The Last of Us 2 discussion and criticism

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Limitless82

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#1  Edited By Limitless82

So I have completed TLOU2 a few weeks back and probably like many of you, I also finished it with a whole mixed bag of feeling toward its' story, characters and how it ended.

At first, I was just going to simply write a moderate piece on here expressing my take of this game. However, the more I thought about my experience with it, and the more read up on others' criticism or even hatred toward TLOU2, the more I found this whole subject fascinating, not just the game itself but also the controversial responses from a certain large segment of the gaming community.

There is so much I wanted to discuss so I have planned to make a 5-part video and post them in due course, addressing some of the criticism this game has received, and flesh out some commentary of my own.

BUT this is NOT just about me, I would love to hear your guys' opinions and thoughts on the game! Please feel free to share and inspire, be it positive or negative, so long as try do so as civilized as we can be, obviously! :-)

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Limitless82

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#2  Edited By Limitless82

This is the first part of my personal thoughts. Accurate subtitle can be enabled if my accent is a bit too exotic to impress :-P

This 1st video consists of a brief intro, story recap, and addressing the backlash against the game's diversity/LGBTQ representation.

Loading Video...

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2nd video is now up. Had to split it into 2 due to the length.

The first half is focusing on the validation of Joel's ultimate fate at the hand of Abby, and Naughty Dog's bold approach by removing the "chosen one" protective halo from Joel and us the players, and made us pay an involuntary price for our "sins" from the first game.

Loading Video...

.

The second half will be debunking some of the popular criticism such as Joel's character inconsistency and subversion, and explain how Naughty Dog has actually honored Joel in the 2nd by restored his true legacy.

Loading Video...

The remaining 3 parts have been scripted but yet to be created.

3rd video will be exploring Ellie, her psychological evolution on a wasted life, my personal take of her final choice and why it made sense;

4th video will be centered around Abby and her new gang of friends, and make a fair comparison with the casts from the first game;

5th video will be an in-depth analysis of the themes of the game: vengeance, forgiveness and redemption, and what it means for the players by removing our moral superiority and Chosen One complex.

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Thor-Parker

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citgo

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F*** Abby.

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adamTRMM

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#6  Edited By adamTRMM

For someone who isn't knowledgeable on the matters, were the protagonist lesbian and the antagonist trans?

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BatmanPlusJay

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I loved the game. And I actually felt bad for and liked Abby too despite what happened to Joel, because everything Abby did you really cant blame her for. I ain't like playing as Abby when I fought Ellie cuz I was gonna be sick as hell if Abby killed Ellie as I'm playing as her. But she didn't and Ellie still the homie

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BatmanPlusJay

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@adamtrmm: No. Abby is not trans. Just a strong woman because she works out.

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VoiceofReason84

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adamTRMM

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@batmanplusjay:

So why people talk about trans issues regarding this game?

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BatmanPlusJay

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CocaColaMan

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I give the game a solid 9/10.

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g2_

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This game left a bad taste in my mouth.

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Limitless82

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Limitless82

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@adamtrmm said:

@batmanplusjay:

So why people talk about trans issues regarding this game?

there is a trans supporting character in the game and his name is Lev. Abby however, is just a regular straight CIS woman, albeit quite butch and muscular due to years of intense vengeance-fulled training.

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Limitless82

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I loved the game. And I actually felt bad for and liked Abby too despite what happened to Joel, because everything Abby did you really cant blame her for. I ain't like playing as Abby when I fought Ellie cuz I was gonna be sick as hell if Abby killed Ellie as I'm playing as her. But she didn't and Ellie still the homie

I agree, it was a surreal experience playing as one going after another, then switched again later on. And personally I think this is what made it special for me (admittedly not everybody appreciates it the same way), for all the criticism Naughty Dog have been getting, that was such a bold creative move.

Because no matter who you play as or root after, ultimately, there is no winner in hatred and vengeance as ND intended. For if we are rooting for Ellie, even if we did kill Abby's entire gang including Abby herself, there is no joy to be had, because no amount of death can bring our beloved Joel back to life, he will still be gone forever, much like how Ellie must have felt near the end of the game; and if we rooted for Abby, even if we killed Ellie, we would do so knowing what a shitty person we are for taking the life of another beloved character. And if we root for both then well, we are screwed in internal conflicts because it is a terrible choice that one does not wish to have to make.

So either way, even if we win, we still lose. And this is what made this creative move of Naughty Dog genius. And the ONLY way for this terrible dilemma to stop, is to break this vicious circle of revenge. By removing our moral superiority and chosen one complex, we are not merely a typical hero or even an anti-hero on a righteous slap-happy path of justice-delivery to some moral inferior foes, we reap and we sow on both fronts, even step we took brings us closer to victory yet also closer to damnation, and it is NOT supposed to be a glorious fun experience. I can understand why many gamers seeking a fun Saturday afternoon button-mash would hate to be put into such an unexpected position or made to feel such existential anxiety, but I for one, really really appreciated it.

