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22 minutes ago, Hellraiser said:
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On that first point, I feel like that's the point. I don't think anyone playing didn't have the thought of the reconciliation point in the back of their minds. I know I did, and so every moment through Abby's story I wanted to know just how it ended on day 3. It was a risky move to play the whole build-up twice but it paid off for me big time. Because when Abby infiltrates the theatre at the midway point and say says "you killed my friends" all I could think was "so fucking what, you killed Joel". Then when we get back to that point as Abby, it had so much more weight to it.

I really can't see how anyone could think Manny or Owen were 'bland and unlikeable', both were wonderfully realized and portrayed. Mel was bland and unlikeable, sure, and the likes of Nora, Jordan and the others weren't as fleshed out (nor did they need to be, they were plot devices in the same way Seth was a plot device), but Owen and Manny had such great arcs, and their deaths meant so much more because of the second half of the game.

Blatant or not, the mirroring with Abby and Lev to Joel and Ellie was very, very well done. I think people are quick to forget that Joel before he grew close to Ellie was a violent and despicable thug, unworthy of love or affection. But he grows into someone who's adored because of how much he cares for Ellie. To not give Abby the same benefit because she killed Joel is totally missing the entire point of not just this game, but the first one. Also the Lev/dead name/seraphite story was told so well and was so very human. It was a subplot that needed to be told, and will be remembered for how well it portrayed the story of a young man coming to terms with who he is.

If Abby knew Ellie was coming from the start of day one, I don't think the reconciliation would have been anywhere near as powerful. The whole point of Abby killing Joel was that it was the end of that chapter of her life, and it should've been the end of it for Ellie too. Abby's claim in the theatre of 'we let you live and you wasted it' was so very true, and also so very near-sighted from Abby. She thought her revenge was justified, and then she goes back to living her life, totally unaware that every action causes reaction, and killing Joel like she did just forced Ellie into the same spiral of hatred that Abby herself was in. She shouldn't have known Ellie was coming because by all accounts, Abby thought that story was over. So the dramatic irony of playing as someone who's totally unaware of what's happening (sometimes just minutes away) was superb.

Finally, if it was just the flashback to her Dad, the whole final chapter in Santa Barbara wouldn't have been anywhere near as crushing as it was. The whole way though I was just begging for Ellie to let it go, because the longer she went, the less human Ellie was becoming, and I just prayed she'd let it go like Abby did in the theatre. If we hadn't walked a mile in Abby's shoes, I don't think the gravitas of that final confrontation on the beach would've been anywhere near as consuming.

Far be it from me to say you shouldn't dislike this game, it's totally subjective, but to love the first half and then hate the second for what seems like no more than 'I wish I was still Ellie' feels like you may have missed the boat a little.

 

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I way preferred the second half.  

End of Day 1   

I do think Naughty Dog have been a bit pretentious at times, and they deserve a lot of criticism for the way they treat their employees. As far as Troy Baker's comments go, I think Jim Sterling m

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On 06/07/2020 at 15:52, Ollie said:
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Far be it from me to say you shouldn't dislike this game, it's totally subjective, but to love the first half and then hate the second for what seems like no more than 'I wish I was still Ellie' feels like you may have missed the boat a little.

 

Spoiler

I don't know what else to tell ya other than that the entire time I played as Abby I just wanted her part to be over. 

Also Manny was a sleazy womanizer and Owen was a bastard who cheated on his pregnant girlfriend. 

Also the final chapter in Santa Barbara dragged on for way too long. By the point I finally got to the Rattler HQ I just wanted the game to be over. They could have cut the majority of that chapter and it wouldn't have made the game worse. 

 

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Something I find an interesting choice about the game, having played it through twice now.

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Ellie never actually learns the reason that Abby killed Joel does she? As far as she knows, Abby killed Joel because he stopped them from using Ellie to create a vaccine and Abby just never corrects her on that.

I thought it was an interesting choice because they could have probably wrung a lot of melodrama out of this big moment and big reveal of Abby telling Ellie the actual reason, but they just never did, like Abby would rather let Ellie come to her own reasons for why Abby did what she did rather than retread ground that is obviously still raw.

 

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22 minutes ago, Arjen Robben said:

Something I find an interesting choice about the game, having played it through twice now.

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Ellie never actually learns the reason that Abby killed Joel does she? As far as she knows, Abby killed Joel because he stopped them from using Ellie to create a vaccine and Abby just never corrects her on that.

