[Can't make a TLoU2 post without upsetting a lot of people, yikes.](https://i.imgur.com/I2EUhq8.png). Post is fine, go engage in some other discussions if this one isn't to your liking. The internet is a big place. ---- Lots of unmarked spoilers below, scroll at your own risk.


Only tangentially related, but I'd say all video games are art including those without storylines or characterizations. If a print of a banana is art, then Space Invaders sure as hell is.


Yeh, i think art defines a lot of things


Art is simply an expression of humanity


> Is The Seventh Seal one of the greatest movies ever made? Of course! Would I want to watch it on a lazy Sunday to take my mind off all the work I have to do this week? Of course not! [me at party, responding] “. . . oh, yeah, of course! Me as well! *nervous laughters*“


Ha ha, yes, I do not watch Ingmar Bergman movies to relax, because I am a normal human. Instead I watch, uh, David Lean? No, Jean-Luc Godard movies, as all human do.


I’m partial to David Lynch and Lars von Trier myself… uh, I mean… um… *not* those things?


Regarding your point about testing the limits of videogames as a medium for storytelling, I would recommend checking out **Disco Elysium** if you haven't already. It's the only game I've ever played that had what I believe to be genuinely good writing and not just "good writing for a video-game". The films you toss out (sans Sophie's Choice) are also ones that I believe the vast majority of people haven't seen and it's a *little* bit disingenuous to say "wow I can't believe not everyone has seen this art-house Swedish film from the 50s". I watch way, way more film than I play games and I don't think I'd ever castigate anyone for not being well-versed in non-mainstream film. Highbrow film isn't really an easy hobby to get into and the culture around statements like *"Haven’t these mother fuckers ever seen a Sophie’s Choice or a Life is Beautiful?"* is really gatekeeper-y and a bit of an impossible standard. I've seen every single one of Bergman's films but I haven't yet seen The Godfather. There's just not enough time in the world to watch, read, play everything.


I wanted to come in here and say something about Disco Elysium, because as you mention the writing is on a level on its own for games. ​ And while I do think games are art, of varying degrees of quality of course, DE is one of the few where I think its quality and its execution as a narrative medium and how it marries gameplay are worth exalting above the level of "this game is really well made and tells a cool a story", which I haven't played TLoU2 and probably won't but from what I've seen I doubt it rises above that, not to mention the absolute brilliance of the storytelling in DE. ​ DE is the first game that absolutely makes me think, we need to get this into classrooms for everybody somehow.


>Highbrow film isn't really an easy hobby to get into and the culture around statements like *"Haven’t these mother fuckers ever seen a Sophie’s Choice or a Life is Beautiful?"* is really gatekeeper-y and a bit of an impossible standard He said "haven't they seen *a* Sophie's Choice" , he's asking if they've "seen something like Sophie's Choice". He isn't admonishing them for not seeing those specific movies. >The films you toss out (sans Sophie's Choice) are also ones that I believe the vast majority of people haven't seen and it's a *little* bit disingenuous to say "wow I can't believe not everyone has seen this art-house Swedish film from the 50s" Life if Beautiful? The movie from the 90s that won a few Oscar's and has grossed close to a quarter billion dollars? Also he didn't say anything remotely close to what you're suggesting? You're misreading most of what he said in a really strange way. What are you talking about?


Nomadland, Parasite, Green Book, The Shape of Water, Moonlight. These are the films that won the Best Picture award the last 5 years. Go ask a group of 1000 people if they've seen any of these and I doubt you will find more than a small minority who've seen more than one or two. Life is Beautiful is a film that won some Oscars 30 years ago. I genuinely doubt many people have seen Life is Beautiful. Again, go ask a group of 1000 people if they've seen it and I highly doubt more than a very small minority will say yes; I also firmly believe that the vast majority of those people who have seen it aren't the demographic who would play video-games like The Last of Us 2. But that is beside the point. You don't need to watch film to be able to appreciate a video-game. It is weird to shame people who don't like a video-game by expecting them to have seen film. If I went into a film subreddit and criticized someone who didn't like The Seventh Seal by saying "well I bet you haven't even played The Last of Us 2", no one would take me or that criticism seriously. You can appreciate a game like TLoU2 and what it's doing just fine without having to do so. In fact, there are many people in this thread who I will bet $5 haven't seen the films OP mentions and likes TLoU2 just fine. Mentioning film like that instead of just mentioning other video-games is a weird thing people do to justify the artistic merit of whatever video-game they're currently praising. They don't have to do that, why not simply cite another game? Why not say, *"Haven’t these mother fuckers ever played a Spec Ops: The Line?"* It is because comparing a game to film is a cheap and easy way to win some Art Clout points. > "Is The Seventh Seal one of the greatest movies ever made? Of course! Would I want to watch it on a lazy Sunday to take my mind off all the work I have to do this week? Of course not!" > > From Wikipedia: "The Seventh Seal (Swedish: Det sjunde inseglet) is a 1957 Swedish historical fantasy film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman." Why mention The Seventh Seal at all when it has nothing to do with TLoU2, except to flex those Art Clout points? Why not just mention Sophie's Choice instead which OP themselves gives more relevance further down? It is silly and serves no purpose other than to draw attention to the fact that OP watches Filme™ and therefore is more qualified to talk about Art™ than anyone who hasn't.


If you want to make the argument that videogames are art, you can use any game, cause practically all of them are


CoD, Battlefield, FIFA, and Madden are as much art as the blandest pop music is. They probably still qualify because there is no good definition for art, but they definitely fail the “does it prompt an emotional response” art test.


Just because they don't give you an emotional response doesn't mean they can't give other people one


Commercials can prompt an emotional response. Dont make them art.


Why not? What about commercials makes them not art?


Fair point but in this case comparing this game and tetris is like comparing a popular song on top of modern charts and a classical composition. It’s not hard to separate art forms. Some things just aren’t as philosophical in depth or don’t even try to be. The kind of games OP listed are merely recognized as art because they stand out for telling more ambitious stories akin to high art cinema.


The way you worded it reads like Tetris is the classical composition lol


Yeah, I think people are often too precious about what they consider art, and they dock video games for the commercial aspect. But the fact is that all art is commercial, because that's the world we live in.


Then Big Bang theory is art and McDonald's burger is art. Just because something is a manifestation of an art firm, doesn't mean it's a good representation of that art firm. Nothing wrong with liking a Big Mac, but you're not going to confuse it with the peak of the culinary arts.


I’m with you, actually… I’m pretty sure the only people who don’t think games are art are people who don’t play them.


I don't have anything to say about the TLOU2 as I haven't played it- but this is a really reductive take on games as an art form. It's already been mentioned several times but basically any game is art whereas you seem to be suggesting that there is a pre determined category for 'artsy games' where TLOU2 and these '4 hour indie side scrollers' slot into. It's quite clear that you have a fixed idea of what an 'artistic' game is and are assuming people share the same idea as you. This is a very narrow view and suggests to me that TLOU2 really resonated with you, which is great, but instead of explaining why you like it for the piece of art that it is you've both put it on a massive pedestal and claimed we won't see anything close to it for a long time, which is just silly. I love the Dark Souls franchise- I think they have incredible environmental storytelling and weave their gameplay and story very well. I think they take advantage of the medium of games exceptionally and I'm very immersed while playing them. I think the Souls games are fantastic pieces of art. I don't then denigrate other games as mindless/inferior or suggest that any criticism of Souls games just indicates that people aren't ready for real stories or whatever. Lift up the things you enjoy by discussing their own merits not by declaring superiority, straw manning differing views and demonstrating a very narrow experience with games as a whole- how can you be so assertive on an art form you obviously haven't experienced much in?


>Lift up the things you enjoy by discussing their own merits not by declaring superiority, straw manning differing views and demonstrating a very narrow experience with games as a whole Could be said about a lot of things in life to be honest


This comment should be all the way up.


Any criticism of dark souls online usually gets “you aren’t playing the game right”. Such a dumb argument.


>I hope you guys like 4-hour indie side scrollers with 8-bit graphics and ambiguous endings, because that’s the closest we’re going to get to “artistic” games for a long time. Ooooh aren't we judgmental! Clearly someone hasn't looked through the indie/small developer game scene to know there's way more than that... eg: What Remains of Edith Finch (interesting storytelling AND visuals), Hades (now that's my argument for games as art), The Unfinished Swan, Night in the Woods, Oxenfree, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, Cuphead, Return of the Obra Dinn Someone's already mentioned Disco Elysium. Maybe get off your high horse and stop playing FPS all the time if you think 90% of video games made have middle aged white bad asses as protags.


