The lost storyline of TEW2

(Discuss the game)

The lost storyline of TEW2

Postby Autoignition » Nov 26, 2017 5:12 pm

Hello, friends. I'm sure it's pretty safe to say that most everyone on these forums walked away from TEW2 disappointed in the story and scripting. I'm about to make that disappointment feel even worse by revealing what this game could have and should have been. This is long, so bear with me.

The story that we got was not John Johanas's original intention for the game; I refuse to believe that. There are bits and pieces of that initial storyline still lurking in the final product, but they've been stripped and the plot threads have been left hanging. I legitimately believe that Johanas's initial vision for the game was too big and complicated and there was no way that he was going to release the game on time if he pursued it to the end, but he didn't realize it until too late. We heard reports that Tango was doing crazy overtime crunch hours as early as early 2016. That's really really soon in a game's development cycle for a staff to be working crunch. So, Bethesda went to him and said, "Figure out the straightest line through this story and make it work." And that's how we ended up with our very shallow, simple "save the princess" plot that the game was never intended to be.

Here's why I say this.

With enough working knowledge of the series, of storytelling progression in general, and of John Johanas's background and feelings towards this series, it's pretty easy to put together what this game's story was initially meant to be. Johanas is on record in interviews saying that the biggest and hardest lesson that he had to learn as a new game director was that it wasn't his job to see his vision realized; it was his job to make sure that the game actually came out and was playable. He had to learn to let some things go, which was really hard for him.

So, what did he have to let go? There's good reason to believe that Ruvik was initially meant to be the final boss and that the whole Lily thing was originally a bait-and-switch, with the big twist being that Sebastian is actually truly the one at the core of STEM and just doesn't know it. However, a lot of those hints and plot points get completely dropped after Stefano's realm and are never brought up again. Let's go into it.

In the Kidman DLCs (that Johanas wrote), it's established that Ruvik is still 100% completely in dominion in STEM. His goal is to be able to walk around outside in the real world in Leslie's body and drag other people into STEM by just making eye contact. Sebastian's campaign in TEW1 also establishes, several times over, that once a person is connected to Ruvik's STEM, they can never truly leave. They might be disconnected from the system, but they will always have one foot inside of STEM. In the Kidman DLCs, Ruvik means to show that to her in a more direct way by leaving that mark on her (and The Administrator's) hand.

This is never brought up or really made relevant in TEW2. Kidman mentions it once during a slide ominously, but it's never a presence in the actual storyline of the game. And so we don't really know what the significance is of her looking at her hand in the ending. We don't know what it's meant to imply, because TEW2 never ever ever goes into it. The bandages over Sebastian's hand are never explained, either, and he's mysteriously without them in the ending. It hints to cut content, not necessarily sequel bait.

Why is this important? Because Ruvik's dominion of STEM is important, as is his connection to Sebastian, because Ruvik is in this game.

I'll say it again.

Ruvik is in TEW2.

He appears to us in TEW2 hiding behind the guise of Anima.

The biggest tipoff to Ruvik being Anima is in her name. What the word "Anima" actually means is essentially the feminine side or expression of a man's personality. Meaning, Anima might be feminine, but at her center she's really a man. So there's a man masquerading as a woman inside of STEM, and the female form that he's taken very very very closely resembles Laura Victoriano. I wonder who it could be other than Ruvik?

But there's more.

When you consider Anima's existence and what little lore remains in the game about her, you realize that she was in Lily's STEM long before Mobius put Sebastian in there, and she was what caused the initial decay. She came in, people started seeing her, and they all turned. You find a bunch of memos and resonances from people talking about how they feel like they're going crazy, because this thing is chasing them and no one else can see it. And it's made worse by Mobius's memory rewrites that make people believe that they were born and raised in Union. She's something that invaded STEM for the sole purpose of turning people into Lost.

