back to article The Last of Us Part II: Never mind the Metacritic nonsense, Naughty Dog's ultra-violent odyssey is a must-play*

Greetings, traveller, and welcome to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column back for the first time with an exclusive PlayStation 4 title. This was a big release surrounded by needless controversy and immense expectations that needed some time sunk into it. Does it stand up now the dust has settled? Absolutely. …

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  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    Disabled players.

    This is how it should be done.

    MS, Apple and Google could learn a lot.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53093613

  4. Elledan Bronze badge

    I'm watching a few folk play through the game and watched/read a few reviews including Arstechnica's Angry Joe's. My opinion that TLoU2 should not have been made has not changed. The writing is sloppy, and the 'revenge is evil, m'kay' plot forced to the point where it destroys any good that the story could have had. At no point does Abby turn into anything more than a two-dimensional psychopathic killer, much like the rest of the WLF.

    Meanwhile everything that could have been, such as the rebuilding of society through efforts from the folk in Jackson and perhaps other communities, a storyline that could could have been if we look at the flashbacks Ellie has, all of that is sacrificed for the sake of a weak, poorly paced story that leaves absolutely nothing worth looking out for if there will ever be a sequel.

    I'd rather watch the The Matrix sequels on repeat than ever deal with TLoU2 again after I force myself through these Let's Plays.

    RIP, The Last of Us franchise. You turned out to be not immune to a quick cash grab after all.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale

      The Matrix sequels? What are you talking about? If they had ever made sequels (which they didn't) then I'm afraid I would have to deny their existence.

      1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        There was a second season of Westworld though! I'm glad they decided to end it there.

    2. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      The plot to the first one was trite enough to ward me off a sequel. I just don't have time to schlock through a zombie game if there isn't either fantastic gameplay or a decent plot.

      Admittedly my expectations for plot may have been (were definitely) artificially elevated due to the fact that Amy Hennig was working at Naughty Dog when it came out, so I'd assumed that she'd have at least been involved or somehow rubbed off on the team responsible.

    3. sabroni Silver badge
      Stop

      Having not played the game

      your review means fuck all.

  5. cornetman Silver badge

    There has been a lot of controversy about the game for months, especially in relation to the allegedly toxic environment at Naughty Dog itself.

    The supposed "review-bombing" is also certainly a reaction to the various leaks.

    TBH, the lesbian content of the game's protagonist is pretty meh these days. Most of the reviews I have seen are that the writing isn't really that good.

    The main "accusation" levelled at this game and others are that focussing on the woke aspects of the storyline come at the expense of a compelling story that people care about. I'm finding that a lot of recent Netflix content is in that vein. I start to watch and I just get bored because there is nothing interesting or fresh about the what is being presented. There is nothing to care about or get invested in.

    A prime example of this is the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. A Mary Sue protagonist, a gaggle of woke, box ticking LGBT friends (in particular the trans friend who doesn't contribute to the main narrative at all [bear with me, I have a trans daughter myself, I am not trans-phobic]), and all the male characters are either stupid, nonsensically weak or evil. But the worst crime of them all, is that it's just not interesting.

    I do wonder if we are reaching peak-story at this point in time. Have we had so many games/films/books that there is nothing new to tell? I'm not sure.

    I am pretty stoked about season 2 of the Umbrella Academy though. Out today in Canada!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Binged watched The Umbrella Academy (S2). Stayed up all night. Couple of slow spots, but in general I loved it! Hope you enjoy it!

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Disclaimer: I've not played either game, but watched ChristoperOdd's playthroughs of both.

      I do wonder if we are reaching peak-story at this point in time. Have we had so many games/films/books that there is nothing new to tell? I'm not sure.

      I.. don't think so. There have always been a few staple story ideas, but if a story is told well, they can still be entertaining. For me, I guess my thoughts are split between the game, and the politics. Technically, the game was impressive, especially what it squeezed out of an aging PS4 platform.

      Story-wise, I think the first game was better. Ok, it was a bit Book of Ellie but the relationship between Joel & Ellie was more fun to watch. The second.. Less so. Yes, Seattle looked great, but also rather empty. For me, there were also some jarring differences between the rival communities, one devoting waaay more resources to growing flowers than might be sensible in an apocalypse. Seattle seemed a lot better organised. I also found myself empathising with maybe the 'wrong' hero.