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Limitless82

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@g2_ said:

This game left a bad taste in my mouth.

what is your biggest complaint about this game? what change would you have made if it was up to you?

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BatmanPlusJay

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@g2_ said:

This game left a bad taste in my mouth.

what is your biggest complaint about this game? what change would you have made if it was up to you?

They'd make it so the story goes down like how most stories traditionally go down bad guy dies good guy lives happily ever after

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Mekboy

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Besides being a technical marvel, this game was meh in some areas and sorely lacking in others(namely story).

The fact it got 10/10 across the board from "critics" is an absolute joke.

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Void_Reborn

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The only good thing about this game was the graphics and if you liked the combat of TLOU you'll like it here as well.

Aside from that it's absolute trash. It is way beyond ME: Andromeda or Aliens Colonial Marines level of bad. It is Fallout 76 level of garbage. It is the purest example of what you should never do in a game. The franchise is ruined.

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BatmanPlusJay

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#22  Edited By BatmanPlusJay

@void_reborn: You sound like an absolute child. This is probably what I sounded like bitching over the naruto vs sasuke final fight a while ago.

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The_Hajduk

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The game is jaw droppingly amazing. Hating the game because it has lesbians and you kill a dog is stupid as hell.

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Void_Reborn

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#24  Edited By Void_Reborn

@batmanplusjay said:

@void_reborn: You sound like an absolute child. This is probably what I sounded like bitching over the naruto vs sasuke final fight a while ago.

I sound like an absolute child for stating my opinion? Please don't give me that crap and learn how to be respectful. I never bashed you for liking the game. People have contrasting opinions, thoughts and perspectives. Grow up and deal with it.

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Void_Reborn

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The game is jaw droppingly amazing. Hating the game because it has lesbians and you kill a dog is stupid as hell.

Nobody hates it for those reasons.

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VoiceofReason84

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@the_hajduk: I doubt anyone hates it for those reasons. After all Ellie has been lesbian since the Dlc and that was universally liked.

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VoiceofReason84

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The only good thing about this game was the graphics and if you liked the combat of TLOU you'll like it here as well.

Aside from that it's absolute trash. It is way beyond ME: Andromeda or Aliens Colonial Marines level of bad. It is Fallout 76 level of garbage. It is the purest example of what you should never do in a game. The franchise is ruined.

From what I've heard from people around me, the game is horrible compared to the first but okay as a stand alone. I didn't know it could be considered as bad as this.

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Void_Reborn

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@voiceofreason84: I think looking at it as a standalone despite being a sequel to an already developed story and franchise is being very dishonest in terms of reviewing it. It's the second installment to The Last of Us series and it's absolutely abysmal in terms of how they drove the plot.

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incursion2

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I thought the game was a near 10/10. Its ridiculously ambitious and risky, great game imo.

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Mike_Fowler

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@voiceofreason84: you should’ve seen the reactions of various individuals when that dlc dropped back in 2014, or the reactions when that one trailer for TLOU2 showed Ellie kissing Dina

And I also don’t see how anyone can compare the game to Fallout 76 in any manner

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Limitless82

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@voiceofreason84: you should’ve seen the reactions of various individuals when that dlc dropped back in 2014, or the reactions when that one trailer for TLOU2 showed Ellie kissing Dina

And I also don’t see how anyone can compare the game to Fallout 76 in any manner

Yeah when DLC came out back then, it gathered quite a vicious backlash when certain groups of fans found out Ellie was a Lesbian.

And it certainly contributed to today's hatred among too, other major complaints ie. Joel's death, the inclusion of Lev the transgender, and a "bad" ending aka not a crowd-pleasing one.

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Limitless82

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@void_reborn: May I ask what about this game that bothered you the most?

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psi-bite234

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#33  Edited By psi-bite234

I am all for woman empowering/and having muscles but Abby was a bit too much. Overall I enjoyed playing Ellie she's what a leading female character should be but they should have replaced Abby with a male character so it can be 50/50

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BatmanPlusJay

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@void_reborn: Nah but you do sound like a child. The only good thing this game has to offer is graphics, and it's just as bad if not worse then Fallout 76 or other very badly put together and broken games? I can understand not liking the game since there isnt a single game on this planet *everyone* just likes. But the comparisons and claims you made were either childish or ignorant.

