Survival Training maneuver, gets sent to God, and I just can't take his character seriously after that
The Descent chapter with Abby and Lev was absolutely ace. Most memorable part of the game for me.
@Ambassador_Kong I don't think they retconned his act, I think they just added a perspective that was ignorant of why he did what he did. You see glimpses of Abby having doubts and regrets about what she did, and her followers ONLY know her perspective on it, so that's how they react. The only person that sort or understood his perspective was Marlene, but she gave the go ahead anyway despite that, and despite making a vaccine for a fungal infection (although Abby's dad is probably the only one who knew this) being completely impractical and even almost pointless considering the mutation rate of the pathogen. It's not like rabies. You can't cure the infection, you have to make a fungicide to exterminate the source (which would require a whole team of talented chemists and scientists, and who knows, maybe those same scientists were involved in creating it too), he was either naive and too hopeful, or ignorant and arrogant. Maybe mixture of both. If it was his daughter, he wouldn't have done it, and Marlene told him as such. He brought it on himself.
In the end, they all get what they deserved. The past always comes back to bite you, and until then it always haunts you. Even if you redeem yourself you can't stop what's coming once it's in motion, like a wave of rushing water, it will pull you under. Joel even says that he had no regrets, and that he'd do it again. He accepted his actions, and accepted the consequences. Which is more than what Abby did, and what Ellie only achieved at the end of the game.
@theCHEESE what tf does Neil Druckmann have to do with what I say
@Ambassador_Kong You talk as though Abby had a controller in her hands and played PT 1 thus, she's aware of why Joel did what he did and she still went ahead to be a monster.
Both TLOU2 and Endgame: All show no substance (And bad writing).
@TheArt i had a controller in my hand and played part 1, so I know why Joel did what he did. Joel's actions were morally correct and Abby's actions were those of a monster. What Abby did or didn't know is irrelevant. The game designers wanted to foist a story about perpetuating cycles of violence on us which was a really stupid idea considering they made a murder simulator that requires the player to kill hundreds of people to succeed. On the other hand. I stopped playing about an hour after they forced Abby on me so maybe I did learn the lesson. Sometimes the best solution is to just walk away.
@Victor_Meldrew why would they say that lol. it was a great movie but there is no greatest story ever told as there are alot of great stories.
@Constable_What There's an awful lot of information about the Seraphites, gleaned almost entirely from the game itself, compiled on the Last Of Us Wiki:
It's pretty extensive. A great deal of it coming from notes found along the way, including other sources such as environmental details, as you mentioned. It details cultural and religious beliefs and how they relate and developed from the cordiceps virus, as well as how they clashed with surrounding communities.
I think this claim that you don't learn the ins and outs of the cult is a bit overblown.
@Ambassador_Kong You misunderstood the lesson of the game and how to apply it. It is precisely using a murder simulator to make you think about things that happen in the actual real world. A murder simulator is a video game. It is harmless art and entertainment. The game is not advocating against violence in video games, and yet you're trying to paint the creation of the game as a murder simulator as somehow hypocritical. This game is advocating against perpetuating violence in the real world. It's advocating against perpetuating cycles of violence in our own lives. It wants us to ruminate on how cycles of violence in our interpersonal lives, as well as in international conflict, start and persist, how violence can be born out of impossible scenarios largely out of our control. It wants us to identify these things so that when a moment comes for us in the real world to make a choice that we're able to deconstruct our perspective and attempt to infer the perspective of our perceived enemy and try to take a step back before things become untenable. Simulation is the perfect medium for exploring situations that would be otherwise heinous in the real world, so we can actually work through the emotions and attempt to deconstructed our own perspective without actually having to commit a terrible act to learn a lesson.
@kcarnes9051 I guess we both missed a lot of these notes. They're not so mysterious once you have them all and read them, point taken!
@Ambassador_Kong Metal Gear did the same thing 15 years ago in regard to being a murder/war sim, and no one said that game is hypocritical. TLOU2 has its flaws with how it relays its message, sure, but it's not hypocritical. The characters sure are, but so is just about every single person on Earth
@kcarnes9051 I didn't misunderstand the lesson of the game. I think the lesson (assuming that there actually is one) is misguided. First, if you want to make a grand statement about perpetual cycles of violence, I don't think forcing the gamer to murder hundreds of hundreds of people for entertainment is the best way to go about it. Hideo Kojima did a much better job of this with Metal Gear Solid. Yes, you can blaze through the game killing everything, but you can also complete the game without killing anyone. Good luck trying a no kill run with a Naughty Dog game. So, please forgive me if I'm not going to be preached to by a company that forces the player to become the thing they're proselytizing against.
