The director and lead writer of the PPS4 mega-hit talks about its full storyline and radical structure.
That was great interview
"When you get to the second half of the game, it's so sad that you're meeting these people (and these dogs) that you've already killed" It's impossible to feel guilt when those events like many in the game were forced. my only reaction is WTF just happened. This happend over and over, it's a big reason critics weren't sold on the story. Druckmann: "The way that they've(critics) dehumanised Abby and the way that they're talking about Abby, it's kind of horrifying". bro you WROTE the story, you failed in creating empathy for the character. she justifies killing kids and was going to participate in genocide if she didn't get sidetracked. and she felt no remorse for anything she did. you just made us hate her more.
Who is US? You only speak for you and you only. You and some people didn't like it, but there is an equal amount, if not far more people that enjoyed the game. And please don't say look at the user reviews. Those are as reliable as a broken condom. Thousands of those reviews went up within hours of the game being released.
@Redemption-64 "Who is US" those who weren't sold by Abbys arc.so if you like her that precludes you from the argument. and the sample size for the user reviews is incredibly big. and they are very negative. you can't wish them away. stop the denial.
He is a f ing idiot like the rest. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME. Losers all.
@ilikestuff: Idea....MAKE YOU OWN F ING STORY.
@ilikestuff We deserve better, if u don’t think we were short changed by this sequel then you have your head so far up your butt you can see out of your belly button. Spoken like a true snowflake. Can't handle a different opinion can you? You deserve what a writer or storyteller give you. If you don't like it, move on. The last thing I want is for, your so called WE, to dictate what you think you deserve in a game, movie, comic or book. Let writers, developers or directors do what they want, it's their story, not yours. The fact that you are saying this about people who might think differently about the game, only highlights how closed minded you are.
@Redemption-64 you are the one attacking gamers with the different opinion. that's the pattern here. Druckmann fans just can't accept their emperor has no clothes. this is the 1st game he made without supervision and he got exposed.
@Game you are the one attacking gamers with the different opinion. Can you please quote me on when I said it or even implied that? I get basic reading comprehension is far above your understanding and you don't like me calling one of you out, who implied, people who don't agree with US(you people) have their heads in their ass, but it will be nice, to quote me on when I attached your so called gamers.
@redey3 Whatever makes you sleep at night snowflake
i for one liked the story and what happened to Abby. please don't make it sound like everyone hated it.
That’s the narrative though, apparently if you like the story (according to the haters) something is deeply wrong with you and you don’t know what good story telling is.
@mrsolidsteel20: They are paint by numbers people. They never read books, except comics. It's not their fault they are shallow in their thinking. Parents never read to them growing up i guess.
This is the usual Xbox lies to make up a narrative and attack people into believing it. Truly revolting behavior, but par for the course with these people. We've all seen it here a thousand times. Meanwhile, the majority are clearly enjoying the game
@KyleLanders The majority of the people obviously didn't hate it. However, it would be nice if you and others on this site would stop denying that a large portion didn't like the game for a number of legitimate reasons. Yes, only trolls and haters would rate it a 0, but this appraisal campaign from the acces media as well as folks defending the game as the 2nd coming of Jesus, have to resort to denial, categorizing and name calling (see sampsonon a few comments above me). Maybe only 10% of the people that played it, disliked it, but as with everything reviews and opinions are much more likely to be shared when there's something wrong/to complain about. It's not "cool" to hate the game, nor is it the most common opinion. But I do think the hype built up before release led to quite a few people, myself included, ending up (slightly) underwhelmed and disagreeing with putting this game on a pedestal.
I liked the story quite a bit. Initially I wasn't a fan of Abby but I could understand why she did what she did. When she started to try to redeem herself I liked her a lot from then onwards. The main cast of characters all have motivations and feel justified (at the time) in their actions, but later come to realise the consequences. There are no good/bad characters just different perspectives.
@redey3 you mean the scene right after she discovers her friends Mel (heavily pregnant) and Owen dead? Ellie killed her pregnant friend and Abby wouldn't feel justified in doing the same? Same with Joel and Abby's dad? Her dream sequences represent her state of mind ( down the long dark corridor to the operating room). Abby choosing to go back and help Yara/Lev even though it put her at odds with everything she knows was her redemption. How did you not notice those parts when playing the game?
Don't be such a hater bro.
He was the creative director of the game, you think one single guy wrote it all in isolation? Also... Genocide? Really? Did you even play this game? Clearly not if you think the entirety of Abby is an attempt at forced-guilt - you missed the *entire point* of the story.
what would you call murdering the whole island population, ethnic cleansing? she was going to do stuff ISIS did in Iraq and Syria. hey maybe that's the point humanizing ISIS solders. I get it now.
