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The Last of Us Part 2

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7 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

Gameplay should always be the leading factor in scoring a videogame, not spending half the review arguing the toss over the application of violence in it. 

I disagree- TLOU was defined as much by its storytelling as it's gameplay, with the majority of the discourse around it being on the latter. Naughty Dog spent a lot of time, money and effort making it a narrative experience, it would be absurd to pretend that it should be reviewed like a Destiny expansion pack.

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So my confirmation email for this says: expect delivery by 12 June. 
 

Just checked and it’s not due for release until next week! :(

 

This is devastating news. 

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10 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

Gameplay should always be the leading factor in scoring a videogame, not spending half the review arguing the toss over the application of violence in it. 

 

Says who? That just takes you down the "objective reviews" path, when a game is always going to be the sum of its parts. A game could have the most entertaining mechanics ever created but be filled with far right propaganda or something, in which case you can't exactly ignore the message for the sake of the gameplay.

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Polygon’s criticism is very simple, and it’s that the twist in Bioshock was stupid when it happened, no matter how clever all the starved games journalists desperate for any intelligence thought it was, and that in the last ten years it would be nice if someone tried to be a bit more thoughtful than “isn’t all the violence that you have no choice but to perpetrate in our ultra violent game bad. You’re bad for doing the violence that we spent five years obsessively crafting”. Games journalists seem to shit themselves with joy over even the most basic story or theme, and fall about lavishing praise on anything that cost a lot of money to make and thinks it’s very clever. 
 

The last of us is a good story, but a deeply average game. So if you didn’t enjoy the story of the new one I’m not surprised that would be the focus.

 

13 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

Gameplay should always be the leading factor in scoring a videogame, not spending half the review arguing the toss over the application of violence in it. 

 

4/10, exactly the same as their last six games then?

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58 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

I dunno. Bad actors were in the minority- no one burned down any shops or started shooting people when the very real possibility of food shortages came up. I've always felt the "everyone will descend to their animal nature" narrative in apocalyptic fiction to be a right-wing fantasy.

 

We've got about 30,000 years of building communities and protecting each other behind us. The idea that we'll all be blasting each other in the face and becoming cannibal mobs when the going gets tough doesn't seem to match up with reality.


The reality of a post apocalyptic zombie infested planet where most of the population is dead, infected or held between military checkpoints and is quarantined at gunpoint while those outside fight for a bottle of water and against hordes of incredible fast and lethal monsters?

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I said leading factor, not JUST that of course. TLOU got those 10's because the story was excellent AND the gameplay was extremely satisfying.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Broker said:

 

4/10, exactly the same as their last six games then?

 

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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2 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

I said leading factor, not JUST that of course. TLOU got those 10's because the story was excellent AND the gameplay was extremely satisfying.

 

 

 

The gameplay is shit floaty shooting, terrible stealth, a long corridor and those incredibly taxing “place the plank in the one place you could place a plank” puzzles. It’s entirely the story and characters that make the first one at all memorable. That’s why it’s held up as one of the best games ever while the completely identical uncharted games are a bit of fun with nice graphics that everyone’s forgotten after a week. The story and characters are what elevates naughty dogs bland gameplay in this one instance.

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Sorry, I forgot this was a launch thread, how dare anyone not enjoy this game, the PlayStation magazine gave it 10/10! Who has done tedious shipping updates?!?

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12 minutes ago, Broker said:

The last of us is a good story, but a deeply average game. So if you didn’t enjoy the story of the new one I’m not surprised that would be the focus.

 

Come on mate, that's just nonsense. Fair play if you didn't enjoy it and the plank/bin/pallet stuff was a bit duff but the combat/stealth was incredibly well done.

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18 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:


The reality of a post apocalyptic zombie infested planet where most of the population is dead, infected or held between military checkpoints and is quarantined at gunpoint while those outside fight for a bottle of water and against hordes of incredible fast and lethal monsters?