So, as far as everything else is concerned - nope. Naughty dog can't deconstruct perspective in this because there is nothing to deconstruct. Joel saved Ellie in the first game. It was a justifiable, correct, moral act. It was an act any parent would perform for their child. It was an action any decent person would take without a moments hesitation. Abby's revenge was the act of an evil psychopath and there is no other way to see it.
Abby's father earned the death he got. No doctor should ever harm a living person and certainly not a person who hasn't given consent. You can rationalize the action with all the "good of the many over the one" nonsense, but it doesn't suddenly make an evil act not evil. No one has the right to take another person's life for any reason. The only life you can sacrifice is your own.
Joel saved his daughter's life from an evil man who is not made any less evil because he was kind to animals. Abby hunting down and killing a man who killed her father to save his own daughter doesn't make her actions justifiable or reasonable - her actions were evil. The fact that Joel risked his life to save her moments before make her even more of a monster. She's evil full stop. The fact that Naughty Dog wanted us (and many people were able) to relate to her is deeply disturbing.
@Constable_What As I just wrote above, Metal Gear gives you the option to play the game without killing anyone. I maintain that there is something disgustingly cynical about a company trying to preach about violence in a game that spends so much time forcing the player to commit atrocious acts.
But, maybe they did succeed with me. I broke they cycle half way through the game. I put down the controller, deleted the game, and never looked back.
@Ambassador_Kong you continue to miss the entire point. Abby does not know what we know. This is so important. Abby does not know why Joel killed her dad. Again, this is not about who is right or wrong. That is unimportant to the theme. It is unimportant if Joel was morally correct in saving Ellie. But doing so did set off a chain reaction. The game is saying that stubbornly clinging absolutely to who was right and wrong can create a situation worse than the original tragedy, perpetuating violence. Stubbornly perusing revenge is folly. Stubbornly saying that Joel was right without looking at the larger picture is folly. This is about how cycles of violence perpetuate themselves out of blind passion and connection to tribalism and familial ties without full information. Abby was a child when her dad was murdered. This affected her deeply. It made her who she became. Sure, call her a monster. It doesn’t matter. The game is not advocating for what Abby did. But it is showing how a child who is exposed to extreme violence against a family member will respond out of blind devotion, especially when they do not know the true actions of that family member. We do not have to like Abby to understand what she did. Understanding and relating does not mean advocating or liking. It means understanding cause and effect, what drives a character. Understanding why a person is driven to do what they do. And understanding the tragedy of going down a path set before you because of extreme trauma in the past. Same with sympathizing. Sympathizing does not mean we love or even like a character. It doesn’t mean we approve of their actions. Again, it means we can recognize the trauma. The death of her dad. Not knowing what we know, that her dad was going to kill Ellie. Abby likely thought her dad was the hero, trying to save humanity. And Joel killed him. Abby likely does not know her dad is a desperate scientist resorting to desperate measures and willing to kill subjects for a cure. She does not see that side. So in her mind her hero, her dad, was brutally murdered by someone she viewed as a monster. Perspective. That is the tragedy. Being blinded by one’s perspective and the information available.
@Ambassador_Kong also, making the option to avoid the violence like in MGS, completely changes the goal of the game and it’s central theme. That game wants you to relish in the revenge. It wants you to want the revenge as much as Ellie. That’s the whole point. To put you in the state of mind. The game wants you to root for Ellie in her killing spree so that when you play as Abby it hurts more. But if you’re unable to understand that Abby is a victim of circumstance, and that that circumstance drives her down that monsterous path, then you’ll never be able to sympatheize with the tragedy of it all. It is a tragedy that Abby as a child doesn’t know her dad for who he really is. It is a tragedy that Abby doesn’t know the extent that he’s going to to save humanity. Because if she knew that then maybe she makes different choices.
@Ambassador_Kong You don't need to murder 100's of people in TLOU2 either, you can sneak past most encounters even up until the final encounter. There are however at least a dozen instances where you have to kill someone, or someone kills someone else in a cutscene.