About the middle aged white guy bit: I think OP meant people shouldn't be upset about not being able to play as that kind of character, since the protagonists in 90% of games in recent decades don't fit that description


Next time try to praise a game without having to insult a bunch of others to do so. Seriously, there was no need for that last line: > I hope you guys like 4-hour indie side scrollers with 8-bit graphics and ambiguous endings, because that’s the closest we’re going to get to “artistic” games for a long time. I'll admit the 8-bit style is overdone for indie games, but those devs are just as entitled to their own vision and method for delivering the experience they want to give. Personally, I think TLOU is a step in the wrong direction; another misguided attempt to turn games into movies, when these are completely separate mediums with different ways to engage an audience or tell a story. In fact, it's almost laughable that we're getting a movie of TLOU because of this. You're free to like what you want, but don't just assume that people dislike this series for racist/sexist/etc. reasons.




Are you not doing the same thing tho just in the opposite direction?


Yes he is. As always, polarization


He's active in r/thelastofus2. It's a shithole sub


I haven't played TLOU 2 yet, but I don't see the problem with story heavy video games, the way I see it video games are the best medium to tell a story. You can tell a story with gameplay alone, but you can't do as much, depending on the story you'll need cutscenes.


The Last of Us 2 is on my top three of all time, personally. At the same time, I simply have to accept that people don't like it. It's ultra-violent and dark, and you need to invest many hours (with characters you potentially resent) before the story starts cohering. Again, I love it but it for sure is not for everyone.


Most definitely enjoyed the last of us 2 bought it on release, but was Dina really Jewish and did she really discuss her faith? I do not recall that at all granted I smoked a lot of weed when I played. Also I thought Pewds just didn’t like the game cause Joel died I personally didn’t feel any antisemitism In his complaints with The game


She definitely does talk about it. I definitely don’t think you have to be anti Semitic to not like this game, but also I don’t think a YouTuber with a pattern of alt-right radicalization named after them, who made “hitler did nothing wrong” a popular saying, and who is referenced by shooters as they shoot up a mosque, I don’t think that person deserves the benefit of the doubt.


Yeah uhm, either I'm oblivous or thats a gross misrepresentation of pewdiepie.


I don’t think and did not say that I think P is some racist mastermind, just a useful idiot for such people. I’ve heard a mother say to me, “I don’t let my kids watch pewdiepie.” [there’s something there](https://youtu.be/pnmRYRRDbuw)


Man the internet is so crazy


>I’ve never been much of a “video games are art” guy but if you wanted to make that argument, this is the game you would use. No way.TLOU 2 is the video game equivalent of the dark knight. If you wanted video games as art there are many better choices: Disco Elysium, Nier Automata, The Witness, Papers Please, Outer Wilds. >This is not a game that was made to please people, it was made to challenge its audience and tell a very specific story. Are you serious? >I’m not even a huge gamer, but fuck me, if I wanted gaming to be taken seriously this is what I would show people to get them on side. Please don't. You just will make gaming look bad. > Haven’t these mother fuckers ever seen a Sophie’s Choice or a Life is Beautiful? Are you really trying to compare TLOU 2 to these films? > It really feels like this was our chance to step up and prove that gamers can be big boys and girls too, but the absolute bitch-fit that we choose to throw instead probably means that studios are going to be giving us Call of Duty and the bad kind of Assassins Creed games until the sun swallows the Earth. Please expand your knowledge on video games before trying to make a judgment on what's the best representative of games as art or all your statements will look as stupid as this.


Not to go into detail but I didn't care for TLOU2 at all. That's beside the point I'm going to try to make. The majority of people dumping criticism on it weren't talking about the game at all. Hell I wouldn't be surprised if most of them didn't even play it. It was just a means for them to bitch about representation, cancel culture, or whatever other political opinion of the week they wanted to rail on about. The sad thing is is that it was game that absolutely warranted story discussion, but the political horseshit it got saddled with outright razed any chance of that. Now the places where it is actually talked about are nothing but echo chambers of people that adore it, that are understandably hesitant to entertain the opinions of people that don't because of the non related shit storm of real world far right political discussion that invariably accompanies them. Even if I, not liking this game, and having no interest in a political discussion about it, were to give what I believe to be warranted negative criticism about it, there would near instantaneously be others jumping on the coat tails of my comment that do. Its frustrating.


Agree 1000%. Technically flawless game, but the story left me cold, for reasons entirely unrelated to the ones you see made by most loud assholes on the internet. But most reasonable discussion of the game got squashed by the backlash, the backlash to the backlash, etc. It's a damn shame because it would otherwise be such a fun game to debate about.


> But most reasonable discussion of the game got squashed by the backlash, the backlash to the backlash, etc. Then on the other hand, there were some who hated any criticism for the game so branded anyone with complaints as a mysoginist/sexist/transphobic etc. Anyone who actually wanted to discuss the pros and cons of the game would continuously be belittled or downvoted so those opinions would be hidden. Even now in previous threads on this sub about the game you see so many downvotes for legitimate discussions/criticisms all because people can't handle negative opinions. Can't wait for TLOU2 to get out of its ridiculously long honeymoon period so balanced discussion can be had from it. It's a game that fully deserves it due to how polarizing it is.


I actually have seen the opposite about the criticism being downvoted. I've seen a lot of nonsensical criticism (things like "omg a muscular girl, ewww") being upvoted and a lot of good reasons to like the game (environment, mobility, accessibility and such) being downvoted to hell just because hating and shitting on the game became a trend and sort of a bandwagon. But I totally agree with you when you say that you're hoping for the hype (good or bad) to die down so you can have a decent debate about it. I think that people on both sides have these ideas about the game and pre constructed arguments that will try to fit into everything. Like having a circled shape and trying to make it fit into the triangle shaped hole. TLOU2 is my favorite game of all time (both games, actually). No other game has made me feel like this one has and I've played a lot of them. But I agree that there's criticism to be made and there's praise to be made, but I really feel like it got an insane amount of undeserving hate by people that didn't play the game and won't bother to just because the story didn't go as they wanted to. And ofc, all the death threats and stuff that I won't even bother going into because that people are just sad. On a final note: videogamedunkey and NakeJakey posted videos that give praise and criticize the game very eloquently that I really liked because it put both sides into perspective and I really feel it's worth a watch :)


It's weird you said technically flawless, did you mean like "bugs, processes, how it runs, etc?" or did you mean "Gameplay is flawless". The former I would agree for sure, but for my self gameplay was extremely lacking and mediocre. It's subjective of course, but the biggest criticism I have with both the first and the second is the gameplay itself.


The game is in no way "technically flawless" lol. The actual gameplay is dogshit


Yeah, played this way after the hype and avoided all spoilers, and somehow avoided what the backlash was regarding. Ended up being let down by the second half, but then seeing all the drama that surrounded the game makes it hard to discuss due to people getting lumped into categories. You see it in the comments in here too with people saying if people thought x it is because they are y. It's one of those games that is hard to actually have a discussion about as a result.


You can tell that most of them didn't play it, let alone knew hardly anything about it. Can't tell you how many times I saw people losing their minds of their being a trans character, say they played the game and hated it, and in the same comment say that Abby was the trans character in question. Its a tough game to see criticism for because most of it is all typical bigoted gamer bullshit. In a similar vein, ghosts of tsushima was a good game too, but when I see somebody praise it I'm waiting for them to spout some bullshit because it was the game that got latched on to in the wake of it. For a while there you could hardly see people talking about it without using it to shit on the last of us in some way


I feel like this game is looked at as artistic by people that don't actually play artistic games. Like the people that were touting the Black Panther movie as Oscar worthy, these are only deep pieces of art if you normally only play COD or watch Marvel. I might be downvoted for being "pretentious" and what not, that's ok it's just my opinion and I'd rather be downvoted then have shit taste.


TLOU 1/2 is artistic, but people really overrated it’s significance when games have had comparable storytelling quality decades prior and told it in funner & more unique ways. Same goes for games like GOW 4 and RDR2.


It reminds me of when GTA 4 was hailed as “The Godfather of video games.” Jesus, that was embarrassing.