Ruvik is the only person in canon who has that ability to turn people. Stefano certainly couldn't do it, Theodore could come close to doing it but can't strip their will completely the way that Ruvik can, and Myra couldn't do it either. Only Ruvik has enough knowledge and control of STEM, along with his willingness and eagerness to completely dominate all other forms of life, in order to achieve this.

Anima also leaves hints behind that she's Ruvik. You can find the words YOU CANNOT KEEP ME HERE scrawled onto a mirror before Sebastian even sees her for the first time -- words that Ruvik said multiple times in TEW1. She hums Clair de Lune every time you encounter her. She always pulls Sebastian back into Beacon -- presumably, trying to pull him back into the part of STEM where Ruvik makes his home.

But Ruvik having access to, invading, and being inside Lily's STEM doesn't make sense. Him having the ability to invade Sebastian's STEM does, precisely due to the fact that Sebastian can't ever be fully free from Ruvik's influence while Ruvik's consciousness continues to exist.

Putting Ruvik into the storyline also makes certain lines of dialogue make more sense. Hoffman's theory about this not being just a mere Core disconnect makes more sense -- especially when you consider that it IS just a Core disconnect in the end. Her line about Sebastian being dead makes more sense when you consider that he was initially written to be the Core himself. Torres's guilt makes more sense if it's told in the context of Lily having actually died and Sebastian being at the center of the machine now. Certain lines from Tatiana about Sebastian discovering the truth make more sense this way, as well.

It also makes the inclusion of Stefano and Theodore make way more sense. Instead of chalking up their presence to an egregious oversight by Hoffman, who honestly seems way too good at her job to make the same mistake twice right in a row, it makes more sense to think about the "could have been" storyline of Ruvik pulling Stefano and Theodore into STEM himself. In The Consequence, Ruvik tells Kidman in a note that his goal is to be able to walk around outside in the real world in Leslie's body and pull people into STEM just by making eye contact. Ruvik is exactly the kind of vindictive asshole who would pull in two clear psychopaths just to fuck up any other system that Mobius tried to make with his research. And pulling in Theodore has the added benefit for him of revenge against the Elk River cult, to which his father Ernesto was very devout. Theodore's entire story and role in TEW2's final product is kind of a gigantic mess that felt slapped together, like he was originally meant to be two different characters that got rolled into one.

Did you also notice that Stefano isn't the only person who references an unnamed "He" in the first act? Capitalized He, denoting some great significance? The game tries to play it off as though it's Theodore, but when Mobius jobbers talk about this person, too, it can't possibly be Ted, because none of them know about the Plan and don't know he's in there. It also doesn't really make any sense at all for Stefano to have ever been taking orders from Ted to begin with, since Stefano's such a free spirit. You find a note at the very beginning of the game that's Elk River/Mu Center scripture in which Stefano has "LIES ALL LIES" written on the back of it. He clearly wasn't buying the bullshit that Ted was trying to sell. The "He" that everyone spoke about in act one was probably initially referring to Ruvik, but it just got co-opted into Ted's story for the sake of narrative convenience.

But in order for any of this to work, we have to assume that Sebastian was initially meant to be the true Core of STEM, that Lily was always meant to truly be dead, and the whole thing was a ruse. There's evidence for that, too.

The whole Lily thing makes Leslie seem extraneous, like he didn't matter at all, even though Leslie was the axis around which the entire plot turned in TEW1. Johanas knows this. I know he knows this. In TEW1, Mobius had to get Leslie because Leslie was the only viable replacement as a Core due to his connection to Ruvik, but then Mobius just fucks off and creates a new STEM system instead? That disconnect is never explained, and it's made worse by the fact that it doesn't jive with the timeline.

Mobius didn't even know what Leslie's significance was until right before the start of the first game. That was why Jimenez set off the wireless STEM that pulled everybody inside in the first place. Mobius found out the truth, realized they didn't need him anymore, and so Jimenez set off the wireless STEM because he thought he could oust Ruvik himself and make himself useful again.

