K-e-r-c-k

Amazing game imo but damn it's depressing

60 posts in this topic

This is a nuanced piece on the game that merits reading from people that want to delve deeper into how bleak the game is. I keep recommending it to people that want thoughtful criticism of the game. It'll take about twenty minutes, but it's worth it. Neil Druckmann himself said he appreciated the criticism made in this piece.

 

Quote

But this game is so relentless, so absolute in its dwelling on the savagery that people are capable of, and in its efforts to create a world in which your colossal body count and reliance on torture are all consistent and justified, that it feels stubborn and ignorant. At a time when the old order is cracking to reveal beautiful new possibilities for the future, this game feels like a surrender to the most hopeless notions about who we are. Yes, there are visions of community here, but they’re just here as things to be cast aside for the core action. They give way to the violence, the violence doesn’t give way to them.

 

I understand that there is a sense in which the game wants us to question our assumptions. Playing as Abby offers an opportunity to understand her motivations. Her encounter with Lev and Yara forces her to question the ideology she’s adopted. But I didn’t need to play as Abby to think of Ellie’s quest as deeply misguided and morally reprehensible. If part of what the game is trying to do is to say, “See? The choices these characters have made were wrong, they didn’t have to make these choices,” then what does it say that this is the game Naughty Dog felt they had to make? That’s where it all falls apart for me. It’s as if the game wants to suggest that other things are possible by making us question the actions of its characters, and yet the game itself feels utterly trapped by the expectations of the AAA marketplace in a story of brutal violence. That internal tension drives me up a wall. It’s almost like I can feel the game shaking its head in disapproval and regret over what the characters do, and over what we do as those characters, while still making them and us do it. “There may be a way out for humanity,” it seems to say, “but there’s no way out for video games like this.” I find it to be the opposite of bold or divisive. I find it comforting and safe within the lineage of AAA games and their history of violence. A doubling down on the same old ideas.

 

You might say it’s unfair to saddle any one work with so many expectations, and I might agree with you. But at the same time, The Last of Us franchise is in many ways positioned as (and by some critics heralded as) the best of us, the best of what games as a medium have to offer. So I think it’s important to seriously interrogate the basis of its perceived greatness, and where it falls short.

 

https://medium.com/@carolynpetit/broken-people-broken-worlds-thoughts-on-the-last-of-us-part-ii-a012de5d2acf

Edited by Abby_TheLastofUs
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1 hour ago, Valkirye22 said:

This will likely turn into one of 'those' threads for this game but in very short - I think they were right for the story.

A happy, everyone alive, cured, rebuilding the entire world, colonizing the moon ending just wouldn't work or fit this world.

 

We need more good 'story' games, a good story is a good story regardless if it is happy, sad, hopeful, depressing etc.

 

Example, MGS3: Snake Eater is one of my all time favorite games and stories - but (also as a whole MGS series) hardly 'happy'

Another would be Mass Effect Trilogy - that game had the set-up for multiple endings that could all fit, both sad and terrible ones, and great successful ones but they did what they did and I never felt more disappointed in terms of ending a game/game series in my life. TLOU and TLOU2 are for me perfect and fitting, both, in their own way.

I would add Life is Strange, it doesn't have stricte "good and happy" endings as well.

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Yeah. It's a shame because the first game was such a hoot! Had me in stitches all the way through!

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I remember when I finished this game and gods was a whine.
Not because the game itself is bad, but because of the message it sends and how it enters your mind and everything becomes a mess.
To this day, I can't hear any TLOU soundtrack without feeling like this.

What a game my friends, what a game.
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Irrespective of the game's quality I'm staying away from  TLOU Part II for the sake of my mental health. I've seen peers crack from swallowing the sewage load of pop culture discourse, be it Star Wars toxicity, comic book movies or other stuff. It sucks that I've come to see both sides (people who like the game vs. people who dislike it) have had their share of dismissively aggressive energy to each other, when it comes to Naughty Dog's latest title.

 

Attentional space and personal reactions are now modern day economies for platforms. The same goes for anyone's personal capacity to withstand the onslaught of fandom baggage. Social media easily lasers sentiments of varying polarities into concentration. If one's not careful, toxicities across the discourse spectrum can easily compromise one's general moods, emotional-reflex and performance in their personal lives, work-related or even just trying to enjoy one's hobbies in general.