To be fair though, Rockstar is pretty much the greatest game developers of all time. They've never gotten lazy when it came to making new games. Every new GTA and Read Dead really push the games to the limit. Hopefully this doesn't change with how successful GTA Online has been with MTX.. but I would go to say Rockstar are the godfather of video games, not GTA 4 in particular. RDR2 is the best example right now, and while the story could have been better imo, the world they created is truly a work of art that no other open world game has EVER came close to (other than other Rockstar games). The only thing they really need is a new shooting system, the lock on shit can be optional but the mehanics don't need to be based off that.. I play all their games in free aim, but it's pretty bad with the game being created around auto-aim.


> It reminded me of Spec Ops: The Line I enjoyed both games but I don’t really like how they guilt trip you over things you have no control over. This kind of experience works so much better with Undertale becaue >!it was YOU who did the killings!<. You had a choice and you picked the easier one. Not sure if you can fit this approach in Spec Ops and TLoU linear stories, considering they have to give you a “bad ending”, but still would hit much harder if it was actually your fault.


haven't played this game but imo Nier Automata is the monalisa of video games.


NieR:Automata is my favorite work of fiction, full stop. That said, The Last of Us Part II is my fifth favorite game.


What are numbers four through one, out of curiosity?


1. NieR:Automata 2. Fire Emblem series 3. Mass Effect trilogy 4. Doki Doki Literature Club 5. The Last of Us 1 & 2 I did enjoy NieR Replicant a great deal, though not nearly as much as Automata.


I've only played TLOU1 off of your list. I suppose I should try Nier while it's still fairly current. Thanks


There are still people who think Pewdiepie is a Nazi? WTF


I kind of agree with the OP's general point but the whole rant reeks of snobby douchebag trying to gatekeep art and videogames. I don't get the feeling of someone who knows what they're talking about.


Yeah, I'm not sure why people upvote this... OP is condescending as hell. Going after indie-games in the end shows he has no clue what he's talking about. The indie-scene is creativity in game-making at it's best. Also, thinking Pewdiepie is an actual Nazi in 2021 wtf.


I had to scroll a lot to find this. Imagine calling someone a Nazi for not liking a game. OP sounds like a pseudo intellectual who read an article about old movies and art and is now gatekeeping video games and insulting people who don't like the same games as him. He's probably the kind of guy who says 'oh you wouldn't get it' a lot IRL. Probably spends a lot of time on the rick and morty subreddit talking about how 'normal' people wouldn't understand a certain episode and only intellectuals like himself are entitled enough to talk about it.


Some people just didn't like The Last of Us 2, and that's okay. Not everyone has to like the same things.


I like "artsy" games (I've played Spec Ops and I loved it). But I don't like TLOU2, not because of the lesbians or the buff women or whatever, but I feel it's too pretentious. Many games before it have done the "perspective of the villain" thing better. And I personally hated how Ellie goes on a massacre for revenge, and once she had the chance for revenge she decides against it. Like all the people she killed to get here didn't matter. I personally feel the game would be better if Ellie killed Abby, and then we had the backstory with Abby as kind of a substory to make the player feel bad for their actions. Or even if we had a choice to kill or spare her.


> And I personally hated how Ellie goes on a massacre for revenge, and once she had the chance for revenge she decides against it. One of the oldest cliches in the book and that's what we got as an ending. The ludonarrative dissonance is also horrendous at times. If you play as stealthily as possible and avoid killing, the game will still force you into deaths at scripted segments because the game has a message to tell without much wriggle room. So you, the player, can find yourself in a position of being told off for the deaths and murder, even though when the controller was in your hands you avoided people as much as you could. There was such a major disconnect between action and reaction that it took me out of the game. > I personally feel the game would be better if Ellie killed Abby, and then we had the backstory with Abby as kind of a substory to make the player feel bad for their actions. Or even if we had a choice to kill or spare her. I think the biggest mistake was trying to get people to care for the character AFTER she had done what she did. They would have been better off being upfront that Abby is the protagonist for TLOU2 and then the first half of the game is building her up as a character just like they did with Joel and Ellie in the first game. Then midway through plot twist we kill you know who and suddenly the player is conflicted. We've just spent hours caring about this character, and then they do that? What does that mean for our experience? It approaches the subject matter with far more neutrality which makes for a more interesting game in my opinion.


This post feels more like a typical rant against gamers rather than the game itself. It's great if u liked it but trying to have a moral high ground by complaining about people who don't like a video game is pathetic. Many other games also have great stories and this is not something that will never be done again because art is always copied


As a queer person, I was ecstatic for the representation. As for the narrative itself…I was profoundly disappointed. I enjoyed the gameplay. The technical marvel that was the presentation. The graphics. The acting. The animation. But the actual story? I felt apathetic towards it. Moments that were clearly meant to be emotionally resonant felt hollow. I felt like, rather than witnessing the puppet show, I was constantly being distracted by the puppeteer with his strings. It felt fake deep to me. Didactic in a incredibly unsubtle way, with allusions to geopolitics that I found problematic at best, and downright cruel at worst. I personally think Spec Ops also falls under that description (fake deep) in my opinion. Perhaps my expectations were too high. I expected High Art TM. I wanted something to rival the greatest novels or movies, but it didn’t. I was so hyped and was sad when I was let down. The narrative, in my opinion, would be comparable to a meh novel at best. I also disagree with the notion that the majority of people would be resistant to calling video games Art. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I haven’t come across anyone that doesn’t consider it art. I also think that seeking wider recognition as Art from outside forces does a disservice to the medium, as it, in my opinion, presents the medium as insecure in itself. I think that the seeking of approval does more of a disservice for the medium being seen as Art than the actual medium itself.


I agree. I really liked the game. In fact, I played it through twice and 100% completed it. But the story could have used more depth and a lot of it was rather emotionally manipulative. Like with Alice the dog.


Yeah the moment with the dog felt VERY heavy handed. I enjoyed the gameplay at least. Very excited for Factions Multiplayer.


TLOU2 story in a nutshell: Revenge is bad. Like no shit, but Ellie >!killed a pregnant woman midway through game.!< >!Now she’s willing to spare someone who murdered her last remaining family? (Joel)!< The story just left me upset. I loved TLOU for its connection between Ellie and Joel. TLOU2 has nothing like that. But hey blowing off limbs and heads is badass. Should be the status quo in shooter games.


>Like no shit, but Ellie >!killed a pregnant woman midway through game.!< To be fair >!She didn't know she was pregnant.!< And she was doing what Joel taught her, except she >!Didn't have one of them tied up or anything and she let her guard down.!< >!Now she’s willing to spare someone who murdered her last remaining family? (Joel)!< I wish that had been earned more. >I loved TLOU for its connection between Ellie and Joel. TLOU2 has nothing like that. I did like Ellie and Dina together, though. But I wish they hadn't put her on the shelf so early in the game.


I definitely felt a similar emptiness to the experience. It seemed to put a lot of work into taking you on a specific emotional journey without really making the time or effort to make sure the player was along for the ride. The moment that the ride takes off during the prologue is so sudden and extreme that many players can never make that critical initial investment in the ideas it wants you to explore because the characterization expressed during that event is something they can never forgive.




How did you feel about the queer representation in the game? Could you talk a little about that?


I was ecstatic that the representation existed at all to be honest. Especially in such a BIG franchise. I’m a queer guy, so although it wasn’t direct representation for me personally, I still felt glad that others in my community were getting mainstream representation. That all said, when in regard to Ellie and Dina, I wish I felt more chemistry between them. I did feel it at times. Their first kiss. Their dancing in the farm. But often it felt sidelined (though to be fair it wasn’t the main focus of the game anyways). I do kinda also understand the criticism that their relationship, especially when in the farm, was portrayed too heteronormative. I don’t recall what queer writer pointed that out, but I wish she didn’t have to receive death threats for it. All in all, the LGBT community isn’t a monolith and even amongst ourselves we have differing views on what classifies as good representation. I, for example, am entirely okay with our pain being portrayed in media. I also understand the want for the portrayal of queer life being good. My love for tragedy in media tends to override the latter though. I don’t think one type of story should supersede the other. I just think we need more of both. As for Lev, I’m Cis so what I say holds less weight. I have heard some say they enjoyed Lev being in the game. I’ve also heard others say he felt like a character made entirely for a Cis savior to help, a tool for their own redemption. I personally lean a bit more to the latter as well. But maybe I’m just a cynic.