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TheManOfGlass

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Need a few more posts to be able to post images, so I’ll separate my post into multiple comments, tbh

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TheManOfGlass

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The Last of Us 2

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TheManOfGlass

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is

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SaintWildcard

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I went into this game knowing the biggest spoilers (although not everything was entirely accurate), and I saw so many videos shitting on it. I think deep inside I knew I didn't want to play as Ellie either, since I generally don't really play as a female character (which isn't to say I haven't done so or enjoyed it, I liked Plagues Tale, and that had a female lead. I enjoyed that game) , and I got burnt with The Walking Dead TTG where it went from Lee to Clemintine, and IMO it was kind of a drop in quality. So even before the leak I went into it with lowered expectations, since generally I've been disappointed by many sequels to great pieces of media. I also don't think that the first game needed a sequel, or atleast not a direct sequel, maybe a different story all together

.

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buuut.. I enjoyed the game. I wish I could sit here and hate on it, but I can't. Gameplay wise it's an obvious improvement, albeit not a major leap. I enjoyed the story for the most part, and conceptually I think it could have been a game better than the first. The first game however edges this game in terms of performances and it follows through with it's story (even if it's a simple one), much better. I think where the story in this game lost me was at the theater fight. I would almost say that the theatre fight shouldn't have happened, seems kinda pointless honestly. Then have their final fight be in beach. IDK, overall, this game IMO was a 7/8 out of 10.

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TheManOfGlass

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#39  Edited By TheManOfGlass

unnecessarily melodramatic, Psuedointellectual trash.

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Void_Reborn

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@void_reborn: Nah but you do sound like a child. The only good thing this game has to offer is graphics, and it's just as bad if not worse then Fallout 76 or other very badly put together and broken games? I can understand not liking the game since there isnt a single game on this planet *everyone* just likes. But the comparisons and claims you made were either childish or ignorant.

I don't see how my comparisons are childish or ignorant. The only thing I'd call them is vague. I am not really interested in going into the details at the moment so I left that as my take on the game. Perhaps I will delve further into what I didn't like about it when I get something together.

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Void_Reborn

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@void_reborn: May I ask what about this game that bothered you the most?

Yeah sure I'll fix something up when I have the time.

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BatmanPlusJay

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@void_reborn: Because saying you honestly believe Tlou2 is that bad is like saying red dead redemption 2 is worse than some shit that came out on the D.S. Regardless how you feel about either game to try and claim they're that bad just because you dont like it is childish as hell lmao

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Void_Reborn

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#43  Edited By Void_Reborn

@batmanplusjay said:

@void_reborn: Because saying you honestly believe Tlou2 is that bad is like saying red dead redemption 2 is worse than some shit that came out on the D.S. Regardless how you feel about either game to try and claim they're that bad just because you dont like it is childish as hell lmao

Unironically I thoroughly enjoyed RDR 2 because it didn't utterly destroy any plotpoints, introduce unnecessary, boring characters and shift the focus away from the best part of the franchise's previous installment.

There's nothing childish about what I said. The OP is asking for CV users' opinion on the game and I think it's horse shit. Is there any issue with that? Aside from being the polar opposite of my own take on the game, it's no different than someone saying it was the best experience they've ever had and they were personally and emotionally changed by it and will never forget it till the day they die. We all have our own opinions, just because I think it's complete garbage doesn't make my perspective any more childish than yours.

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BatmanPlusJay

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#44  Edited By BatmanPlusJay

@void_reborn: You'd have a point if I was talking about subjectively. Objectively Tlou2 is a good game, opinions and bias aside:

Graphics are great

Animations are great

Story telling was great regardless if you liked how it went down and think its shit.

Music.

Gameplay.

Idk about any of you, but no game breaking bugs for me, or any at all that I can recall.

So to call a game like that ^^^^

As bad as the dogshit fallout 76 turned out to be subjectively and objectively, all because the story didnt go down how you wanted it, is childish. Doesn't matter how you cut it lmao. It's like trying out some food and it's some good ass food, but you dont like how it was made so now you declare it one of the worst things you've ever eaten. Childish. Lol

Edit: But at the same time I'm just assuming you dont like it because of how controversial the story is, I dont really know your reason for not liking it other than the vague thing you said about plot points and boring characters. So what is it you dont like?

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Limitless82

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I am all for woman empowering/and having muscles but Abby was a bit too much. Overall I enjoyed playing Ellie she's what a leading female character should be but they should have replaced Abby with a male character so it can be 50/50

I am genuinely intrigued, in your opinion, HOW SHOULD a leading female character be like? is there an archetype you feel the game creators must adhere to?

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psi-bite234

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#46  Edited By psi-bite234

@limitless82:

I am genuinely intrigued, in your opinion, HOW SHOULD a leading female character be like? is there an archetype you feel the game creators must adhere to?

