I like that we get the dark spooky basement fight here on Halloween.
I kind of feel like this basement section would have been stronger if Ellie’s fate was in doubt. If she made a scared noise and vanished, then we’d feel like we needed to escape and help her. But Chris is right, this does feel very videogame-y. Ellie is taken from you in a cutscene and you’re dropped into a new environment. The game makes it clear that she’s okay. There’s nobody to talk to, so the story and character development stop so you can have a shootout in the basement. (Or if you’re Josh, a zombie punch-up. For whatever reason.)
I can see why this section is here. The hotel was getting old. We needed a shift in gameplay. And it’s bad for the setting to spend too much time shootin’ dudes and not enough time fighting zombies. But this is a really clear example of the oil-and-water properties of story and gameplay. Still, it would have been a little more interesting with a good story hook to pull us along. “Is Ellie okay?” would be an obvious one, but I’m sure you could devise others. We just need something more than “Shoot the zombies so you can get back to where you left off.”
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