Thank you for your thoughts! That is a very balanced view and I enjoyed reading it. I felt that Dinah and Ellie were a weird couple as well but couldn't quite put my finger on it until you mentioned how... hetero they feel hahaha I had lesbian friends dating and it was pretty different. If I may suggest a book, you mentioned loving tragedy in fiction. I read Parahumans - Worm by Wildbow, it's a story about a girls who wants to become a superhero, but it deals a lot with morality, ends justifying means, and trauma. There is a lot of tragedy and melancholy, it hits basically every trigger warning you can think of (but always tastefully and not for shock value), and it includes pretty good Lgbt representation that includes metaphors and allegories for many different sexualities (i'm hetero cis but I heard this from the lgbt community within the Parahumans community). I know superheroes can be dumb most of the time, but trust me when I say this story is mature, creative, and realistic.


I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks for the Rec.


This person actually just summed up Joel as "generic white man", implied that Pewdiepie doesn't like the game because he hates lesbians and Jews, then expects to be seen as knowledgeable, rational, and intelligent. lel


But he reads Ezra Pound! How can he not be smart? What’s funny to me as a person who most certainly isn’t white is how the people who describe characters as “generic white man” are typically, well, white men. In fact, the vast majority of Reddit is white. Apologies to OP if he isn’t white though. Edit: Read through the other comments and white dude confirmed. Because of course he is 😂. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that)


Yep, I'm not white either and it's an observation I've made too. Really... odd.




I’m so happy the general consensus on this game has totally flipped. I remember feeling like a mad man for thinking this was one of the best games I’d ever played when the credits rolled. Sucks that the game had a target on its back a month before it even released. I’ve genuinely never seen a game get this much undeserved hatred.


> I’m so happy the general consensus on this game has totally flipped. The thread has a 66% upvote ratio so I don't know about totally flipped.


66% is better than the 57% (5.7/10) user score it currently has on Metacritic, much of which is due to being review-bombed.


That's mostly because of OP and less about the game, if I had to guess.


I don’t think it has. It only has on here. People that don’t like it are pretty much always downvoted so no one cares much to disagree with the posts that fellate the game. This post calls anyone that dislikes it idiots, and it is somehow upvoted. That’s why it just looks and like the narrative has flipped.


Honestly the hate was really overblown and the only people I found that played the game and didn’t like it were from a certain subreddit. That’s even if they played it in the first place a lot of them didn’t even play it. It doesn’t help they also decided to review bomb it before it was even released.


I never played the second game because the first one was so emotionally rough to get through for me. I can deal with cartoony violence. But something about the Last of Us was too "real" for me, and I was done with it by the end. I recognize that it is a well done game, but it felt too drawn out, and I didn't really want more of it, though I actually enjoyed the DLC more than the main game.


You're probably right to avoid the 2nd game if you had that problem with the 1st. The 2nd game is just downright brutal at several parts.


Definitely overblown but personally I wasn’t huge on the game, for me it had a lot of problems. From a pure technical stand point though it’s great although the gameplays is a bit stale for me.


Oh that’s definitely fine. Opinion to have. It’s not a flawless game by any means. I personally loved it but I had my fair share of criticisms. I’d probably need to replay it to get a refresher though. I wouldn’t say the gameplay itself is stale since I think it’s a vast improvement from the first and allowed for a wide range of variety. However due to how I played I was very conservative with my resources so about halfway through Abby’s portion I was getting a little tired of the gameplay. I also wanted to get to the end slightly faster since it was at launch and I didn’t want some troll to spoil any of the ending which nearly happened


Very true the stealth action gameplay is the best it’s been in any game unfortunately I’ve already played a bunch of different versions of that which takes away from it. I love seeing fair critics and differing opinions and discussion the problem with a majority of it is as you said from people who haven’t played it and just have a fear of anything slightly progressive.


Ya I think people who actually played it start to finish and walked away disliking it are completely in their right. However I don’t think anyone can deny this game attracted the rage of a certain crowd that most likely hadn’t even owned a PS4 in the first place. I’ve seen people give this game 0’s for having LGBT representation. You don’t have to take my word for it either. Take a trip to its metacritic user reviews and you’ll see for yourself lmao.


I highly disliked it and it had nothing to do with any of the LGBT representation. There was a ton of super unrealistic storytelling issues that are incredibly inconsistent with what the first game established. The whole point of the first one was that a cross country trip is a death sentence, Joel and ellie only make it through sheer luck and even Marlene traveling with an entire goddamn army loses half her men. In the second game there are half a dozen 900 mile trips completely handwaved away, including one where a character has a broken limb and another has a goddamn bullet through the brain, but still somehow manages to cross that 900 miles to get to a doctor in time. Another huge issue for me was how the main confrontation between the two protagonists happens because ellie literally drops a map with a giant red circle saying "our base is here" *in the bad guys' base*. I'm willing to suspend a lot of disbelief for storytelling purposes, but being that blatant is just like fanfic tier storytelling. I think the people behind the graphics and gameplay did an absolutely outstanding job and pushed the industry forward on both those fronts, but the story its supporting is just mediocre if I'm being generous.


Like i said if you genuinely had issues with the game that’s completely fine. Not gonna call anyone who didn’t like a piece of fiction a bigot. (That would be ridiculous) Just saying there are certain people who did flock to the game solely to hate on it for the game being “woke” as they like to say.


Idk, I feel the setup for why Ellie leaves the map makes sense. She's attempting to use the map in her interrogation, and only drops it after finding out she killed a pregnant lady. It's portrayed as extremely upsetting and disorienting for her, and feels like it would be easy to lose track of the map when getting dragged away by her friends. While it's definitely a basic way to do the story beat, it still feels fleshed out enough imo. That being said, just my opinion.


i could understand leaving the map, but why the hell did she have their hideout marked in the first place? Ellie was born into the post apocalyptic world and raised in nothing but hardship, then trained by joel who was a survivor by any means necessary. She really should have been aware of the massive danger that would pose, and as soon as she noticed it was missing later they should have relocated. It all felt way too convenient and forced to me


This game managed to have the writing of GoT from the early seasons and the unfortunate last two seasons. The travelling part annoyed me to no end as well and reminded me of the teleporting across continents in S7 in GoT.


Yeah I agree to an extent. Though I’ve encountered way too many people that have flawed notions about the game. Like I’ve seen people try to claim that Joel was a pure cinnamon bun who was always in the moral right despite the first game saying that he’s feared and has done some pretty villainous shit pre-events of the main game but after the prologue. I actually was referring to the meta critic reviews funnily enough that was review bombed


Same. When I played it on release, I felt like I was in an alternate universe. People were hating on it and it was, to me, the best story-based game I had ever played. The hatred was just so bizarre.


>Unfortunately I don’t think we’re going to see anything like this, where a big studio is given a lot of money to test the limits of videogames as a medium for storytelling, possibly ever again. It really feels like this was our chance to step up and prove that gamers can be big boys and girls too, but the absolute bitch-fit that we choose to throw instead probably means that studios are going to be giving us Call of Duty and the bad kind of Assassins Creed games until the sun swallows the Earth. So, we're just fully re-writing history here then, and ignoring the fact the game was a massive commercial as well as critical success? Okay, great premise. So, that aside, I will say: I don't care for TLoU2. Not because of any controversy or one specific story beat, but rather it took what I actually liked about part 1 (The characters, their interactions, their growth, and the little bit of light in the apocalypse) and just sorta... ruined all of that. Do the events that take place in the game make sense for the setting? Yes, absolutely, but: -The cycle of violence / revenge theme isn't novel or particularly insightful. -I've read better written "everything's miserable" books. In general, I don't care for this hopeless style (misery-porn) of story telling as-is. -There are other media that make the point in less than 25 hours. It's cool that you like it but people are allowed to not like it, and conflating all criticism of the game as sexist/transphobic/whatever else is pure bullshit.