You didn't play it and still speak like you speak for everyone ...and no one take the user scores as facts because it was review bombed the moment it was open by trolls and bots and no one was able to even play a F hour of it .. it was reviews by F idiot who didn't even play it .. this is why i don't take user scores or people like you srsly ,they should add their psn or xbl like steam to prove they own the game and actually finished it to submit a review Give it a rest already and move on with your life or play the damn thing
played it. it's bad. very bad.
Suuuure you did
@TheKingKratos LOL! If the only defense for this thing is "you didn't play it" proves you have no argument. you can't even defend it and you are proving it's bad.
"sure you did" how do you know he didn't? I mean you sound very sure. If that's your defense then as far as assumptions go, you didn't play it either.
The fact that you don’t empathize AT ALL makes me worried about what kind of person you are. Secondly, who said she “felt no remorse”. She comments on feeling like shit several times. That’s the reason she initially starts helping Yara and Lev.
sorry can't empathize with militiamen for mass murdering warlords.
Nora wasn't forced. Although she would have died, or changed, anyways, so it could be seen as a mercy killing. But, Ellie did it out of anger, not mercy. "This happend over and over, it's a big reason critics weren't sold on the story." Really? because I haven't seen that mentioned until just now. I did however think that Ellie's killings were because the people ended up trying to kill her. " you failed in creating empathy for the character." I empathized with her. Even when I knew her reason before playing as her, I empathized with her reasons. I connected with her throughout her game play segment, which made me see the broader picture that the story was trying to convey. "Druckmann fans just can't accept their emperor has no clothes" God, every time I hear this it's like watching the mainstream news press nowadays. They all hear something catchy, and repeat it constantly as if it means anything. "and the sample size for the user reviews is incredibly big. and they are very negative" So, I just checked, 45K positive, 55K negative. It seems that the positive reviews have seen a surge in the last few days, and if the negative reviews didn't just give out a completely rediculous score of zero, the average score for this game would be much higher. I've also read quite few of those negative reviews, and I'd say that 9 out of 10 of them has completely rediculous reasons for their negative score. The one's that aren't rediculous at least try to be reasonable, and aren't scoring the game with a zero. If you're going to keep citing the user score, then I hope you keep doing so when the user scores start to swing the other way. If there's one thing you can count on with trolls and hate mobs, its that they move on when they get bored, whereas over the next few weeks, you're going to have more people who have played and completed the game, and feel compelled to leave a score....if that's their thing.
Maybe. But a 10 is much more reasonable than a zero. I could respect a few points below a 10. Maybe even a well reasoned 5 depending on how people personally score their games. But a zero is basically a broken and terrible game, and this game isn't one of those by any stretch of the imagination.
You don't have any thing to say but a punch of BS if any one with no arguments it's you and yes based on what you type i don't believe you played the game But you know what ? If you want to discuss the game i will bite ...let's talk I am ready
"you are the one attacking gamers with the different opinion. that's the pattern here. Druckmann fans just can't accept their emperor has no clothes. this is the 1st game he made without supervision and he got exposed." Do you see yourself? You come into a discussion that you're fully aware will attract fans of the game and proceed to imply 'It's my way or the high way' when you say "Druckmann fans just can't accept..." 'You' can't accept that people enjoyed this game and its story. How are you any more righteous than the people you're arguing against when you're so blindly intolerant yourself? We 'like' the game. We're aware of your opinion, and while we can't stop you from expressing it, don't act all high and mighty imposing views on others and expect people not to take umbrage. Respect debate, and stop erroneously claiming that the camp who liked the game are the only intolerant ones in this case. Debate and argue your heart out; that should be welcomed, but don't come in and basically say 'I'm right and you're wrong' and then proceed to complain about intolerance. It's nonsensical.
"It's impossible to feel guilt when those events like many in the game were forced." How was it forced? "This happend over and over, it's a big reason critics weren't sold on the story." Many critics were sold on the story though "she justifies killing kids and was going to participate in genocide if she didn't get sidetracked." It's almost as if it's a mirror to Joel and the player where we see ourselves as the hero so often and think little of the other side, much like in any war. The pillars scene with abby and lev even mimics Joel carrying Ellie to safety. "she felt no remorse for anything she did" Except she did, which is the whole point of the redemption arc and her even saying "I needed to do something good". I feel like you didn't pay close enough attention if you missed this whole arc during the village. She was just a soldier, and Isacc calls her 'his number 1 hunter' and once shes starts to have remorse and see another point of view she abandons and even kills her own to save a child. I get it if you didn't like the story and not saying you have to like it at all but if you missed all this then you'd have to have it on mute and skip all the cut scenes.