      For me, the politics around the game were strangely fascinating, both in context of the game, and generally. I was wondering what it really meant to include 'woke' aspects. Ellie's sexuality was no big deal, and maybe people who make it a big deal ought to question why? It's an aspect of a character, and outside of love stories, not necessarily a defining aspect. Same with trans characters.. Does it matter? They're male/female and in the interests of equality, could be performing in any non-stereotypical roles. In this story, the trans character was one of the more interesting ones for the way in which they encountered active discrimination, and some less active misgendering. The most amusing aspect for me was a lot of pre-release critics seemed to have gotten the trans character wrong.

      But as an observer, I didn't think it deserved a 10/10, more 6 or 7/10, mainly for the story and some of the game mechanics.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > "Disclaimer: I've not played either game"

        Then why are you even here, never mind posting such a long comment?!?

        Disclaimer: I've not actually bothered to read the the comment of someone who's not played either game.

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    You've got to be careful about writing a game this way

    In short, its just not a very fan-friendly story if you liked the characters from the first game. Technically, TLoU2 is excellent, but the new game got caught up in the current entertainment trope of subverting expectations too much. You could have subverted expectations by

    -----------

    Moderator's note: Please do not post spoilers, for the sake of those who have avoided them and want to play the game at some point. Your comments will just be rejected. Arguing about the game is fine.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: You've got to be careful about writing a game this way

      Oh goody. If we're allowed to argue about the game can have the one where we discuss if Abby would have gotten the job done more efficiently and reduced her handicap at the same time by teeing off with a 1 wood rather than what looked to me like a shabby old 5 iron?

  7. DoctorNine

    Call me shallow

    I have to admit, sometimes I'll play an rpg just because the world is so artistically stunning. Maybe only the in-and-out if I tire of the plot (usually the lack of it). But I will spend a little coin for a ride through the universe.

    Ohhh... A pony!!!!

  8. sgoprime

    I've played through twice now and will probably start a third play through this weekend.

    I really enjoyed the game and there was only one character I felt was simply meh who I imagine should have elicited more feeling. I went in a huge fan of the original and was not disappointed by this one. As with most things, I don't generally read or care what other people's views are and judge it based on my own experience. Given that, I found the gameplay to be as excellent (and sometimes frustrating) as I'd expect, the story was dark and, at times, shocking, it was graphically impressive, found the how the main characters evolved/devolved to be nicely handled and, in general, lived up to the hopes I'd had for it.

  9. Aiiiight

    Must play

    This game is a Masterpiece. Played through it four times. They improved on everything the first had to offer. Too much sheeping on slating this game from people who have not played it and do not have their own opinion. If this was the first game, it would be deemed by most as the best game ever but people will not let things go. The two games are very original, not like things like ghosts of tsushima which from what I have seen ia just a typical far cry clone. Take territories, collectables with a story attached. I cannot stress enough how good this is. Lou2 is my game of the generation... Easily

  10. Paradroid

    Polarisation

    The sad thing about this game is it was an attempt to remind people that there's two sides to every story, reflecting the polarised world we live in. Yet here we are two major camps of opinion about the game itself. There's all the online hate for the game, some of which is bigoted and some of it is valid feelings relating to a major event that happens early on in the game.

    Then the other camp thinks it's the best thing ever and beyond criticism.Opinions somewhere in the middle get drowned out.

    The first TLOU is the best game I've ever played, but this was a disappointment to me. It was just too depressing. Even chances to lighten it up like a bunch of kids holed up in an old theatre were not taken. The only lightness was in flashback scenes. I found playing as Abby tedious because the game rewound four days and it was a lot of game time to get back to the point in the story I wanted to be at.

    Had a feeling they were going to struggle to top the first game and for me, that is true.

  11. LOU1

    Bad story, bad game

    Bad story bad game, simple. Doesn't matter to some people that the gameplay is amazing they cared more about the characters and naughty dog decided to try something different and it worked for some and not for others. Naughty Dog planned all of this. They said years before the release of the game that some original fans that they would not like part 2. It's a shame I was one of those people who hates the part 2 story. So Naughty Dog succeeded in their aim to partially alienate the fan base I'm just not sure why.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Bad story, bad game

      So Naughty Dog succeeded in their aim to partially alienate the fan base I'm just not sure why.

