(I'm not sure if this belongs in the technical thread, as some of these problems are personal moreso than technical.)
So, after playing TLOU two times and starting a third, I've noticed two kinds of problems: Some really bad, and some that only affect certain people and are fairly insignificant, but should be easy to fix. So I'll start with the ones that only affect certain people (like me):
Game restarting checkpoint by itself-
Despite posting in the bugs thread, this wasn't fixed in the new 1.03 update. This game makes use of 'gates', where once you go through, you can't go back. Think jumping down a large height, or opening a door and closing it behind you. Once your A.I companion goes ahead (and sometimes even if they don't), go back as far as you can. There are atleast 3 points where this results in the game restarting the checkpoint.
1.Outside the quarantine walls with Tess (after getting out the tunnel) when Tess jumps down. 2.Before Tommy's dam, after going some way further after getting across the dam (before the cutscene). 3.In the sewers, when you open the castle doors, go back to the very beginning. Along the way Sam & Ellie will pop up. Then when you go back, and after Henry gets you up, Sam will pop up, and then go a bit further and then the checkpoint will restart.
It seems the A.I gets confused about what state they're in, and that Naughty Dog weren't expecting people to go back, which leads me to my other problem...
Things derending when you go back-
There is one major, major point where this happens. In the room Tess gets bit, once you clear it out and jump out the window, if you go back out of that room, and try going down the stairs..It's pretty appalling what stops you. A non-textured invisible wall, where you can see all around the city. How in the hell did QA miss that!?
There's another in Pittsburgh, after you take the rifle off of Ellie and go through the next 'gate'. Miss the two guys, and go to the next gate. Then run up the stairs to trigger them to follow you, and take them out upstairs. If you try to go back as far as you can, and then jump over..Oh wow, that thing with wheels on is gone - and you can't get back up. Restart the checkpoint...great...
And also, when you get the bow and try it out on the clicker in Bill's Town. If you tilt the camera to look at the blockade that forces you to take the side-path, you'll see that it's been derendered. Smaller issue, but come on... I know these aren't game breakers, but just fix them already! I love looking at every last detail, so these really break the experience for me. Especially when every other bit of the game doesn't have these problems.
And also, when you try to make the checkpoint restart in the sewers (as I describe above), when you reach the sewer entrance, if you aim at the top left corner, and get the sun at a weird angle, then move it around some, you can see sky/lighting transition really fast. Like the game gets confused about where in the sewers you are.
Oh also, non-disabable hints are annoying. I thought these come under game hints? I never craft a scope for my rifle because I'm constantly assaulted with the message that I can press X to zoom in.
And for the more major issues I have...
Even on survivor, Ellie gives you WAY too much ammo-
I swear, she gives me like 5 shotgun shells when I'm on my last two, even if I have plenty of ammo in my other guns. At one point I had killed someone and had 1 shotgun shell left, and he dropped 6 and Ellie gave me another 6. That's 13 shells from nothing! She should ONLY give ammo when I have zero ammo in ALL of my guns. Even then this is an assist that should be a toggle in the menus - and disabled on survivor. I don't think I noticed this on my other playthroughs because I always left 2-3 bullets in each gun.
I'm not sure how the auto-save works, but generally I think it's whenever you kill someone, it saves. So everything you used - ammo, health kits, all the damage taken - saved. If it's possible, I think it should save whenever you fire a shot or heal yourself, and on survivor, if you died, you restart with 2 bars health. This would *literally* mean that everything has meaning in the game. Also would make that 60/100 review on metacritic void. However, if this isn't possible, if the above issue was fixed this wouldn't be much of an issue.
I think when you read complaints on forums that TLOU is 'shallow' and 'mainstream', I think this is perhaps what they mean. Please implement/fix the above complaints...pleeeeaaase Naughty Dog. You say nothing is precious; it's only for the betterment of the game. These things would only add to the game. If you think these changes would perhaps cause problems with player progression that you can't foresee, then just think about adjusting it for survivor. They'll have already completed it.
Anyone else agree? *fingers crossed*
I'm sorta fine with not allowing people to backtrack. The game is all about moving forward and surviving, as you are vehement about when it comes to ammo. It does seem silly that you couldn't travel back if there is nothing to prevent you (physical barrier or enemy attack), but this one doesn't bother me.