Would it be by necessity that different from any other major disaster? Either Naughty Dog have some interesting things to say about how humanity really behaves in times of extreme hardship, or they've contrived an implausibly extreme environment so they can tell a story about people "descending to their true animal nature" that has no connection to reality.

 

If it's the former then you've got to ask questions about how believable it is that everyone turns on each other. If it's the latter, they're just making misery porn because they've mistaken intense nihilism for insight.

 

We'll see in a few weeks when I've played it. For me, the real standout moments of TLOU were people protecting each other, caring, and deciding the ends don't justify the means- survival is nothing without humanity.

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Just now, Down by Law said:

 

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

Because Naughty Dog are beyond criticism, you're not allowed to dislike the Last Of Us, and anyone disputing that just gets shut down?

 

I made the mistake of allowing myself to get excited about this sequel, despite not enjoying the first one at all. On paper the first game sounded great and totally up my street, but the mechanics were mostly awful and boring (combat, stealth, puzzles, AI,  all very poor/mediocre) and a 4/10 for gameplay is about right if you ignore all the decoration and set dressing.

 

This time it seemed like the game's systems were deeper and more, well, gamey, but from the reviews (the ones that actually know what they're talking about) it still sounds like typical Naughty Dog in that you're led by the nose by the story and the gameplay is a dull sideshow, but this time the story isn't even that good with at least 10 hours of padding and unnecessary bloat. It's alarming to read about the weak buddy AI after SEVEN YEARS of development, the undeveloped/dated stealth mechanics, woolly gunplay, unlikeable characters, same old sliding the bin puzzles and even that the animations don't chain together that well. The dodge button that was one of the revolutionary gameplay features? I've seen it described as a QT event that you either pass or fail.

 

Halo 2/10

 

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I'm with Broker in that I find the first to be hideously over-rated and quite dull in both its story and gameplay, but I hope you all enjoy the sequel.

 

Naughty Dog just ain't for me and I cannot personally see the hype.

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34 minutes ago, JoeK said:

 

I thought the Polygon review was absolutely fine really.

 

It's fine, I'm just pretty convinced that Polygon do this contrary thing for the sake of it most of the time.

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2 minutes ago, Eighthours said:

 

It's fine, I'm just pretty convinced that Polygon do this contrary thing for the sake of it most of the time.

 

I think Polygon's history has definitely played a factor in people being quick to shit all over them. Right from their very first website trailer where even people in the industry were taking the piss, then the Rock Band preview (where the person barely talked about the game other than to say how much he dislikes music games), and let's not forget the Doom 2016 video.

 

It's fine to not like the game based on the violence. I mean look outside, the world is already a bleak enough place as it is.

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8 minutes ago, EUkdazs said:

 

Come on mate, that's just nonsense. Fair play if you didn't enjoy it and the plank/bin/pallet stuff was a bit duff but the combat/stealth was incredibly well done.


I disagree. It’s got very bad stealth systems compared to Hitman or MGS, and it’s not a patch on Thief, a game released twenty years before it. I’m also not fond of any games that are entirely reliant on auto aim in order to keep the combat flowing smoothly. Honestly the gameplay generally felt like a boring chore I was enduring to get to the next cutscene. I enjoyed watching it far more than playing it, and I put at least twenty hours into both of my plays of it. I find Naughty Dog’s gameplay to be very, very bland and repetitive, like they designed one encounter and repeated it over and over again. Much like the new Tomb Raiders, the games feel like they’re playing themselves to the point where I question if it might have been better as a movie.

 

7 minutes ago, Dark Soldier said:

I'm with Broker in that I find the first to be hideously over-rated and quite dull in both its story and gameplay, but I hope you all enjoy the sequel.

 

Naughty Dog just ain't for me and I cannot personally see the hype.

 

I was really hoping they might bring the gameplay up to the standard of the story.
 

1 minute ago, Eighthours said:

 

It's fine, I'm just pretty convinced that Polygon do this contrary thing for the sake of it most of the time.

