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TLOU II has the same basic problem a lot of games have* with them trying to Say Something Significant and it being done stupidly. On one hand, it tells you to feel bad about seeking revenge and tries to say something about its futility/ circularity. On the other, there's only one way to actually play the game, and that involves... seeking revenge. The only way not to be lectured to about morality is to destroy the disk on youtube. And then you get lectured about a different kind of morality, I guess.

*Case study being Bioshock, point out that the game is on rails plot wise and you're forced to obey the voice in your head- how meta, but potentially interesting- in order to progress; then once your programming is broken... you continue blithely following orders exactly the same as when Fontlas was 'would you kindly'ing you.

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The impact of not taking revenge at the end of a game to break the cycle is definitely undercut by the bloody trail of dozens upon dozens of dead bodies Ellie creates on the way to the final confrontation. It's similar in how at the end of Man of Steel Superman saves the one family and has to kill Zod to do it. Even if you don't think about the half dozen ways Supes could have saved the family that didn't involve snapping Zod's neck, the impact of saving that one family of 4 is severely undercut by the 25 mile radius of complete and utter destruction and the hundreds of thousands of mangled, smoldering corpses Supes and Zod caused during their 40 minute rampage.

If you're going to make a game where your ultimate moral message is that the cycle of revenge and killing needs to be broken and you have to forgive, maybe, just maybe, give the player the option of proceeding through the game without murdering a whole bunch of people along the way.

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34 minutes ago, Zoraptor said:

TLOU II has the same basic problem a lot of games have* with them trying to Say Something Significant and it being done stupidly. On one hand, it tells you to feel bad about seeking revenge and tries to say something about its futility/ circularity. On the other, there's only one way to actually play the game, and that involves... seeking revenge. The only way not to be lectured to about morality is to destroy the disk on youtube. And then you get lectured about a different kind of morality, I guess.

*Case study being Bioshock, point out that the game is on rails plot wise and you're forced to obey the voice in your head- how meta, but potentially interesting- in order to progress; then once your programming is broken... you continue blithely following orders exactly the same as when Fontlas was 'would you kindly'ing you.

At least Bioshock had an interesting premise and design/gameplay. TLOU2 gameplay was painful to watch let alone play.

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13 minutes ago, Sarex said:

At least Bioshock had an interesting premise and design/gameplay.

Yes.  If they only made the game a leeeeeettle more complex it would have been a game of the ages.

But then again Prey was a little more complex and look how well that sold. 😦

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“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

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24 minutes ago, Sarex said:

At least Bioshock had an interesting premise and design/gameplay.

Yes, I'd say that Bioshock is the case study because it gets most things right- and because the problem with its meta narrative is one of fundamentals rather than a design choice. You simply can't have a strong narrative and not also have linear goal setting where you follow instructions.

The problem with forcing people to do something in a game, as part of a moral message, is ultimately that it isn't the player doing it if there's no alternative, it's the game designer. As such, doing something like nerve stapling completely anonymous, personality less and abstracted drones in Alpha Centauri is more of a moral dilemma because it's an actual choice. Even something as otherwise cliché and banal as CoD gets that right at times, since you don't have to, for example, actually shoot anyone in No Russian. Can't stop it either, but that again is the problem with linear plotting.

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6 hours ago, Lexx said:

That reminds me of this one guy who stopped playing the game and destroyed the disc after

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Joel died

, because apparently it reminded him of

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the death of his father

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zoraptor said:

On one hand, it tells you to feel bad about seeking revenge and tries to say something about its futility/ circularity. On the other, there's only one way to actually play the game, and that involves... seeking revenge.

I didn't play either of LoU, but I do find it to be a common issue. It is interesting to watch a character in the film make all the wrong decision, but it does feel forced when the game forces you to do something you know is wrong and then slaps your wrist for doing that. I think one game that managed to pull it off is Spec Ops the line - thinking about unavoidable

White Phoespherous

scene. And I think it hits as hard, as it is usually the point when people go through the motion without thinking and then realise what kind of game they are really playing.

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Posted (edited)

I think the reason why that scene in Spec Ops works (for most people) is that they don't think about their actions when doing it. You know how it is... you're "in the zone" and you just do stuff, because you are told to do it. Not a second spared to question the action.

