Late last month, major spoilers for The Last of Us Part II started to leak online. Fans were already disappointed by the game's indefinite delay, but the leak resulted in increased demand for the game to be released as soon as possible. Almost immediately after, Naughty Dog announced a June release date for the game. Since then, things seemed to have calmed down a bit, but many fans are disappointed to say the least. In an Instagram Live Q&A, voice actor Troy Baker, who portrays Joel in the game, weighed in on the controversy, doing his best to alleviate the concerns of fans.
"Oh dude, it doesn't matter. Look, if you think that game can be ruined by a couple of screenshots... really? A studio with thirty plus years of development, with so many awards under their belt they can't even put them all in one trophy closet," said Baker.
"This is the biggest, most ambitious game they've ever done. You really think that that experience can be undone by a couple of screenshots? Think six years of development can be undone by that? It's a game, it's a game. You have to experience it. That's all I'm gonna say."
Baker obviously has a lot of investment in the success of the game, but his words should make fans feel a bit better about the spoilers currently floating around. The Last of Us was a massive critical and commercial success, so everyone involved wants the final product to live-up to its predecessor.
It will be interesting to see what impact the spoilers will have on the game's sales and reception. While some of the spoilers are obviously correct, others seem to be unsubstantiated, at this time. Regardless of their accuracy, Baker does raise a good point: while the story is a major part of the game's appeal, it's easy to judge a title without playing it. Spoilers can ruin story beats, but without context, it's impossible to accurately judge how things might play out. Sometimes, a story beat might sound unappealing on paper, but the execution makes it more enjoyable.
Fans won't have much longer to wait to judge for themselves. The Last of Us Part II will release exclusively on PlayStation 4 on June 19th.
Have you been able to avoid spoilers for The Last of Us Part II? What do you think about the leaks? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!