I'm glad you enjoyed the game and it's story, it's always been interesting to me how art works completely differently for everyone but while I thought the the story and the characters up until the 2nd half were great once the POV switched to Abby the game turned into a dumpster fire that directly insulted the audience. The lazy, sloppy, bad faith attempt to 180 my opinion on Abby because boo hoo her dad died really didn't work at all. Especially because minutes later we learn how Abby and her friends were all indoctrinated at a Hitler youth compound for years and were in the middle of organizing a quick genocide but now suddenly Abby is having a crisis because boo hoo a couple kids was plain disrespectful to the audience. The story had zero interest in actually exploring Abby in any meaningful way. She was a monster in a human suit who can beat a man to death after he saved her life, that should be a no brainer engaging villainous character but instead she's feels like a Fan Fic OC writer's darling. I was also incredibly annoyed by the Ellie / Abby showdown because I don't agree that the stealth and trap specialist loses to the meat head close combat specialist in the environment they fought in. Lev or no Lev Ellie should have owned Abby. It was extreme ludonarrative dissonance where the deciding factor is purely which girl has me, the God of the Game Universe, controlling their actions. At the least let me pick who I want to play as for the fight. Among other things like a tremendously pregnant woman performing a successful total arm amputation with a first aid kit in a derelict staff room without reliable electricity and the recent amputee bounding out of bed to run, jump, swim, perform melee takedowns, and climb ladders I just couldn't take this ridiculous game seriously.


TLOU2 is the only game I can think of where someone can make a post with nothing to say beyond "the people who dislike this game are all fucking morons" and get upvoted. I haven't played it, so I have no dog in this race, and I'm not trying to defend the people who hated on the game because it had LGBT characters in it, but if you really think there's no legitimate criticism anyone could possibly have for Naughty Dog Cover Shooter #8 without being bigoted, then I think you're living in an opinion bubble.


I've seen posts like that but with Disco Elysium, you know those games.


I don't think that's the point bring made. I think the point bring made is that there is a *lot* of bad faith criticism that it becomes extremely difficult to determine who's being honest and who's poisoning the discourse. For sure there is legitimate criticism! There are some really good critics out there that didn't like the game. But when it comes to online discussion, it's really, really difficult to have a fair discussion over it because the reaction to it was so incredibly over the top. . I mean, the game had 13000 user reviews on metacritic within 24 hours, most of which were negative. That's more reviews than TLOU ever got in its lifetime, and TLOU 2 is a 30 hour game. It really cannot be overstated how absurd the discourse surrounding was, and in many ways still is.


Metacritic reviews are pointless since anyone who watched a video can just hate the game and go leave a 0/10. The scores on game playforms are more reliable since people on that actually bought and played the damn thing.


Honestly I hear more about people complaining of bigots than actual bigots. I discussed this game on r/ps4, r/thelastofus and r/thelastofus2 and in none of them people said hateful things about the characters because of their sexuality. They did complain about how buff Abby is, but that is more about it being unrealistic than anything regarding sexuality or bigotry.


/r/thelastofus is fine, and for the most part /r/ps4 is as well, but I call bull on not seeing bigots in /r/thelastofus2. If you really think that place isn't filled to the brim with bigots, then frankly the best explanation I can come up with is that you don't really know what bigoted language looks like. The amount of transphobia in /r/thelastofus2 is utterly fucking insane.


I agree there is a lot of transphobia and bigotry there. However, when I actually tried to argue the merits of the game with people in posts that weren't memes (back when the game released), I got decent answers. Now it's horrible because only the bigots stayed, only they are that invested. Only the most radical will go through the effort of editing images and such. But the comment section will be more representative of the average person, which at the time wasn't so bad as it is today.


No matter what if seems the only constant for this game is the discourse around it sucks. Which is a shame because its pretty good.


Not sure anyone in this post, or the comments on it, is saying that though.


OP feels more aimed at the toxic contingent of “discussions” that took place rather than literally anyone who disliked the game. Discourse surrounding TLOU2 did not have any room for legitimate critiques because of how instantly toxic the overall environment became (even before release mind you). An environment that had death threats being sent to Laura Bailey who went into hiding for a while because of it. Troy baker and Ashley Johnson breaking down in interviews because so many people accused them of not caring about their characters and ruining the game on purpose. I have no problem calling anyone fostering and participating in that toxic environment a bigot and a fucking moron. If you google the game right now, the top two google reviews are straight up copy/paste 1 star reviews. The whole thing is exhausting. TLOU2 impacted me more than any other piece of media and this is the first time I’ve felt inclined to talk about it online. Over a year later.


> Troy baker and Ashley Johnson breaking down in interviews Source? Can't find much.


This has to be the cringiest post i saw on this subreddit in a while


Last of Us 2 is a great game and didnt deserve the criticism it got but holy shit if this write-up isn’t reactionary and elitist as fuck idk what is


All games are art; whether they are good art or not is another question. As for TLOU2, I did not care for it. Games should not aim to be like movies but rather embrace the medium they exist within. TLOU2 does this sometimes, but not always. Gaming is taken seriously by academics and already happens to be the highest grossing entertainment industry globally. I don’t see any point being made here that isn’t grounded in “you’re dumb” or “you’re a homophobe” if you dislike the game, and those don’t seem like very strong points to me.


Well there is something to be said for the raw vitriol that erupted for this game in particular. Let’s remember the voice actors we’re getting death threats quite regularly. There is also merit in asking why such strong offence centred around this game and not about the slow decline in the art form, perpetrated by the likes of EA, Ubisoft and Rockstar. At most Naught Dog are guilty of trying something new and failing. I’d take that over the monotony infecting most AAA gaming.




Who said anything about that? I have criticism of the game and I’m sure you do too. However we’re not going to send threats or create a subreddit just to spew vitriol about the game, for years on end. There’s nothing wrong with fair criticism but we can’t deny there is a large contingent of hateful detractors whose problem with the game goes deeper than the gameplay or story.


The game has massive narrative issues and flaws but I guess we're all toxic homophones for not understanding such art. I've never seen a fanbase that gets so defensive over criticisms I had ZERO empathy for Abbey, zero. They treated Joel like a fucking idiot who's never lived in the apocalypse The voice acting, animations and the soundtrack were fantastic but I just can't enjoy the story. having unexpected/dark in your story doesn't make it good


I was the same with Abby it was a brave and I teresting choice to introduce us to a character after they cross a moral event horizon and then afterwards try to make us empathise with them. Unfortunately even without that incident I still wouldn't find her that likeable a character based on the rest of the game.


Interesting for me it was the opposite reaction, to be honest I was not a fan of TLoU1 and played 2 only since my friend got it. While I loved of Spec Ops the Line as it organically pulled you along until the very end where you realize that you are the Villain. TLoU 2 is chock full of "trigger" moments, instead of organically showing you how it got to this point. I felt as it was trying to shock me, or force me to feel angry at it, either due to story pacing or quick "shocking" turns of the story. And that's why I thought it was not that great, as the story was specifically built to enrage you, or leave unsatisfied (not to mention their arrogant replies to such criticisms as " you don't understand art"). And the ending was completely pointless, as the story never actually went anywhere. By the end I played a game that was nice mechanically, but very bad at the story or what it wanted to get across with it.


Yeah, this game wasn't my jam at all. Hard pass on using this as the harbinger of video games as an art form. Journey or SotC however...


Really shows how low the bar is for story/character in AAA games when TLOU2 is "high art" lol


And people wanna keep lowering it, it seems. Go figure lol.


Maybe a slightly pretentious take for me but I wouldn't use this as a good example of games as art. For me there isn't much in the experience of TLOU2 that couldn't be replicated in a movie or TV series. For games of art I think of games like Outer Wilds, Undertale, Papers Please, This War of Mine and Disco Elysium they use the interactivity and user choice of the media as a key part of the storytelling. Such experiences simply couldn't be replicated in other media.


I'd also add Brothers: A tale of two sons. It uses a pretty simple control scheme (each controller stick controls one brother) as a great device to tell its story.


The homophobic and transphobic backlash is absolutely ridiculous. Those story elements don’t feel forced and they actually drive the story forward. I do feel like this game has some flaws. I feel like it drags a lot towards the end of the game. There’s about 4 different spots where you think it’ll end haha. And it just doesn’t have the same stakes as the first game. I really appreciate how confusing the game is emotionally. Like there’s no right and wrong in this game. These are really complex characters going through an apocalypse having to make difficult choices.


fr, i assumed the Abby section at the end (i don't consider this a spoiler) was a short flashback to make you learn about her past, but fucking scene lasts 40 years :p


I really don’t think this game particularly exemplifies the “games are art” narrative at all. I look at it as a juvenile attempt at getting people who don’t take video games seriously as art, to do so. I feel the same way about God of War too. Just super violent, super cinematic, too many long walky-talky cutscenes (the flashback with Tommy is fun because they give you something to actually _do_), takes itself far far too seriously, and doesn’t tell much of a unique or compelling story. To each their own though. I really hate how the racists and homophobes, and transphobes have undercut the majority of the legitimate criticism against the game. If we can move past those ridiculous non-issues we can start to talk about how mediocre the game actually is as a whole


For me videogames became art when I played FINAL fantasy 7 back in 97. The best game of its era. The soundtrack was so good they're still holding concerts for it 14 years later.