 

There are hundreds of other games out there I can play without getting emotionally invested and sucked into the blackhole of spats and indignation across forums and Twitter for TLOU Part II. I intend to do just that.

Edited by Eraezr
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35 minutes ago, Eraezr said:

Irrespective of the game's quality I'm staying away from  TLOU Part II for the sake of my mental health. I've seen peers crack from swallowing the sewage load of pop culture discourse, be it Star Wars toxicity, comic book movies or other stuff. It sucks that I've come to see both sides (people who like the game vs. people who dislike it) have had their share of dismissively aggressive energy to each other, when it comes to Naughty Dog's latest title.

 

Attentional space and personal reactions are now modern day economies for platforms. The same goes for anyone's personal capacity to withstand the onslaught of fandom baggage. Social media easily lasers sentiments of varying polarities into concentration. If one's not careful, toxicities across the discourse spectrum can easily compromise one's general moods, emotional-reflex and performance in their personal lives, work-related or even just trying to enjoy one's hobbies in general.

 

There are hundreds of other games out there I can play without getting emotionally invested and sucked into the blackhole of spats and indignation across forums and Twitter for TLOU Part II. I intend to do just that.

Honestly, it's is a very much worth playing, high polish, high quality ND title. However, like many (all) other games (general things) it is not necessarily worth discussing online.

I would definitely recommend you as a title to play and make up your own mind - i can keep mine down to two words: loved it.

 

Really no need to scour YT, Twitter, Critic pages or reddit or whatever - or even pay attention to it.

Give it a play, and decide for yourself if you enjoyed it or not why even concern yourself with what the 'internet' thinks of it?

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I thought about one particular scene for days:

Spoiler

The Joel and Ellie porch finale. ☹️

 

Must admit, as I get older, grim stuff affects me quite a bit more than it used to. Probably not the most appropriate game to play for those in a negative state of mind.

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On 29.12.2020 at 2:14 PM, Abby_TheLastofUs said:

-snip-

Hey man, I am now 17 hours into the game and I wonder about your attached picture and the trans rights thing. Is it a statement you made to tackle all of these hateful comments online? Cause what I've seen so far in the game is just a muscular and straight woman who is not trans. 🤔

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Posted (edited)

I hear you and i am glad someone else thinks the story is depressing.  I managed to finish it but couldnt bring myself to get the plat just too many games to play to be depressed.

Edited by beastuk1
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On 29/12/2020 at 11:46 AM, K-e-r-c-k said:

Now that I saw and finished this game, I can honestly say that, some people were right to hate this one. Not gonna lie, the game looks gorgeous and does not need anything else. I just wished that ND picked a better storyline. This game is just so sad and depressing, especially if you play the first game. 

 

Gameplay is awesome, an improvement to the first game. Grounded mode on the other hand needed a little bit polishing. Enemies are way too sensitive to your presence and could spot you in less than 2 seconds not to mention that 70% of my kills were stealth kills the rest are obviously head on fights. Boss fights were amazing and its good that they were not that repetitive. 

 

One tip I could say is that, do NOT try this game on grounded on your first run. It'll drive you mad, cause I did ragequit 3 times in 3 different parts. Human enemies of this game is the bane of my existence 

 

The downer storyline is pretty much the reason why I haven't picked it up yet - my 2020/2021 brain just hasn't been up for something as dark as this yet.

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I didn’t find this anymore “depressing” than the first game or really the Walking Dead Telltale games.  It is a bleak world sure but it is also captivating.

 

The revenge and two-sides-to-every-story angle worked great IMO.  The part that fell flat to me was the whole Lev/Yara storyline in an attempt to make Abby more likable perhaps.  She already had the perfect motive and that did not feel true to her character to so easily turn her back on her lifelong friends.

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Pretty much all narrative games by western developers are depressing and lacking humour and colour. That’s why I prefer Japanese games.

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1 hour ago, Gommes_ said:

Hey man, I am now 17 hours into the game and I wonder about your attached picture and the trans rights thing. Is it a statement you made to tackle all of these hateful comments online? Cause what I've seen so far in the game is just a muscular and straight woman who is not trans. 1f914.png

 

Abby isn't trans, but she's protective of a trans character in the game.