And yet, now, thanks to this game... Mobius has been holding onto Lily for two full years before the first game even started? The fuck were they even doing with her that whole time? They couldn't have been building a STEM system around her for those first two years, since Ruvik was still sitting on all of the research and also had the system locked down to his own brainwaves. And after Leslie's significance came out, why wouldn't they have just killed Lily outright in that moment, since she should have been rendered completely useless, since Leslie was the only viable replacement Core?

Except, he wasn't the only viable replacement Core. There's another person who fits the bill in terms of connections to Ruvik in terms of trauma: Sebastian. Leslie was special because he saw his family murdered in front of him, similar to the way that Ruben lost Laura. Sebastian was at the scene of the fire when it happened; he essentially watched Lily die (and by the way, the first game established that he and Myra DID bury a body after the fire, so that's another plothole that TEW2 creates), AND he has the trauma of fire linking him to Ruvik in a more meaningful way than what happened to Leslie. The Kidman DLCs were very pointed in the way that they were written alluding to this. Johanas got his start in the industry by studying screenwriting in school; he's a writer by nature first, and nobody -- literally nobody, not even me -- knows or loves the story of TEW1 more or better than he does. He wrote the DLCs that way on purpose.

There's evidence in the final product of TEW2 that Sebastian was originally at the Core of STEM and didn't know it. We go back through his memories and see that his psych evaluations were conducted by Mobius operatives. At that point, Mobius had to know the significance of Sebastian's link to Ruvik. There's no way they couldn't. And yet they just... let him go? And big old paranoid Sebastian, who sees a conspiracy in every little thing that anyone ever says and does, never suspects them? Huge parts of Sebastian's personality were dropped between TEW1 and TEW2, again for the sake of narrative convenience, and this is one of them. Along with the bandages on his hand, this is another detail that just smacks of cut content.

But none of them are so damaging as Johanas himself inadvertently telling us his intentions for the character and the story on Twitter back in the summer of 2015. Take a look at this exchange between him and a fan shortly after the release of The Consequence, back when he already knew he was going to be directing TEW2. Now pair it to what he said to our friend zombifiers right here on the forums a bit later: "There's also images conjured by Sebastian's own intuition."

Put them together, and what do you get? Johanas telling us that Sebastian makes up stories. He sees things in STEM and goes, "How did they get here?" He makes up a story about them, and then things conjured by his own intuition manifest physically inside of STEM, sometimes in the form of visions.

Sound familiar in TEW2? Like, Sebastian picking up Lily's dolls in act one and then seeing a vision of how that doll was left there? It looked like Sebastian making up a story right there on the spot. If that was originally intended to be the case, then Lily was never actually there. Sebastian was just making up a story of how she could have been there, because he believed she was there, because her memory might have been the thing keeping him sane while he was at the center of the machine.

And if you'll notice, this is completely dropped after Stefano's realm in act one. Sebastian never has visions like that again. This detail was probably swept completely under the rug after the story had to go through dramatic rewrites in order for the game to get completed on time.

So, instead of the sexist Myra Is Only A Babymaker And Nothing Else plot, this is what we could have had instead. Sebastian searching for himself inside of STEM and not realizing it until almost entirely all the way through the game. Myra may have even been the true protagonist of this game, even if we didn't play as her! She might have originally been in there trying to save Sebastian from Ruvik and also himself. We'll never know now. Because this storyline was hacked down to shit in order for the game to come out on time and be playable.

It's a huge shame, honestly. There's potential for real greatness in this game's story that just completely falls apart in the second and third acts, leaving behind only a shallow, hamfisted family story in its place built on superficial relationship traits and cheap storytelling contrivances to get it all to work. I do hope that any DLC or TEW3 addresses them, but it leaves TEW2's narrative on its own feeling rushed, incomplete, and messy.