I thought it was an interesting choice because they could have probably wrung a lot of melodrama out of this big moment and big reveal of Abby telling Ellie the actual reason, but they just never did, like Abby would rather let Ellie come to her own reasons for why Abby did what she did rather than retread ground that is obviously still raw.

 

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I think Abby - rightly or wrongly - knows telling her wouldn't matter, in the same way it didn't matter to her what Joel's reason was for killing her own father, Ellie wouldn't care about the reasons Abby killed her father figure.

 

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Found the first part of the game that's really pissing me off. Hospital visit part 2.

fuck the zombie blob thing. At first it was scary, now it's annoying. I can't see where I'm going so I get trapped in a corner and killed.

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Without spoiling anything, whats the halfway point of the game? I keep seeing people talking about the 2nd half behind spoilers and don't want to click anything before I should.

I'm just at

The end of Seattle day 2. Hillcrest was a pain in the ass. My resources can't afford for me to be as bad at stealth as I am. Those fuckin dogs are a bigger pain in the ass than the infected.

Story wise I'm liking it so far. I feel dumb for not expecting Joel's death so soon. I don't like Dina for some reason. Its not helping that shes twice stole my fucking cover in the same encounter and let me get shot half a dozen times before she moved or tried to help out. Not enjoying the interactions as much as I did in the first game but I guess she'll grow on me.

Is there a setting anywhere to stop Ellie from changing guns on her own? Several times I've been speaking around with a silenced pistol and she's swapped to the rifle with no input from me.

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5 minutes ago, Kaney said:

Without spoiling anything, whats the halfway point of the game? I keep seeing people talking about the 2nd half behind spoilers and don't want to click anything before I should.

 

End of day 3. 

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I'm right at the end I think..... i don't wanna keep going :(

I'm at the cross point in Day 3. I'm controlling Abby. I don't want Ellie or Dina to die. Tommy's dead, Jesse's dead, Yara's dead, Manny's dead, Joel's dead, Alice is dead.... everyone is fucking dead!
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Just finished this. Not really sure how I feel about it. Like Ollie said, might need to sit with it a while but yeah. As a game it was really good for the most part, the story wasn't what I expected (or wanted maybe?) but they told the hell out of it. ND are fantastic at imbuing scenes with an amazing amount of emotion, I just think some parts of the story didn't land for me. I think I still prefer the first game by a decent margin.

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6 minutes ago, Bobfoc said:

Now tough guys can call you a cuck in the streets.

Cuck in the streets, cuck in the sheets.

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On 06/07/2020 at 14:04, Ollie said:

I way preferred the second half.

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The heart break that came from knowing what was about to happen at the end of each day was amazingly well told. The fact ND managed to not only get me to sympathize with Abby, but also agree with her was insane. Not to mention how much I hated Manny and Owen at the very start to growing so close to them in the second half, to the point that I found myself shocked at their deaths in the second half even though I'd seen them in the first.

Both Ellie and Abby's stories were mirrored so well, both played the protagonist and antagonist so well. I genuinely think the performance from Laura Bailey is amongst the greatest performances in video games ever.

 

I've just finished the game myself. 

Spoiler

I agree with your take on this @Ollie and I dug how they switched the perspectives round. You're doing the first half of the game as Ellie hell bent on revenge no matter what, even when there are instances of ideally turning back due to ongoing developments with Dina etc. 

The second half of the game is my favourite half really. Learning Abby's story and learning about her and the likes of Owen, Mel etc and learning about their motivations, learning more about there characters. You automatically focusing on Abby as this tough badass bastard when you're going through as Ellie but during Abby's half you learn actually just how vulnerable she really is and you start to think Ellie has gone so far down the path of wanting revenge and it's a question of whether she can stop herself falling completley off the track...Even when she has a happy family situation going on and has a chance to move on she just can't. 

I saw a good comment about the whole game which I agree with. I loved The Last of Us 1 but a lot of games can kinda feel like a "movie game" which Unchartered sometimes feels like. But by flipping the perspectives it's challening your own views and esentially by playing both sides you're hunting yourself down as part of a cycle for revenge. I liked the ending, I didn't want Ellie to get comeuppance and I didn't want Abby to kill Ellie. I think as well the scene with returning to the farm is quite open and it allows for your own interpretations. Have they all returned to Jackson and Ellie is returning because of Joel's stuff being there? Has Dina left with the baby? 

 

 

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Had my girlfriend playing the first one recently, I've put aim assist on, easiest setting so there's loads of ammo spawns, but she keeps forgetting to use the d-pad to actually select them so has got as far as Bill's Town basically just bare knuckle brawling everything that isn't a clicker to death.

