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Kurshok

The Last of Us 2

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Alright, I'll bite the bullet and start the topic: What do you think of it? Do you think Neil Druckmann ruined Amy Hennig's legacy on the beauty of TLOU after he shifted like a snake to screw her over, and crapped out a half-assed story with admittedly good graphics?

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That's like a super biased set of questions. That said, when I saw first gameplay trailers and cinematics, I called the game out on basking in gratuitous violence. I called the creators manchildren, who accidentally picked up something like Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and and got excited too much over it. I was sushed with responses like "it's Neil Druckmann, you don't know what you're talking about" etc.

But it seems I wasn't wrong in my hunch. I've already seen reviews with "misery simulator" genre tag, and reviewers calling Druckmann shallow, since the way he treated the theme of violence has nothing to do with philosophical approach he promised. It's more like thinking his audience is a bunch of idiots who simply don't know that violence is bad.

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"Late one night, I paused the game and asked myself aloud if the developers thought I was stupid, if they thought the existence of violence had just never occurred to me before."

 

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Addmittedly, it was a bit provoking way of black and white exaggeration. :) But, the popularity of series' like The Walking Dead should be an indicator why the game devs do that. And, actually, I'm happy that the time of censoring and people who spot harm on every corner is gone now, and that game devs can dare to make their games as violent as they feel like fitting, without having to look over both shoulders, and having to fear that they have to develop different versions for their games, because of overzealous inspection authorities.

And, of course you're free to dislike the game. It's just that the games are pretty popular, so, you're expressing a minority opinion. Which is fair enough as well of course, I dislike a lot of popular games these days.

Edited by chakkman

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I don't dislike popular games just for the sake of it. But there's no way around it, devs upped the bar substantially on violence here, in comparison to other games. The only other series I know would be Mortal Kombat, but they kind of had an excuse of the more 'comedic' effect? The context of such violence is important, although it's also worth noting that it doesn't matter to devs that much, e.g. animators who had to study source material like videos of people being hanged or beaten, and suffered PTSD from it; there are articles on the web about it.

It kind of reminds me of a similar discussion around Bioshock Infinite, where the story was so different from plain shooting enemies in the head, that people wondered whether it's too violent as well. In TLoU 2 it seems like they upped the violence just for the sake of it, and that feels like a cheap thrill to me. And I probably would have paid less attention to it, if it wasn't sold as 'intelligent' conversation about violence.

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@Kurshok Please edit the topic-title to clarify whether this thread is supposed to contain spoilers or not by adding something like [SPOILERS] or [SPOILERFREE]. I did not read anything so far, as I don't want to risk spoiling anything for me. I don't own a PS4, so it will be some time until I play it, but I surely will eventually!

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Yeah, that's a good idea since there are controversies related to the story and certain characters as well. I'm more interested in the problem above, as my approach seems to change (maybe it's an age thing).

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57 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

I don't dislike popular games just for the sake of it. But there's no way around it, devs upped the bar substantially on violence here, in comparison to other games. The only other series I know would be Mortal Kombat, but they kind of had an excuse of the more 'comedic' effect? The context of such violence is important, although it's also worth noting that it doesn't matter to devs that much, e.g. animators who had to study source material like videos of people being hanged or beaten, and suffered PTSD from it; there are articles on the web about it.

Fair enough. TBH, maybe I shouldn't comment on it anyway, as I haven't played the game yet. I only played the first part for an hour or two.

I have no doubt though that they do it because it's hip. Just like all AAA games these days do stuff because it's hip and because it sells.

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3 hours ago, chakkman said:

And, actually, I'm happy that the time of censoring and people who spot harm on every corner is gone now, and that game devs can dare to make their games as violent as they feel like fitting, without having to look over both shoulders,

I'd like to agree with you, but sadly the events of the past few weeks have shown that censorship is still as rampant as ever, it's just that it comes from different people and relates to different things.

Sure, the days of the evangelical Christian Right shutting down games for offending Jebus are long gone. But just try making a couple of those dangerous zombies black or female and watch the controversy roll in, possibly even resulting in your game being memory-holed by publishers and replaced with craven, grovelling apologies.

