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  1. #1
    Incredible Member Wall-Crawler's Avatar
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    Default Last of Us II (SPOILERS)

    I am making this thread to discuss The Last of us Part 2 with spoilers.

    Just share your opinions on this game and anything related to it.

    I liked the game and especially the story quite a lot, I understand some of the complaints, and making us play as Abby for so long was a big mistake.
    As a whole though, the story of Joel and Ellie was great and all the flashbacks were absolute gold, the last scene between them adds a layer of depth and tragic to the story, considering Joel died just when Ellie was starting to forgive him, such a well executed scene.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member TriggerWarning's Avatar
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    Absolutely amazing game. 10/10. Best game of this generation and maybe ever.

    I disagree with playing as Abby being a mistake as she was great and by the end of Abby's main part of the game I sympathized more with her than Ellie. I thought it was genius that they basically did with Abby the same thing Game of Thrones did with Jaime Lannister. Set them up early to be utterly hated and reviled and then subvert that by making you like them a lot by the end. I've never been more emotionally involved with a storyline or cared about the characters and story more than I have this game. For comparison I'll use Assassins Creed Odyssey. That game was fun as hell to play from a game play / stealth perspective but story wise I couldn't have cared less about Kassandra and her family. Whereas with this game every character was so well done that I was deeply affected by each of them and their deaths.

    My initial reactions were to say that the first Last of Us game was better with this being a close second. I've gone back now to play the first, having not played it in 5 years according to my save file, and I was wrong. This is better. The first has that gut wrenching opening and a great ending but the story lags a lot in between relative to part II. And II is obviously much better refined in terms of fighting / stealth. Still better than most other games out there, it just pales compared to II.

    I honestly feel that this game may have ruined gaming for me. I was playing The Outer Worlds when II dropped and paused because of this game. Outer Worlds was a good game but now just feels so hollow and going back to it is like going from eating your favorite food to eating two day old top ramen that was out the whole time.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    3/10, as i have said in an another topic i didn't like much about it.

    The visual is impressive though, some of the best the PS4 can give.

  4. #4
    Incredible Member Wall-Crawler's Avatar
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    Damn, two very different opinions so far.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Reposting.

    I have mixed views about TLoU-2. I like what it's trying to do, and I appreciate the attempt, but they didn't execute it well, and my hope is that this game inspires other developers to take their ideas and do it better.

    The central thing that upsets so many people isn't unprecedented in games i.e. creating sympathy for a character introduced to you as a villain and then later making the character playable while also potentially having the aggrieved party forgive him. This happened in DISHONORED where Corvo Attano the player protagonist sees Daud the Assassin assassinate his lover Jessamine and kidnap their daughter in the opening, right in front of his eyes and as per canon, spared Daud's life when he supplicates to him, despite having every reason and chance to kill him. You later play as Daud from his point of view. Now Dishonored is an immersive sim and not a linear action game, and obviously presentation and context is different but in theory the concept could have been done and could have won people over.