 

Or maybe they just have a different opinion to the majority of completely homogeneous outlets who parrot the exact same publisher approved talking points? Like I love Easy Allies, but I can’t handle their reviews of this type of game anymore purely because the reviews are as generic and repetitive as the endless sequels they’re about.

 

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5 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

Would it be by necessity that different from any other major disaster? Either Naughty Dog have some interesting things to say about how humanity really behaves in times of extreme hardship, or they've contrived an implausibly extreme environment so they can tell a story about people "descending to their true animal nature" that has no connection to reality.

 

If it's the former then you've got to ask questions about how believable it is that everyone turns on each other. If it's the latter, they're just making misery porn because they've mistaken intense nihilism for insight.

 

We'll see in a few weeks when I've played it. For me, the real standout moments of TLOU were people protecting each other, caring, and deciding the ends don't justify the means- survival is nothing without humanity.


My point was that we don’t know. That’s it’s fiction. Many movies  and books are way more violent than the LoUII and don’t feel any need to justify this violence in any meaningful way other that “the enemy is evil”. Almost no games justify their violence either and now we have a company that not only gives you probable  reasons for the violence and people’s dehumanization, but also tries to humanize enemies in an effort to make a much greater point and we choose to bash it? Yeah it’s not a long trek on a river boat to meet Brando in the end where every word he says will make your spine chill, but that would make for a boring game. 
 

We complain a lot about empty meaning in games and rightfully so, but when a company is trying to change that we try to argue against it because it’s not perfect? I really don’t know what gamers want many times but I would really like to see al those complaining about things like that how would they do it and balance trying to satisfy millions of people, tell a deep story and at the same time sell enough copies to have a job tomorrow?

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1 minute ago, Talk Show Host said:


My point was that we don’t know. That’s it’s fiction. Many movies  and books are way more violent than the LoUII and don’t feel any need to justify this violence in any meaningful way other that “the enemy is evil”. Almost no games justify their violence either and now we have a company that not only gives you probable  reasons for the violence and people’s dehumanization, but also tries to humanize enemies in an effort to make a much greater point and we choose to bash it? Yeah it’s not a long trek on a river boat to meet Brando in the end where every word he says will make your spine chill, but that would make for a boring game. 
 

We complain a lot about empty meaning in games and rightfully so, but when a company is trying to change that we try to argue against it because it’s not perfect? I really don’t know what gamers want many times but I would really like to see al those complaining about things like that how would they do it and balance trying to satisfy millions of people, tell a deep story and at the same time sell enough copies to have a job tomorrow?

Is your argument "this game tries, so it is above criticism"?

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2 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

Is your argument "this game tries, so it is above criticism"?


No, my argument is that it both tries and succeeds in a big way. Is your argument “games should justify their violence?”,  because your criticism should be labeled in any game ever and make them all shit.

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I don’t think it’s really possible to create a game that considers the impact of violence whilst also glorifying violence as much as triple A games do. If you need it to be gory and violent and for that gory violence to be cool you can’t really tell a story about how bad violence is. 
 

A lot of movies are very violent, and do little to justify that. But they aren’t the movies that think about the impact of violence. You couldn’t have a Bond movie that had a standard kill count, and really examined the impact of each death, because there’s not time. Movies that consider the impact of violence generally have short, shocking and above all scary moments of violence that are infrequent so that the impact of them can be examined. 
 

You can’t be mission impossible and the wire at the same time, glorifying pointless violence whilst also saying it’s bad. The incredible immaturity of the majority of game narratives and the range of subjects that are acceptable to portray means that you are forced to make an extremely juvenile, violent fantasy to justify your budget, and any story you try to tell on top of that has to come second to letting millions of frustrated people enact their violent fantasies on extremely realistic humans. A medium that exists largely to allow simulated murder isn’t ideal for trying to condemn violence.