As it stands now, I would give anything to have a long, honest sit-down discussion with Johanas about TEW2's development and his initial vision for what he wanted this game to be. Because there's so much unrealized potential hiding just beneath the surface.
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Re: The lost storyline of TEW2

Postby dan76 » Nov 27, 2017 9:12 am

To be honest, I think you're giving him too much credit.
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Re: The lost storyline of TEW2

Postby Autoignition » Nov 27, 2017 9:46 am

Well that's hardly constructive.
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Re: The lost storyline of TEW2

Postby Rikitatsu » Nov 28, 2017 8:58 am

Oh yes, Ruvik's presence was felt throughout the game... In my first playthrough I was expecting him to appear any second. You can imagine my disappointment at the end. Also, You forgot to mention the part where you can actually hear Ruvik's voice when Lily is talking at Ch.9... I'm not sure if it's actually his voice actor, but it's clear that the intention is to make us think that Ruvik is there.

There's plenty of cut content from the looks of it... Even the initial gameplay trailer 3 months before the game's release had locations that were not present in the final game. I can't say if all these cut content are due to time/budget constraints... It could be that Bethesda just told them to throw away most of the 1st game's plot threads and make it simpler.
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Re: The lost storyline of TEW2

Postby SutterCane » Nov 28, 2017 10:04 pm

I'm glad you wrote this because it hits on a bunch of stuff I thought I was alone in wanting closure on or to be followed up.

The after effects of STEM on it's participants being ignored was a big let down. I was of the view that you didn't need another STEM machine for TEW2 because if you wanted to explore Seb's past he was still not fully free of the machine's power, stick him in another Mobius institute being observed. I don't mind Mobius keeping him alive and studying him free range but it got difficult to follow why at the end of the game they would order Kidman to kill Seb. So after he proves useful that's when they decide to kill him, it doesn't make any sense. Then there was Kidman and the Administrator's marks that wound up having no significance.

I like what you are saying about Anima being the female half of Ruvik because I think there's a tendancy for people to take her as just a random ghost that exists as part of everyone's mind for no reason despite her resemblance to Laura. When I saw Stephano's creation being so similar to Laura I had thought he had been corrupted by the Anima in a more subtle way to unknowingly recreate Laura in his sculptures. It was a thread I was keen to follow but when you hit Father Ted that interpretation falls apart and then even more so with Myra, there's not much of Laura/Ruvik with them. Ted's goals clash with Ruvik's and since Ruvik would want Myra to kill Mobius her stalling doesn't make much sense if he had any input in her actions. Even still it's something I try to make work.

I really don't understand Lily as the core, it's so confusing. It devalued Leslie so much and I never got the impression that Mobius had enough understanding of STEM to know who would work as a core before TEW1. I'd always assumed the fire at their house was meant to kill Myra and Seb or destroy Myra's case files since she was on the missing persons that was likely linked to Mobius. Taking Lily is just convenient and it makes it look like Seb and Myra were left as loose ends to investigate Mobius freely. I can understand Ruvik infecting Lily's STEM though since if he had left his mark on the Administrator then I could imagine him, or a small part of him, getting in through the Admin testing out his new machine.

There's a weird bit in TEW2 where Seb doesn't believe Myra about her conspiracy theories. She was trying to keep Seb out of all of that because it was so dangerous, it didn't make sense for her to be telling him. Also those missing person cases seemed odd to him long before Lily's death, so him dismissing her was strange. Maybe that's a bit of TEW1 I'm completely unaware of, my memory was that she only told Seb about her investigation after it was too late.

Kill chips make less and less sense the more I think about them.

I agree that Johanas had something else planned from the beginning but I don't think it was a time issue. Bethesda were really keen to sell this as a standalone game that didn't require any understanding of the previous game's plot. There's no way he was going to be able to pursue a plot line that very few people understood or were aware of, that even goes for some people that played the first game. Think about how much TEW2 is a response to every common criticism of the first game, the story is almost the most frequently cited complaint.

