The Last of Us Part 2 is an exceptional game in many ways. On the one hand, professional critics almost unanimously call the new Naughty Dog game one of the best in recent years, and on the other hand, a huge amount of discontent from the gaming community. The main reason for the contention is the plot, which many players have already criticized for being illogical and disregarding the heroes of the first game. So which one is right? Let's talk about this in detail today, concentrating on the first hours of the game, which caused the main flurry of negativity towards "Some of us. Part 2 ". Moreover, the negative is quite justified.
Be warned: the text contains critical spoilers for the first hours of the game. If you have just started the walkthrough, we suggest paying attention to our introductory guide to The Last of Us Part 2.
A little background for those who are not very familiar with the reasons for the noise around the game. The original The Last of Us is one of the most iconic Playstation exclusives, selling over 20 million copies and making it to the top of all the top games of all time. Given the tremendous success and status of the popular game, the sequel was expected to be at least as good as the game, besides, considering how the developers have repeated over and over again that The Last of Us Part II is the most ambitious and large-scale game in the history of Naughty Dog.
The gaming community faithfully believed, counted the days until release and enthusiastically reviewed the game's trailers. Nothing boded trouble, as at the end of April, unknown hackers leaked about 100 minutes of gameplay to the Internet, mixed with the most important cutscenes, allowing us to guess what the story would be like in the end. The script, frankly, came out ambiguous, which was expressed primarily by how exactly the developers decided to do with the main character of the first game - Joel. Getting killed with a stick at the hands of a girl who is physically superior to some bodybuilders? Obviously, this was not what the fans of the first part expected, which led to the first scandals on the part of gamers calling for a boycott of the game's sales.
There were only a few questions left regarding Joel's murder - the context and the events that led to the fatal events. Perhaps the gamers took up arms too early and chopped off the shoulder, when in the game itself the scriptwriters smoothly and logically lay the ground for a resonant scene? Unfortunately no. The context, on the contrary, destroyed a thin straw that could be grasped when justifying developers.
The result turned out to be predictable - not tolerating how cynically, suddenly and even stupidly Naughty Dog dealt with Joel, some streamers refused to continue playing at all. Others have gone even further, like tvcrank. He did not just close the game, but demonstratively broke the disc with The Last of Us Part 2. We admit that from the outside it looks like a way of shocking, but before the disc broke, he argued his position with the audience for a long time, mentioning that he was for personal reasons cannot continue the passage, how shocked he was by what he saw. This is just another example to show how the Joel's death scene can have a negative impact on fans of the first game.
An even more revealing example of the controversial reaction to “Some of us. Part 2 ”- a page with a game on Metacritic, where an impressive 95 points from journalists are side by side with 41 points from the gaming community, which are simply humiliating for the reputation of Naughty Dog. The situation is not new with scandalous games, but what is really impressive is the number of ratings - more than 64 thousand, which is an absolute record among the many thousand products presented on Metacrtic. For comparison, the first part has “only” about 10 thousand ratings with a total score of 91.
Considering that any person who is not even familiar with the product can give a rating to the game, you should not think that 39 points really reflect the quality of the game, especially when a halo of hatred hovers around the game. But is it deserved? As far as Joel's death is concerned, yes. Let's talk about this in more detail.
Illegal character behavior
The main scriptwriter of the first and second parts of The Last of Us, Neil Druckmann, decided this time to write a story about the cycle of revenge, so it is expected that to create strong motivation, both the players and Ellie needed significant sacrifices. As Tyler Durden of the incorruptible Fight Club said: “You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs,” and there is nothing wrong with that. And then, even despite the marketing campaign's attempt to convince that we would take revenge for Dina, it was obvious to many that Joel would be spending one way or another. Such a move is quite understandable and it could work flawlessly on the players, if not for several of Druckmann's mistakes in the script.