    The Last of Us Part II is a mess because it made choices that countered that. Here are some fixes...
    -- The big mistake for me is that Ellie in the flashbacks found out about what Joel did at the end of TLoU-1. To me it would have made more sense if we learned that during Ellie's quest for revenge and not in this drip-fed flashbacks after Joel died. Like for instance, Ellie potentially pardoning/sparing Abby would have made more sense if she did it out of guilt/angst/remorse about Joel choosing her over developing a cure for the outbreak. This is why dramatic consistency depends so much on timing.
    -- Abby's Dad is a total jerk. He openly admits he wouldn't have done the operation if it was Abby instead of Ellie. Abby then hears this, commisserates with Dad and therefore becomes complicit in the Fireflies' "cut open a 14 year old for a distant chance at a vaccine" stunt. So to me these two characters are total hypocrites. They understood why Joel did what he did. So to me their entire revenge was unjustified and without any moral righteousness. They understood and knew they were doing something morally wrong and when they suffered consequences they never reflected once on what they did, or take responsibility. I mean at the end of TLOU-1, Joel saving Ellie and then lying to her was definitely supposed to be ambiguous and dark, and murky in a human way. This game seems to out-and-out say that "Joel should have let Ellie die". That's going way too far in the other direction. Especially if you are going to take the perspective of the people who wanted to kill her without telling her.
    -- It would have worked in my view if Abby's Dad insisted that they conduct more tests and take the slow road while Marlene prioritizes getting the vaccine out quickly for the sake of the Firefly cause which is losing and about to be crushed (and for whom the vaccine means total victory). Abby's Dad had to be the one to say, "We don't need to kill her. We can wait. We can take this slowly" but then Marlene puts a gun on Abby's head and says "Your daughter or Ellie, make your choice". IF they had done that, or if the doctor says he will do his best to save both Ellie and Abby, then Joel killing the doctor would have that sense of miscommunication and tragic futility that the story wants to convey, where in a sense both Joel and Abby's Dad are right and Ellie and Abby are right. Instead the game humanizes Marlene and makes the doctor into a jerk. Abby's motivation to killing Joel would make sense if her father was the moderate voice of reason in an impossible situation and that he and the Fireflies died anyway. The choice they made was an inexplicable story choice. It nullifies the entire revenge theme.

    I think if they found ways to address these issues then maybe the story they were trying to tell would have made sense. Abby and her Dad absolutely had to be innocent in some sense for their actions to even be concievably forgivable. If they are complicit child murderers without any remorse or second doubts then the story falls apart. Likewise, Ellie forgiving Abby needs the heaviness and guilt of her knowing and experiencing Joel's actions and confronting it, not a revenge story which happens a year after she lived through it.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member Wall-Crawler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post


    -- The big mistake for me is that Ellie in the flashbacks found out about what Joel did at the end of TLoU-1. To me it would have made more sense if we learned that during Ellie's quest for revenge and not in this drip-fed flashbacks after Joel died. Like for instance, Ellie potentially pardoning/sparing Abby would have made more sense if she did it out of guilt/angst/remorse about Joel choosing her over developing a cure for the outbreak. This is why dramatic consistency depends so much on timing.
    That would completely destroy the story the game was trying to tell and take away one of its strongest aspects, which is just how tragic and bad timing Joel's death was in both their lives. Ellie finding out Joel lied to her resulted in their relationship being over, they had spent two years without talking to each other and just when Ellie was starting to forgive him and build that relationship back up, Abby took that possibility away from her, this revenge story is all the more powerful because of it. It would not have been the same to have Ellie and Joel have a nice relationship throughout these four years and then killing Joel, it would not be as tragic, nor as hard hitting, nor as powerful. Not only did Abby take Joel from her, she took him at the worst possible moment, she took away every possibility there was of rebuilding their bonds at just the exact time when they were about to do so.

    Not to mention that it directly relates to two really well executed scenes, like the dance scene where Ellie tells him "I don't need your f*cking help Joel", it is so hard hitting because we as viewers are pretty much convinced at that point that those were the last words Ellie ever told him and it makes us hurt all the more, then by the very end we get hit with another powerful scene to end on a somewhat brighter note while also making the entire story all the more tragic and poignant, which is where they had their last talk, when Ellie tells Joel she will try to forgive him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post