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... or... make them not black or female (or the protagonist), and watch the same people roll controversy in. ;)

Sick times. And that's not just because of Corona.

Edited by chakkman
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32 minutes ago, chakkman said:

... or... make them not black or female (or the protagonist), and watch the same people roll controversy in. ;)

Yep, that's the ridiculous irony.

If your zombie game doesn't include any black people, it's "whitewashing". If it does include them, but some of them are enemies or get shot, that's just plain "racism". I suppose at this point the only acceptable racial composition is to make every protagonist an immortal black person who never gets injured while shooting a load of all-white zombies, but I doubt even this will manage to avoid treading on some woke landmine. Maybe allowing white gamers to play a black protagonist is "cultural appropriation" or "blacking up", so we need to make sure the game is only purchased by people of color while all the white gamers are on their knees at the back of the gaming store whipping themselves with chains?

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I'm sorry, what are you talking about? What zombie game was released in the past few weeks that sparked outrage about its zombies? TLoU has sparked plenty of outrage on different things, or did I miss something here?

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I'm sure there has been one. Without even knowing it. People are like that these days. People also want diverse genders, bromances, vegan protagonists, you name it. It doesn't matter if it all fits in the story, or makes sense in any other way. They just have to be in there. Because entertainment is all political these days. And everybody has to be carried over to the right way. 

I won't say now which kind of ideology this kind of phasing and mass manipulation resembles massively.

Edited by chakkman

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Riiiight ... I think you forgot to mention George Soros somewhere in there... 🙄

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SPOILER

 

I think Neil Druckmann basically bullied and pushed out Amy Henig, the original The Last of Us' writer, from Naughty Dog, stole her magnum opus, then used it to push his OC Abby, then tortured and murdered Joel brutally, had a lookalike of himself spit on his corpse, had a gratuitous anal sex scene with the lookalike of himself and the unlikable Abby after forcing you to play more time as Abby than Ellie, makes it so Abby gets away scott-free while Ellie still loses everything despite supposedly taking the high road, it's a ridiculous, bullshit story.

Edited by Kurshok

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It's not about Abby supposedly being trans or Ellie being a lesbian. It's about Neil shitting all over the beloved duo of the first game, Ellie and her father figure in Joel, to satisfy Neil's edgy OC waifu's "bold and beautifulness". It has 2 cool new zombies and good graphics, but that doesn't make the shithole plot excusable.

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On top of this, the massive difference in how most official reviewers like the game whilst most gamers say it sucks, shows off a sort of disconnect between the gaming community and gaming journalists. Doesn't help that Neil acts like a smug cunt on twitter, having Joel's face paraded on Father's Day, along with mocking how so many reviews have come in for The Last of Us 2 compared to the first one, completely leaving out how so many are bad.

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Jeez. First, why triple posting? Edit button is your friend. Second, wrap some damn spoiler tags around most of what you wrote about the story. I don't care about it that much since I already read that by accident, but some people might want to play the game and learn that by themselves.

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16 hours ago, cabalistic said:

What zombie game was released in the past few weeks that sparked outrage about its zombies?

It wasn't released in the last few weeks, but Left 4 Dead 2 was criticised as "racist" because a few of the zombies were black (despite the story being that the whole population had been infected, which obviously would include people of all races).

The "last few weeks" thing refers to the frenzy of censorship and corporate virtue-signalling that has occurred across various types of media since the start of the BLM protests, including the removal of Magic cards, the renaming of Git branches, and the deletion of decades-old TV series. I don't know if it has yet affected video games, but given that it is affecting all kinds of other media I doubt that video games are somehow going to be immune.

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I never had the impression, that the gender or color of the enemies mattered in any shooter at all. They all die the same and as long as there aren't only black or female enemies, the only people who care are the lunatics who are ignored by everyone anyway...

And over-the-top violence isn't a new special thing either. In some countreis having too much of it meant that you may not advertise the game. But there is and always was plenty of it.

But if anyone is interested in a non-AAA zombi survival game with extensive crafting and zombies in all colors and shapes:
7 Days to Die is pretty good. It also features a voxel-based world, that looks way better than Minecraft.

