The beginning made me cry for the first time in a long time.
That's how I love. So deep it hurts. So deep I'm a commitment phobe and afraid of the loss.
I love his flaws, his stubbornness etc..
Sarah's death broke me. Half my family are from Texas, and he reminds me of a couple of us.
I want to be a Dad like Joel. I've never identified with a character that strongly. The killing machine he becomes without his Daughter Sarah to serve as the anchor to his ship. How her loss never leaves him.
The hollow man he's become when you see him 20 years later. It's heartbreaking, and I see that him in me too. When things are going poorly and my life isn't moored the way it needs to be I see so much of him in me.
Seeing his brain fighting the love coming from Ellie. Seeing him look at his watch that Sarah gave him.
I love the effect of the world being new to Ellie, and really it's her game (I just get wrapped up in Joel for the obvious reasons). How he explains Ice Cream trucks to her, how she has no way of understanding how populous we used to be.
I love the weight the violence has in this game. It's not funny, its necessary. It's sloppy people get tired and wheeze.
The facial animations are excellent, Joel and Ellie or Tess would look at each other and communicate without talking. My God is it good.
This was the first time a Game has lived up to the narrative possibilities in gaming. Where the longer format has strengths not inherent in the 2hr movie.
The environmental storytelling was great. You read about Ish in the boat and we follow his story all the way up into the sewers and see where it goes. The detail in the game is incredible.
The Sam and Henry arc was strong as well. The discussion after Henry bails on Joel but convinces him not to kill him by telling Joel he would have done the very same thing.
This game shows why we have Zombie cliches. You don't care because they're executed so perfectly, and actually enjoy them more because of it. The strongest part of the Game for me was the winter section and going from Joel wanting to be rid of Ellie and passing her off to Tommy (which he had been lying to himself about for a while [not sure how long]).
To the scene where he falls, is injured and somehow makes it out, is crazy tense. I was riveted
Coming back as Ellie, I was totally prepared to play the rest of the game as her, and was stoked that she didn't have the same skills. Now for me the positive climax of the game was the arc with the cannibals.
When she escapes and he finds her, and he calls her baby girl for the first time like he used to call Sarah. It broke me again. Seeing his armor crack was like nothing I've ever seen.
Seeing her become his daughter to him was touching in a way that even few movies manage.
To back up a little bit. When he is getting the information from the two cannibals about where they are keeping Ellie, thats the best executed torture scene I've ever seen in games. It was grim and I would do the exact same thing in his shoes. Sorry but that's some real talk right there.
Backing up even further, sorry to Tarantino it on you, but the scene where David (cannibal leader) and Ellie are discussing the deer carcass and he explains that she and Joel slaughtered his guys, damn that was some sick shit.
That guy was shady as fuck the whole time. They did a great job of forcing complacency on you by how he hadn't betrayed her up to that point.
Anyway, I'm tired of writing now and just want to say that I would make the same decision he makes at the end if I were in his shoes. I'll leave it there.
They fake you out in this game. I expected Joel to die and he didn't. Then I expected them to save the world. But they didn't. The stinger that they leave you with at the end, his lie, was magnificent.
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
- Edmund Burke