    -- Abby's Dad is a total jerk. He openly admits he wouldn't have done the operation if it was Abby instead of Ellie. Abby then hears this, commisserates with Dad and therefore becomes complicit in the Fireflies' "cut open a 14 year old for a distant chance at a vaccine" stunt. So to me these two characters are total hypocrites. They understood why Joel did what he did. So to me their entire revenge was unjustified and without any moral righteousness. They understood and knew they were doing something morally wrong and when they suffered consequences they never reflected once on what they did, or take responsibility. I mean at the end of TLOU-1, Joel saving Ellie and then lying to her was definitely supposed to be ambiguous and dark, and murky in a human way. This game seems to out-and-out say that "Joel should have let Ellie die". That's going way too far in the other direction. Especially if you are going to take the perspective of the people who wanted to kill her without telling her.
    -- It would have worked in my view if Abby's Dad insisted that they conduct more tests and take the slow road while Marlene prioritizes getting the vaccine out quickly for the sake of the Firefly cause which is losing and about to be crushed (and for whom the vaccine means total victory). Abby's Dad had to be the one to say, "We don't need to kill her. We can wait. We can take this slowly" but then Marlene puts a gun on Abby's head and says "Your daughter or Ellie, make your choice". IF they had done that, or if the doctor says he will do his best to save both Ellie and Abby, then Joel killing the doctor would have that sense of miscommunication and tragic futility that the story wants to convey, where in a sense both Joel and Abby's Dad are right and Ellie and Abby are right. Instead the game humanizes Marlene and makes the doctor into a jerk. Abby's motivation to killing Joel would make sense if her father was the moderate voice of reason in an impossible situation and that he and the Fireflies died anyway. The choice they made was an inexplicable story choice. It nullifies the entire revenge theme.

    I think if they found ways to address these issues then maybe the story they were trying to tell would have made sense. Abby and her Dad absolutely had to be innocent in some sense for their actions to even be concievably forgivable. If they are complicit child murderers without any remorse or second doubts then the story falls apart. Likewise, Ellie forgiving Abby needs the heaviness and guilt of her knowing and experiencing Joel's actions and confronting it, not a revenge story which happens a year after she lived through it.
    I guess that is the way you saw it but I have to disagree big time, Abby's dad was not a jerk and he liked to help everyone and in any way he could, there was the specific scene of the zebra to show us just what kind of person his dad was, one who helps those in need, even animals. As for having to kill Ellie to make the vaccine, it is the only obvious choice, realistically speaking, one life isn't worth more than the vaccine for a global pandemic that has ended the world as we know it, the doctor is making the rational decision. Obviously he says that if it was his daughter, he would not go through with it, this is to mirror Joel's decision and show us that everyone in his place would have done the same, to save their daughter instead of humankind. Then we have the parallels in Abby and Ellie where we are shown they both would be willing to give their lives for this vaccine, their relationships mirrors each other and it is putting light on the subject of that decision that drives this entire game.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member TriggerWarning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wall-Crawler View Post

    Not to mention that it directly relates to two really well executed scenes, like the dance scene where Ellie tells him "I don't need your f*cking help Joel", it is so hard hitting because we as viewers are pretty much convinced at that point that those were the last words Ellie ever told him and it makes us hurt all the more, then by the very end we get hit with another powerful scene to end on a somewhat brighter note while also making the entire story all the more tragic and poignant, which is where they had their last talk, when Ellie tells Joel she will try to forgive him.
    So much this. All game I just felt horrible for Ellie thinking those were the last words she ever said to Joel. Then I find out what they really were and it was actually even worse for her because she had finally decided to try and work things out and that chance got taken away from her.

    This game was so amazingly well written and made you feel so strongly for all the characters.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member TriggerWarning's Avatar
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    My prediction for part 3.

    10-20 years pass. Abby has rejoined the Fireflies and they've found a doctor that can possibly make a vaccine. But they need Ellie so Abby makes the journey to the Jackson to find Ellie and Ellie actually agrees to go, even if it might mean her death, as she is still trying to find a way to give her life meaning.

    Possible variations. The doctor needs rescued or escorted to a lab. Abby and Ellie have to team up for this so you play as both.

    Game ends on a redemptive note for both of them as they find the cure and both can finally find peace. I think Ellie has to die for the trilogy to come full circle but it will be by her choice. Final scene is of her thinking of Joel and mother fucking dinosaurs or maybe giraffes as she fades out.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member Drako's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wall-Crawler View Post
    I guess that is the way you saw it but I have to disagree big time, Abby's dad was not a jerk and he liked to help everyone and in any way he could, there was the specific scene of the zebra to show us just what kind of person his dad was, one who helps those in need, even animals. As for having to kill Ellie to make the vaccine, it is the only obvious choice, realistically speaking, one life isn't worth more than the vaccine for a global pandemic that has ended the world as we know it, the doctor is making the rational decision. Obviously he says that if it was his daughter, he would not go through with it, this is to mirror Joel's decision and show us that everyone in his place would have done the same, to save their daughter instead of humankind. Then we have the parallels in Abby and Ellie where we are shown they both would be willing to give their lives for this vaccine, their relationships mirrors each other and it is putting light on the subject of that decision that drives this entire game.
    So he is a hypocrite?