I hadn't encountered the de-rendered sections. That's unfortunate and crazy... though I can't wait to go into my game and check them out for myself. TLoU has been graphically spectacular for me, with never even a single texture having to pop in or anything.
Those messages can be annoying, especially the one you mentioned. I've had that same experience, but never annoyed to the point of wishing I could turn it off.
I have to say that Ellie hardly ever gave me ammo, but I know why. Especially on Survivor, I rarely used ammo. Except for the few portions of the game where you practically have to use your firearms, I avoided them like a plague. I played utterly stealthy and therefore Ellie never had a chance to give me ammo (except for the fridge trap in Bill's Town).
Most of the time the auto-save kicks in after a group of enemies are dead. The game saves after the encounter, or between encounters, to force you to stick with your decisions and mistakes. Like you, it's one of my favorite parts of the game. While I appreciate the spirit of your suggetion of saving constantly, at a certain point it would become an impossible game. Lets say you run from a few infected to use a health kit and then one second after you are finished, before you even can get a gun out, a Clicker grabs you and you are out of shivs. It must kill you, and then you load in an infinite loop of being killed by that Clicker. The way the game has it is the best option, and it rocks.
Personally, it doesn't feel quite right to nit pick or carp about a game that is, overall, an amazing experience but ther's no getting away from the fact that TLOU has some minor yet noticable blemishes. The bugs and glitches have documeted in detail in other threads and I also agree about the annoying "hints" - if there is a way to turn these off it's not explained very well. There are other things that could have been better like the overly simplistic puzzles, the AI ect but like I said nothing terrible or game breaking here just things that ND could think about when making future games or a sequel .
Well, as well as moving forward and surviving all the time, I think, like Uncharted, it's all about the sense of adventure/journey. So I really like going back and just looking at how far I've gone, and sorta appreciate what I've done and where I am in the story (looking behind me for my past objective e.g getting through the hotel, and looking ahead to where I need to get through next, like the bridge or whatever).
(Just as I'm typing this by the way, I noticed another one of those situations where you go back and stuff derenders. This time it's when you take the rifle off Ellie, and go through the next 'gate'. Y'know the thing Ellie uses to keep it open, and then you use it to get to a higher place? Well, go ahead, miss the two guys, go forward until you reach the next 'gate', then go back until you see the shotgun guy, then run up the stairs. They'll follow you - take them out. Then as I say go back as far as you can, jump over, and wow that thing is gone, and you can't get back up. Just fiiiiiixx itttttt lol.)
I'll update OP with this and anymore I find on my 3rd playthrough.
Yeah if you can go through it and confirm it happens with you too, it'll help show it's not an isolated issue. But yeah, there is actually a lot of texture pop-in if you look hard enough. Things like foliage will fade out when you move away. and if you tilt the camera e.g while going up some stairs, you'll see some textures replaced with a solid black. I understand this is an ambitious game though. Like I was just in the hotel, and you can hear your PS3 streaming in and out assets as you go up or down a level, and the fact the enemies themselves can go up and down to flank you...just insane. And no load times...whaaa? But yeah, that added ambition to both the A.I and graphics make for a higher bug/glitch percentage than Uncharted ever had.
Yeah, I just realised that the game uses Ellie giving you ammo to shape the flow of combat. It's only now the pieces fitted together for me: In the bookstore/hotel, you're supposed to feel semi-powerful, before you get stripped away in the underground basement and then thereafter. I heard in the documentary they item starve you at certain places, so yeah. The firefight that's forced on you after the underground hotel was really awesome for me, because I literally had nothing left, really forcing me to make difficult choices ('but I don't WANNA use my last rifle bullet!', and then Ellie will save your **bleep** with the rifle.) So it makes sense in the context of the story too, because Joel and Ellie sort of have that bust-up just before. After this 3rd playthrough I'm gunna make a write-up of all the awesome little details I noticed...just, SO many.
When I say it auto-saves, you never land in the exact spot it saved, and the actions happening right then aren't either. Just the bullets used etc. So that particular situation you made wouldn't actually happen. I just feel like we should have maybe another added mode, survivor EXTREME, where Ellie doesn't give you any ammo unless you have nothing (and make it a toggle in the menus for other modes!), along with barely any ammo droppings from enemies. So it doesn't make the game impossible, just really hard. Like I say, the player would already have completed it once, possibly twice...