I feel like the rebooted Tomb Rider did a really good job on a female lead considering she didn't need to embarrass male characters on the regular. (In this I mean LOU 2 the game creators kinda used Joel to kinda boost Abby's story if you know what a mean). Generally I would like to see more female lead games that doesn't use sexists remarks to feul their character and more feminine leading characters.My main point is that they should stop using male characters to boost female characters and the other way around

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Limitless82

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buuut.. I enjoyed the game. I wish I could sit here and hate on it, but I can't. Gameplay wise it's an obvious improvement, albeit not a major leap. I enjoyed the story for the most part, and conceptually I think it could have been a game better than the first. The first game however edges this game in terms of performances and it follows through with it's story (even if it's a simple one), much better. I think where the story in this game lost me was at the theater fight. I would almost say that the theatre fight shouldn't have happened, seems kinda pointless honestly. Then have their final fight be in beach. IDK, overall, this game IMO was a 7/8 out of 10.

Nice to hear your assessment. To be honest I did have the same concern as you with the theater encounter when I first played the game. And questioned where it was necessary. But after extensive period of pondering (I've spent way too much thinking about this game tbh lol), I came to a conclusion that gives the specific story they were trying to tell, what happened in the theater and how that scene concluded was essential.

Because the creator wanted both leading characters - Ellie and Abby - to have their moment of awakening and breaking free from the circle of hatred and vengeance, they both needed a dedicated for that to occur. Unfortunately, it can not happen at the same time. Since

1: it will be way too rushed for Ellie's character, given Joel only died no more than a couple months ago and she was still hyped on bloodlust vengeance. She needed longer time than that for the rage and anguish to simmer down and the PTSD to kick in.

2. it don't seem plausible for both leads to come to sensible realization AT THE SAME TIME, even a supportive fan like me would find it a bit too convenient and silly.

So really, the story allows only ONE enlightenment at one time. This means in this case, Abby had to go first since her character's mentality was more ready for such transformation, aka moving pass hate and embrace forgiveness, given what has happened in her character arc thus far. So they had to have this theater encounter, so Abby can finally get her chance to exorcise her demon, with a little help from Lev.

Once Abby was willing to break her side of half cycle, that is not enough, because one-sided hatred can still burn down the world, that is why Ellie had to have her side of PTSD demon overcome later on in the beach.

Essentially, Theater fight was Abby's moment of redemption, and beach fight was Ellie's moment of redemption.

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Limitless82

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Limitless82

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@limitless82:

I am genuinely intrigued, in your opinion, HOW SHOULD a leading female character be like? is there an archetype you feel the game creators must adhere to?

I feel like the rebooted Tomb Rider did a really good job on a female lead considering she didn't need to embarrass male characters on the regular. (In this I mean LOU 2 the game creators kinda used Joel to kinda boost Abby's story if you know what a mean). Generally I would like to see more female lead games that doesn't use sexists remarks to feul their character and more feminine leading characters.My main point is that they should stop using male characters to boost female characters and the other way around

Yeah I understand what you mean, and generally I also agree with you that it is better for female characters to establish their own strength and value on their own merit than using opposite gender as quick step-stone. Although with that said, I also would not complain too much if that does happened, consider male protagonists have been doing exactly that to their expendable female counterparts for as long as literature/films/video games have existed. I am sure you have heard of the Damsel-in-stress trope or Woman-in-refrigerator trope by now, both were exploiting female characters to establish/boost/build-up male heroes.

Seriously, even our beloved Joel was built on the WIR trope!! Remember sweet little Sarah and her powerful death scene in the beginning of LOU1? Joel's entire character arch literally built upon her grave. Take away this WIR/dead daughter trope and the emotional anguish and psychological torment that came with it, which fulled his interaction with Ellie and affected their relationship later on, take away that one single trope and all of its resulted "benefits", Joel would be nothing but another typical self-centered hardman in an apocalypse, and would be nowhere near as endearing or relatable to us players. Think about it.

So yeah, while I do find such trope cheap, I can't blame Naughty Dog for reverse-engineering it this time with Joel as the victim instead of the benefactor.

BUT with that said, I do also believe contradicting to what some players think, Naughty Dog has actually treated Joel with the utmost respect in Part 2, be it with his life or with his death. They gave Joel something he always dreamt of having but never recovered in the first game: a chance to be a loving dedicated father to someone he loves. And even when facing death, he was in character (despite the accusation of character-inconsistency) and be himself to the very end, paid his ultimate price with unapologetic pride and dignity. They allowed Joel to be a dad, a family man and to be at his best, rather than be just a survivor, a killer and doing his usual worst. So all in all, Joel's character have evolved and evolved naturally and beautifully in the second game in my humble opinion. I feel the players who got so hang up on seeing Joel kicking ass and murdering foes are selling Joel short and missed what he really was deep at heart.

Anyway this is the short version of my take of Joel's character and fate in LOU2. I am on the process of making a video about this, if you are interested, I can tag you once I have it posted?

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psi-bite234

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