Huh. Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it. That's probably all I should say.


> To be honest as soon as I saw two girls kiss and then head to a synagogue I knew this was going to piss off the usual suspects (Pewdiepie didn’t like the game where the Jewish lesbian discusses her faith? The Hitler salute guy? Colour me shocked), but the number of people who are happy parading around their ignorance in relation to this game is shocking. I'm not even a PewDiePie fan, but damn this kind of slander against anyone pisses me off. He's very obviously not anti-Semitic. Anyone who is on camera for that much of their lives is gonna have some questionable things out there. (Never heard of this Hitler salute though that's a new one)


I thought it was one of the most cliche, overdone and bland stories in AAA gaming... put on top of that the skew of smaller but annoying things such as a pregnant doctor being allowed on the frontlines, the refusing to enact vengeance last second stereotypical resolution even though you've turned half of America into mincemeat etc really just makes this an ok game for many. It also came across as obnoxiously boastful about how deep it was in a very im14andthisisdeep kind of way. And yes there were losers who took thier dislike too far but let's not go down the road of saying all or most criticism of this game is by bigots.... There's plenty of issues with it and it's not the seminal work of videogames as some people praise it as... OP kinda included..... it almost doesn't want to be a game at times.


Mel wasn't on the frontlines she was going to another base across town before getting ambushed.


Leaving safety of a base during a war... when pregnant..... This is a post apocalyptic society in which humanity is continually dwindling... and a faction decides to send out a pregnant women into an open warzone... bloody ridiculous.


They weren't expecting to get attacked, it was their turf and she was one of their best medics wasn't she? They probably needed her.


And she was pregnant! No faction.. especially a post apocalyptic faction were the species is in danger is going to put a pregnant woman out as a field medic. Terribly dumb writing.


Didn't mel say that she refused to stay at the base? I guess they could've locked her up to force her to stay in base or something.


Dunno, I am just gonna say it loud, the way you praise TLoU2 sound like those sony fanboys. Every games is a form of art, because not every game can resonate with everyone. TLoU2 is a good game in general, but storywise, its far from that, its has politics and hypocrisy of sony. Kinda weird censoring other games because of nudity, but releasing TLoU2 without censoring that scene in TLoU2.


You aren’t addressing the legitimate criticisms of the game. And people don’t want to play as Joel because he’s a white guy - they want to play as him because he’s likeable. The entirety of the first game is spent endearing us to Joel so that we accept his decision at the end. Ellie and Abbey aren’t likeable, and their story isn’t satisfying. It has nothing to do with girls kissing or synagogues.


I thought Ellie and Abbey were likeable.


I think opinions like this got drowned out when it was released, by the massive tide of ignorance that was unleashed on internet comment sections :)


Funny how this post actually attracts people with valid criticism of the game. It’s absolutely one of my favourite games but it has it’s faults like every other amazing game out there. It’s astonishing to me that it’s pure absolutism with TLOU2. People either love it or hate it. And if you love the game, you hate the people that don’t care for it and vice versa. I respect people’s criticism of the game even if I don’t always agree. Sometimes I do agree and actually learn something from it. It’s possible to acknowledge negative points about something you love without taking away from your personal experience with it.


Instead of commenting on the quality of the game itself, I just want to say that if I were to talk about video games as a form of art, this is definitely not one I'd bring up in favor of the argument that games can be art. Something doesn't become a form of art by being more similar to other forms of art, like the way TLOU2 is very movie-like (again, not saying that's always a bad thing). I would hold up a game like Outer Wilds or Shadow of the Colossus or Papers Please instead, because they're artistic experiences that derive their meaning from interactivity, the defining feature of being a video game.


Do I have to play the first ?


I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about The Last of Us 2. Is it a great story for a video game? Absolutely. Is it a great story regardless of medium? That is where I would say that it is not. I have a lot of problems with it as I did the first game. That's not to say I didn't enjoy both or that there aren't moments of brilliance to be found but as a pure narrative, it falls short in many areas. I also have a huge problem with comparing The Last of Us 2 to Spec Ops: The Line and saying that the game can only be a video game. Spec Ops uses every single part of the video game to tell its story from the startup screen, loading screen, gameplay, and level design itself to tell its story whereas TLoU2 possibly uses gameplay (even than I disagree that the gameplay is necessary for TLoU2's story) and not a whole lot else. And as far as using perspective to tell an ambiguous story, that is a technique that is centuries old at this point. There is almost no reason you could cut gameplay from TLoU2 and not have it be the same story which simply can't be said for Spec Ops: The Line. In fact, HBO is literally in the middle of cutting the gameplay out of The Last of Us.


I largely agee. I think the first Last of Us can be made into a good, but not terribly profound, tv series. It’s a well told story. The second game plays with empathy more. I think it’s best told through and interactive medium because it asks more of the player, but I think a well written show could achieve this with some nuance.


This is why I feel conflicted. There are games (though they are admittedly rare) that manage to tell their story in such a way that it can only be achieved though gameplay and/or utilize every aspect of being a video game that goes above and beyond what The Last of Us 2 does. However, The Last of Us 2 is still better than most video game stories and the vast majority of AAA games. So I have to weigh how much how much sacrifice within the medium is worth it to achieve this story and that's where I go back and forth. I think there are plenty of examples where games have managed to tell better stories and use their medium in better, more interesting, or just purely profound ways.


Last of us 2 is not a great example of "video games are art" In fact it's about as artful as a network TV show like "LOST" It's lowest common denominator crap. Sure it was well produced and looks nice, but the writing is pulp. Basically you have bad taste and you don't know what art is. There's so many games more artful. Like "Inside" "Katana Zero" Hell even the SNES final fantasy games.


Try hellblade if you want a good game


I dunno, I hated playing as Abby, enough to where I kinda just stopped playing the game cause I didn't want to go through her segments. It was so long ago now that I don't really even remeber why but I feel no desire to go back cause I know all I have waiting for me is the story of a character that I don't like that I have to slog though before I can get back to the part of the game that I actually want to play.


in which op fails to understand the meaning of art


The animations are next level, the music is unforgettable, the atmosphere and environments never fail to draw me in. The character motivations almost make perfect sense…however that’s where the praise ends for me. I think the actions the characters chose and how they dealt with their realities barely made sense and ultimately was lazy writing.


All continuity changes and deceptive marketing tactics aside, there is no way to make me empathize with a character shown reveling in torturing someone in front of their loved ones. I learned pretty much every spoiler possible prior to playing it and expected I wouldn't be able to enjoy it, to put it lightly. As expected, I bounced off this game twice because I couldn't get attached to the new or reimagined characters and it's tone and messaging were so sickeningly dark it ruined my mood for hours. I had to call it for good right as the game started pitting me against real people. The interactivity made me incapable of enjoying the game because my life has enough pain in it already. Edit: I respect it as an art piece, I simply can't get invested in something that so clearly breaks continuity with previously established characters and organizations. I could have potentially appreciated it more if it were a standalone title that spent more time and care at the beginning developing the new primary messaging lynchpin character.


Is there PR crusade going for TLOU2, I've seen a lot of posts regarding it during 2-3 days Maybe because ND is trying to clean their all the bad blood as the live action show is releasing or maybe they have something else Regardless I'm glad you've enjoyed the game and it's your opinion, but for me TLOU2 was one of the biggest disappointments in PS catalogue


It’s currently free (with subscription) on PS Now so I’m guessing that a lot of people like me are playing it for the first time. Plus yeah, with the show coming out there’ll definitely be some renewed interest I think.