@redey3 I don't know what your on about but if you're refering to how Abby's kill was personal and Joels wasn't but if your going to lean on a sense of joy one had over the other then it's a weak argument to dismiss what I said.
Redemption-64 is right; you're not entitled to the story outcome you desire. It doesn't matter if you bought the first game and you feel 'invested' in a character or think you "deserve" an outcome; you don't. The story is Naughty Dog's; all of it including both the first and second part. One story, two games, all theirs. You can express your opinion respectfully though; that's no problem. Nobody should want to silence you, and the people who dismiss you like "Oh you just haven't played it" are wrong for doing so. I assumed -Fox hadn't played it and I was wrong, and have no problem admitting that, though I don't agree with him at all, and I think he and people like him are being shortsighted. Druckmann was unsupervised? It's his baby - he's the main writer and it's 'his' story. Halley Gross co-writ the second with Neil. Bruce Straley did none of the writing for the first game.
Druckmann: "The way that they've(critics) dehumanised Abby and the way that they're talking about Abby, it's kind of horrifying". Is Neil seriously trying to shame critics into liking Abby? What are narcissistic POS!!!
It's a linear game, did you have a choice to kill the doctor at the end of the first game?
"The pitfall a lot of writers with this kind of story fall into is like, OK, we need people to like Abby, let's make her perfect". This is exactly right, and something I was afraid they'd do. What I like about Abby is similar to what I like about Ellie, they're both good people deep down, but they keep making these terrible mistakes. I think anyone can see themselves making similar choices if put in similar situations, which is why they're so easy to get invested in.
you would participate in genocide?
You couldn't have missed the point harder if you tried.
Joel doomed the entire human race to never having a cure for the virus and the Scars are waging a holy war. Repeatedly throwing around "genocide" when you have missed the entire point of the game just makes you look foolish.
@Gameseeker_Frampt the world in TLOU was destroyed more by humans than the plague. everyone could survive if they look out for themselves and cooperate like in Jackson. Ellie would only be killed so the world can have convenience. it's not the same as killing women and children to erase a competing society.
Without Abby story this game would have just been a long disturbing murder marathon for Ellie. Instead we got something whether you like it or not is so powerful that no one can stop talking about it
Well no one could stop talking about Microsofts Drm attempts back in 2013. Doesn't mean it was a good thing.
The story is framed to put the hate and anger into context. It's not a story that leaves your character justified just because they're the "good guy". The antagonist in most games is usually pretty shallow. They're evil because the story tells us so. The protagonist usually either is morally justified, or since you are connected to them through empathy, your quest is that of good. It's a disconnect from reality, which is fine for a game, that keeps that aspect of the story shallow for the purpose of simplifying the narrative. Most movies are like this too. @game-ur Abby didn't participate in Genocide. She saw herself as a soldier for WLF. She wasn't that keen on the idea of invading the island, and even stated that it wasn't a good idea. She ended up seeing that there were real people with the Scars, and ended up trying to save a couple of them. This is because she wasn't a bad person, just one, whose bad act was fueled by a justified cause....whether valid or not....and as the story progressed, she felt remorse and went back to being a good person overall.....or at least as good as one could be in a game where you go around killing people anyways.
"Abby didn't participate in Genocide. She saw herself as a soldier for WLF. She wasn't that keen on the idea of invading the island, and even stated that it wasn't a good idea. She ended up seeing that there were real people with the Scars, and ended up trying to save a couple of them." Abby even said it her self the Isaac lost his mind attacking their homes and she called him crazy when she saw they are coming to the island
There was no legal system, so technically, there was nothing illegal. The world was an anarchy, and the only rules that applied were those of whatever group people associated with. And the actual attack on the island was a genocide. Abby was not on board with it, and expressed her distaste for the idea. She also didn't participate in it.
This was excellent.
I'm about 80-85% of the way through I think. If you don't like Abby, or you don't understand her, this is on you and not Naughty Dog. It's pretty damn clear that the motivations of both characters are near-identical. Abby kills her father's murderer. Ellie wants to kill her father figure's murderer. That's reducing it to the most basic level, leaving out the extra justifiable motivation Abby had: Joel single-handedly ruined humanity's chance at a cure. And in both of their journeys to redeem their father/father-figure, they both indulge in violent patterns that take them down dark, questionable roads that all ask: Do the ends justify the means?