Having Seb as the core, that's too confusing since you would have to understand why he's a viable replacement for Ruvik as well as who Ruvik is in the first place. Lily as the core is easily understandable and it gives Seb a clear cut reason for entering STEM, it gives them time to describe STEM and to make clear definitions between STEM and reality so that everybody is sure of the situation. Lily is a tangible reward to be earned for Seb, having him as the core potentially working through similar issues but without the end game reward of a living Lily would've resulted in a lot of people feeling as if nothing really happened when Seb finally leaves STEM.

Including any kind of details that imply the impact of STEM wasn't finished once you leave the machine would've left people complaining that the game's ending was inconclusive and oh I guess they'll have to wait for a DLC for a final answer clearing up the ending.

I could believe that they wanted to flesh out Ted, Stephano and Myra more than they got to because each character is reduced to one trait and not much more. There's a huge portion of the map you never get to see during Ted's segment and I've always thought the fire walk segment blocking out vision of the area was a compromise of a third open area to explore. Stephano pre=release was talked up as having a background of war photography but it never comes up in the game, it felt like it was cut too. Myra is reduced to one level and you don't get any real insight into her as a character full of spiders. That all feels like an issue of not having enough time to me.

I think they could salvage the story with DLC or a third game but it's sad they killed off Myra and Mobius for something kind of trivial. I've seen people say that TEW2 concludes Seb's plot line but it did it by ignoring Ruvik's existence, something I don't think Seb could let go. TEW2 kind of messes up the parrallels between the two characters now anyway since Lily never died in a fire. Juanita Flores burned in that house too but Seb didn't give a crap I guess.

Johanas was definitely interested in plot lines involving Ruvik influencing people even after their STEM encounter, that they could never truly leave. In the DLC it was implied that Jimenez had been using the machine without realising, so it was already demonstrated as a part of TEW that that sort of thing would go on with Johanas leading. So I don't think you are giving the team too much credit at all.
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Re: The lost storyline of TEW2

Postby extravagant » Dec 02, 2017 3:57 am

Just adding onto TS' original point with my own thoughts...

The game got way 'too personal' with Sebastian. He reacted too much. He was overly sensitive. He said too much. Too scripted. I miss the old Sebastian as he was more of a detective and the story was more based on the crazy villains instead of Sebastian's wishy washy heart strings with his family. I am not saying I approve of Sebastian suffering, it's just TEW2 got way too personal with Sebastian's story and it made it way more cheesier than RE4 at times.

In TEW1 he was supposed to be more silent when crazy shit happened and that was because the game was meant for YOU to react, not him. Anybody who thumbs down a video game for saying "My character didn't have a scripted reaction!" is clearly an idiot if he says that about TEW or any survival horror game. He's a detective. He's supposed to be calm and actually solve other people's cases first, before his. His family story was cliche. So cliche.

Honestly all the story we needed about Sebastian's past were all covered during the Kidman DLC flashbacks of TEW1. Those small snippets were already enough to tell a good story of the good detective.

I'm not sure whether how this all even ties into Director Johanas.
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Re: The lost storyline of TEW2

Postby dan76 » Dec 02, 2017 7:44 am

extravagant wrote:Just adding onto TS' original point with my own thoughts...

The game got way 'too personal' with Sebastian. He reacted too much. He was overly sensitive. He said too much. Too scripted. I miss the old Sebastian as he was more of a detective and the story was more based on the crazy villains instead of Sebastian's wishy washy heart strings with his family. I am not saying I approve of Sebastian suffering, it's just TEW2 got way too personal with Sebastian's story and it made it way more cheesier than RE4 at times.

In TEW1 he was supposed to be more silent when crazy shit happened and that was because the game was meant for YOU to react, not him. Anybody who thumbs down a video game for saying "My character didn't have a scripted reaction!" is clearly an idiot if he says that about TEW or any survival horror game. He's a detective. He's supposed to be calm and actually solve other people's cases first, before his. His family story was cliche. So cliche.

