Cohh's unfair review of TLOU2

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prodystroyer
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Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:10 pm

I appreciate that Cohh played and reviewed this game but I find it biased so forgive my venting –
Cohh pushes how objectively bad this game is and cancels conflicting opinions. I feel this is an unfair summary of the game while pushing cancel culture to the fore and regressive for storytelling in gaming.

His strongest criticism by far is pacing giving it a 2/10, to expand on this he says it makes the experience distracting and forced by going back and forth with perspectives and timelines. This is a structure choice, TLOU1 has a macro story that keeps progressing and micro ones that occur throughout i.e Getting to Bill to get a car. TLOU2 structure does exposition and world building through flashbacks and often halts the macro story to achieve this, however this is much needed time to reflect and the pacing works the same as the former linear structure that Cohh prefers. This is a 2/10 on structure and is a subjective matter.

The next biggest criticism is no Joel and the lack of Joel/Ellie relationship development from TLOU1. In this review Cohh fails to give people the benefit of the doubt who think Joel deserved what he got coming which he does MANY times throughout the play through. The ending scene is literally Joel and Ellie getting back on the right foot and gives a new outlook on why Ellie fought so hard to avenge him. The dynamic between the two changes a lot throughout i.e. Ellie's birthday and when Joel tells her the truth about the incident. Cohh fails to remember any of this, he is lazy when he says the story is done "in a different way" but is harder on the delivery of the story than the story itself so I won't press on this.

He is bigoted when addressing the comment "What do you think about people giving this game a 10/10". He asserts to like this game you have to put the good parts "on a pedestal" and just forget the bad ones... He complains about how people are polarized by the game and this is somehow a bad thing intrinsic to the game. The irony is Cohh states the game is objectively mediocre and rejects any other opinion of the game, so of course people who disagree are going to call you out like this and create this polarizing atmosphere because the fire was already started.

I ask Cohh to be less biased in future reviews and be open to discourse emerging from games, especially ones as innovative in storytelling as this.
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Shalmon__
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Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:59 am

Was Ellie's birthday in the park before or after she went back to the the hospital and Joel told her what happened? I can't remember currently, because of the flashback mess innovative storytelling.
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prodystroyer
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Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:26 am

You weren't paying attention. Happy Joel and Ellie was all pre hospital and the last scene was Ellie starting to forgive him.
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Berrgerrs
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Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:34 am

I hear you dude, it's a game you def have to rant about one way or another after finishing. But I think he was pretty fair and I don't think anyone needs to worry about storytelling in gaming regressing. Infact, I think TLOU2 is a good turning point where the industry collectively needs to learn that if they are going to have narratives on such serious subject matter, they better get it right. High intent doesn't equal great quality. You have people in the community who have lost imperfect parents or loved ones, and now are playing this game. So you have to do the subject matter justice, otherwise your audience will rightfully abandon you.

I loved moments of the game and what it TRIED doing. But the blocking was definitely an issue. The final flashback where you learn Ellie is hell-bent on vengeance not because Joel died but because she reconciled too late happened too late. Beforehand she's about to drown Abby and that's when she breaks down and cries for the first time. It wasn't Abby that she hated all this time, it was herself. And her murder spree was the distraction to avoid her own guilt. But the way it was blocked out, it's so unclear unless you play through it more than once.

(tldr; It's not clear why she lets Abby go without that final flashback. It was never about Abby, it was about Ellie not giving Joel a second chance sooner.)

Then there's the weirdness that the story doesn't live up to it's own standards. Abby got to torture and murder in retribution. But unlike Joel or Ellie, she doesn't have to pay for it. Her friends have to pay for it, instead. And she never seems regreftful. It was such a weird way to end it with her. I honestly hoped she'd kill herself at the end, as a sort of lesson that vengaence doesn't pay. But I think ND wanted her and Lev to live so that we'll get DLC or future games with them.

Lastly the ending.. I loved the vision. But it also didn't land for me. The fact that the game is bookended with two "Explore the house" experiences was interesting. Exploring Joel's house and seeing what a full life he had. Then the ending contrasts it with Ellie's house and broken down and completely empty it is, except for a small room stowed away with tiny bits of Joel. The metaphor is very heavy-handed lol. It's sort of peaking into Ellie's brain. The game I THINK tries to end on a positive note: She's over it, she promptly throws away the guitar, grabs her bag and leaves the house never looking back. As if she's finally putting her depression, Joel and the whole ordeal behind her for good. But instead of being empowering and uplifting like I think it was meant to be (she's finally free), it just seemed like another egg in the face of Joel and Ellie's relationship. One last "*** you" to Joel's character. That custom guitar you made for Ellie and all your shit is gonna rot away in an abandoned house.

So yeah I could go on forever too, so even at it's best, there is a lot to criticize about the game. I just felt like it was heartless. Too obvious in it's attempts to pull at heartstrings. And the ACTUAL story that we needed happened in 3 flashbacks..20 minutes of an otherwise 35 hour playthrough.
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prodystroyer
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Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:37 pm

You contradict yourself stating it was a fair review and then state survivor bias. The withholding of the reconciliation doesn't block anything, it's not necessary at all and does exactly the opposite of what you say in your 4th paragraph. Ellie's love for Joel is the impetus of the hunt for Abby, Ellie doesn't cry because she hates herself she knows vengeance won't fill his void. Ellie rarely expresses love for Joel anyway so the reconciliation is just for clarity and wraps up this story ABOUT LOVE AND HATE perfectly. You project awful things in your 3rd paragraph - Why did all Abby's friends come with her to kill Joel? - because what she done was justice and somehow you think she was solely responsible and her friends deaths don't weigh heavy on her. Abby parallels Ellie but chooses love over hate hence why she didn't fight with the wolves against scars and spared Ellie twice. Lastly you say the actual story was in the flashbacks, so all our present characters and events have no importance? Forget the flashbacks and the first game and you have a masterclass in storytelling relying on plot over characters.

I respect your thoughts, however, and I hope you agree with me that discourse is good for gaming as a whole. The point of my post is you can't cancel people with other opinions because 'they forgot about the bad parts of the game' jargon, it is bigoted and an embarrassing criticism of the game in front of 20k people.
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