On a second playthrough it then falls apart, though, because you know what's going on, but the game forces you to do it anyways. Now the whole emotional impact and "wa-- woops" is gone.

Edited by Lexx
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Spec Ops is a special game. It's a prime example of the old adage "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". It's not perfect, but it captures the horror of war better than any game I've played. The fact that mechanically the game is such a bog standard, paint by numbers cover shooter works in the game's favor in lulling you into a familiar pattern, and then the weight of your actions hits you like a Mack truck.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Keyrock said:

Spec Ops is a special game. It's a prime example of the old adage "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". It's not perfect, but it captures the horror of war better than any game I've played. The fact that mechanically the game is such a bog standard, paint by numbers cover shooter works in the game's favor in lulling you into a familiar pattern, and then the weight of your actions hits you like a Mack truck.

https://www.pcgamer.com/spec-ops-the-line-writer-would-eat-broken-glass-before-considering-sequel/ 

Yeah, I enjoyed Spec Ops. I finished it and I dont remember anything specific about it that was problematic 

What I didnt know is how much some of the developers and writers dislike the idea of a sequel and also how the narrative was based on the classic Heart of Darkness book and other similar themes like the movie  Apocalypse  Now ...it makes sense if I think about the plot in Spec Ops 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_Darkness

Edited by BruceVC
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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

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10 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

https://www.pcgamer.com/spec-ops-the-line-writer-would-eat-broken-glass-before-considering-sequel/ 

Yeah, I enjoyed Spec Ops. I finished it and I dont remember anything specific about it that was problematic 

What I didnt know is how much some of the developers and writers dislike the idea of a sequel

I'm right with them. These days everything needs to be turned into a series or cinematic universe or whatever, because money, but some things are just much much much better left as a standalone, from an artistic point of view. Spec Ops told a story, it told it well, it had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Story told, message delivered, it's done, finished, over.

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Posted (edited)

This is where I get confused, didn't Last of Us Part 2 win game of the year?  Reading the above thread makes it seem like the game was hated and highly criticized.  Why do forums so often focus on fringe opinions and criticism? ... not that it doesn't have value to ask yourself how to make a game better, but from what you can read about it, it did a lot of things right (never played it never will), so why focus so much on what people didn't like, or even what you didn't like?

But serious can we talk about Troubleshooter more too???? 😋

Edited by bringingyouthefuture

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"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

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20 minutes ago, bringingyouthefuture said:

This is where I get confused, didn't Last of Us Part 2 win game of the year?  Reading the above thread makes it seem like the game was hated and highly criticized.  Why do forums so often focus on fringe opinions and criticism? ... not that it doesn't have value to ask yourself how to make a game better, but from what you can read about it, it did a lot of things right (never played it never will), so why focus so much on what people didn't like, or even what you didn't like?

But serious can we talk about Troubleshooter more too???? 😋

IMHO, that award was unjustified, Ghost of Tsushima was better game in every single aspect. To me it seems, that the jury was afraid of what would Twitter/SONY say, or they just wanted to show the message to “gamers”, who criticized it... It’s similar to Oscars and DiCaprio’s The Revenant. Everybody was expecting him to win, so the jury passed it. Even though there were better movies, and from all his nominations, this one of his weakest movie...

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1 hour ago, bringingyouthefuture said:

This is where I get confused, didn't Last of Us Part 2 win game of the year?  Reading the above thread makes it seem like the game was hated and highly criticized.  Why do forums so often focus on fringe opinions and criticism?

These awards mean nothing. They are given out like candy.

What I remember from the days is that half of reddit gaming subs were full with that bs.

 

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1 hour ago, bringingyouthefuture said:

This is where I get confused, didn't Last of Us Part 2 win game of the year?

Yep. Albeit there are a lot of GOTY awards given out, so there are a lot more than one GOTY each Y.

Quote

Reading the above thread makes it seem like the game was hated and highly criticized. 

It was, by some. GOTY awards are very rarely popularity contests among people who play the games, generally they're popularity contests among those who review games, at the entity giving the awards. And there is often a large disconnect between what reviewers think and what gamers think.