Honestly all the story we needed about Sebastian's past were all covered during the Kidman DLC flashbacks of TEW1. Those small snippets were already enough to tell a good story of the good detective.

I'm not sure whether how this all even ties into Director Johanas.


I agree, I've never understood players complaining that a character doesn't react - you should react, you are playing the game.

Also, @ Autoinginition, I just read your post over on GAF about the terrible dialogue "you must forgive yourself" etc. I couldn't agree more. When that dreadful dialogue played out for the first time then repeated it I muted the damn game. It is so awful, and that I think is partly down to Johanas. Even if he was forced to keep that dialogue in it was badly directed.

I wonder if we will ever know the truth behind this game. I knew the danger signals were there when Hines kept going on about Seb being more "relatable" and Mikami saying that "you will cry by the end if the game". I was crying but for a different reason.
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Re: The lost storyline of TEW2

Postby Autoignition » Dec 02, 2017 4:03 pm

I've had a rough week so I haven't been able to respond to things individually, but I'mma go through em now.

Rikitatsu wrote:Oh yes, Ruvik's presence was felt throughout the game... In my first playthrough I was expecting him to appear any second. You can imagine my disappointment at the end. Also, You forgot to mention the part where you can actually hear Ruvik's voice when Lily is talking at Ch.9... I'm not sure if it's actually his voice actor, but it's clear that the intention is to make us think that Ruvik is there.

There's plenty of cut content from the looks of it... Even the initial gameplay trailer 3 months before the game's release had locations that were not present in the final game. I can't say if all these cut content are due to time/budget constraints... It could be that Bethesda just told them to throw away most of the 1st game's plot threads and make it simpler.


I'm certain that it's not actually Jackie Earle-Haley just because of the actor's strike, but I wouldn't at all be shocked if the voice that is there was meant to be his replacement for Ruvik. When you first enter Ted's realm and the walls light up with that stupid YOU DIDN'T BELIEVE YOUR WIFE bullshit, there's a voiceover there, too, that also sounds like it could have been (or maybe should have been/was intended to be) Ruvik.

There's a lot that hints to cut content happening really, really late in development. Probably the most egregious example is Pete Hines at E3 talking about how it was his idea to use Ordinary World as the song for the trailer, and then when the game came out, Ordinary World was a big piece and staple of the ending. How fucking late in development did they slap that ending together, if the song was picked out for E3? And by the fucking Bethesda PR manager???

SutterCane wrote:There's a weird bit in TEW2 where Seb doesn't believe Myra about her conspiracy theories. She was trying to keep Seb out of all of that because it was so dangerous, it didn't make sense for her to be telling him. Also those missing person cases seemed odd to him long before Lily's death, so him dismissing her was strange. Maybe that's a bit of TEW1 I'm completely unaware of, my memory was that she only told Seb about her investigation after it was too late.


RIGHT? Like, shit, I could've accepted this as a retcon (okay no I wouldn't have but just for the sake of argument let's just go with it) if they hadn't fucking included Myra's final letter to Sebastian from TEW1 in TEW2. That letter makes that whole plot line not make any fucking sense.

That whole thing pisses me off in general, though. I absolutely cannot stand it when characters beat themselves up over things that the writers didn't add to their story until later. It's unfair to the character and feels insulting to the audience. Of course Sebastian didn't believe Myra about Lily being alive, because that plot line didn't fucking exist when his character was originally goddamn written. It's one of those cheap contrivances of storytelling that exists just for the sake of melodrama, and I hate it. Sebastian had enough to beat himself up over that was consistent with the pre-existing storyline and even jived perfectly fine with TEW2's storyline. I'm still baffled by the fact that there was absolutely Z E R O commentary on Sebastian's end about how his marriage completely fell apart due to the mutual but isolated grief shared between him and Myra.

