Some time ago, "The Last of Us Part 2" caused quite a stir in the game circle, not because it was successful and popular, of course, it did set the fastest sales record for the digital version of Sony's first-party game at that time, selling 4 million units in the first three days!
But the real cause of the shock is that players are so angry about the plot design of the game that they can't agree with it all, and the players' overall score is even negative at one point.
The heat of this incident even radiated outside the game industry, and many people who had little knowledge of the game industry were asking everywhere to know what had happened to the game.
What is rare in history has happened again: almost all the media gave the game a consistently high score.
To sum up, the core reason for the failure of The Last of Us Part 2 lies in the plot.
The game of the plot should serve the plot wholeheartedly, no matter how good it is in other places, if your plot fails, it will all be over. This is where this kind of game is most like a movie. Many blockbusters are, the special effects are beautifully done, but the story is told not well, and word of mouth must be failed.
In fact, to tell you the truth, the game is almost perfect in terms of production level, and countless details can be said to have done the best they can, such as the details of dressing and undressing, which are the most difficult for virtual characters to do in the game.
While crawling, the characters rummaged through cabinets, put the equipment they found into their backpacks… or pulled out their guns to fight. All the movements can be seamlessly integrated, which shows that a lot of energy has been spent on art and technical details.
In particular, the use of cinematic lens language in the game, the ability to tell stories with the shot, should be said to have been used perfectly.
But everything about it is ruined in the plot!
For this game, everyone's almost unanimous judgment is: "Naughty Dog should be using the wrong producer this time!"
The young man came from a technical background and participated in several previous Naughty Dog works, all of which performed well, so he was quickly promoted to the position of producer.
It's a pity that he was so arrogant that after he came to power, he began to design the plot of the game according to his own will, regardless of the opinions of others, especially when he thought too much about "political correctness".
In order to respect women's rights, he designed one of the heroines to be a strong like King Kong Barbie, and the other protagonist, Ellie, a little girl who had placed a lot of emotion in the previous work, became a lesbian and her partner was black.
The women in the game are good at fighting, including the two Asian girls who are deliberately arranged to fight, although they look thin, they are good at fighting, and their bodies are the same as iron, and all the men in the game are basically killed and maimed in her two strokes. Is this really necessary?
The most outrageous thing is: at the beginning of the game, the hero Joel, who invested the most emotion in the last episode, was killed, and the key was that he was tortured to death.
Of course, you can say that this is to play up hatred, to plant the seeds of hatred for the whole game, and to give Ellie a strong reason for all her vengeance. This seed is indeed planted, and it is deep.
But why suddenly let two lesbian girls wander around slowly in Seattle's empty big city and fall in love?
How inexplicably let the player play the killer who killed Joel, it is the strong girl who killed Joel. "I don't know her. I still have a grudge against her. I don't like her appearance. I really want to hit the controller on the screen."
The producer wants to tell us that "everyone has a wonderful childhood, and the tough girl who brutally killed Joel was motivated by revenge for her father. I hope players can understand and sympathize with her."
One advantage of doing so is that players can get tangled in the final duel between the strong girl and Ellie, and finally understand the reason why Ellie did not kill her, thus reflecting the core theme that the author wants to express: "Vengeance has a way of rebounding upon oneself"? why do human beings have to fight each other at the end of the day, kill others for revenge, and survive for themselves? is it meaningful?
I can see that "the author's intentions and ideals may be good", but I have to say that he made a low-level mistake in the plot design.
In this kind of linear drama interactive film game, you give the players no choice in the plot, so you have to make all the players agree with the protagonists you designed and are willing to play them with their own hands. This means that "players can't be disgusted with the main characters they want to operate," so you can't impose behavior that players can't accept.
Even if some film directors like to design such annoying characters, deliberately create a special sense of discomfort, so that the audience have a novel experience, but this kind of interactive film and television games can not be designed in this way!
Of course, the young producer's mistakes also have something to do with the topic of "political correctness".
The reason why there are not many voices questioning the producer in Naughty Dog, and even after the game is produced, many media have rated the game high and polarized with players's, all related to this. This topic has increasingly become a big problem in European and American society, just for the sake of political correctness, in the face of obviously unreasonable decisions, it has risen to the point where no one dares to tell the truth!
Naughty Dog's veteran employees are said to have left 70%, and I have to say that this is a sign that employees are generally dissatisfied!
I think Sony is too laissez-faire in managing the companies it has acquired, and now that I think about it, there may also be a consideration of political correctness, especially since it is still a Japanese company managing Americans.
But the more successful companies, especially those that can continue to be successful after acquisitions, the more difficult it is to manage, which is already a common phenomenon in the game industry, because creative industries tend to rely more on the core people. They often have to make them happy in order to produce good ideas and good works.
"How to grasp this balance between spoiling them and managing them well" is an eternal difficult problem in the art of management.
In addition to thinking too much about political correctness, the game also has some problems in game design, such as the fact that it has a larger size and freedom of the open world than the previous generation, which is obviously a mistake of "not focusing".
As a game producer, you must have your own persistence -- know what is right, don't be disturbed by the voices around you, especially if you want to hold on to the core of the game.
The concept of an open world is not suitable for this kind of game with the plot as the core, too large scenes and too high degrees of freedom. will dilute the continuity and tension of the plot!
Most of the players who come to play The Last of Us are for the plot, and the goal of playing "Red Dead Redemption 2" with them is different.