Joel was never given a redemption (*Part II spoilz*) (Fan Creations)

by EffortlessFury @, Monday, January 23, 2023, 11:05 (458 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Over the past couple of days, I've been listening to the official Last of Us Podcast. They start at the beginning of the first game and work their way through both games, talking to Neil Druckmann, the cast of the game, and some other Naughty Dog developers about it along the way.

Neil talks about exactly what you're discussing here. It's not as in depth as I'd have liked, but it was interesting.

The original version of the game has you spending much more time as Abby early on. Neil said they changed it because it felt "too easy." By spending so much time with her before the inciting incident, players were already predisposed towards liking her. They specifically wanted you to feel like Ellie, wanted players to hate Abby as much as possible, and then they wanted to see if they could bring you back from that with the back half of the game.

There is almost certainly a more palatable version of the game, and very likely a version of the game that might actually be better from a strictly story-telling perspective. I think any of those version of the game would have been weaker from an emotional and just experiential standpoint, though. Part II takes players on a very specific journey that would not have been as powerful if it was presented in a more straightforward manner. That's why I think it's masterfully executed. It's not that there's no other version that could have been as good, or even better, in some regards, but that the version we got worked perfectly (at least for me) in accomplishing what they wanted from an emotional standpoint.

Like I said, I think it was done correctly to convey the experience they wanted to convey, but that experience is only possible if a person is capable of making that turnaround. That approach has inherent flaws. I think it's an interesting journey to have, but I do wonder if there was a version that could've approached it differently and given a similar experience with less inherent flaws and thus a wider possible audience.


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