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The Last of Us Part II controversy is exhausting

On 07/12/2020 at 12:07 AM by Super Step

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I loved it. 

I understand why people with LEGITIMATE complaints hate or just don't like it. 

I can't stand the idiots that review bombed this thing with their anti-SJW bullshit before the game was released. 

As with The Last Jedi reactions, I'm done with the Internet being dumb and needing complicated art to fit neatly into a "bad" or "good" category and trying to argue these things like there's a right or wrong answer. 

What really sucks is the death threats and horrible messages aimed at developers and actors who clearly worked incredibly hard on the game. What also sucks is the overreaction to people who don't like it who are automatically assumed to be in this group when they're not. 

I just want to talk about how awesome this game was for me while listening to legit complaints myself and others have, and for the most part that's been easy to do in my circles. 

But there's something about looking at the sea of YouTube "takedowns" and Twitter idiocy surrounding this thing that is just ... so incredibly draining. Mostly it's cause I know many people will make up their minds about this thing based on some Internet guy's opinion rather than playing it. 

I kinda hate online culture. 

Anyway, I'll share my thoughts on the actual game itself if you want to hear them (I'm mixed on a lot of aspects of it but think it's great as a whole). I just needed to vent about the silliness surrounding it. 




07/12/2020 at 10:24 AM

What is the controversy about? 


07/12/2020 at 01:21 PM

Ellie, the main character, is a lesbian, and Abby's character design apparently looks like she's a transwoman, so out cake the cries of "feminism" and "SJW agenda." And death threats against her voice actress, Laura Bailey. Keep in mind these same people were mad at CD Projekt for not including the question "are you make or female" during the character creation in Cyberpunk 2077.

I've been done with "gamer culture" since the whole Gamergate shit show. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/12/2020 at 02:41 PM

Yes. There is also controversy about something that happens very early on in the game and a switcheroo that happens later in the game, which I would have enjoyed as legitimately divisive parts of the narrative if people didn't get so ... weird about them. 

It all has that overreactive "you ruined my childhood" stench about it. Like, I honestly thought Angry Joe's review of the game was totally fair (and he was very sour on the experience) but there's something about the screeching banshee delivery and "you're an idiot if you like this" attitude that turns me off. Not that people who like it haven't been guilty of "you're a child if you don't like this," etc. 

You're right, online gaming culture is a shitshow.  


07/12/2020 at 09:07 PM

I knew about the characters from the first game and the comic I read. Not sure what anyone could complain about that unless they are homophobic.

 I will take the advice to ignore all this and play what is probaby a very good game. The first one, even though I haven't finished it, was really great and showed me new things. What more can I ask from a game? Plus, I trust Insomiac. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/13/2020 at 12:49 AM

Er, you mean Naughty Dog. lol 

But you should trust Insomniac. Spider-Man is amazing and a MUCH lighter experience in terms of narrative ... in every sense of the word lighter. 


07/13/2020 at 06:43 PM

All day today I was wondering if I had that right. Oh well. Naughty Dog is double fine too. Wait, not Double Fine, but double great, I meant. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/13/2020 at 07:03 PM


Super Step Contributing Writer

07/12/2020 at 02:43 PM

I'd honestly recommend watching a playthrough or playing it for yourself and avoiding this altogether. 

I realize by posting this I'm adding to it. Just needed to vent. 


07/12/2020 at 01:45 PM

Oh, good grief. My criteria for entertainment is: Did it entertain me?, Was it fun? and Did I enjoy it?. I've learned to ignore the bullshit online. Kind of like the Black Widow controversy in whatever MCU movie people flipped out about. Like you, I don't mind when people have legitimate complaints, but most of what most people get up in arms about is ridiculous.

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/12/2020 at 02:36 PM

I don't remember the Black Widow controversy. 


07/13/2020 at 02:46 AM

Tempest in a teacup, I promise.

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/13/2020 at 03:40 AM

Honestly, Twitter could rebrand itself as the Storm in a Teacup Microblog Emporium and I wouldn't really notice.


07/13/2020 at 07:55 PM

my main issue with naughty dog is the contradictions in their own messaging. they bring criticism on themselves. that they insist that their games are trying to acheive some form of higher art when they are just making games. I'm ignoring the controversies. As an example, I just finished Uncharted 4. Nathan Drake is way overpowered and invincible in game play and completly breaks with the movie version Nathan in the cut scenes which try to make him more "realistic". As a game it's fine, but there is a very big disconnect between the movie and gameplay, and the same happens in Last of Us 1. I think I fall somwhere between JimSterling who said the game is really fun to play and kind of ruins the seriousness the devs are trying to demonstrate, while Noah Caldwell says its a very directed cinematic experience with restrained game mechanics to force this. I still want to play it though. The toxic response to games is pretty exhausting.