The post-apocalyptic world in The Last of Us universe is a completely unfriendly place, where every stranger is first of all a potential killer, and only then a person with whom you can have a conversation. This is exactly what the first part in 2013 showed us, where even the little girl Ellie was trained in the laws of survival and tried to conduct a conversation with seemingly friendly strangers only through the crosshairs of a hunting rifle. In the context of the first game, you can also recall Joel, who, instead of stopping in front of a person asking for help, decided on the contrary to press the gas pedal harder, since he managed to learn the rule "man to man is a wolf", which helped him survive for 20 years after the disaster.
What do we see in The Last of Us Part 2? The characters seemed to be replaced and from the hardened and experienced veterans of the post-apocalyptic world turned into gullible simpletons. In fact, it was Tommy who became the culprit in Joel's death when, after a few minutes of meeting Abby, he decided to introduce himself to her, giving both his real name and Joel. The careless step that you expect from him last. Of course, we can say that being in a critical situation (recall - hundreds of infected were chasing the whole trio) Tommy forgot about caution, and his years in the friendly city of Jackson made him a little more lenient towards strangers.
If you wish, you can justify everything, but is it worth it if the first part several times throughout the game carried the message that the main evil is people, repeatedly showing how even in critical situations Joel and Ellie were as careful as possible with strangers.
The next logical oversight, both on the part of the characters of Jol and Tommy, is the decision to agree with Abby's invitation to run with her to the house of her friends, and then to hide from the blizzard and the crowds of the infected who are pressing on them. It is one thing to introduce yourself to one stranger, quite another to go to the stranger's house, where his friends are waiting. Nobody canceled the opportunity to get into another community of cannibals, as happened to Ellie in the original The Last of Us.
And the last mistake, destroying the possibility of believing that we are facing those very survival-hardened Joel and Tommy - the excessive friendliness of the heroes in the house of Abby's friends. First of all, Tommy, spreading in a smile, talks about the fact that they are from the city of Jackson and invites strangers to go to them to collect supplies, and then Joel introduces himself warmly, calling his real name. There is no trace of Joel, who in the first game tried first of all to beat strangers, behave aggressively and only then ask who they are and where they are from. Of course, we can say that both of them in a matter of moments lost all the grains of their past experience, being in euphoria, when they escaped the fate of being torn apart by a crowd of infected.
We admit, with a strong desire, you can find excuses for everyone, even the most absurd actions of the heroes. Therefore, given the right arguments, the majority of gamers dissatisfied with the game can be convinced even of the logic of Joel's death, but will they accept it? Hardly. Perhaps no one has cracked down so cynically with their own characters and part-time favorites of the audience in recent years as Naughty Dog. Not everyone likes this technique and it is expected that many fans of the first game will be simply furious with what happened, not wanting to continue playing.
It is obvious that accepting the death of a beloved character is not a tricky business, but the main thing here is how to arrange death. You can, if not with fanfare, then at least with minimal respect, but you can show Joel's death as in The Last of Us Part 2, where the authors literally savor the violence against the main character of the last game. Not only does he die almost at the very beginning of the game epic for 30 hours, so his death looks like an attempt to reach the ultimate heights of "chernukha" and subsequently shock the players, setting the scene of death as unfairly as possible. To do this, the script contains several points at once:
It is intellectually easy to understand why Neil Druckmann chose to show the death of the main character of the last game in The Last of Us. Part 2 "- what not to do in order to make the player feel hatred for Abby and motivate him to a violent desire to take revenge. But not everything worked out according to plan and keeping in mind the logical problems, some fans of the first game perceived the death scene as a cheap trick, where, at the whim of the scriptwriter, their favorite character became a bargaining chip.
As a result, the question arises, do the authors have the moral right to dispose of the fate of their heroes in this way, especially when they create a sequel to a blockbuster that has sold over 20 million copies? Isn't the popularly beloved hero becoming something more than a puppet in the hands of the author and shouldn't the character creator start reckoning with the fan audience? I don't think I should. Real art feels best when it is free from any form of censorship. And yes, the author has every moral right to do whatever he pleases with his heroes. Similarly, the gaming community has every right and reason to hate The Last of Us Part 2, to deny the script written in it, calling it fanfiction, and the game as a whole - a disaster.
The Topic of Article: Why The Last of Us Part 2 is a Disaster: Major Mistakes in Naughty Dog History.