This wasn't a game about Sebastian at all, no matter how hard Bethesda tries to push that line. This was a game about Lily (AND WE STILL KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HER BECAUSE THE GAME'S WRITING IS BAD). If this was a game about Sebastian, then the game would've fucking gone into Sebastian's relationships and life as they existed outside of the context of his fucking kid. But I came out of TEW2 knowing about as much about Sebastian as a person as I did by the end of TEW1. There was no new information about him at all in this game. If anything, I understand him even less now because they cut out parts of his character that were present in TEW1 and then never filled in those empty gaps with anything. It's a fucking travesty.

SutterCane wrote:Kill chips make less and less sense the more I think about them.


They're a classic deus ex machina device. I'm sure that the whole "kill switch" aspect of them was added in at the very last second just because they needed a really simple way to tie up the Mobius plot line. Like, when they're first introduced as a concept to track Mobius operatives while they're inside of STEM, it made total sense and I saw the benefit and logic to them as a plot and even gameplay device. But when it came out that MYRA CAN JUST FLIP A SWITCH AND MAGICALLY KILL LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN MOBIUS IN UNDER A SECOND, I was like lmao this is some lazy fuckin bullshit right here.

extravagant wrote:The game got way 'too personal' with Sebastian. He reacted too much. He was overly sensitive. He said too much. Too scripted. I miss the old Sebastian as he was more of a detective and the story was more based on the crazy villains instead of Sebastian's wishy washy heart strings with his family. I am not saying I approve of Sebastian suffering, it's just TEW2 got way too personal with Sebastian's story and it made it way more cheesier than RE4 at times.

[...]

He's a detective. He's supposed to be calm and actually solve other people's cases first, before his. His family story was cliche. So cliche.

Honestly all the story we needed about Sebastian's past were all covered during the Kidman DLC flashbacks of TEW1. Those small snippets were already enough to tell a good story of the good detective.


I feel like saying this kind of denotes a certain misunderstanding about TEW1's plot and Sebastian's characterization in that game on your part, no offense. Sebastian was always a hyper-sensitive, emotionally-driven, and impulsive person. It just manifested differently in TEW1 because, well, TEW1's writing was better and more nuanced.

The point of Sebastian's character wasn't that he was a detached, unfortunate third party that was at the wrong place at the wrong time. In TEW1, the whole point was that Sebastian was actually at the center of the spiderweb of stories and intrigue surrounding every single character in that entire game. It wasn't that he was solving someone else's case first -- the Beacon incident WAS his case, his family's case. Sebastian had been searching for Beacon, Ruvik, and Mobius for a long time before the first game started. He just didn't realize until too late that he'd found them.

dan76 wrote:Also, @ Autoinginition, I just read your post over on GAF


Ugh, don't look at my shame. :lol: I hate that I still post there after the truth about the sexual misconduct of the owner came out, but I don't have a company email address anymore and can't sign up for ResetEra, so I'm stuck in limbo on GAF screaming at fucking neo-Nazis and pedophiles, because that's all that's left over there.

Anyway.

dan76 wrote:It is so awful, and that I think is partly down to Johanas. Even if he was forced to keep that dialogue in it was badly directed.


This is the kind of shit that keeps me up at night and really makes me linger on Riki and Sutter saying that Johanas probably had way less control over this game than we think he did, and that the bottomless pit that is this game's story quality is very likely 90-100% Bethesda corporate ratfucking.

Just going off of the Kidman DLCs, I honestly feel comfortable saying that Johanas is probably one of the best dialogue writers in the game industry right now. The things that he did with those characters -- the snapshot moments and the hard-hitting, complex, emotional story beats that he was able to convey in such a short piece of content -- still blow me away. Juli Kidman as she appears in the DLCs is one of my favorite female characters in video games, period, and she is 100% John Johanas. The flashbacks between Sebastian and Joseph are legit some of the best pieces of dialogue in the game, because they convey so much in such a concise way. After those DLCs hit, I started to look up to Johanas as a writer, and I don't feel afraid or ashamed to say it. He's so talented.

I wonder if TEW2's script haunts him.
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