Some encounters are really difficult to sneak past, like School, but as long as you get to the door with the triangle prompt and are able to hold the button down you can make it.
@Constable_What The game literally wants you to kill people and then feel the regret later. That's part of the driving force of the thematics. Take for example when the game literally forces you to beat to death that one girl in the hospital. Your only option is to press one button. There's no choice because Ellie is fully committed to her course. It wants to you to commit violence. It needs you to for the game to achieve its thematic goals.
@theCHEESE RIGHT! Just like why is there a trans in the apocalypse? Is this game not about zombies anymore? Neil Druckmann is a perfect example of a male feminist a huge c**k!
@Skyfall There shouldn't even be a Part 2 for that matter and a Part 3 lol
@theCHEESE none of what you said makes for a poor plot, characters or setting 😂 ridiculous nonsense about women's body types (Someone writing this has to be sub 20yo) and especially in an post-apocalyptic situation where people wouldn't be fat couch-potatoes like us! To call for "realism" in its writing and themes, only to then wince at the visual results is hilarious.
The only point here I would take as valid is not even from you, but from the guy replying to you about shoe-horning Trans rights stuff in there. While a trans character is not an impossibility in the post-apocalypse (although they would have FAR bigger concerns trying to actually survive), it was very clear that it was done to adhere to current social sensibilities and play to the crowds. And yeah, Im also tired of things cack-handedly shoving Trans-related issues into stories that are far more connected to, and successful at exploring the basal, dichotic instincts of man - rage, loss, regret and forgiveness - Forgiveness being the part people usually overlook when criticising the "cycle of killing" message. It's literally a play on the stages of grief. You may have thought it was poorly delivered but that is NOT what your comment is providing evidence for.
I'd also like to clarify that including a trans character is not something to discredit the entire rest of the story! Trans people exist in the current day and so are needed to remain true to life - doesn't matter if you don't like their stories. And because you didn't like a plot twist, that doesn't make the rest of the game terrible either. The gameplay wasn't even mentioned for a start.. of which you could say it did nothing new , but you clearly cannot say it was executed poorly either. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if you haven't actually played it yourself.
I'm all for fully critiquing a game - it's honestly a big part of gaming as a hobby for me - but you are literally just spouting vitriol which exposes more about your own thoughts in your personal life than it does anything to do with The Last of Us pt.II. Honestly it's ludicrous and incredibly disingenuous to be thinking like this!
Don't be part of a crowd, especially one that's angry. Don't believe everything you read in the news and/or on the internet. And don't think everyone who is different to you is out to get you or change your way of life (and that goes all ways!). People would do well to abide by this just to calm down from time to time in this modern age.
I'm happy, excited and looking forward to Part III & the rest 😁 ...good luck!
@kcarnes9051 Yeah, she's one of the characters you NEED to kill, but you don't need to kill everyone, as a matter of fact, the game gives you every opportunity to ghost encounters without firing a shot.
If you choose to kill everyone, maybe you just like the killing?
@Constable_What when the game makes you press square repeatedly to kill the woman in the hospital it is a very intentional creative decision to insist that you as the player bend to the will of the narrative and thematic trajectory. It is very, very intentional. You as the player, as Ellie, must brutally murder that woman. The creators want you to be an active participant because the game’s creators want you to viscerally feel the consequence of Ellie’s retribution. By making you as the player feel as an active participant you feel the regret and self-loathing that Ellie will feel for going down this path. The incredibly brutal killing animations are also very intentional. It’s not graphic for the sake of being graphic. It’s not just there for shock value. The game wants you to feel terrible about your killing spree if you decided to kill those in your path. That’s why it’s so realistic. It wants you to be disgusted by this vengeful mission even as you participate in it. That is the genius behind the how they use the video game medium in this instance. It does what no other medium can do, and this game immerses the player more thoroughly then any game previously made, in my opinion. It viscerally puts you in that situation more so than a movie or novel. It does only what a game can do by giving the player the illusion of agency and participation while simultaneously being driven down a predetermined narrative with an intentional thematic message. Even if you choose to go stealth, the game eventually says “you have to participate in the killing now. You press square and murder this woman and continue or you turn off the game.” Because, again, this game wants you to embody Ellie. It needs you to participate to understand what it’s trying to do. You have to do terrible things to later regret them. You have to do terrible things to your enemies as Ellie and then feel the pain of knowing what you did when you embody Abby. It wants you to feel what it means to by the person exacting revenge and also be the recipient of that revenge so you understand both sides of that dynamic.