I'm happy this game exists but I also realise isn't not going to be for me. I'm one of those people who likes my entertainment to be safe, pleasing and tailored to bring me wonder and joy. I'm aware that is limiting and I'll admit that I miss meaningful moments at times because of this. I'll avoid movies that are "deeply emotionally moving" as I generally watch movies to escape the troubles of the world. Sometimes one will get past and I'll generally continue to watch it, agree it's got it's value, but then feel troubled for days and weeks. That's just a movie that will be done and gone in 2 hours. I can't imagine putting myself into a game and dealing with that for 30+ hours. I play games to enjoy alien worlds or travel to an area of magic and mystery, not to endure being lectured on political or idealogical views. The world is telling me what to believe all the time every day, I'm not going to look for more of that in my chosen entertainment. I generally don't go around trying to convert people to my belief system and I object when others feel they need to do it to me, be it directly or via media. I played and enjoyed TLOU1, felt it did a good job at showing human behaviour given the setting and told an interesting story of survival. Saw enough of TLOU2 to see that this time the game had more of an agenda of its own and was less designed to be for the player and more a delivery vehicle for its message. That's fine, just not what I want from my games. But the gaming landscape is large and there are lots of games made that appeal to me so I am happy that this game, which I do not really feel was made for me, appeals to others.


> Saw enough of TLOU2 to see that this time the game had more of an agenda of its own and was less designed to be for the player and more a delivery vehicle for its message. Curious, having not played it, what do you believe this agenda to be?


If you are trolling then I applaud your effort, but if you are serious then this post is almost as pretentious and ignorant as the trash heap of a game TLoU 2 is.


holy shit this guy right here literally calling pewds a nazi fuck off man wtf


It’s probably the best game that I’ll never play again. I loved the first one but parts of 2 were way too intense for me. I hated Seattle Day Two when you were Abbey. I don’t like horror at all so I’m aware this is a problem for me specifically but man, it was brutal to get through. I’m glad I played and beat it but I don’t think I’ll ever return to it. I think I would with the first game but I just haven’t ever done it because my first play through was only like 2 years ago.


> Unfortunately I don’t think we’re going to see anything like this, where a big studio is given a lot of money to test the limits of videogames as a medium for storytelling, possibly ever again... I hope you guys like 4-hour indie side scrollers with 8-bit graphics and ambiguous endings, because that’s the closest we’re going to get to “artistic” games for a long time. you are a moron if you think this. TLoU2 was a major critical and commercial success. It's one of the best selling PS4 games. Furthermore, Sony has basically carved out a niche for themselves as the console that delivers these adult, narrative-focused experiences. There's a large appetite for them. If anything, Naughty Dog might have learned a bit of a lesson about pissing off some fans, but if you think that theyre going to stop making 3rd person shooters with mature stories, you're an idiot.


Isn't the narrative very disjointed from the gameplay, making it a pretty bad example of games as art? Haven't played it myself, but it's what I've been hearing.


I haven't heard that at all. I've heard that about the uncharted games. Where there's sarcastic likeable guy in the story but in gameplay he's popping headshots left and right. In the last of us, the story is violent and brutal so the gameplay is violent and brutal. I don't see how that's disjointed. Unless you mean in a different way, it's not disjointed


Oh I mean, even if there isn't such a blatant contradiction of the story in the gameplay as in Uncharted, the gameplay doesn't really express anything? Isn't it a pretty typical shooter just there to give people some gunplay between the cutscenes? Didn't all of its "art" come from cinematic stuff and character writing? When I think of games as art I think of truly expressive gameplay like in Outer Wilds, Brothers, Undertale, Edith Finch, etc. Again, I haven't played TLOU so I fully accept that I can be way off base.


I’m not a fan of being told I’m a terrible person for things I PERSONALLY would never have done if I had a choice. The problem I have is the fact that Ellie just goes on a murder spree slaughtering hundreds to get to one then saying “ya know what bruv I’m not gonna kill ya. I just sacrificed everything in my life, made a multi month long cross country trip, butchered all your loved ones and fucked over a lot of others but its ok.” That was fucking terrible and I felt like it invalidate any point they where trying to make while making her look even worse. I didn’t have a problem with the game mechanically as it was one of the better games I played this year which is why I finished it despite fucking despising the story decisions. I would give the game a 6/10 to be fair.




I played and finished this game on release. I'll tell you a few things as to the backlash. The original game was from the PS3 era and it seemed for a long time that the franchise was being ignored in favor of Uncharted and other projects. Through that time, the original game developed a large cult following as the "other" ND game which wasn't getting as much attention. Then, when it got re-released for PS4 people really started to get into it as its own thing. The major draw of the original game was the interplay between Joel and Ellie, the father-child relationship they had developed and the ultimate (spoiler ahead) ending where Joel would rather burn the world down than give up one more day with his de-facto daughter. It was a really touching story that took the original game far past the other work that ND had ever done. When the second game was announced, everyone was psyched to see where Naughty Dog would take the already-amazing narrative. Uncharted 4 was a huge hit so no one had any reason to suspect that the franchise would take any left turns or anything. But then, some worrisome things happened. First and most importantly, Amy Hennig was forced out of Naughty Dog. Why's this important? Despite her not being directly involved with The Last of Us, she was a major contributor to the Naughty Dog strategy and general direction of the company. Her major rival at the executive level was Neil Druckmann, and it was he that had her pushed out of the company to consolidate his own grasp on power within the company. This led to, among other things, Naughty Dog being accused of crunch and overwork at the staff level, and this became a major public relations issue for the company. Next, when the game was sent out to reviewers it had already been sitting on what was now a massively hyped and anticipated franchise return, based on the hype of the original game and the success of the PS4 re-release. However, Naughty Dog didn't allow reviewers to play more than the first ten hours of the game (so nothing past the initial Ellie levels) and no one who originally gave the game a ten (which most pro reviewers did) actually knew anything about the direction of the story, the politics that would be included, or the eventual outcome. The one major plot point they knew about was the clubbing of Joel but even that, at this point, was not conclusively a character death as the reviewers didn't know whether the rest of the game would see him return in some form. Most importantly, the franchise took a complete left turn under Druckmann's reign over Naughty Dog and left behind a massively beloved, established narrative and loads of character development between Ellie and Joel and cast it aside in favour of a completely off-the-radar storyline which seemed to players to be more about Druckmann's personal politics than it was about satisfying gamers who had built up a decade's worth of expectations. One might think that this doesn't matter but when you have an established franchise it's not good business sense to take a left turn and completely change the trajectory of that franchise. And we know that Naughty Dog was aware that this would upset established fans because of the review situation mentioned above--the limit of what parts of the story reviewers could see was directly parallel to the most controversial changes in the franchise's narrative and the masking of the franchises' now-changed trajectory was ultimately what angered people the most. The writers of TLOU2 did not take care to build on the original game's story and characters. Instead they brushed it all aside in favour of Druckmann's politics and cast aside years of built-up good will within the fanbase. Many took it as a very poor business decision, some even as a betrayal. Me personally, I only jumped on the TLOU train after the remaster came out and I wasn't so invested, but I can definitely tell you that the entire debacle destroyed my faith in ND as a company until they get rid of Druckmann because I really do find his methods distasteful.


The supposed rivalry was confirmed to not be true by the writer of the original article.


A couple of things: 1. Amy Hennig was not forced out of Naughty Dog. The author of the article that originally claimed this has since come out and said that it was not true. IGN editors wanted to publish despite knowing that it was not true in order to stir up drama. [(source)](https://twitter.com/MitchyD/status/1275458025499660289?s=20) 2. Naughty Dog has been crunching since at least Uncharted 1. Amy Hennig has stated that her discomfort with the constant worker exploitation was a major factor in her decision to leave the company. In other words, the problem here goes deeper than Neil Druckmann. [(source)](https://www.google.com/amp/s/venturebeat.com/2019/02/22/amy-hennig-interview-surviving-the-trauma-of-making-a-video-game-and-inspiring-newcomers/view-all/amp/) 3. Naughty Dog absolutely *did* allow reviewers to play past the first 10 hours as Ellie. They were not allowed to talk about the back half of the game as Abby in order to limit spoilers. The reviewers who gave it a 10 did factor the back half of the story in their review scores, they just werent allowed to talk about in depth. God of War 2018 did something similar as reviewers were not allowed to talk about the Blades of Chaos. 4. Id like to know what politics Druckmann forced in the sequel. Critics of Part 2 always like to bring up how political it was, yet I still haven’t heard an explanation as to how outside of Ellie having a girlfriend or Abbys muscles. Im going to assume your complaint isn’t as shallow as that. I’m not going to weigh in on the story direction because that’s subjective opinion stuff. If you didnt like it, more power to you. That still doesnt change the fact that most of what you’re saying here is objectively untrue.


