OldPec wrote: ↑July 14th, 2021, 2:07 am
I also appreciated Joel picking the darker path at the end of TLOU1.
I still find it interesting that people see either of his options as good/bad or even lighter/darker.
For me both his options are truly awful. In different ways, one personal, one grand, but both truly awful.
That's a good way of putting it. I absolutely agree. I guess what I meant was the narrative decision to have Joel make a choice that many fans would consider "too far", instead of giving him an easy way out to make the player feel better.
About the "in this year" comments - and this is maybe something about me that should require years of therapy
- I often prefer darker stories during low times. It makes me feel less... isolated? In feeling bad? If that makes any sense? Sometimes watching or playing "nicer" things makes me feel worse. Like when you feel crap and then go on Instagram and see lots of positive, happy posts and feel like a failure (which is why it's better to stay off social media when you're not feeling well, mentally). It's why a lot of people with mental health issues latch onto incredibly bleak shows like "Bojack Horseman".
I didn't comment on this on the Patreon as my comment was already reaching Tolstoy length, but I felt that while the "Horizon Zero Dawn" comparison was very interesting, it was slightly off base. HZD is set centuries in the future, when the old world has been long forgotten and society has completely reorganised. There isn't a sense of loss among the people of that world because this post-apocalypse world is all they know. The only remnants of the old world are completely ancient. It would be like the Pyramids are to us. By the end of the game, only Aloy and Sylens have developed an understanding of all that was lost and what that loss means.
TLOU 1 and 2 are appropriately bleaker in tone. The games are about two groups of people: traumatised survivors of a lost world (arguably "the last of us" of the title), and the new generation of young people born into this hellscape who are struggling with the constant evidence of the world they missed out on as well as the inherited legacy and trauma of the survivors of the old world. The old world is a constant presence: bodies, artefacts. The diary Ellie reads in the first game where she is bemused by the angst of a teenage girl worrying about clothes and boys. It's impossible for the characters not to be aware of everything that was lost.
Twenty years is almost nothing - look at how slowly our world recovers from traumatic events like wars, genocide, natural disasters. Events like 9/11, World War II, the Tohoku tsunami etc still leave deep scars years later. In TLOU, the entire world (or at the very least North and Central America) was completely destroyed only twenty years ago. The world is still reorganising and everyone in it is traumatised. I think it would be unrealistic for the game to be lighter in tone unless it was set much, much farther in the future.
Thought the comments on the lack of focus on what it meant to be in a world of Infected compared to the first game were very astute. In the first game there are characters like Sam who are deeply anxious about what human aspects of the Infected remain. In the first hours of the game there is a character begging to be mercy-killed rather than turn into an Infected. The sequel doesn't really explore that angle, it might be fun to see if any future sequel picks up on it again.