To preface this. I really liked both games. This discussion is not meant to talk or criticize anything political, LGBT, etc. and heck not even criticize the writing for the most part, but the genre.
"a harrowing film about racism and violence"
I have seen the word harrowing being used a lot when this game is discussed. The above is the definition found when you Google the word, which is defined as acutely distressing. I can only agree with describing Part II as a very distressing and disturbing game in many scenes.
The thing I wanted to discuss, and to see if people thought the same as I did when playing, is the genre of this game, or the level of darkness this story reaches. I personally feel like, for a lack of a better word, that Part II is a different genre than TLOU Part 1. Part 1 felt, for a lack of a better word, lighter. Maybe it helped that it had more moments of levity with Ellie telling some jokes and swearing at Bill and whatnot – it gave it more of a typical adventure-story feeling to the whole thing.
However, Part II to me felt like it reached the same levels as films like I Saw The Devil, and the latter half of Old Boy – both are very good South Korean movies that center their stories around revenge or vengeance. These 2 movies also both go to extremely dark, violent, brutal places in their stories as well.
Here is the big difference between those 2 films and TLOU Part II. Combined – those films had a budget of $10mil. TLOU Part 2 had a rumored $100mil+ budget, and who knows how much more in their marketing campaign. I personally cannot recall or find an example of a film/game/etc. of this genre being produced and marketed for the public at large anywhere. This is going to be a bad comparison, but TLOU Part II is almost like a film like I Saw The Devil given the Marvel Cinematic Universe treatment
If, hypothetically speaking, the leaks never happened, and the story was perfect, etc. this genre by nature – I think – is not appealing to everyone and is never meant to be.
Anyways, to reiterate, I truly did enjoy Part II, but just wanted to share my thoughts on this and have not seen it discussed too much. I think it is nuts that a story this dark and violent gets a blockbuster treatment, it is kind of crazy when I think about it.
Despite thinking that its kind of crazy, does not mean I did not appreciate it though.
EDIT: Old Boy & I Saw The Devil are just the first films that popped in my head when thinking what's the closest thing I could compare TLOU Part II with. I honestly can't think of much else, right now at least, that had a revenge story + violent & relentlessly dark and bleak through-out, and made me feel the same why by the end of it. I Saw The Devil especially took no pause, Part 2, after the opening, doesn't really pause except for moments of sadness and reflection (flashbacks to me were sad/reflection I guess).
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