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While this is still a civilized thread, I totally get it. Depressing movies are established, and we accept that not every movie has to have a happy ending, or even a clean resolution. But video games are still a young art form, and games that try the "maybe you were the bad guy all along?" twist aren't always accepted super well. I've written about this before, and how embodying the protagonist makes us relate to the actions they take more than we do when watching a movie. So when those actions are questioned by the game itself, we take it more personally.

 

I don't mind the Lev/Yara storyline because I see it as

Spoiler

Abby finally achieving her revenge, then waking up the next day and realizing not that much is different and she's still stuck in the same terrible and violent situation she was in before. Lev and Yara give her a opportunity and reason to escape the cycle of violence she couldn't escape herself, while Ellie is falling even further into the exact same cycle.

 

AnthonyCaliber put it best: "It's not a fun story, but it's the story they needed to tell"

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16 minutes ago, Abby_TheLastofUs said:

 

Abby isn't trans, but she's protective of a trans character in the game.

She is? Okay, maybe I haven't met that character yet. But thanks for the reply

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I really do want to play this game, but every time I think I'm mentally ready for it some crazy depressing crap happens in real life and I'm like nope.

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Lol exactly. I want to eventually buy and play TLOU2 but I watched the entire gameplay via a livestreamer and indeed, this game is depressing af. Even though I know the things that happen, I cannot mentally prepare myself to play it myself and “relive it”. ;-;

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It is a good game, mechanically sound, and I had no bugs from Day 1. That said I feel I liked the combat with Joel in the first game much better, I played the original 9 times IIRC and the sequel 1.5 times.

 

It leaves you feeling raw, like an exposed and opened wound. Your rage fuels you for a long time but it does burn out as you see things in a new light and then... Ellie broke my heart. And I still had Act 3 to go through!

 

I want to get 100% but I haven't found the will to go back for Permadeath and Grounded... just thinking about it can drain me sometimes. 

 

4 hours ago, Gommes_ said:

She is? Okay, maybe I haven't met that character yet. But thanks for the reply

You meet said character in Act 2.

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I've played through the game completely twice and i still am not all that sure how i feel about it. Had one or two glitches but other than that i have very little complaints gameplay wise, i loved the combat. I think they could of handled the story better but this game also features some of my favorite and my least favorite scenes out of all the games ive ever played. Only thing i know for sure is the game made me really sad. Got to play it the night it came out and i had to put it down after that one particular scene and take a break for a while

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Posted (edited)

I personally loved the game but it took a lot out of me, though there are threads of hope in the ending:

Spoiler

Abby and Lev made it to the Fireflies. Ellie forgave Joel and herself and is able to move on with her life.

 

To be honest, I really, really don't think the stories of these characters need to go on though, and

Spoiler

perhaps neither do Naughty Dog, case in point- Joel. They could have made Joel the next Nathan Drake and milked him for sequel after sequel but instead they bumped him off immediately. 

 Which was, in my humble opinion, the right move for this style of game and story. This isn't swashbuckling, Indiana Jones stuff; this is a Cormac McCarthy novel. What I would like to see are other stories that take place in this world. It's what I had hoped for in a sequel and I got that halfway, sort of. Minority opinion, probably.

Edited by Stan Lee
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Posted (edited)

depressing?! its just a videogame ffs lol

granted i felt exhausted after first playthrough, but after that, the gameplay and grounded mode gives it replayable value. i played through this game about 5 times before moving on. loved it each time!

nothing wrong with the story. in fact i think the storytelling raises the bar in videogames. i like to see more games that stimulate deep thought, complemented with gameplay.

 

i love to see a DLC. ellie's story is done (save her for part 3), abby's story is done, as is joels. i like to perhaps do a followup to tommy, as i'll be curious what he gets up to after the game (though him being crippled could be a problem), or maybe play from lev's perspective though i dont know as what. maybe tommy rescues someone and takes him/her back to jackson? multiplayer could be scars vs WLF or co-op in jackson keeping out infected (love it if they could tie some story to that, e.g. working under maria while tommy and ellie are in seattle).

 

i've moved on from this game but it gets annoying when i get angry, aggressive and argumentative replies to my comments on youtube by people just because i dont share their opinion on this polarising game. christ, its just a game people.

 

and theres nothing wrong with grounded. practise makes perfect. consult youtube vids if you're stuck. save your weapons if forced to use them (or use them at the end of segments). learn to get past stealth sections without using any weapons. much of the time i sometimes charge through, though with human opponents thats harder. and look everywhere for resources.

Edited by rockstarjazz
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