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/13/2020 at 08:51 PM

I agree about the silliness of the in-game vs. movie character strengths, but as a Yakuza fan I obviously don't have an issue with it. lol I definitely see what you mean though and that is one of the many legitimate complaints about TLOU 2 I have heard (I still love it). I think it's a much bigger issue there because of how grounded they try and make things but I'm able to accept that they need gameplay to happen and can sort of alter the narrative a bit in my head so things make sense while I still get to enjoy the gameplay. 

I think it didn't bother me in Uncharted cause I've always applied the Indiana Jones level of disbelief to those, which is a very high level of disbelief and I fully expect super convenient things to happen for those characters to survive whether it's movies or games. Those are much lighter/sillier adventures, so it doesn't bother me as much. 


07/15/2020 at 02:22 PM

yep. I don't hate TLOU or Uncharted series by any means. It's just that game play hasn't really evolved much past arcade shooter / level grind and it's probably because of  dev cost and money/marketing requires devs to stay safe and go with the familiar-- thus nathan absorbing grenade blasts and bullets with no armor. LOL. I think that dissonance discussion in gaming came up around Uncharted games originally.

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/15/2020 at 03:52 PM

Ludonarrative dissonance, you mean? I wonder. I feel like that predates Uncharted, but maybe Uncharted popularized it? 


07/15/2020 at 08:28 PM

I just remember Ludonarrative discussion surrounding Uncharted games more. I'm sure it's been used or misused before for other games, again because the player actions  contradict character actions the developer intended. I've seen it used for games like tomb raider, bioshock and fallout. Either you leave a high body count behind or go on side missions ignoring the main problem for a long time, like in Zelda or Skyrim. Im not sure thats even the right word, but the jarring effect of player actions vs. character actions.

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/15/2020 at 10:32 PM

Yeah, you're probably right about when it started showing up. 

I guess I'm able to accept it more than others might be, but I'm sure there have been moments where I've had to laugh because the difference between gameplay and cutscenes is so jarring. 

I think I'm able to accept it in games like Uncharted and Yakuza because they take that dissonance to such an extreme I honestly wonder if it's not done for humorous effect (especially in Yakuza) on purpose, I accept it in most other games cause I just accept it as a limitation of the video games genre, and I accept it in The Last of Us Part II because its world is such a shit show that it's really not hard to believe any particular character racking up the body count in order to survive. 

But again, I TOTALLY see why it does bother you and others. Just like I totally see a lot of other points people have about TLOU 2, those things just don't bother (or actually really work for me) personally. 


07/15/2020 at 11:07 PM

this reminds me of something...okay. like in uncharted 4 the game does a good job of building the relationship between sam and nate, where sam is showing nate how to do indiana jones style exploration in tutorials, especially climbing with ropes. Then, later Sam shows up to assist  nate reach hard to reach places with ropes and it made sense because they were introducing a new game mechanic and had sam showing you how to use it. But then there is a thing with nates wife in the story where he lied and left here behind and after she finds out, she just forgives and forgets and works with him in the last missions to save sam who basically used nate, and then nate ditches the wife again to save sam. It was really odd because the whole game built on relationship with sam but the wife was just pushed into the background and neglected, but magically they have a happy ending in like one movie cut scene? umm...what? It made me laugh.

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/16/2020 at 02:05 AM

I remember Nate and his wife basically almost divorcing a couple times in that game, but yeah. That's less ludonarrative dissonance and more just poor writing. I guess I just go along for the ride and miss these things. lol 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

07/14/2020 at 07:51 PM

A lot of toxic people out there. Frown

Super Step Contributing Writer

07/14/2020 at 11:53 PM

Indeed. But most of this is aimed at the Twitter vitriol aimed at the developers. I LOVED the game, but most complaints about it I've seen are actually pretty fair and I can see where people are coming from even if the weird stuff they tried really worked for me, personally. 

Without spoiling anything, I don't NEED every piece of media I consume to have a totally clean, straight timeline in a three-act structure in order to enjoy it. But it helps for a lot of people, and I can't be mad at that.

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