I mean I'm fine with the way it is right now, especially now that I've realised what they do in regards to Ellie giving you ammo. But I've just heard so much on the internet how TLOU is "shallow, craves to meet mainstream expectations" and I'm just like, **bleep**? But I think I've found what they mean...so yeah.
Oh I know, I never would have brought these issues up if I hadn't gone onto forums to talk with people about how AWESOME TLOU was, but I was met with 'meh. boring. no challenge. mainstream. what's next'. And I'm like, smashing my head off a table trying to figure out their mindset. Hell, even eurogamer listed TLOU as a game that has 'ludonarrative dissonance'. It was their 'The play's the thing' article, and you'll find me in the comments, raging, lol. So yeah I'm just trying to make it a better game for everyone.
Also, the ladder/plank moving was never a problem for me, as it perfectly contrasts the tense, exciting and challenging combat; it is none of those things, and feels quite serene and mundane because of it. It probably takes up 1/300th of the game anyway, so no biggie either way.
One of my biggest complaints with the game is actually in reverse of yours, and that's not getting ammo from enemies more often. I've had thousands of occurrences now, because I primarily use stealth, where an enemy is walking around with a gun and is killed before they ever fire a shot off. Their corpse yeilds nothing however.
I recall a scene from Justified in which Raylan is captured. He takes out one of his captors (or maybe it was Boyd) and attempts to threaten the others with the gun into being released, only to find out the gun has nothing loaded in the first place. This was done because the now unconscious guard couldn't be trusted in terms of "friendly-fire."
Also, there's the idea that ammo is scarce in the first place, like in the movie 'The Book of Eli,' and it's common for people to have guns without ammo, so that they can still use them to scare their prey/attackers into fleeing.
This, however, can only account for so many enemies of the hundreds and hundreds we face per game. Especially because of one important fact - the infection. Runner, Clickers, Stalkers, and Bloaters don't give a crap if you have an empty gun, or even a full one. So, if a very small handful of human enemies might not have bullets, the majority would be ready to firearm-kill at all times.
Of course, I understand that nearly every enemy dropping bullets would make the game far too easy, or at least, retain potential to be far too easy (just because you have ammo doesn't mean you won't get shot in the face and die). I don't want my complaint to detract from the game, but I've also noticed just how much ammo you find lying around, so much that a stealthy player on Survivor is still going to have every gun full for 90% of the adventure.
My suggestion would have been to remove finding ammo via searching in each difficulty, respectively to how challenging that difficulty is supposed to be. In other words, you find some ammo on Easy, not much on Normal, barely any on Hard, and NONE on Survivor. Also, completely remove Ellie giving the player ammo. I didn't really encounter this myself, but if it is the truth then it would be a problem. The only exception would be the fridge-trap in Bill's Town, but at that part she could pick up ammo off of the infected you are killing while upside down.
The other tweak would be to limit how much ammo a gun-toting enemy drops. It should likely only be a few bullets, and sometimes only one. Kill a guy who was weilding the mighty shotgun, be rewarded with one shell for yours. This would be a superior version of surviving in my opinion.
Note 1 - I'm fully aware that the amount of enemies in the game would likely still lead to a full backpack for anyone who uses stealth even 51% of the time. It's almost impossible to avoid this fact, and perhaps that is ok. I use stealth so that when I need bullets, I have many available.
Note 2 - We know that the mechanic of taking an enemy's weapon was removed from the game, so it's fair to say that ND could have tested all that I suggested to some degree and found it wouldn't work. Either way, I'm not really complaining, as the game still plays wonderfully how it is.
I wasn't too bothered by that. Once I realised not every enemy will drop ammo it sort of just clicked for me that, y'know, this isn't Uncharted or anything. For me, if Ellie would stop giving me ammo (unless you're at 0 in every gun), then the amount of ammo dropped/ammo you find would make it more challenging. Because yeah, going stealth means less ammo for you, but less risk of getting shot up. So it really adds to the decisions you're making. I can't really forsee any situation where the game would be impossible because of these changes - I think there is even a 'fail-safe' system in place with ammo droppings anyway. The game even says to you "When ammo is low, look to other strategies to survive", so it's encouraging you to stealth.
Also, I updated the OP with more weird stuff happening (even getting 13 shotgun shells from nothing lol...). And I'm going to make a new post soon with all the really cool little touches I saw, so if you wanna see all that in your next playthrough, I'll post it in around 4-5 days when I'm done with my 3rd playthrough. I mean there are some REALLY subtle things that I think 99% of people missed.