Absolutely none of this is about enjoying killing for the sake of killing, as you suggested about me. If you’ve read a lick of what I’ve written, you’d know that to not be the case. This game loathes killing in the real world. And it’s using this medium of harmless simulation to fully immerse us into understand the repercussions of cycles of killing through various perspectives, so that we might better understand the perspectives of those we come into conflict with and the tragedy of perpetuating violence in the real world. It wants us to learn from this simulation. That is why it very intentionally insists that we must commit heinous acts. To learn that it was never worth it in the end.
@theCHEESE I wasn't even talking about that though? Some of you lot are weirdos on here
@Gloamin definitely a 7 year old child was typing all that lol. Their comments are so weird, clearly a troll. I've seen many get removed for saying less outlandish things.
TLOU2 is way too woke. I would much rather keep playing the first one as there’s no forced agenda.
@kcarnes9051 You are completely missing what I'm saying, or you don't realize that what I'm telling you is possible in the game. Read this carefully:
You can sneak past most encounters in the game without killing ANYONE. Besides the scripted moments, cutscenes, and most of the bosses, you don't have to kill any of the WLF or Seraphites.
Play the game again, and just rely on stealth to get to the end of the encounter. It's possible for most of them, even infected encounters.
@Constable_What I do understand 100% what you're saying. But what I'm saying is that scene in the hospital is intentionally designed by the creators of the game to force you to kill someone. That's why you must push square to proceed. The game won't let you finish without participating in the killing. As the player embodying Ellie, you must live with that and deal with the emotional repercussions when you play as Abby, if you're able to truly see her sympathetically. This fulfills the the thematic goals of the game.
@kcarnes9051 That doesn't have anything to do with my original reply to another user though. I know you have to kill Nora in the hospital, and a few other bosses, but that's it. What I'm saying is that the overall body count is up to you, just like Metal Gear. In those games, there are times were you're forced to kill as well, specifically MGS3 when you are forced to kill The Boss.
Plus...Nora was going to die anyway, she fell into the spores, and she totally ****ing deserved that. The other character that was worse than her is Manny, but he got off easy. Tommy is a lot more merciful than Ellie is. She is absolutely barbaric, just like Abby is.
I also don't think the main theme is what you day either. I think that's a misanthropic perspective.
I personally think the main theme is grief and getting over that grief, and the consequences of letting the pain fester.
For Abby to get over it, it was for her to help her enemy, and humanize them. She helped Lev and Yara, and was able to rid herself of her nightmares about her father, and move on with Lev.
For Ellie, it was literally letting Abby go.
Up until then, they both lost everything because they couldn't get over it. The revenge plot, is just an excuse to get you killing zombies, soldiers, and cultists, but the real core of the message is grief and loss and how these characters decided to deal with it. With hate in their hearts.
If they had love, then Ellie would have talked to Dina and opened up to her just like Dina did about Jesse, and Abby would have opened up to Owen and maybe even saved all her friends in the process, and Ellie too.
But they didn't.
I don't think you're meant to feel any sympathy for the characters. I think you're meant to relate to them, and to pity them.
@Constable_What and yet you say multiple times that you can sneak past MOST encounters. Not all. I haven’t played MGS in ages so can’t necessarily compare. But you say that in some instances you have to kill people. That’s the point. The game insists even if you choose to go stealth through the majority. That is intentional on the part of the game’s writer. Whether or not that woman was going to die anyway, does not change the fact the game forces you to brutally beat her to death, which is by design. Are you sure you know what misanthropic means? It’s a disdain for humanity. This game advocates for letting go of cycles of violence by reconciling your trauma and seeing the humanity in others. It teaches this first by simulating revenge and then humanizing your enemy, so you experience what it means to exact revenge on real, 3-dimensional people. People seeking revenge often dehumanize their enemy. You see it in war all the time. This game is meant to humanize the enemy even if you disagree with them. That’s anything but misanthropic. Everything you say is true about the themes of grief. The game has multiple thematic threads. That is why it’s such a complex game. Just because one is true doesn’t mean the others are not. The game’s structure is very intentionally made. It’s a split structure. That’s not by accident. Many players negative critique of the split structure are completely missing that the split structure is its greatest strength in conveying one the core themes. Had they told the story by interweaving Ellie and Abby’s journeys it would have had a totally different effect. Going back as Abby reframes all of Ellie’s earlier encounters. That is intentional. It reframed a game the you think is just about revenge or “revenge bad” into a game about perspective, and perspective changes whether or not a violent act is good or bad or completely nonsensical and all meaning of right and wrong goes out the window. And when you lose your compass for what is right and wrong or necessary or unnecessary you need to take a step back and ground yourself. Again, none of this is misanthropic. It’s insight into how to navigate difficult human conflict. This game wants you to kill pixels, which is not misanthropic. Pixels are not real. It’s simulation. Simulation is not real. It is not moral or immoral. The game can only be misanthropic if it’s promoting inhumane ideas, as in encouraging you to commit or believe inhumane ideas in the real world. Again, this game is promoting reconciling trauma and letting go of conflict by way of viewing the humanity in others, achieved by its split structure and embodying both sides. That is philanthropic by way of promoting ideas for the benefit others wellbeing.