The absolute joy on her face when she got the upgraded melee weapon just before she finished playing makes me think this likely to continue.

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2 hours ago, Jericode said:

Had my girlfriend playing the first one recently, I've put aim assist on, easiest setting so there's loads of ammo spawns, but she keeps forgetting to use the d-pad to actually select them so has got as far as Bill's Town basically just bare knuckle brawling everything that isn't a clicker to death.

Most fun way to play tbh, barring the absolute hardest difficulty.

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Finally finished this last night. Incoherent thoughts incoming:

Spoiler

Well, I fucking loved it. I didn't expect to love it. The first half was, to me, really tedious and is part of the reason it took me over a month to finish. I, too, was consumed by my thirst for Abby's blood. I, too, rolled my eyes when I realised I had to play as that bitch for a significant length of time. And then... the masterstroke happened. I learned to sympathise with her. Having completed the game, I have all these existential moral questions about the greater good, shades of grey, and individual perspective, which really is just compounding how the first game ended in many ways. The parallels are so, so intense. The juxtaposition of Abby sparing Dina after Ellie had (unknowingly) killed Mel was so harrowing.

I feel like a lot of the criticism this game has basically been "but why isn't this particular thing black and white?" I think a lot of it is driven by nostalgia for Ellie as a character, and completely missing the point that this game is many things, and one of them is about Ellie's gradual loss of innocence as she falls deeper into her quest for vengeance. There's a certain irony in players being unable to look past Abby killing Joel given the entire narrative of the game. Also, a lot of pearl clutching over things like Abby and Owen's sex scene, Lev's entire arc (both his existence and the way he is regularly dead named), a lesbian romance etc; which, given the content of literally the rest of the game, those things are really where you draw the line?

That said, there are quite a few things that didn't hit. Gameplay has always been a weak point of Naughty Dog games, and this is no different. I spent a large part of the first half actively hating Dina due to the sheer number of times she body blocked me out of cover and thus giving our position away. I agree that there are pacing issues in the second half, and I actually think this could have been solved by ending the game when Ellie leaves for Santa Barbara. There could have been enough content there for a third game, or at least a DLC chapter. The Rattlers are intriguing enemies that never truly get explored, and the final fight scene with Abby felt too soon after their first encounter. Santa Barbara in general felt very rushed, which makes sense given they rewrote the ending fairly late on, I guess. It is what it is.

Otherwise, all the major story notes absolutely struck me in the way they were intended to. Once the game finished, I was left feeling utter despair and had to lie on the floor cuddling my dog while the end credits rolled. It's bleak, but it's supposed to be, which is why I don't want to buy into the theory that Ellie and Dina are fine. The whole point, to me, is that Ellie lost everything (including the ability to play guitar -- her last tangible connection to Joel) in pursuit of revenge. I do hope and think Abby and Lev are okay, though. The way the game manipulated my feelings throughout was nothing short of genius, and its ability to completely flipping my perspective is such a storytelling success. There are many things to dislike about this game, but for me, the story isn't one of them. It's not perfect, and it wasn't the perfect game I thought the first was after playing it, but it's a top tier effort of this gen. Probably an 8/10 for me.

 

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  • 5 months later...

I finished the game!

I love the way ND tells a story within their games, and the voice acting is always on point. This was no different.

I agree with those that didn't like (a lot of) the 2nd half of the game.

Spoiler

I, too, was shocked to have to take over as Abby on such a cliffhanger, and the first hour or two of her section bored me to tears.

There were parts of hers that were really fun though, and I did warm to it eventually.

And I am glad Ellie didn't kill her tbh. I see things from Abby's side too. I felt bad for her by the end.

Bring on TLoU3, which I'll do my best to play in a more timely manner.

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I'm not sure I'd want to play some of the sections again. Some were a bit...boring? for lack of a better term. Like, walking around slowly with not a lot going on for 15/20 minutes is fine once, but not so much twice.

I did hear you can do things like playing with unlimited ammo etc in NG+ which could be fun. 

My main aim is to finish Days Gone, which I'm around 70% of the way through, I think. I'd like to get that done too before beginning something else.

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  • 1 month later...

Just finished my second playthrough after playing it on first release (collectible run for the platinum). Such a phenomenal game. Playing it with changed expectations makes for basically an entirely different game the second time through. Such a wonderful journey.

Next time I play will be the playthrough I've been most excited for - Grounded. That was an absolute blast on LoU1, and when I have recovered enough to play this again, I hope it will be equally thrilling on LoU2.

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