One is angering gamers all over the world… the other is a movie scorned by many a Spider-Man fan… so why am I even comparing the two? I recently saw someone defend TLOU2’s ending by them saying that the whole point of TLOU2 was to say revenge is bad…. it’s also a point that Spider-Man 3 tried to make…. however… as problematic as SM3 could be… the scene when Peter finally forgives Flint Marko is powerful… while Ellie letting Abby go feels… unfulfilling… and here is why I believe that is.
Both the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the first Last of Us game builds on the bonds between the characters. For example Peter’s budding romance with Mary Jane or Joel coming to see Ellie as his new adoptive daughter… both Spider-Man 3 and TLOU2 claimed to build on what came before… so let’s compare the revenge stories in each…
Spider-Man 3 has 3 revenge stories in the movie… 2 of them are good, so I’ll discuss those 2. The first revenge plot seen in SM3 is Harry’s vendetta against Peter. This has been a growing plot since the end of SM1, in which the Green Goblin dies by his own glider in a fight with Spider-Man. Throughout SM2, Harry makes it clear that he resents Peter for continuing to take pictures of Spidey for the Bugle, believing that Peter should turn him in. He is shown to obsess over killing Spider-Man, and when he learns that Peter and Spider-Man are the same… breifly reevalutates his life… until he learns his dad is the Goblin and opts to kill Peter for his grief. When Harry attacks Peter at the beginning of SM3… we see the first build up to the moral that revenge is bad… when Harry loses the fight and gets amnesia. He claims to Peter and MJ that he felt like he was gone for a long time… or he was a bird locked in a cage now set free. Taking a break from Harry’s revenge quest… let’s discuss Peter’s revenge quest. In SM1… we see the death of Uncle Ben and we see Peter chase down who police believes to be the killer… in a plot twist that is both brilliant and stupid, it is revealed that they got the wrong guy… Flint Marko had killed Uncle Ben. Enter the symbiote… an alien goop that powers up a person and makes them give into their darkest impulses… what does Black Suit Spidey do… he find the Sandman in a train station and brutalizes him with the intent to kill him… seemingly succeeding… and yet the revenge is bad plot comes up again when Aunt May does not approve of Marko’s ‘death’ and says revenge is like a poison that can turn you into something you’re not. Yet Peter does not listen… soon Harry regains his memories and forces MJ to break up with Peter… causing Peter to fight him in vengence… but it isn’t until Peter later hurts MJ that he realizes that Aunt May was right… he was becoming a monster… upon removing the black suit, May tells Peter that in order to move on he needs to first forgive himself… and when the time comes Peter learns MJ got kidnapped by Sandman and new partner Venom. He goes to Harry for help, acknowledging the fact that he doesn’t deserve help and goes to fight the two villains alone. Harry learns that Norman Osborn died by his own glider… his own hubris… not by Peter’s hand… and Harry chooses to accept his wrongdoing and atone for his crimes… saving Peter from certain death at the hands of Sandman and again by the hands of Venom… after Peter defeats Venom… Sandman approaches Peter… acknowledging his wrong doings and explains his terrible act of killing Uncle Ben… remembering what he learned… Peter forgives Flint Marko, gaining closure and then speaks with Harry, affirming their friendship before Harry dies a hero.
Meanwhile TLOU2 even from the trailers showed us that Ellie was out for revenge about something… turns out Joel dies pretty early in the game. Through the whole game… Ellie kills everyone important to Abby, Joel’s killer, but when the final fight happens… Ellie lets Abby go after having one last memory of Joel… she had many flashbacks to Joel’s life in the game… but none of them ever had Joel address the concept of revenge and forgiveness… the revenge bad plot is never set up… and as a result it feels like a cop out where Peter forgiving Marko felt like Peter achieving a moral victory. Notice how little I had to say about TLOU2 considering there is no build up to Ellie’s final choice. There’s nothing wrong with a revenge is bad plot…. but it needs to be set up… and while Spider-Man 3 has it’s own pitfalls (emo dancing Parker) it’s story of revenge and forgiveness is not one of them.
Both suck ass
Not denying that… but SM3 sucks because of how bad the symbiote was implemented… Take that away, keep the main point about forgiveness and keep having Harry and Sandman and the movie could be solid… TLOUS 2 doesn’t have such an easy fix… it sucks so much more.
TLOU 2 forces you to endure a garbage game for 25+ hours (I didn’t like the first game at all).
SM3 only makes you put up with it for 2hrs 36min.