@kcarnes9051 Yeah you are completely unaware of the fact that you can sneak past encounters, the combat ENCOUNTERS. You know the majority of the game?
Boot the game.
Go to the main menu.
Play through that section without killing anyone.
You will see it is possible to do that for the majority of the encounters.
Your perspective is misanthropic because you believe that a game's simulation of murder is necessary to get across the theme of the game. When the portrayal of that aspect is not as central as you believe it is. It's based on the notion that experiencing all the violence is necessary for the characters to be sympathetic or for the themes to fit into place. It's not. Within the context of the game, the simulation, and the context of the discussion, it shows a general hatred and/or ignorance because that's what you believe the game is about.
It's also a hypocritical perspective as well, because you admit that there are multiple themes, but you champion your perception as the right one, and it really doesn't make too much sense when you realize you can:
Boot the game.
Go to the main menu.
Play through that section without killing anyone.
You will see it is possible to do that for the majority of the encounters.
Your argument falls flat when you realize you can beat the game with very limited casualties. A lot of the encounters you play through, aren't even worth it to do from a gameplay perspective either, because you lose more resources than you gain by killing in those areas, making the game harder in places where you need to defend yourself:
Like the Arcade or the holdout while waiting for Lev.
You need to understand something my guy. People have different perspectives on what they experience, and lecturing someone on yours doesn't make you sound smart. It makes you sound self centered. I appreciate your side to an extent, but when you lord over everyone thinking your way is right its obvious you learned nothing from the game you clearly enjoy.
Have a discussion rather than lecture bull-headedly.
It takes two to tango. Considering the theme of perspective, we might both realize that each of our comments can come off to the other as being a lecture. That said . . .
I know you can sneak past encounters. But that's all you're focused on. You've been basing this entire discussion on that false premise. Encounters are not the reason why I responded to your message to Ambassador Kong. You are correct that just like MGS you can stealth the majority. We are in agreement that ambassador Kong is making a false comparison about killing in-game. . . to a point. You see, MGS does not have Quick Time Events quite like TLOU2, and that's where they diverge in their representation of violence.
You were responding to Ambassador Kong as if the encounters are all that matter when considering the moral implications of events and why someone would or would not want to continue playing. The QTEs in which you brutally murder people matter, too, and that was the point I was trying to make in my response.
You have to pursue Nora through the hospital until Ellie grabs Nora and throws her into that pit of spores. You as the player drove her into those spores. She didn’t fall on her own. You’re responsible. You as Ellie then pushed square in a QTE to beat her to death. Whether she deserved it is irrelevant to the fact that it's a heightened level of violence you are obligated as the player to commit. This matters as much as any encounter.
In fact, I'd argue it matters even more because the game designers are trying to draw your attention to it.
I've been trying to get across how this intentional QTE gameplay design must be incorporated into the thematics of the game. This game design decision requires the player to embody Ellie's decision to go off the deep end and brutally murder someone. It exists for a reason in the game. And the implications must be considered.
And you're saying that this simulation of murder is not central to the thematics. Or that it's not necessary to discuss the thematics. I'd argue that this is one of the most decisive, thematically important moments in the entire game. It's when Ellie and you fully commits to how far she and you are willing to get revenge. If you're discussing this game's thematics without including this scene you are omitting one the most crucial moments. If you omit this scene and the violence it obligates you as the player to commit you are disregarding very intentional decisions made by the game's designers.
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