"If you don't like Abby, or you don't understand her, this is on you and not Naughty Dog" thanks for the meme idea LOL!
"It's pretty damn clear that the motivations of both characters are near-identical. Abby kills her father's murderer. Ellie wants to kill her father figure's murderer." THIS and the parallel that because they are both so devoured by their hate and need for revenge they lose everything and everyone they love that surrounds them. The both games aren't warm cheery games, they are dark, bleak stories which is why the smaller moments that do make us feel good are so important and powerful because they are so contrast to the plot it helps make those moments stand out.
Man this is a fantastic interview. If you don't get it after reading this you just don't get it. "I've seen people say online, basically, you disrespected the characters. Mf! No-one loves these characters more than we do. Except for maybe Troy Baker. No-one loves Joel more than Troy Baker."
Man, I hope Troy Baker doesn't go on a vengeance quest against Druckman.
Then we could have a non-fictional story that involves Troy Baker going a a blood-filled quest to hunt down and kill Druckmann because he doesn't like how Joel was treated, and then a game could be made of that. The final act could consist of Troy Baker storming the Naughty Dog studio with an arsenal of weapons ultimately culminating in an epic, violent, hand-to-hand combat scenario vs Druckmann with choking, stabbing, rec area sink-drowning and well placed landmines in a maze of cubicles.
Yes, but what will Ashley Johnson do?
She'll sit in the corner and strum to it.
@ Synthetic Yeah, the hand to hand combat between those would be limited to throwing Starbucks coffee and hair-pulling.
Oh, the humanity!!! Hopefully it never comes to that. Think of the children
Amazing interview. As for the ending, I think Ellie was successful in her revenge, but she understood that killing Abby wouldn’t solve anything, it will not make her happy and and it won’t bring Joel back. Sadly it was too late. Her revenge cost her everything she loved, and her biggest fear became true. Despite everything, I think that Ellie was slowly turning into a monster and she really needed to stop cause that’s not who she is. By letting Abby and Lev live and go, Ellie redeems herself just like Abby did when she spared Ellie and Dinas life back in Seattle. Abby really cared about Lev and all she wanted was to put him to safety. This hurts so much to say but I think Ellie was asking for this. Hate doesn’t make you go anywhere but now that she knows I think she learned a lot from this, and she won’t repeat her mistakes again. The same goes for Abby. They’re both humans (not completely white and black) and they both lost almost everything they had. Abby can try to give Lev a better life with the remaining fireflies and Ellie still has Jackson...
Lilly* lol not a boy, but a girl
His name is Lev, scar
GAME OF THE YAR GAME OF THE YEAR
I remember when I killed the dog in the aquarium. I was like.. Why is his death drawn out? I’ve killed tons of dogs along the way but his death had focus. And then as I went through Abby story, playing fetch with the DOGS and seeing how their training is. Even when Lev and Ram(?) played with the dog that they were afraid of I was like..... Damn.... I killed a defender and the weight of that kill came swooping in. I really left the game not caring for Ellie’s actions. I was actually happy to beat her face in, but everything that followed I was more happy to see their growth. The dead are dead, nothing you can do about it. But their memories changed and shaped Ellie and Abby. That’s what people do to one another, change us. And when Ellie has that moment to realize that she was not angry at Abby but angry at herself. It was even harder to digest but I understood.
I'm finding on a second play through, I know these characters more that I'm killing with Ellie, and it changes how I feel about it. Not that I cared for most of Abby's friends. Owen was about the only one who seemed to have some heart. The rest were just overly cynical or insufferable.
I didn't like Mel either, though I understand why she loathed Joel; her being close to Abby's father who called Mel his best student. I get that. But, I didn't care much for her regardless, or Manny. They weren't explored and weren't compelling, they were simply support, especially Manny.
I felt immense empathy and guilt while playing Abby. When I arrived at the aquarium and saw Alice it all kind of hit me. I started to think about all the WLF people I had erased. This feeling only got stronger when I arrived at the Saraphite island saw the kids being rushed off and heard all the people screaming. I have seriously never felt any of these feelings in a video game. P.S. Joel had it coming. I still feel angry about his death though.
Exactly. It's easy to just place ourselves in the role of the hero and tune out everything else. I remember when people were debating that even though a swashbuckling adventure, the Nathan Drake was really a mass murderer. This game actually deep dives on that idea and it seemed to have rubbed some people the wrong way to have their hero narrative broken. If anything else, it's a very interesting take and approach to the standard protagonists Vs antagonist approach.