It also has to be said that (1) all too often game reviewers wish they were doing anything other than something as mundane, trivial and outright boring as reviewing games and (2) because of that reviewers are often desperate for games to be in some way Significant. Stuff with any semblance of that tends to get big ups, and treated as if it's the narrative and philosophical equivalent of Breaking Bad, even when it's closer to GoT S8 in both regards.

Quote

Why do forums so often focus on fringe opinions and criticism?

Are they fringe opinions- or at least, are they fringe opinions more than those of reviewers are? Reviewers certainly have a bigger soap box to shout from, but that doesn't mean their opinion is right. Personally I have little to no doubt for a game like TLOU2 that the vast majority of people played it and either enjoyed it, or didn't, but they also never really thought about it much at all, never ventured an opinion anywhere public about it, and have now more or less forgotten it. Because to most people games are entirely disposable entertainment and they spend as much time thinking about it as I have for Paul Blart: Mall Cop*. As such the most common opinion is probably some form of indifference with those who care strongly about it either way being fringe. But, of course, you're a lot more likely to venture said opinion if you care about something than if you don't.

Criticism is just human nature.

*which I rather enjoyed but have spent approximately 15 seconds thinking about since it ended, almost all of them now.

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Meh?

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, bringingyouthefuture said:

But serious can we talk about Troubleshooter more too???? 😋

The new monster type may be interesting. The Drifter Clowns were a good addition for human enemies, though annoying with their Final Resistance. Destrons are scary and force you to go in with a specific anti-destron strategy worked out in advance for when they show up. So waiting for the weekend to find out how the beasts differ from what has come before.

Edited by melkathi
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3 hours ago, Zoraptor said:

Personally I have little to no doubt for a game like TLOU2 that the vast majority of people played it and either enjoyed it, or didn't, but they also never really thought about it much at all, never ventured an opinion anywhere public about it, and have now more or less forgotten it. Because to most people games are entirely disposable entertainment and they spend as much time thinking about it as I have for Paul Blart: Mall Cop*.

It's generational.  Millennials are the most unreflective non-critical generation in recent memory who consume things without second guessing, and they are the current generation.  Which is why a lot of older people like Sawyers/Obsidians generation often feel frustrated with their work not selling well, the gaming community has moved past the times where their design philosophy was the standard.

I guess once Gen-Z comes of age things may improve again, so perhaps in 10 years or so things will bounce the other way again.

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“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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1 hour ago, ComradeYellow said:

It's generational.  Millennials are the most unreflective non-critical generation in recent memory who consume things without second guessing, and they are the current generation.  Which is why a lot of older people like Sawyers/Obsidians generation often feel frustrated with their work not selling well, the gaming community has moved past the times where their design philosophy was the standard.

I guess once Gen-Z comes of age things may improve again, so perhaps in 10 years or so things will bounce the other way again.

It sounds like some Millennials are the problem then and they aren't  circumspect enough

Oh well, not the problem of the rest of us. We dont want to change things in the interests of groups of people who arent making decisions  correctly like " why I like or dislike this game "  and then later get bored due to not doing proper research or just lack institutional memory about gaming classics :thumbsup:

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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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1 minute ago, BruceVC said:

It sounds like some Millennials are the problem then and they aren't  circumspect enough

Eh, Gen-Y has many virtues (courage, community consciousness, respectfulness, etc) but artistic creativity/reflection/originality are not any of them.

Remember, gaming/movies/art are hobbies and of secondary importance to matters of real life, so where one generation thrives off of the philosophy of entertainment and consumption, the subsequent generation will thrive off of primary concerns like, you know, the world around them.

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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7 hours ago, bringingyouthefuture said:

This is where I get confused, didn't Last of Us Part 2 win game of the year?  Reading the above thread makes it seem like the game was hated and highly criticized. 

You forget what forum you're on.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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9 minutes ago, Malcador said:

I blame Trump, he woke The Dragon.

As long as Fortnite turns Kajillions every year, Epic can gut itself with losses until the tide finally turns.

It's strange because Sweeney is worth double that of Gabe Newell, yet Newell has a more robust history and more celebrity status in the gaming community.

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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how can you not love that guy (even if you dont like steam or valve)

 

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I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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