    This game is not as bad or good people say it is.
    The graphics are amazing and the gameplay is basically the same from the first game with some good new aspects.

    But this is a story driven game and to me the story isn't good.
    And the game is too long and exhausting.

    The first one was a 10/10, this one is a 7/10 at best.
    Last edited by Drako; 06-29-2020 at 06:47 AM.

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wall-Crawler View Post
    That would completely destroy the story the game was trying to tell and take away one of its strongest aspects,
    Since I'm not a fan of the story they told, destroying it is a positive.

    Ellie finding out Joel lied to her resulted in their relationship being over, they had spent two years without talking to each other and just when Ellie was starting to forgive him and build that relationship back up,
    Which doesn't land emotionally. When we start the game we have no idea of this break or divide between Ellie and Joel (sure there are vague dialogues but the issue is initially presented as being about Joel defending her from Seth). So we get to be told of this divide between Ellie and Joel several hours into the game and well past Joel died...so that prevents any real emotional impact because audiences are distracted from identifying with the characters in favor of some processing the game's highly manipulative structure and pacing.

    Abby took that possibility away from her, this revenge story is all the more powerful because of it.
    Revenge Stories are only powerful when, to quote The Revenger's Tragedy, "When the bad bleeds, only then is the tragedy good." Or you know when we actually see the Bride Kill Bill.

    It would not have been the same to have Ellie and Joel have a nice relationship throughout these four years and then killing Joel,
    The game initially presents things that way. Until the third flashback, we are given no reason to think that Ellie knew about what Joel did all along. The manipulation of the game became laughable after that.

    Not to mention that it directly relates to two really well executed scenes, like the dance scene where Ellie tells him "I don't need your f*cking help Joel", it is so hard hitting because we as viewers are pretty much convinced at that point that those were the last words Ellie ever told him and it makes us hurt all the more, then by the very end we get hit with another powerful scene to end on a somewhat brighter note while also making the entire story all the more tragic and poignant, which is where they had their last talk, when Ellie tells Joel she will try to forgive him.
    Again that's manipulative as hell. When the game wants you to feel a certain way, they bring out the right flashback to make it work. When Ellie is about to drown Abby...they insert a flashback which has never been foreshadowed and presented until then to make Ellie back down. That's classic deus-ex-machina. It's obvious and trite manipulation.

    I guess that is the way you saw it but I have to disagree big time, Abby's dad was not a jerk and he liked to help everyone and in any way he could
    Except for Ellie. You can't say he wanted to help everyone and pass over the murder of a 14 year old child, especially one that had survived and endured so much to get there (as Marlene pointed out to him).

    ...there was the specific scene of the zebra to show us just what kind of person his dad was
    Hitler liked animals more than people too.

    As for having to kill Ellie to make the vaccine, it is the only obvious choice, realistically speaking, one life isn't worth more than the vaccine for a global pandemic that has ended the world as we know it, the doctor is making the rational decision
    Listen, if The Last of Us ended by having Joel accept that Ellie needed to die and going ahead with sacrificing Ellie for the vaccine...Naughty Dog would be pilloried, condemned, and widely criticized for its totally amoral worldview, and for its Zack Snyder-esque approach to morality in fiction. There is no way you can positively end a story saying human sacrifice is good or beneficial. It's inhuman to consider that. The first game did well by making us see the mix of motives on Joel's side...on one hand altruistic and on the other hand, nakedly selfish. But the minute you take us to another point of view, you need to find some way to qualify that setup. The way to do it was to have Abby's Dad be the adult in the room, and make the Fireflies want a vaccine out of desperation to get a legup in their military conflict and that leads them to kill Ellie while the doctor insists that if they have more time it won't be necessary.