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1 minute ago, Talk Show Host said:


No, my argument is that it both tries and succeeds in a big way. Is your argument “games should justify their violence?”,  because your criticism should be labeled in any game ever and make them all shit.

I'm saying that the central narrative conceit of most post-apocalyptic fiction is a collapse of human social behaviour, and we need to interrogate whether it is authentically engaging in the idea to prod at the human condition or using it to engineer a grim aesthetic and violent world for the sake of it.

 

Where are you getting "grr violence bad" from?

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5 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

I see this thread is going well...


It’s certainly going predictably. Just imagine a week and half’s time when those of us who aren’t reviewers have played it and are ready to wave our ludonarrative dissonance thoughts about, while another set of people stick to “despite all the effort put into the story it is irrelevant to games”.

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8 minutes ago, Broker said:

I don’t think it’s really possible to create a game that considers the impact of violence whilst also glorifying violence as much as triple A games do. If you need it to be gory and violent and for that gory violence to be cool you can’t really tell a story about how bad violence is. 
 

A lot of movies are very violent, and do little to justify that. But they aren’t the movies that think about the impact of violence. You couldn’t have a Bond movie that had a standard kill count, and really examined the impact of each death, because there’s not time. Movies that consider the impact of violence generally have short, shocking and above all scary moments of violence that are infrequent so that the impact of them can be examined. 
 

You can’t be mission impossible and the wire at the same time, glorifying pointless violence whilst also saying it’s bad. The incredible immaturity of the majority of game narratives and the range of subjects that are acceptable to portray means that you are forced to make an extremely juvenile, violent fantasy to justify your budget, and any story you try to tell on top of that has to come second to letting millions of frustrated people enact their violent fantasies on extremely realistic humans. A medium that exists largely to allow simulated murder isn’t ideal for trying to condemn violence.


That’s a good argument and I agree but games are 10, 20 and 30 hours long. If you have a general problem about games using violence, cartoonish or realistic, to crate their gameplay, then I agree, it would be much better to have something else. But I don’t know how to solve this and still make products which sell enough. It’s the same with cinema. The movies who have “fun violence” sell much more than Platoon for example. But the medium is different and the audience can also be different. Naughty is tying to solve the issue with story and characters and it succeeds in a big way imo. 

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8 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

I'm saying that the central narrative conceit of most post-apocalyptic fiction is a collapse of human social behaviour, and we need to interrogate whether it is authentically engaging in the idea to prod at the human condition or using it to engineer a grim aesthetic and violent world for the sake of it.

 

Where are you getting "grr violence bad" from?


But how would you do decide  that when it’s fiction? It’s just the view of the artist that the world would be like this. Just like 28 Days or Walking Dead. It’s fiction. It could also be like The Road or The Last of Us. 

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5 minutes ago, Talk Show Host said:


But how would you do decide  that when it’s fiction? It’s just the view of the artist that the world would be like this. Just like 28 Days or Walking Dead. It’s fiction. It could also be like The Road or The Last of Us. 

Are you genuinely arguing that we can't think about why a particular creative decision was made and what its purpose is within a piece of entertainment because it's fictional?

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5 minutes ago, Spacehost said:

Are you genuinely arguing that we can't think about why a particular creative decision was made and what its purpose is within a piece of entertainment because it's fictional?


No, not really. As long as you do it with all games and apply the same criticisms to them, I’d say go for it. See where it takes you. :P

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1 hour ago, Broker said:


God forbid a single reviewer should break ranks and not enjoy the ultra violent wank fantasies of the triple A industry. They should get back in line and complete with all the other gaming “journalists” to see who can repost the press release fastest.

You’ve gone a bit far there . I just think they are wrong about TLoU . But if you think that’s what needs to happen I’ll support you . 

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I think only TPP does that on the fly improvisation better than TLoU, but that doesn't have the satisfying weight of TLoU's combat.

Really interesting to see how they improved on that with the sequel. And no more plank bits is a huge plus.

I didn't expect that this would outscore the first, but it just might.

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