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1 hour ago, Abusimplea said:

And over-the-top violence isn't a new special thing either. In some countries having too much of it meant that you may not advertise the game. But there is and always was plenty of it.

That is another generalisation. Sure, Mortal Kombat was a controversy back in the 90s when everything was low-res. Still, growing fidelity of violence is a problem, especially for developers: https://kotaku.com/id-have-these-extremely-graphic-dreams-what-its-like-t-1834611691

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6 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

It wasn't released in the last few weeks, but Left 4 Dead 2 was criticised as "racist" because a few of the zombies were black (despite the story being that the whole population had been infected, which obviously would include people of all races).

Let's try not to mix different things together, it only muddies the argument. Far as I understand the story from Wikipedia, one guy in an article critized the game he'd never played, and the developer called him on his bullshit. Nothing was censored, games to this day still have black and female zombies, and I'm not aware that anyone then or now has been trying to raise that particular argument again? Sounds to me like a non-issue - you'll always have some people speaking nonsense, that's just par for the course.

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The "last few weeks" thing refers to the frenzy of censorship and corporate virtue-signalling that has occurred across various types of media since the start of the BLM protests, including the removal of Magic cards, the renaming of Git branches, and the deletion of decades-old TV series. I don't know if it has yet affected video games, but given that it is affecting all kinds of other media I doubt that video games are somehow going to be immune.

I'm inclined to agree with you on the TV series. I don't know that particular show, but even if you have legitimate issues with its contents, I'd argue that pretending it doesn't exist is a poor choice and a missed opportunity.

For the magic cards I lack a bit of context, not knowing the history of those cards and not being a Magic player myself. The one card that the article shows I can immediately understand why it's a controversial card, although in the right context I'd also accept it as a brilliant satire. Though from what little is in the article it doesn't sound like it's satire, so...

As for renaming technical terms: the move from Github at this particular moment in time is virtue-signalling and activism, for sure. To be fair, though, this debate has been ongoing for several years and precedes the recent protests. Some projects already switched terms a while ago after long debates. And given that it's been public and controversial debates, I don't find fault in that. Eventually, any decision taken will displease someone :) But even if you find the renaming unnecessary or downright moronic, I don't see that anything is being censored or oppressed here.

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49 minutes ago, cabalistic said:

For the magic cards I lack a bit of context, not knowing the history of those cards and not being a Magic player myself. The one card that the article shows I can immediately understand why it's a controversial card, although in the right context I'd also accept it as a brilliant satire. Though from what little is in the article it doesn't sound like it's satire, so...

This isn't the first time MTG cards have been banned, and in the early years with the Arabian Nights block among a few others, there were definitely some very questionable cards, even by  late 90s standards.  The Invoke Prejudice card in particular is problematic for several reasons, one being because of its illustrator Harold McNeill, whose portfolio is very clearly filled with Nazi-style artwork. It's definitely not hard to see the common theme in his artwork.  The card itself was internally coded as "1488" (being a favorite number among neo-nazi fuck bags), so I can see why Wizards decided to axe this particular card.

Some of the other bans seem a little over the top, but I believe those are all cards that are no longer in Standard or tournament play anymore anyways, so its not really impacting the game at all. 

EDIT: And out of morbid curiosity just now, I didn't have to scroll far on McNeill's facebook page to see a positive reference to the Iron Cross.... yeah, I think MTG is better off without him or his cards

Edited by Amadeus

 

FMs: A Good Neighbor

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20 hours ago, peter_spy said:

That is another generalisation. Sure, Mortal Kombat was a controversy back in the 90s when everything was low-res. Still, growing fidelity of violence is a problem, especially for developers: https://kotaku.com/id-have-these-extremely-graphic-dreams-what-its-like-t-1834611691

Obviously, violent games - and making that games - isn't for everyone. It never was and never will be. I don't see that as a problem.

That some people have to do any work that is offered to them just to make a living - that is the real problem here.
Everyone - including that poor character artist - should be allowed to decide what they don't want to do without a constant fear of whether they can pay their next rent. It would indeed be great if such needs and neccessities would be a thing only experienced in games...

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