    Obviously he says that if it was his daughter, he would not go through with it, this is to mirror Joel's decision and show us that everyone in his place would have done the same, to save their daughter instead of humankind.
    But again, if that is the case, and if Abby is in that room and heard that, then that means that her motivation for revenge is baseless. The game invites empathy for Abby but does not demand any empathy from her. She's basically Severus Snape, you know the Harry Potter character who was an a--hole to everyone for multiple books but then we get manipulative flashbacks that made it clear that he was still an a--hole who became a hero and we need to empathy for a person phenomenally incapable of empathy.
    Last edited by Revolutionary_Jack; 06-29-2020 at 07:59 AM.

  11. #11
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    It's a mixed bag for me. It's mechanically sound and the voice acting is done well. I'm confused on how I feel on the story in some part. 7 or 8 out of 10 for me. I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post

    Revenge Stories are only powerful when, to quote The Revenger's Tragedy, "When the bad bleeds, only then is the tragedy good." Or you know when we actually see the Bride Kill Bill.
    That's a narrow minded idea of what makes a revenge story good. And TLOU 2, they do kill off bad people just not all of them.


    Except for Ellie. You can't say he wanted to help everyone and pass over the murder of a 14 year old child, especially one that had survived and endured so much to get there (as Marlene pointed out to him).
    Well, wanting to help everyone and being able to help everyone are not the same thing.



    Hitler liked animals more than people too.
    Again with this. I already pointed out how comparing Abby and her father to Nazis is inaccurate and tasteless in the other thread. You don't have to make these characters sound more evil than they already are even if no one else agrees with you about them, you know.


    There is no way you can positively end a story saying human sacrifice is good or beneficial.
    Do you think The Wrath of Khan is a bad story? Because that ended with the sacrifice of a character who was (half) human for the benefit of others and that begin depicted as a tragic but ultimately good thing.

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Well, wanting to help everyone and being able to help everyone are not the same thing.
    Every doctor knows that they can't save everyone but the point is that whatever patient comes to you, you do your best to protect and save their lives, not kill them for the greater good. Operating on a child for a vague possibility of a cure is inhuman and cruel and a total violation of ethics.

    Again with this. I already pointed out how comparing Abby and her father to Nazis is inaccurate and tasteless in the other thread. You don't have to make these characters sound more evil than they already are even if no one else agrees with you about them, you know.
    A) You've said your say once and now have nothing more to add. I do not appreciate being policed or hectored across multiple threads. Especially from people who don't seem interested in debating the thread as a whole or offering any detailed views of their own. I did present my detailed views, the OP responded, and I replied. You on the other have barged in mainly to have a go at me. I do not appreciate that at all.

    B) The game uses "kindness of animals" as a sign for a character being good...when again that's a shallow attempt to do so. And using the most obvious, direct, and inarguable counter-example is a short way to convey that.

    C) The Nazis absolutely cared more about animals than people. They did pass laws about conservation and so on and Hitler was a dog lover. Nazis absolutely did believe that human testing or vivisecting humans for the sake of medical cures was justified. So the comparison here is quite apt. You might have bad experiences in the past with people using that comparison in another context and so on, or feel it's use is trite in general, but again that doesn't disqualify anyone from bringing that up and using that.

    Do you think The Wrath of Khan is a bad story? Because that ended with the sacrifice of a character who was (half) human for the benefit of others and that begin depicted as a tragic but ultimately good thing.
    A character consciously choosing to sacrifice their own lives is completely different from a character being submitted to medical experimentation and human sacrifice for the greater good. There's a nice short story by Ursula K. LeGuin called The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas that talks about that. It's a short story, not very long. Go ahead and read that.

    In no work of art, from Ancient Greece to the present, has a story ended saying "Yeah they should have sacrificed that child, that was the right call". In Ancient Greece, Agamemnon was cursed and brought to a tragic end for sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia. In the Bible, God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac.

