I see a lot of players criticize the game not for its gameplay, graphics, sound design, but for the story itself.
And it baffles me because, to me, the story in part II is exactly what videogames as a medium needs to mature from children's toys into true art.
if you're not familiar with the plot, spoilers ahead.
The story takes a turn for the dark and subverts player expectations by killing off Joel and sending Ellie into a quest for revenge, mixing up who the protagonist and the villain are and ending on an unsatisfactory note in which nothing gets resolved and everyone is worse off than when they started.
No characters are likeable, everyone has good qualities to them but they are all overshadowed by their defects as humans, not Ellie, not Abby and sure as hell not Joel (even though he dies early on)
This is, to me, peak story writing, this is EXACTLY what people loved about game of thrones and the old greek tragedies: despair, hopelessness and questioning your own values as the audience.
This is what separates a true piece of art to, say, a children's toy like Persona 4 Golden's story, which is laughably immature and simplistic, meant only to appeal to the player and deliver fanservice.
Another argument I keep hearing is that this story is not executed well. This is also baffling to me because one thing you cannot criticize about Naughty Dog is their execution in their storytelling, they are masters at it and in the case of TLoU part II, they have exceeded my expectations in that department.
Compare to one of the most beloved game series of all time: Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger. CT was a serviceable game with a more immature story aimed at a younger audience, people liked the game, not for its mechanics or the story, but because it was a pretty decent JRPG at the time.
Chrono Cross, on the other hand, is regarded as one of the marvels of gaming, and if you analyze the story (spoilers ahead), you can see why: every character from the first game is either dead off screen, missing, corrupted or turned into a completely different person or thing. Nothing achieved in the first game matters as everything is reset to the same or worse state than before, and the game has a ton of deep and complex dialogue for each character that sometimes would span over 20 pages of written text just for a single dialogue.
This is what true art is: tragedy porn, hopelessness, despair, no liekable characters. Videogames are well due for this stage of transitioning into more mature and actually interesting storytelling.
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