      Sales figures suggest it worked. Whether that will bode well for a PS5 Part 3 remains to be seen.. But sales figures suggest that's likely. They left the door open for another sequel anyway.

  12. heyrick Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "If these things would stop you from enjoying what is yet another brilliant coup for Sony, you are a loser."

    Icon says it all...

  13. P. Lee Silver badge

    >But all faux complaints come from a place of male entitlement

    And there we have it.

    You took your fanbase and dumped on everything they liked about the game you made earlier. Then you tried to invalidate their lived experience and called them evil for not liking what you did.

    Here’s a hint, which Disney can confirm: if you have a franchise with beloved characters and you mock and nullify their actions in a sequel, you will make your long term customers angry. But hey, vendor’s choice.

    It is not entitlement to expect a game with the same name to be more of the same. Then insulting your customer base on the basis of their gender is a curious marketing strategy for any organization - game studio or tech rag.

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      I would go a little further.

      If you are paying for a product, you are justified in your entitlement.

      You pay your money, you expect to get your money's worth.

      I really don't understand the narrative at the moment of lambasting paying customers for complaining that what they are paying for doesn't live up to expectations. If we buy a car and find that it is lacking, it seems to be fair enough that you give it a poor review. You buy cereal and it tastes shit, then complaining about it is legit.

      However, you buy a game in a franchise that you like to find that, behind the scenes, the people making it actively despise you, not just privately, but publicly as well: don't expect to stay in business for very long.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        I think you can subvert fan's expectations and still be wildly successful. Game of Thrones did it very well for 6 and 1/2 seasons, and became the biggest thing on TV, even though it killed off so many very popular and even beloved characters that the amount of deaths on the show became a running joke. GoT, when it was good, made these kind of downfalls the result of a series of personal failures on the part of the characters who were then overwhelmed by the ruthless politics of George R. R. Martin's world of ice and fire.

        But your heroes downfall or disappointment has to be earned. If you do something like taking Luke Skywalker from the original Star Wars trilogy and turning him into someone who tried to murder his own nephew, and is now spending his time sucking milk out of the teets of space manatees in the new trilogy, thats not really earned. It just seems like someone is breaking the rules of George Lucas' galaxy and ascribing "crazy" stuff to Luke simply because they want to bring him down a few pegs.

    2. FeepingCreature

      Why does this tactic of calling all criticisms "faux" always crop up in these kinds of articles? It's not an argument; it's the opposite of an argument. It's a paper thin excuse for not wanting to engage or even consider the other side, which considering the content of the game is stunningly ironic.

      1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

        If they're made without playing the game, they're not valid. And review-bombing isn't criticism, just mindless trolling.

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

          Excellentsword, if someone released a Star Trek episode where everyone knew they killed Captain Kirk in the first 5 minutes, its understandable that a significant part of the fanbase might object to that.

          I am not saying that killing Kirk might not be the right thing to do given the plot situation in that episode, or that his death was not well-written. However, its understandable that for a large amount of the fanbase, you immediately start from a PoV that killing Kirk was a gratuitous, divisive and fan-hostile thing to do. When you make these decisions as a producer of an entertainment franchise with established popular characters, you take your chances that you are going to get "review-bombed" by a portion of the fanbase.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's. Just. A. Game.

    If you like it, great. If you don't like it, great. You're entitled to your own opinion. It's your money to spend how you wish. It's your time to invest playing whatever game you have the time to play.

    What worries me more is this seemingly growing need for people to attribute someone's preference to an ulterior motive.

    You like the game? You must be LGBT.

    You don't like the game? You must be anti-LGBT.

    Do I think that some games are overly sexualized (and I mean in general here, not aimed at any particular orientation)? Yes, I do. There's a lot to be said for setting up a game in a way that it leaves that sort of thing to the player's imagination. It doesn't *need* to be so blatantly portrayed (this goes for television programmes too).

    Me, personally - didn't buy it because it didn't interest me. Plain and simple.

  15. Hubert Cumberdale

    Main thing that pisses me off?

    The fact that there's no PC version of either.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Main thing that pisses me off?

      I should think to count myself blessed, on that count.

  16. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Senran Kagura YES

    Last of the Alphabet Soup People II NO!

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