    The ending of The Last of Us is meant to be ambiguous in terms of Joel's motivations and how someone can be good for selfish reasons. That's not the same thing as "killing Ellie was the right thing to do". Had The Last of Us released a game with a story that ended that way, they would have been widely condemned as immoral and unethical in the same way Zack Snyder was.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drako View Post
    So he is a hypocrite?
    He was human. I doubt Joel would of taken on the fireflies for the life of a stranger even without the cure aspect in it. The point was to show that he and Joel were more alike than they knew.


    As to the thread question. I liked it. Not so much Ellie. It would be cool of Trigger Warning's idea happened in any potential 3. Otherwise i'd prefer Ellie wasn't in it. I've had my fill of her and the pedestal people have put her on. I am glad Abby and Lev survived and got to the firefly remanents. The only issue is I am not sure it has much replay value. In a lot of ways it reminds me of Death Note. It's built on the suspense of not knowing what happens next. Once you've experienced it for yourself there is not a very strong incentive to return outside trophy hunting. But even for that it's a solid game.
    Last edited by Farealmer; 06-29-2020 at 10:56 AM.

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farealmer View Post
    He was human. I doubt Joel would of taken on the fireflies for the life of a stranger even without the cure aspect in it.
    Ellie was a stranger to him. She's not his biological daughter. Over the course of his trip, he grew to care for her and love her, which nobody entirely expected. So Joel intervened to save someone who wasn't his child. Ergo, Joel is more selfless than Abby's chicken-hearted dad.

    The point was to show that he and Joel were more alike than they knew.
    But then what reason is there for anyone to accept he was worth mourning?

    We see this doctor from Abby's POV. Abby is introduced to us at that point, as Joel's future assassin. So we can't count on sympathy or emotional connection (I.e. significant to character we like) so we need rational reasons to accept that. The first one this game gives is, he's nice to animals, which okay seems to do the trick for some people. But for others, you need something concrete for us to accept this character. The game gives us nothing. Presenting him as someone who is ready to kill Ellie without a second thought, as someone who had to talk Marlene into doing it, and who, very cowardly, dodges the question of what he'd do if Abby were under the knife...condemns him and by extension, condemns Abby.

    If they knew and understood why Joel did what he did, and that they'd do what he did in his shoes, then the excessive anger they display cannot be accepted. If it was a real tragedy, a real miscommunicaton, like the Fireflies forcing the doctor, against his wishes, to operate by putting a gun on Abby, then that I think would have got it around. There you have a sense that Joel was right but tragic circumstances had him kill an innocent person who was himself trapped and that would underscore the theme of the "futility of revenge".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Ellie was a stranger to him. She's not his biological daughter. Over the course of his trip, he grew to care for her and love her, which nobody entirely expected. So Joel intervened to save someone who wasn't his child.



    But then what reason is there for anyone to accept he was worth mourning?

    We see this doctor from Abby's POV. Abby is introduced to us at that point, as Joel's future assassin. So we can't count on sympathy or emotional connection (I.e. significant to character we like) so we need rational reasons to accept that. The first one this game gives is, he's nice to animals, which okay seems to do the trick for some people. But for others, you need something concrete for us to accept this character. The game gives us nothing. Presenting him as someone who is ready to kill Ellie without a second thought, as someone who had to talk Marlene into doing it, and who, very cowardly, dodges the question of what he'd do if Abby were under the knife...condemns him and by extension, condemns Abby.

    If they knew and understood why Joel did what he did, and that they'd do what he did in his shoes, then the excessive anger they display cannot be accepted. If it was a real tragedy, a real miscommunicaton, like the Fireflies forcing the doctor, against his wishes, to operate by putting a gun on Abby, then that I think would have got it around. There you have a sense that Joel was right but tragic circumstances had him kill an innocent person who was himself trapped and that would underscore the theme of the "futility of revenge".
    You've said your say once and now have nothing more to add. I do not appreciate being policed or hectored across multiple threads.

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