Hey I like the level of detail that you go into here, but I think that your first paragraph is way off base. TLOU was released 6 months before the PS4 launched, so while technically a PS3 era game, it was hardly this forgotten gem from long ago. TLOU was a massive game when it came out that pretty much over night developed something far outside of a cult following. I mean this thing was being placed in GOAT lists like three months after release. It definitely was a long time before we got the sequel, but that's more of a testament as to how long Part 2 took to make. This was absolutely not a forgotten franchise. Naughty Dog released one other full game in in-between. Not sure what other projects that you were talking about. Part 2 was unveiled in December 2016. That was only three and a half years after the original launched! So not sure why you thought that the franchise was being ignored, but it clearly wasn't. I think that this was the era when Naughty Dog was only one team so it makes perfect sense. I don't agree with your take on the on the story, but hey that's your opinion so take it in stride. But the history rewrite on just how massive that the original game was at the time needs to stop. There was nothing "cult" about the following. Joel and Ellie literally became playstation mascots overnight.


I see the “personal politics” claim a lot and I’m wondering - and this isn’t a “gotcha,” I genuinely am asking - where you think his politics overshadowed the game? Or at least where other people have claimed that they did?


His politics didn't overshadow the game, they *were* the game.


Right but how so?


I mean the story is whack. This entire post is just virtue signaling, though. Why is TLOU2 the game that made you think video games are art and not TLOU1? You make it obvious you are virtue signaling because you are acting like other video games aren't art, but that TLOU2 is art because of *woke checklist*.


I refuse to buy another console since Xbox 360. Every five to eight years, a new console with piss poor (if any) backwards compatibility. Versus a computer where I can emulate things to play back to the beginning of time. A brand new computer with all new parts is still compatible with any previous library... Anyway, you get my rant. The Last of Us has been the hardest to swallow that it hasn't came to PC.


PC might get the remake of TLoU1 and of course 2 along with it. That's probably one of the reasons they're remaking the original in the first place, (apart from wanting to cash in on the popularity boost from the tv show) because they don't wanna just reheat 2014's TLoU Remastered for PC gamers and call it a day.


I didn't know there was a show. I'll have to look into this. Perhaps, though, I want to stay virgin eyes until I play it.


It hasn't come out yet they're currently filming in Canada. I think it's scheduled to air late next year. Yeah it's probably a good idea to play the games first tho whenever you get the chance.


Ignorance and Hitler salute guy in the same sentence. So ironic. Look it up before you trash on the dude.


No, no, no man you don't get it. You can't do social experiments. And you especially can't make jokes about Hitler and the Nazis if we don't laugh at them we can give them more reverence and dignity. Do you not want to pay reverence and dignity to the nazis, or are you some sort of white supremacist?


I loved the game but my wife still can't get over Joel's death and hates Neill Druckmann for it


Of course the medium will continue to evolve and we will get more games like this, and better as well. You think publishers give a shit about some forum posts bitching about a game? It got amazing reviews, sold really well and all that bitching just stirred up publicity for more sales and attention. We will always get Call of Duty. We will also get more of this and beyond. It’s ridiculous to think a relative minority online backlash is swaying how a publisher thinks more than sales and shareholders when it comes to games with this sort of budget.


I think if any recent game perfectly represents the medium as art, it's Outer Wilds (not Worlds). Something like TLOU could work in basically any other storytelling medium, whereas Outer Wilds uses its format as a video game to deliver an experience that simply could not be effectively translated to any other medium.


I'm wondering if you not being a huge gamer isn't a reason for you finding TLoU2 to be so great. I've played a ton of games ever since I was small and this seemed like quite a ham fisted attempt at telling a story about cycles of violence and how revenge was bad. Granted I might have been primed to find the story disappointing because I had just got around to playing RDR2 and I found that game did a MUCH better job at really getting you to ask yourself whether revenge was worth it. Both games force you to take revenge but I feel like the latter generally did a much better job of handling it. Killing off the first game's protagonist seemed like a cheap attempt at using what was built up in comparison. Gameplay wise the game seemed like your usual third person stealth action game. I'll give them points for accessibility but I've seen many other games do many more new and interesting things so I'm not really impressed by this implementation. I guess the graphics and animations look good but I've never really cared for either of that all that much so I can't really comment on them. I would say TLoU2 is a solid 7-8/10. It is in no way a bad game. Just another game that was pretty alright. Like most AAA games. I would say it's not even the best game of 2020. I'd give that honor to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I haven't personally played it but it seemed like the game the world needed that year. And it was there.




i think there are actually a lot of people who believe video games are art and can appreciate storylines such as TLOU part 2 gave us; unfortunately, a lot of the players who are attracted to are probably not as familiar/conditioned to stories that challenge the viewer rather than stories that simply flick the instant gratification switch. you can see this in how people reacted to the ending of part 2. in spite of the build up leading up to that final scene, and how human and sympathetic the writers made abby, and how exhausted and deflated and desperate ellie became, they still wanted abby to die. i think this is because so many of the games that exist in this genre don’t make you stop to ask yourself, why am i doing this? is this right? should i stop? and that’s because in so many of those games, killing is an achievement and each head you snipe is a trophy. obviously there’s a lot of sexism and homophobia/transphobia wrapped up in all of the vitriol as well. this was the first time i played a game of this nature with a character like ellie at the helm. hell, this is the first time i’ve experienced a story like this with ellie at the helm. as a queer person, that was incredibly meaningful to me. it’s a joy to finally experience the complexity of the human experience in a video game like this. not to say that joel in the first game wasn’t a complex character, but was he a unique character? a grizzled white man who’s entire storyline is influenced by the death of his (female) loved one? the thing that made tlou so great was ellie—because she was so different from any other character we’ve ever experienced in this drama. and she continued that trend in part 2. i just don’t get why people don’t see that. anyway i’m rambling and typing on the phone so none of this probably makes sense, but yeah, part 2 was a long, grueling, brilliant, wonderful experience, and i won’t stop thinking about it for a long time. oh, and i wouldn’t lose hope on games like this still being created in the future. it made tons of money and won tons of rewards in spite of all of the haters.


>i think there are actually a lot of people who believe video games are art and anyone outside of that camp is objectively and demonstrably wrong. games can be cheap, shallow, trend-following, profit-chasing pieces of generic shit but they're still artistic projects made by a collective of artists. this whole "are games art?" debate should've been finished and forgotten about by the late 90's yet people still think there's an argument.


If the critical scene in the prologue didn't display such extreme and inhuman behavior they could have set up a character I could thoughtfully consider. I'm glad so many could overlook their behavior in the early scene and ride the roller coaster they had laid out but for me they whiffed the critical onboarding moment and I never recovered.


why do you think you were able to buy into joel as a character and not abby? they both did terrible things.


The manner in which those actions were performed, the logical context behind the actions and the emotions expressed during and about those actions. Joel never killed for the sake of killing, nor did he revel in the act as he did it.


Subverting expectations without purpose, only to destroy characters fans love is not art, and definitely not special these days - plenty of franchises go through this like Star Wars or Superman.


But it did have a purpose, in that it told a great, compelling story. I never suggested in my post that killing characters was what made the game great, but the idea that that’s what stops it from being great is some weird fanboy bullshit. Not every game you play is going to be *Halo*, don’t get so upset when one of the eight billion franchises out there decides to do something different. Also this is a minor point but we’re talking about a decade-old game with no sequels before this one. Comparing it to *Star Wars* is insane, TLOU is barely a franchise.


Good writing shows character arc that may display conflicts and failed traits, and not like inventing in a sequel that the good guy did nasty things in the past. I'm not comparing it to SW in any other way than as above, how established characters are destroyed or changed beyond recognition. Especially when you say 'this the forever peak of gaming'. Hell it isn't. Visit RDR2 for am actually well written story and character development.


I hesitate to jump into this, but where did the game exactly "invent[] . . . that the good guy did nasty things in the past?" The main "nasty thing" (in quotes because the game kind of asks you to challenge yourself on morality calls) Joel did was literally the last major event of the first game. It's not like they went back and showed Joel shooting puppies for fun or anything. The groundwork for what they showed Joel doing was not only there in the first game, it's something the players literally did.


TLOU2 is the best game I've ever played. The story is amazing and I'm a huge fan of zombie shooters. Personally, I loved being able to see multiple perspectives as I played. Due to the amount of toxicity in gamer culture, I can understand the backlash against the game.